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GrnEyedDvl's Desk

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70K

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Last year when my wife and I went to London, the digital camera I had at the time decided to die on me. It didn't completely die, it just refused to read or write to the SD card which meant I could only take a few pics before moving stuff to my laptop and clearing the internal storage which go to be a pain, and after buying two new cards for it while we were there we actually ended up buying a cheap little throw away camera to use for the rest of that trip. Cell phone cameras are only good for certain things, and in my mind vacation pictures are not on that short list. So we suffered through it and I figured I would just buy a new camera for the trips we have planned this year.

I just got back from a trip to NYC with my mom (she had never been there so I took her for her b-day) and I used the camera I picked up last month on NewEgg. This is the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70K which I paid just under $300 for, plus shipping. I should note here that this model is now about 2 years old, the new version of this camera runs about $750-800 which I was not willing to spend on a camera.

It has all the bells and whistles: it records video, it has a decent flash, it has all kinds of options for panoramic shots and adding borders and text and all the other stuff you will probably never use. All I wanted was something that takes decent pictures with a minimum of fuss, and has a decent zoom on it. Its a 16.0 megapixel camera so obviously it will take pictures in huge resolution but in my admittedly not expert experience testing a camera on the low res settings often gives you a better idea of what you will get when just snapping simple pictures. When I do some landscape pictures later this summer I will crank it up a bit, but for this trip I kept it simple.

All of these pictures were taken on the .2 megapixel setting with Intelligent Auto turned on and are completely unedited by me. They are the default 640x480 and are in the neighborhood of 150 kb in size just as I took them off the SD card. All I did was point, let it auto focus, and take the picture. I must say I am pretty impressed. I cant wait to hit the Grand Canyon with this thing.

These first two shots were taken inside a poorly lit aviary at the Bronx Zoo, with no flash. Remember these are completely unedited by me, not even for size. This is one of the parrots that was about 15-20 feet away from me when I took the pictures. The first one is zoomed in just a bit, the second one I just held the zoom until his head pretty much filled the screen. Even on the lowest resolution setting and in poor light I think these turned out well, especially the close up of his head.

Now to really see the zoom in action take a look at these shots of the Asian cattle. We were riding the monorail and we had to stop for about 5-10 minutes while one of the trains in front of us unloaded so I had a bit of time to shoot several pictures. The first one is a normal shot with 0 zoom at probably 100-125 yards or so. Then I zoomed in a bit for each progressive shot, the last shot is full zoom with no tripod. Its got a bit of blur in it because I was freehanding it but the auto focus and image stabilization actually did quite well under the circumstances. Again these images are completely unedited by me.

And of course I saved the best for last. Who doesn't like the Statue of Liberty? I took these shots from a bench in Battery Park while waiting for the ferry to take us to Liberty Island. I am not exactly sure how far away the Statue of Liberty is from where I was sitting but Google maps shows it as just over a mile away, maybe as much as 6500 feet. I do have one with zero zoom but you cant even really tell the Statue of Liberty is in the picture so I didn't post that one. The first one you see here is at about 10x zoom, the last two are full 60x optical zoom with another 5x digital zoom on top of that with a focal length of 1200 mm.

I really like this thing. I took almost 900 pictures on this trip just to test out a bunch of the features and I have no complaints at all. The next time I take it someplace I will crank up the resolution a bit and take some serious pictures.


  1. PikeStance's Avatar
    That guy in the black Tshirt probably thinks you are stalking on him!
    Seriously, cell phones are good for the moment on the spot close up pictures and selfies. The camera is really the way to go. I take horrible cell phone pictures compare to a camera. It is just a pain carrying it around. Ironically, I do tend to take more pictures with a camera.