Friday, July 20, 2007

New Camera Time

I purchased my first digital camera, a Canon PowerShot G3 in early 2003 and I've taken around 13,000 pictures with it. It's always been a great camera with a lot of great features, most of which I've never used. My favorite features are the high-quality images, the 4x optical zoom and the swiveling LCD screen that allows me to see myself while I take self-portraits.

About two weeks ago, I noticed a line a single pixel wide that traveled from near the center of the picture to the bottom edge of the picture in every shot I took that day. The bad line was showing up in the LCD while I composed the pictures as well as in the image file itself. "Uh oh," I thought, "my sensor is going bad!"

Well, I dropped my G3 off at my local camera store, George's Camera, a few days ago to send it to Canon for a repair estimate. I won't know if they'll be able to fix it or how much it will cost me to fix it for another two weeks. Since Comic-Con is next week and since Kara has expressed interest in owning a compact camera of her own, I figured now was the time to get her one that I could use during Comic-Con and then turn over to her when I get my G3 back.

After a few days or research, I decided to go with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 and I bought it at my local Costco last night. I could probably have gotten a better deal online, but I wanted time to play with it this weekend before Comic-Con starts on Wednesday. I chose this camera for the following reasons:
  • It's small enough to fit in my pocket or Kara's purse.
  • It has an awesome 10x optical zoom, much better than my G3.
  • While I would normally stick with Canon or Nikon, the Panasonic Lumix cameras are actually Leica cameras with Leica lenses. I've never owned an SLR, digital or otherwise, but I recognize the Leica brand as having quality lenses.
  • Digital Photography Review gave it a "Recommended" review. I relied on their review when I got my G3 and I trust their reviews now.
  • It has an image stabilizer
  • It has 20 different fully automatic scene modes, including a mode for fireworks
I told Kara that I'll know after Comic-Con if I'll be keeping this camera for myself.

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