Cameras are such an individual choice and fortunately today there are plenty of options out there to suit everyone but I am not the only person that wants high quality photographs from a compact camera. I now own a Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ100 and think it is the perfect camera for the active traveller I am. This camera is a million miles from the first camera I owned as a young teenager; this was my dad’s Kodak Brownie that he had been given in the 1950s and I was over-the-moon to have my own camera. Once I was earning money I splashed out on my own 35-mm SLR camera, a Canon AE-1, apparently the first SLR with a microprocessor and a model that sold very well. I bought different lenses for my Canon over 25-years and loved using it and it took beautiful photographs but by the 1990s we were taking back-packing holidays more and more and a bulky 35-mm camera with its associated lenses was taking up too much room in my rucksack. Although I still loved taking photographs, it got to the point where I would deliberate whether I really wanted to take my camera out with me.
My first digital camera was bought in 2005, it was a second-hand Fuji that was still fairly bulky but I was quickly sold with the convenience of digital over film. Never again would we lose a roll of film because someone had set the postbox alight [such as our precious wedding day photographs] or even have to limit the number of photographs I took. Digital was the way forward for me; I could take as many photographs as I wanted, see them immediately and edit them in the comfort of my home on the computer.
By 2008 I had moved on to digital compacts and owned a Canon and an Olympus before upgrading and buying a Panasonic DMC-TZ40 Lumix just over four years ago. At this time we were still saving up to retire and I thought the £200+ I paid for this camera was more than enough for someone who was trying to be frugal. In this effort to save money I had not anticipated how important photography would become in my emerging career as a travel writer. I loved using the TZ40 but it didn’t always perform as well as I would like. There is a lesson here that sometimes being frugal can cost you money rather than save it and less than three years later I took the plunge and paid £550 for my Panasonic DMC TZ100.
I know there are more expensive cameras out there and although every camera is a compromise in some way, I now feel I have the camera of my dreams. Although I am sure I could get even greater quality out of a more expensive camera, the TZ100 delivers great quality photographs, gives me flexibility to change settings, has more features than I will ever need to use and is small and compact and so is never a nuisance to carry on a walk. I chose the Panasonic because of the positive reviews, for the good quality large viewing screen that I can use even in bright sun and because of my positive experience with the TZ40. Staying with Panasonic brand also meant I could use the camera immediately as much of the functionality was familiar.
With this little gem of a camera by my side I can no longer blame the camera for poor photographs; I only have myself to blame for any hopeless shots.