Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Three's Company and My New Camera

Here she is: afghan panel numero tres. 

Are you getting bored with my stockinette stitch panels?  If you are, sorry, but you’ll have to suffer through at least 7 more before I’m finished showing them off.  While the stitching is insanely simple, it’s really relaxing to me.  One day when I have a ton of time on my hands, I would love to learn how to knit complex patterns, but for right now I am happy with the simplicity of stockinette stitched panels.

Aren’t budding plants glorious?  Even though I hate hostas and tell Nick every year that I’m going to dig them out and plant something pretty in their place, it’s nice to see that they’re sprouting.

I shot them in all of their sprouting glory with my new camera, the Fujifilm HS20.  My Canon Powershot just wasn’t taking the quality of pictures that I wanted, especially in low light, so I started researching cameras for everyday use and for our upcoming road trip across the country, aka our Great Western Adventure.  Purchasing a new camera has been quite frustrating, as the camera that I envision does not exist.  I really liked the picture quality of the Canon Rebel T3i, but having to switch lenses in the middle of hiking in Yellowstone or the Grant Canyon didn’t really appeal to me.  I would be super paranoid about fingerprints and my dirty hands and dirt in general damaging the expensive lenses.  Also, they are quite expensive (the body and lenses that I would want add up to around $2000) and, because I would have to lug around all of those lenses, they would be heavier than I want.  I’d also be sacrificing tons of zoom.  The type of zoom lens I would need for a DSLR that compares to the zoom on a point in shoot is in the upper hundreds to thousands of dollars range, and I’m just not willing to spend that kind of money right now.  Back in January, the day before I was about to suck it up and deal with the cons of the Rebel, FujiFilm announced that they would be releasing the FinePix HS20, which has a 30x manual zoom, in late March 2011.  The manual zoom is what caught my attention and I patiently waited the 3+ months for the HS20 to reach American soil. 

Once March rolled around I tried to find the HS20 in an actual store where I could hold it and try it out, as that is a logical step to buying a camera, but the only option that I had was for a store owner to order it for me.  I didn’t want the pressure of the store owner ordering the camera just for me when I wasn’t even sure if I wanted the camera, so once the HS20 became available on Amazon, I decided to order it and try it out at home.  I could always return it if I hated it. 

The HS20 arrived on Friday and my first reaction was impressed mixed with a little frustration.  It was night time by the time I pulled the camera out of the box, which I didn’t think would be a big deal because it prides itself on taking great pictures in low light settings.  It did take some great pictures in low light, but it also took forever to focus.  I think there might have been a better setting to use in low light, so I admit this might have been user error.

I took the camera outdoors on Sunday and the very bright mid-day sun.  The pictures are pretty good.  Mid-day sun isn’t the best lighting and the images are a bit washed out, but I like the detail that was picked up. 

I love love love the manual zoom.  While the HS20 isn’t perfect, it’s a better option for me right now than the Rebel T3i.  Now I am tasked with learning how all of the settings work!


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