A quick post about the nuts and bolts of yesterday's shoot. How good is a used, $500 all-in-one camera?

this business was operating in Austin for over 50 years.
It is now permanently closed. 

Hi Everyone. We're in high spirits here as I've devised a way to have coffee with a friend-at-a-time. Trianon Coffee is open for take out and across the parking lot is a long, unused, tree shaded line of picnic tables. We get our individual coffees and then head to the table. First arrival stakes out the prime position and then "guest" gets to pick his choice of seating locations in the 8-10 foot range. It's outdoors, which is healthier, and the space is currently not used by anyone else. I loved being able to sit and try to sort out the world's problems together with my good friend, James, today. Made me feel like we're making some progress... Masks at the ready and bottles of hand sanitizer spray in shirt pockets. 

Yesterday I had an absolutely delightful time documenting fresh art in the downtown area. Go see yesterday's post if you haven't already. Some of the graffiti and new art is wonderful.

I wanted to write a quick post today to talk about the camera I decided to use yesterday. It felt like a nutty kind of selection but I think it was the perfect camera for that particular project. The color was right on the money and the lens/sensor combo was plenty sharp. The camera I took was the recently acquired Panasonic FZ2500. I decided on it because it's a convenient video tool and has built-in neutral density filters. I ended up not shooting any video but I did use the 1/4 ND in some sun-drenched locations. If you take a look at those photos and the ones here you'll see that the camera and lens perform very, very well. No problems with any lack of sharpness or detail. 

The camera was purchased used from the folks at Precision Camera, here in Austin, for about $500. It came to me in mint condition and it's as good as I remember. (I owned one for about a year; purchased when they first hit the market some three or four years ago). 

There is an oft-repeated rumor that the camera model has a soft lens, particularly at the long end, so I was anxious to test that out for myself on this unit. I shot mostly wide open yesterday and depended on neutral density and high shutter speeds to compensate. I did this for two reasons: 1. With a small, high density sensor, the wider the aperture the less sharpness gets robbed due to diffraction (bending light rays is mind bending...) and, 2. If the lens has an issue with low sharpness or low detail that should make itself known most obviously at the wide open aperture where lenses are less well corrected. 

You can look for yourself by clicking on these images and you'll see what I saw at 3200 pixels wide. There may be some mushiness introduced by Blogger Compression but I don't think it's that much. 

Different cameras do different things well and I think this camera does video well and also has a great zoom range; in fact, some of the images are shot from across a four lane street --- but I can't tell in the finals. At a certain point you'll have to pay more attention to what I write about sharpness here than what you might see on your monitors or phones just because it's different when you can compare and see stuff at full resolution on a 5K monitor. For $500 this camera is, to me, a steal. Never should have sold the last one. YMMV.
An Austin favorite for decades, now also out of business. 

Just settling in for a week of writing proposals.

Helped Belinda paint the back porch last week. Love the new look.
Adirondack chairs for the back yard now arrived and thoroughly enjoyed. 

No new cameras to write about. Oh well. No real loss.