Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nikon L320 versus the GE 1233

I now have a Nikon L320 DSLR and a GE 1233. Both are more or less considered "point and shoot" types of cameras.

I purchased the Nikon this past Christmas during the Thanksgiving Day sales, which meant my credit card was part of the Target credit card hack of 2013.

When I got to the store it was full of people. I mean really full. You couldn't even enter into the store parking lot. I went clear down to the far end of the parking lot at the other entrance before getting in simply to park.

Then, after going inside the store, I found the electronics kiosk and a salesperson handed me the flyer for the discounted Nikon L320 camera. As I read the specs I thought it has some good features, not great but very good. Like very high megapixels picture output and a 26x zoom lens and 720p video capture. I am into this whole new trend of using still digital cameras as video cameras. The end result can be quite good.

I will post a video later to show how good.

But, I have now spent some time "buddying up" to this new Nikon, and frankly my old GE 1233 does a better job at many things I hoped the Nikon would be better at. And it was $20.00 less.

For example, most of my panorama shots on these pages are from the GE:

And notice that the GE also has an interesting quality, the shot of the bowling alley, and the shot of the church service, they both have this very interesting milky-blurred aspect to them, slightly, lightly, out of focus. They remind me of old paintings, but with new subject matter. The GE does this.

The Nikon has produced one very interesting shot. It is a wide angle of a living room at my Mom's house. The walls have a similar milky soft quality to them, similar to the GE, but lighter, with more definition, but definitely a smoothness that is found in both cameras.

One of the reasons I bought the Nikon was to achieve some other more difficult shots I can't get with the GE, like a shot of the Milky Way. The problem is the Nikon is So automated I can't adjust the shutter timing to stay open long enough to get a decent night shot. There are several automated presets that lead one to believe one can get a decent nightshot, but so far I am not happy with the Nikon based results.

The other issue where the GE is better is the panorama shots I take are 3 panels stitched together in-camera. So for the true photog afficianado one can say the camera did it all when it outputs a nice wide panorama shot. No photoshopping or other software to create the end product.

With the Nikon, it came with panorama "stitching" software. I have to take several shots across a landscape and then import them into the software for the final panorama to be realized. For the true photographer, this can be said to be cheating.

The Nikon does have an amazing zoom, and the wide angle aspect, and macro are something I have yet to try to use to fullest extent. It is my belief this is where the camera will be worth what I paid for it.

The Nikon was "on sale" from $350.00 to $110.00 on the holiday sale. I asked for it from the kiosk vendor who handed me the nice little box. I then turned and went toward the cash registers only to find that the lines went all the way to the back of the store. It was about 920pm, and I wasn't going to wait 3 hours to buy this camera. So I went into housewares and hid it behind a display of pots. Then I went back the next day when the lines were gone and bought it in about 4 minutes.


Friday, January 3, 2014

A photography tip

I was walking along the other day when a friend walked by while walking his pair of dogs.

We started discussing how depressed the area is for work, and then moved onto a discussion about photography.

He was complaining how his camera was difficult to deal with when using the manual settings. I was complaining about how my new camera is so automated there are some adjustments I can't make, and explained how that was frustrating.

We then discussed some thoughts about how to make better night shots of particular subjects. He was interested in getting a better shot of his house, I am interested in getting my first shot of the Milky Way.

And I mentioned how I have my camera on a tripod, but neither camera I have allows me to use a device called a plunger. A plunger was a kind of cable with a screw on one end that allows you to attach it to the shutter release and, when you press the cable at one end, it triggers the shutter release with a minimum amount of disturbance to the camera, allowing you to take a long exposure shot and not have any blurring take place.

While discussing this I also mentioned to him that he use a higher ISO setting on his camera, which allows for a better night shot in some cases.

He replied to my comment about a plunger that I should use the self timer release function.

I have yet to try this.

I will keep you posted.