Seeing as I was a (relatively) good boy last year, Santa treated me to a new camera. So it's good bye to the Lumix I don't know 'cos the paint rubbed of a long time ago point and shoot model, and hello to the all singing and dancing Lumix LX7. Well actually it's not really goodbye, more sort of that we'll be seeing a lot less of your work round these parts. Think of it as a sort of retirement and an easier life...
My old point and shoot Lumix has served me well over the years whether it be recording the sun rise or fall from a lonely mountain ridge, documenting family gatherings and occasions or even recording the drunken antics of friends on a night out. It's never failed me and it's had a pretty tough life compared to what Joe public normally does to their camera. It's been dropped, been frozen in tent porches, handled by drunks and it's been splashed and rained on more times than I could care to remember and yet it still takes a decent photo. Why replace it then?
Well since I've been hauling my frame up hillsides and started sharing the exploits on here I've started to get more and more interested in photography and the mechanics of taking properly memorable photo's. I find I'm wanting to be able to have control over more aspects of the camera but it simply wont let me. There's only so much you can do when the camera makes most of the decisions for you. I feel it's stifling my creativity a little and so have outgrown it.
I looked at a lot of cameras and read countless reviews before settling on the Lumix LX7. Given I already have had a great experience with Lumix's toughness and I'm familiar with their menu layout I decided to stick with the brand. I also didn't want the weight and complexity of a DSLR and still wanted to retain some of the abilities (and pro's) of a point and shoot model. With the LX7 I'm still able to just select the appropriate settings from it's scene mode and be confident that the results will be pretty special. (see here for it's first test shot) Yes it's larger and wont exactly fit in a shirt pocket or the wife's ridiculously small handbag but it's still pretty compact.
It allows me to shoot with the camera in aperture or shutter priority mode and it even has full manual mode which does feel a little like being thrown in at the deep end. The controls and depth of the menus are somewhat bewildering but aren't really frightening as I'm enjoying learning and I'm looking forward to experimenting with it. There's a lot of information and tutorials on the web that have been invaluable to someone like me who is just starting to dip into the world of proper photography but I discovered on my trawls of Amazon.com some books written specifically for my camera. I'm only about a quarter of the way through it but so far it's been very helpful and I'm understanding what's going on and why when I'm using the LX7. Worth it for a novice I think.
I don't expect to become Colin Prior overnight and I'm generally pretty pleased with my photo's so far but sometimes I want to be in charge of making the decisions so I reckon I'm going to start to feel much more "involved" with my photography and that can never be a bad thing.