And How the Panasonic Lumix Helped Me to Rediscover My Love for Photography
I’m ashamed to admit it: I’m a lazy photographer.
I’m particularly ashamed because I studied photography in college and loved it; I love capturing memories and keeping them with me, and I take notes with my camera as much as I do with a notepad or a computer. When I travel to a conference or an event and presentations are made, I don’t write down what is shown on the screen, I just snap a shot. When I review a car, I record my notes on video or with still shots and when I sit down to write the story, I do a visual review first.
So here’s the lazy part: I only use my phone’s camera. While my smart phone has an amazing HD function, it’s limited in its capacity. And here is why I should be ashamed: my first real camera was a pro-quality Nikon SLR, or single lens reflex. [An SLR allows the photographer to look directly through the lens at the subject and then shoot it, capturing the image exactly as it was seen; typically point-and-shoot cameras offer slightly displaced images from what was seen through the view finder.]
With my SLR, I learned how to use every function of that camera as if it were a third all-seeing eye.
I also learned to frame people flatteringly, to reveal hidden textures, to draw out context and in a single snap, tell a story. But all that is lost in the flat world of phone cameras, no matter how sophisticated they are.
Breaking up is hard to do.
But I’m repenting, even if slowly. At a meeting I attended last month in Orlando we were given Panasonic Lumix cameras and a quick primer on how to use them. All my memories of how my SLR changed my life came flooding back—along with my shame.
The choice to use my phone camera wasn’t for a lack of vision, it was convenience: I always have my phone with me, I like to travel light and usually don’t have the space or bandwidth for a second piece of equipment (plus the case, tripod, lenses, cleaners and other gear that good cameras require).
Saying hello to Panasonic Lumix Camera
The Panasonic Lumix team shared with us five things that changed my view:
- The Lumix is as close to an SLR as a camera can get: It has all the functions of an SLR and then some, and its lens is closer to SLR function than any other point and shoot camera;
- It connects to my phone via wifi, so I can easily transfer photos to my phone for sharing, editing or uploading to Facebook or Instagram; the wifi feature also lets me use my phone as a ‘remote’ so I can see what the camera sees on my phone screen (great for selfies, video stand ups, nanny cams or group shots that you want to be in);
- I can add effects to a photo before OR after I take it;
- I can shoot video as well as stills, and while shooting video, snap stills, too;
- Best of all, the Lumix is small, about the height and width of my phone but twice its depth; it’s a drop-it-in-your-purse-and-go camera, and that makes all the difference in the world: That means I’ll actually take it with me.
Try It, You’ll Love It!Another shameful admission: I’ve become such a lazy photographer, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have tried the Panasonic Lumix or any other camera if it weren’t part of the event I attended.
And that part makes me sad. Because I never should have given up what I learned—and loved so much— when I was photography student, and now, I’m rediscovering it. Thankfully, it’s never too late.
Disclosure: Panasonic provided us with Lumix ZS40 cameras; the decision to use it as we photograph cars and more for AGirlsGuidetoCars is all my own.