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05-21-2019, 09:03 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Needed a beater for camp; wound up with three great ol' p&s digicams for a pittance.

Back in the day these would have cost almost $1000.00 altogether. Today, they're less than $100 for all three and they still capture pleasing images. I sort of previously owned, or almost owned, the lot of them at one time or another.

My first modern digital camera was a Canon A85 but it developed some problems and Canon replaced it with an A95. For several years that A95 went with me everywhere. I even went so far as to acquire all the accessories: all the lens converters, filters, even a waterproof housing. It was the perfect "camera system" for traveling on my motorbike all around California when I first moved here. Looking back on that compact little kit it was a bit like prototyping a Q system. Lithium batteries were becoming all the rage at work and I was given a mess of partially used ones to re-use and recycle. I used them in the A95. Bad Idea. I know better with this one.

I had the first iteration of the Lumix and thoroughly enjoyed it during a 45 day, 16,000+ mile, Amtrak Rail Pass trip. It went into storage for a bit and when I unpacked it, it no longer worked. I didn't have the presence of mind at the time to just check the battery connections, so I binned it. Not one of my smarter moves. The bright side I guess is that this 2nd gen iteration is considered to be a bit better and the price this time around assuages any remorse over losing my old one.

The Tough 8000 was the one that got away. Returned actually. When I was shopping for a p&s for my Rail Pass trip the Lumix was just the better choice and owning both would have been a very expensive proposition. I liked everything about the Olympus but it was the 720p video of the Lumix that ended up being the deciding factor. I never forgot how great the Oly felt in hand, compact and seemingly indestructible, it was a... wait for it... tough decision to make the right choice for my trip.

That was then and this is now and now I got all three back (in a roundabout one way or another sorta way). These aren't going to replace any of my other cameras but none of my other cameras are old-school, pocketable, Instamatic-like, point and shoots (my phone is not a camera). This weekend I'm headed to the mountains to do some hiking and play with them a bit.

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05-21-2019, 09:48 PM   #2
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Which Lumix is that? I had one that got away too and I wish I still had it. I took it to many beach vacation trips.
05-21-2019, 10:12 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deesquared Quote
Which Lumix is that? I had one that got away too and I wish I still had it. I took it to many beach vacation trips.
It's a TS2.
05-22-2019, 10:42 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Spent some time at the DMV in Dana Point and picked the Oly as "camera of the day". I got home and reviewed the pix I took; they all look fine. Many did look better with about a stop underexposed but IIRC most P&S digicams from around 2010 needed to be stopped down as a rule in order to not blow out the highlights. Nothing new, just gotta follow some old rules; kinda like remembering how different film stocks need to be treated.

The first one is as it came out of the camera and I think it's fine but with a slight crop I was reminded of old postcards I saw as a kid so I spent about 15 minutes in GIMP to make the colors more closely resemble what I remember.

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05-23-2019, 12:58 PM   #5
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A few more from the same day include using the macro under the noon sun (technically 11am in real daylight time).

Straight out of the camera...
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05-23-2019, 01:06 PM   #6
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And after a few minutes in GIMP...
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05-23-2019, 01:09 PM   #7
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Straight out of the camera then, again, after a few minutes in GIMP
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05-23-2019, 03:26 PM - 1 Like   #8
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This last one certainly illustrates where older p&s digicams fall down. I did a slight crop and a little dodging and burning but that was it. There's only so much that can be done before it loses that "thing" that made me pull over and get out of my car in below freezing temps, still wearing shorts from my trip to the beach earlier in the day. In the end it certainly conveys the moment, however, it does fail to illustrate it as best as possible

In all fairness this was a one of those times when no photo could have done the moment justice and it ends up being strictly about illustration, no matter. A more modern ruggedized p&s camera would certainly have provided a better illustration of the moment if for no other reason than the ability to shoot RAW. This is a thirty dollar beater, though, something I won't feel bad about if it takes a fall down the mountainside.

A little ways down the road I ran into an injured PCT hiker. His mates had gone ahead to set up camp and he was to meet them. It wasn't far but it was already below freezing and the temperature was continuing to fall as the sun disappeared; night was looming large in the east. His injury didn't appear to be anything serious enough to insist he let me take him down to an Urgent Care so I put his pack on the roof rack and drove him the couple remaining miles to his camp. After dropping him off I thought about the kind of p&s camera I would take with me on a once in a lifetime trip through such rugged terrain. I decided I would do what I did ten years ago and find the best rugged p&s camera I could find.

For everyday camping and hiking though, the Oly is a beater that's a keeper....

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