Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Panasonic announces its first waterproof compact camera

Panasonic entered the shockproof, waterproof, dustproof market this week with the new 12 megapixel DMC-TS1. I am a real fan of panasonic cameras, owning a Pany FZ8 ultrazoom and having given my son the well-regarded Pany TZ5.

Unfortunately (in my opinion), like the Olympus and Pentax water-proof offerings, there is no optical viewfinder. Nice big LCDs (this one is quite ample at 2.7") are nice, but in bright light on the water an optical viewfinder is always a nice option... especially since LCDs are often hard to see with polarized glasses.

What has promise with the TS1 is that the zoom is a very useable range of 28mm wide to 128mm. The Olympus has a similar zoom range. And, like the Olympus, the camera is equipped with image stabilization. The Pentax, however, has a less useful zoom and lack image stabilization.

A 60 second minimum shutter speed sounds pretty good. Perhaps it can get some good evening pictures, as the sun sets and the hatch emerges.

The bad news is that when available in April 2009, the price will start at $400, whereas the older Olympus (if you define "old" as being announced in August, 2008) sells currently for about $250. Though this may make purchasing the Olympus a "no brainer", I am personally looking forward to the online reviews on the TS1, as both the Olympus 1050 and Pentax W60 water-proof cameras scored a low 15 of 20 in image quality in recent reviews on That's pretty poor as it is pretty easy to find compact cameras (non-waterproof) scoring higher.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Favorite picture From 2008

This fine Salmon Fly, called the Murdoch, was tied by my friend Eric Austin so that I could photograph it for a photo print competition at my local camera club. The theme that month was "outrageous color" and with this digital image I was able to score high enough to get a first place. At the end of the club's season I submitted it again, but this time for the "Print of the Year" competition in the assigned theme category. (Besides the "assigned theme" each month we also have "open" and "nature" categories.) I was very pleased that again the print (an 8"x10")received first prize! This is the first (and only) fly photo I have ever printed. And I must say, prints look far nicer than do images on computer screens. The colors are richer and on good print paper there is a certain depth and substance to the image that just isn't there when viewed on screen.

Why I created a Blog for

I recently noticed that it has been nearly 2 years since I added anything to One reason for this is that adding new material is time consuming with Frontpage 2003, the software that runs fishingwithflies.

Blogs, on the other hand, are designed to be easy to update. By adding a blog to fishingwithflies I will greatly simplify things, as I can now eliminate the Updates page, the Email Me page, the Personal Profile page, and the Photos and Images page. All these can be handled easily on one Blog.

Google is behind the software for this Blog and they have made it all very slick. I have customized the appearance using their tools and settings to be as close as possible to the appearance of fishingwithflies.