Friday, 11 June 2010

TECHNOLOGY: Lumix DMC-FP8EB Digital Camera Red

An Amazon 5-star review, expanded.
A short review for people who just want a point and click camera-
-like me.

For the last several weeks I've been intermittently reading reviews looking for a new decent and relatively simple to use point and click camera when I came across this in the latest Which? Magazine as the best buy in its category so it seemed a good bet.

Actually, what I really wanted was to replace my old camera which seemed unable to compensate for the fact that I'm lousy at taking photographs as anyone who looks at my cat rescuing blog will attest. I wanted a camera which will ignore the fact my hand was unsteady and produce a perfect picture every time. Ideally it would also hypnotise a cat into not moving while I was taking its picture.

Apart from a case and a memory card which I ordered separately at the same time, it came with all the essentials. The camera was £142.00, add on another eighteen quid for an 8Gb memory card and carrying case and it ends up on the affordable if a bit pricy side for a pocket point and click camera. 

The short manual is quite clear though I went through it slowly and carefully -I had to, I'm an idiot when it comes to reading manuals properly. The first thing is to charge up the lithium battery which takes a couple of hours. After that I had to set up the date and time which was quite simple. Then I wanted to set up the automatic function which needed a little care but wasn't hard. If you want to know how the record and personal functions work you'll have to wait for another review though the instructions are quite clear.

So, setup done I took a few snaps also using the zoom function and the results look pretty good. You can download them to your pc either directly from the camera (all connections included) or, if you have the card slots, use the memory card. There's no viewfinder which means you have to use the screen but then that's what I did on my previous camera and the screen is a good size.

A more detailed manual  with dozens of different settings for all kinds of pictures and including HD video (it says) is included on a CD-ROM. Because it's larger onscreen it's correspondingly easier to read and follow. I had to discover that to open it I needed to right-click on the icon and open it up with Acrobat PDF reader. Left-click and it fills Wordpad with gibberish. Editing software -PHOTOfunSTUDIO 4.0- is also included but I'm sticking with Picassa for the moment.

It's compact and smart, easy to use, good results. Unsurprisingly it looks like Which? got it right. This is a good one. 

Of course I then had to tell Susan that I'd spent a hundred and forty quid on a new camera without telling her. This is her asking me why I needed a new camera.
Because, darling, I said, I bought it for Animal Krackers so I can take better photos of the cats and dogs and whatevers we rescue and put up on websites and my blog.
And this is what she thought of that.
But here is a wonderful photograph of our Lily. Not a hint of camera shake and she didn't even move a whisker.
Yep, good camera.

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