I have been using my trusted Fujifilm Finepix 2650 for years and it has served me well. However, on my last trip, it started acting flaky and I had been thinking about getting a new camera for a while. The geek that I am, the fact that I continue to use my 2MP Finepix is somewhat of an embarrassment. I buy a new computer every year and yet I haven’t upgraded my camera for about 3-4 years now.

I’ve had my phases with photography. I got a film SLR a few years ago because I wanted to learn a thing or two about taking good pictures. More recently, I have not been too enthusiastic about taking pictures even on my trips. Recently, I started biking around Liberty State Park in Jersey City and found myself longing to capture the breathtaking views of Manhattan from the park. Instead of trying to use my old camera, I figured it was time to replace it with something more modern. I did plenty of research and finally decided to go for the Panasonic DMC-TZ3.

Panasonic DMC-TZ3 relatively recent model, has overall excellent reviews and the best of all, has a 10X optical zoom in a small package. It isn’t the smallest camera that the money can buy, which was what my initial intention was, but after some thinking, I decided to compromise a little on the size so that I could gain the powerful zoom lens. Another great feature of this camera is the 28mm equivalent wide-angle lens, which is great for taking photos in small rooms and wide landscapes. The Finepix had a pitiful LCD screen so I really wanted to get the biggest possible screen, which is 3 inches among the current line of cameras. I spent more than I wanted to, but I can justify it by the long gap between my camera upgrades.

I haven’t experimented much with the camera yet, so there isn’t a whole lot to say at this moment about the quality of pictures. The camera has a nice solid feel to it, the screen is gorgeous and the menu system looks to be quite intuitive. I tried my hand at some indoor photographs without a flash, but they didn’t come out great because of the lack of light. So far I know that I have a lot to learn about using the camera and having an eye for composition and the right adjustments to take a good picture. The DMC-TZ3 does not have too many manual modes available because it’s a point-and-shoot camera, but it does have plenty of preset modes and some manual overrides for the ISO settings. It’ll be fun to experiment and learn. In the mean time, here are a couple of shots that I took:

My iMac

This is a picture of my iMac. I used the auto ISO mode on the camera and the picture is grainy because of the high ISO setting chosen by the camera to compensate for the lack of light.

Wall decoration

This is a funky piece of art from my living room. The lighting is much better in this case. It needs a better white balance and some contrast adjustment, but that’s something that I have to learn.