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Posts tagged tz7 zs3

Toshogu on a snowy morning

Color vs. "B&W" in a natural photo

Rainbow Bridge

lantern boats in tokyo bay

The last time I took a picture like this, it was a cold weekday. Today’s photo was on a warm weekend so there were loads of lantern-adorned boats (yakatabune or 屋形船) filling the Odaiba Harbor in Tokyo Bay. The Tokyo Tower changed its lighting scheme a little later in the evening. None of those pics came out very good though as the Rainbow Bridge we were walking over was shaking too much for decent night photography.

This picture was taken with my TZ10. It came out better than anything my TZ7 could produce at night but falls a bit short of my LX3 for night photography.

Panasonic Lumix TZ10 (DSC-ZS7 compared to ZS3)

I walked into Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku to try out the new Panasonic Lumix DSC-TZ10 (DSC-ZS7 in the USA). I brought my DSC-TZ7 along for comparison purposes.

The size and weight are the same or nearly so.

パナソニック dsc-tz10

The look is basically the same. Notice the manual controls that were absent on the TZ7. (P A S M on the dial of the TZ10 only.) On the TZ10 you have complete control of exposure length and many other features that were absent on the TZ7.

panasonic zs7

I like how the TZ10 dropped the metal strap holder that protruded off of the TZ7. I felt that little piece of metal more than once in my pocket. It was also an inconvenience when I took night photos if I wanted to place the camera next to pole or on its end for less shake.

tz10 zs7 tz7 zs5

The sales guy was most excited by the 超解像技術 which isn’t on the TZ7. I believe they are calling this “Intelligent Resolution Technology” in English. Basically, images are supposed to be much more crisp, especially when zoomed. Also, the dreaded whited-out-sky look on sunny days should be reduced with this feature.

I was able to compare the zoom of both cameras side by side. The TZ10 has more zoom, frequently a lot more zoom even though they are both advertised as 12x zoom. The TZ7 gets more than that in EZ mode. The TZ10 does even better. Depending on the settings your zoom will vary, but the TZ10 generally will get you about 30% more than the TZ7.

Panasonic has come up with a new, Power O.I.S. instead of just Mega O.I.S. This is supposed to make night photography or photography in low light much better. This is what the website says:

Just about everyone has had the experience of taking a photo at night and hoping to capture all the memories and beauty, only to be disappointed at the poor result. The POWER O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) nearly doubles the hand-shake correction power of conventional MEGA O.I.S. You get bright photos without blurring even from handheld shooting at slow shutter speeds.

Panasonic’s accumulated optical technologies, the MEGA O.I.S. has been incorporated into LUMIX from the early stage of digital camera development. This helped show all digital camera users the absolute need for hand-shake compensation, and led to its prevalence throughout the industry. And now, Panasonic has worked on the low-frequency vibration hand-shake component, which is physically generated when pressing the shutter button or when shooting at night with a slow shutter speed.

night pictures blurry how to fix
TZ10 ls7

Nice, right? I’ve done a few tests; the hand-held shots, leaving the shutter open for 1/2 second, are better, but don’t expect miracles. If possible, you’ll still want to rest your camera on a surface or tripod for night photography.

The TZ10 offers 20% more megapixels.

The TZ10 also has a GPS. The GPS wasn’t a big selling point for me as I don’t upload my photos to sites like Picasa. However, I think it may come in handy while traveling or hiking if I get lost. I’ve noticed already that it provides the name (in addition to coordinates) of the closest shrine, temple, train station, etc. in Japan. This information is good to know if you happen upon a place and don’t know what it is called in English (because you can’t read the kanji).

There are other improvements in the TZ10 when compared to the TZ7 as well like saving you over a second from the time you turn the camera on to when you can take the first picture, happy mode, adjustable vibrance, and a longer lasting battery.

So I purchased the TZ10 (ZS7). Would I recommend it? If you are on a tight budget, the TZ7 (ZS3) is fine if it is more than $100 cheaper than the TZ10. If you can afford it, and/or the TZ10 isn’t more than $100 more than the TZ7, then I would suggest the TZ10 is worth it for the above features, especially if you need the added zoom or plan to take pictures in low light.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 (ZS3 in USA) vs. DMC-TZ10 (ZS7 in USA)

zs7 lumix

One of the strange things about some jobs is rather than pay you, your employer requires you to spend money on something instead. It’s a use it or lose it situation so you are forced to buy something you wouldn’t normally. So I wasn’t planning on upgrading from my TZ7, but maybe I will purchase the TZ10 just because I can for “free.”

Is there any downside to the TZ10 compared to the TZ7? Is the camera bigger, heavier, or does it take lesser quality photos in any certain situation? If you know the answer to any of these questions, or if you have any helpful suggestions (like a camera smaller than the TZ7 that takes better pictures), please comment. Thanks!

January Sumo Tournament 相撲 平成22年1月 初場所

The recent January 2010 Sumo Tournament held in Ryogoku Kokugikan (Tokyo) held great promise of being one of the most exciting sumo competitions in a while until the last few days. Why? Because Ozeki-hopeful Baruto defeated all of the Ozeki and Yokozuna Hakuho (白鵬). There were several scenarios which showed Baruto winning the tournament, a rare achievement for a non-Yokozuna, non-Ozeki. There were other exciting possibilities, such as a five-way tie for first place which would have resulted in a mega-playoff on the last day, something I was hoping for since I had a ticket for the final day of the tournament.

However, Baruto was defeated by Yokozuna Asashoryu (朝青龍) and Toyonoshima (pictured above sitting down in the background) late in the tournament. Also, Hakuho was defeated by Ozeki Harumafuji and Ozeki Kaio. Both ozeki used henka (変化), a rather lame move in which the wrestler steps aside instead of confronting their opponent, to defeat Hakuho. I suppose Hakuho should have been looking for the henka technique a bit more. In any event, with Hakuho’s three losses, the only way a five-way tie for first could be achieved would be for Ozeki Harumafuji to defeat Yokozuna Asashoryu on Day 14 and Hakuho to defeat Asashoryu on the final day. The latter was very likely as Hakuho routinely beats Asashoryu these days. Harumafuji couldn’t pull off a Day 14 win, though, so there was nothing on the line on Day 15 with Asashoryu’s one loss compared to the three losses of the others.

Here is Asashoryu receiving his trophy for winning the tournament, the 25th time he has done so. I’m guessing it may be his last as both Baruto and Hakuho seem better at this point in time.

Asasekiryu 朝赤龍

And here Asashoryu is, beginning his victory parade and smiling for my camera, before heading back to his stable. Asasekiryu (朝赤龍) is by his side.

Below is a video I took of 白鵬 vs. 朝青龍 from very far away. Not only did the TZ7 do a decent job given the distance, but the battery died before I stopped recording. I thought the video wouldn’t record but it did! I guess the TZ7 has something built in that causes it to save the video with the last bit of juice. The battery really was dead. The camera wouldn’t even turn on, let alone show me if the video had recorded. I was very surprised to see the video saved on the SD card.

Tokyo Toden Arakawa Line

Today’s first picture is an example of how to not do night photography. I only had my TZ7 with me at the time. Although the TZ7 can accidentally take pictures at night with the correct exposure, it doesn’t usually. I couldn’t get it to take any with an exposure length of more than 1 second or less than 15 seconds, and you can’t manually set it for exactly 4 or 5 seconds, which is what this view needed. The above is the 15-second version, which turns the train into a nearly complete ghost. I’ll get a better picture of the Toden Arakawa Line (都電荒川線) at night with my LX3 (which does allow for any exposure of my chosing) one of these evenings.

The Arakawa Line is the closest train system to our apartment. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go where we usually need to go and is slow compared to the Tokyo Metro and other train systems we can choose from. But it is a fun train to ride when you aren’t in a hurry and have no place in particular to go. You can ride it all day, getting off and on as many times as you wish, for just 400 yen. Kids (under 12) pay half price to ride.

This old, streetcar, tram type line feels a bit like riding the San Francisco Cable Car. The controls all seem to be mechanical. There are no computer displays or buttons to push. Instead, levers are pulled and switches are flipped. This is the last of its kind in Tokyo, even though the city was covered with them in the first half of the 20th Century.

There are several interesting neighborhoods near the Minowa end of the line.

Here is a video I took of a little stretch. Unfortunately, no streetcar passed us going the other way while this was being taken. Other than having to wear a tie, I think this would be a very fun job to have–at least for a year or two.

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