- Japan (07, 09-10, 13), Denmark (08, 11, 16-19, 21), Korea (13), Poland (21), Mexico (14, 15, 19), Iceland (17, 19), Hawaii (14, 17), Czech Republic (16, 17, 19, 21)
The above will search
Concerts - Landscapes - Sports


Posts tagged tz7 zs3

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.

An evening in Shibuya with Opeth (オーペス)

As I mentioned last time, O-EAST in the Shibuya area of Tokyo is an excellent venue. Nestled between about a dozen love hotels, don’t be surprised if you see Japanese business men (サラリーマン) in full suits and ties show up at weeknight shows. I saw several on this evening. They hadn’t even loosened their ties or taken off their suit coats to see Opeth. Perhaps Opeth shows should become completely formal in the future.

Getting to Shibuya was, by far, my shortest commute to see Opeth. It took me about 10 minutes on the train, followed by a 5 minute walk from the Hachiko Exit to O-EAST. Normally I have to drive all day to see Opeth. If you count the miles from my home base of Ashland, Oregon, rather than my current home in Tokyo, I have traveled over 21,400 miles to see Opeth. Of course I was already in Denmark when I went to Metaltown in Sweden, but even so, for the four Opeth shows I’ve gone to in the states, all included an overnight stay and, combined, logged more than 2,000 miles on my car.

I took one video which you can view below. It begins with Mikael talking and messing around with the crowd for the first minute and a half. The song Opeth then dives into is “Leper Affinity” off of Blackwater Park, perhaps their best CD. I apologize for the shakes during the first half of the video. The floor was vibrating. I adjusted my feet for a better foundation during the second half of the video so it looks much better. My TZ7 seems to take much better video (and pictures) when it is zoomed to the max.

If you do not like heavy music, but still want to take a peek, then I suggest jumping in at the 5:10 mark. When it gets too heavy jump ahead to 8:50 to see the end.


Loudness ラウドネス @ Loud Park 09 ラウドパーク 2009

loud park 09 lineup set list slayer megadeth judas priest children of bodom setlist

On the day before Loud Park was to begin, Ace Frehley backed out. To fill in for his spot Loudness was added to the bill. I was so happy. I saw Ace before, and have seen Kiss with him. I’m not a fan of either his solo act or Kiss. Loudness, on the other hand, was one of my favorite bands in the 1980s. “Disillusion” and “Thunder in the East” are their best two CDs, IMO, and they played a few songs off of them.

loudness at loud park 09 big rock stage

Before a band hit the stage the giant screen between the two main stages flashed their name as seen in the above picture.

loudness about to hit the loud park 09 2009 stage

This was the scene a moment later before Loudness made their first public appearance in quite a while.

Minoru Niihara loudness loud park 09 二井原実 鈴木政行 masayuki suzuki

Loudness’s long-time drummer, Munetaka Higuchi, died in 2008. Their new drummer is Masayuki Suzuki. Minoru Niihara is the vocalist.

akira takasaki loud park 2009 tokyo japan loudness

Akira Takasaki is the brilliant guitarist of Loudness. One of his guitars had glowing frets. You can see the glowing frets better in the video at the bottom.

loudness crazy doctor loud park 2009 tokyo japan

These pics aren’t great, but given that I was more than 100 yards from the stage and the lighting was poor, they aren’t that bad.

takasaki akira loudness loudpark 2009 tokyo japan live

The setlist (set list?) was something like this:
Fire Of Spirit
Crazy Nights
Heavy Chains
Crazy Doctor
In The Mirror
Are’s Lament
Like Hell
Hit The Rails

loudness crowd shot loud park 09 2009 tokyo japan

There is another image of Loudness in this entry.

akira takasaki loudness loud park 2009

Finally, a video showing what the small, Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 (ZS3 in some countries) can do. The audio is very good given the size of the arena (absolutely HUGE) and the fact that it is indoors. The sound bounces around quite a bit, but the TZ7 captures the audio pretty well. When in focus (which the TZ7 sometimes had problems with given the low lighting and hands occasionally thrusting into view) the zoom on the TZ7 sometimes provides a clearer picture with video than stills shot with the same camera.

LX3 or ZS3/TZ7 – photo comparison

As promised in the prior entry, here are some photo comparisons I did on the first day after purchasing a Panasonic DMC-TZ7 to go along with my LX3.

I set both cameras to ia mode (which is what I use 99% of the time), 5 MP, and self timer. I placed both cameras side-by-side on my balcony ledge. Placement plus the self timer does away with any shaking that could sway the results. I have done nothing with the pictures after taking of them. They haven’t been cropped or adjusted in any way with a program like Photoshop. Nor was either camera set to something like vibrant mode. For the first set of pictures I went with maximum wide angle and received the following results.

zs3 tz7 wide angle comparison review compare photos cameras panasonic

dmc-lx3 wide angle comparison review compare photos cameras panasonic

You can click on the above images to get a better, larger view. Which one do you like better?

I like the second one better, especially the green tree in the lower right. The slightly wider angle is also nice. The differences aren’t huge however. The LX3 took the second picture.

lx3 maximum zoom comparison review compare photos cameras panasonic

zs3 tz7 comparison review compare photos cameras panasonic

Next I put the LX3 on maximum zoom and zoomed the TZ7 to approximate the LX3 zoom. Which do you like better of these two?

If you are biased toward the LX3 and immediately said the second image then no points for you. I swapped these images and put the LX3 image on top. I do think the top image is ever-so-slightly better.

zs3 tz7 12x zoom comparison review compare photos camera panasonic

Finally, I zoomed the TZ7 to maximum and took the final shot. The LX3 can’t take this shot at all.

In some other situations, where lighting is a bigger issue and zooming is not, I bet the LX3 wins in a landslide. The LX3 has never let me down on people pictures. To date I haven’t had the LX3 deliver a single red-eye photo. The TZ7 appears to be far inferior with respect to the flash, but I haven’t taken any people pictures yet with it to see if it avoids the dreaded red-eye results. The sensor in the TZ7 is smaller than the LX3’s so it really isn’t possible for it to take better or even the same level quality in poor lighting.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 versus TZ7 (ZS3 in the U.S.)

I’m going to interrupt the normal daily post about Japan for one about cameras. Until February of 2009 nearly all of the pics on this blog were taken with my old Canon S3. A few had been captured with a crappy, little Kodak camera that was my daughter’s that I used in a pinch or when I didn’t want to carry the large S3 around. I loved that S3 camera, but its time had come. I sold it soon thereafter and have been using only the LX3 since (although many older pictures that I have posted on the blog since February were taken with the S3).

The LX3 takes great pictures, and I love the wide angle lens (24 mm), but a few things about it bug me. The cap is a hassle to take on and off manually for every time a picture is taken. Although not nearly as big and heavy as the S3 was, it still isn’t a camera I like to have in my pocket the entire day. But most of all, the 2.5x maximum zoom came to be a problem in a number of situations. 60 mm is simply not enough to photograph sports or to get some good people shots without the subject knowing you are photographing them.

Now let me introduce you to my latest purchase, the TZ7 (sold as the DMC-ZS3 in parts of the world including the USA). The TZ7 doesn’t take as high of quality of pictures in low light or indoors, the wide angle isn’t quite as wide (25mm instead of 24mm), and you can’t control your shots (setting exposure length, etc.) quite as much. But there are many reasons to possibly opt for the TZ7/ZS3 over the LX3. It weighs 229 grams instead of the LX3’s 265 grams. 36 grams may not sound like much, but the 16% lighter factor can be felt immediately. After a day of it in your pocket you’ll notice the difference even more.

panasonic dmc-lx3
panasonic dmc-tz7 dmc-zs3

The published dimensions for these two cameras are incorrect. One of the main reasons I purchased the LX3 was because of the dimensions I read on the internet. They are false. From back to front the LX3 is supposed to be only 27.1 mm. My measurements give a reading of 46 mm, and that is before taking the lens cap off and turning the camera on. The TZ7 has a published depth of 32.8 mm. My reading gives only 28 mm. In other words, the TZ7 is barely more than half as thick (due to the LX3’s protruding lens). This makes a huge difference in your pocket if you are carrying it around all day. The heights are the same and the TZ7’s width is a little more than 5 mm smaller. So, for portability, the TZ7 is much better.

The TZ7 takes much better video in most conditions. The LX3 can take great video too, but you can’t zoom in and out when recording video on the LX3. I’ll show you some sample videos with the TZ7 soon.

The TZ7 can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 less than the LX3 (assuming you can even find the LX3 in stock).

But the biggest reason why I purchased the TZ7 was not the lens cap annoyance, the better price, the better video, or the improved portability, it was the zoom. The TZ7 has 12x zoom. Cropping can only yield so much with the LX3, and I found myself cropping nearly everything I took with the LX3. Now I can zoom to 300mm and not be stuck at 60mm and a large crop.

I don’t plan on selling my LX3. I’ll use it for sunsets (and other low-light conditions), indoor pictures, and in some other situations where it may result in a substantially better picture. But given the portability and the zoom possibilities with the TZ7 I think it will be brought along more often. Have I completely sold you on the TZ7 over the LX3? I hope not, as my initial testing and photo comparisons indicate that the quality of pictures is generally better with the LX3. I’ll show you my first set of tests in my next entry.

Another reason I purchased the TZ7 is we only had one camera in Japan. My kids are going to Cambodia and Miyajima on field trips during the same week. Sending only one of them off with a camera didn’t sound so hot to me.