09 Feb 2009 • 2,688 views
Snagged this macro portrait of a green viper with the Panasonic FZ28. On my last trip to Jessops, I picked up this camera to replace my now aging FZ20 (impulse buy to be honest). The new FZ28 is a tad smaller in all dimensions, the megapixel count has doubled, it supports RAW format and also features a wider and longer lens (18x vs 12x zoom).
However, it's also a step backwards in some ways - there is no flash hotshoe, no manual focus ring, and the FZ20 had an amazingly sharp f/2.8 constant lens while the FZ28 gets more than a stop darker at the long end. Fortunately, this is at least partially offset by improvements in the way Panasonic controls noise at higher ISOs (ISO400 can now be considered to be "usable" whereas it was to be avoided with the FZ20). And you can also shoot in RAW if you disagree with the camera's approach to noise reduction. Overall a trip to the zoo confirms that the latest FZ range is still lots of fun and a great lightweight tool for times when a DSLR would weigh you down.
Macros are also an area where the large depth of field of compact cameras has an advantage over a DSLR. A shot like this would have required at least f/11 on a DSLR, but given the lighting conditions would have required very high ISO to hold the camera steady - in which case the image might not be any cleaner than what we've got here (and Canon has no macro lenses with IS!).
Roppongi Hills S...