Sunday, 18 October 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150

Some photographs taken with my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150 down at Aberdeen Beach today. I haven’t tweaked these beyond horizon straightening, selective crops and resizing.











Did you spot the photo taken in pinhole camera mode? I can’t see myself using it too often.

FMA Aberdeen Beach

I’ll blame some of my students for this morning’s trip down to the beach at 0630am. In the cold and dark, I stood taking some snaps to compare my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX150 with last year’s Canon Ixus 950 IS

I had read the reviews on DP Review, and so was a bit concerned about the noise, but had knocked a lot of money off the price, taking it down to the price that I was looking for. It was too good to miss. I wasn’t bothered about the 14.7mp (just under twice that of the Ixus), as quality is measured in more than mega-pixels. I was finding the Canon Ixus a bit ‘flat’. I know that I won’t get a decent depth of field with a point-and-click, but speaking to some students and talking about our cameras had given me the impetus to go looking. The camera arrived yesterday, and had a fun time in the cold, wearing my Alpkit down jacket and liner gloves.

Things I noticed: in fully-auto mode the Lumix remembers flash settings (unlike the Ixus, which will switch the flash on even in ‘night snapshot’ mode). The ‘rule of thirds’ gridlines are thicker on the Lumix than on the Ixus (meaning some details disappear from the screen when composing a shot). I like the separate review setting on the Lumix, meaning that the mode dial is just for taking pictures. The ability to shoot in 16:9 widescreen is a boon on the Lumix, unavailable on the Ixus. The Lumix’s intelligent focus is better than the Ixus, and has more choice in the settings.

So, without further ado …

Ixus-Boulevard Lumix-Boulevard

Beach Boulevard.

Ixus-TC-Fish Lumix-TC-Fish

Focusing in on illuminated sign.

Ixus-0705 Lumix-0705

Wide-angle 16:9 shot for the Lumix, and comparative 4:3 for the Ixus.

Ixus-Nae-Dogs Lumix-Nae-Dogs

Text quality. Legible on both, but neither camera has a built-in grammar checker. Shouldn’t that be “it’s” rather than “its”? The funniest I saw was just along from here where the council note “Do not surf” in this area, but designate it as a “surf board and water craft zone”.

Ixus-Eye Lumix-Eye

The larger number of mega-pixels shows through in the Lumix, as I selected the car our before resizing both images down to the same size.

Ixus-Sunrise Lumix-Sunrise

The warmth of the final Lumix shot sells the deal for me.

Conclusion: as the pro-reviews stated, noise can be problematic. I was pointed to Steves-Digicams by a workmate after I had ordered the camera, and I agree with his conclusion. It was a blast to use, and I’ll be locking out the ISO to reduce the noise. Not sure to what setting yet, possibly 400. I’ve some other photos to post, where I had been shooting in RAW and trying the dynamic tracking - features unavailable on the Ixus 950 IS. Shiny.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Online Shopping Woes

I ordered a new petrol tank from on Monday. The money was withdrawn from my account. There has been no response to emails asking where the part is or when it will arrive (Wednesday noon; Wednesday evening), or to my cancellation of the order (Thursday evening). My car still has no petrol tank, and I have lost 4 1/2 days because of promises made on their website (next day delivery; responding to emails within 2 hours).

Nochexs is investigating, but my credit card company say that without a stated delivery date (as opposed to ‘general’ promises made on the company’s website), they have to default to 30 days for delivery, so can’t chase them up until November.

With help, I have got another tank coming from a company that emailed me 2 hours after placing the order last night, and again at 7am this morning to confirm delivery to the garage ( What a difference! I also had 2 responses from another website to my enquiry ( – excellent, but I had to tell them that I had a brand new tank now ordered.

Life is too short to get worked up over poor customer service, but it looks like the law has not caught up with the 21st century. So, be careful of dealing with companies who fail to live up to their ‘general’ promises. They are difficult to spot – especially if in a rush and a panic to get a replacement.

I’ll be building this up – showing promises on their website, and broken promises at that. As I start my October break with no transport, thanks to the time lost dealing with this company, I have plenty of evening class work, and chores, and painting to get done.  All within easy reach of the fridge.

In the meantime, it is great to be able to applaud good customer care. Well done, folks.