[Coladam] Pics of Panama cruise

geoffrey oltmans oltmansg at bellsouth.net
Fri Apr 1 16:28:32 CEST 2011

So how did you guys like the trip? Central America is somewhere I really want to 

My mother in law has the same Panasonic as you. It seems to be a good camera.

The K10D looked like a good camera. That was the series that came out after 
mine. Would have gotten one of those but that was also about the time the K7 was 
announced. I guess I should just bite the bullet and buy something.

The *istDS has been a great camera. I liked it for a number of reasons vs. it's 
competitors. Firstly, the backward compatibility on Pentax is second to none, so 
all my old stuff still works with it. Secondly, theirs was the smallest camera 
body of any of the dSLR manufacturers. Third, it was able to use real AA 
batteries in case you ran out of juice on a lithium set (no rechargables on this 
one). I have been able to snap through 1000 photos on a single set of lithium 
batteries, so it's not too bad on power consumption. :) Lastly, it had a real 
pentaprism viewfinder and depth of focus preview button (and removable focusing 
screen, which I replaced with a split prism viewfinder a couple years ago). Most 
of the Canon and Nikon offerings with those features were at least $500-$600 
more at the time. My only complaints with my camera are that it's mirror lock up 
is very slow and noisy for an SLR style camera, and it has no sensor cleaning 
capability. Those two problems are not unique to the Pentax, but rather the 
range of prosumer cameras from that time period ('06) unless you opted for say 
an EOS 20D for a couple grand (I paid < $600 for mine new with the kit lens). It 
has also been rather sturdy. I once dropped it directly onto the concrete garage 
floor from waist height. It survived that. I knocked it over in the office when 
I was downloading pictures from it and it knocked a barbell on the way down. 
That did it in, but I had Pentax repair it for $250 (the replacement model for 
my body was over $500 at the time, so it made sense). The last minor catastrophe 
was that my in-laws dog (a Jack Russell) had it in for me apparently, jumped up 
onto the kitchen table where it was sitting and took a pee on it! I was pretty 
peeved as you can imagine, but after cleaning it off, the only battle damage it 
received there was that some of the flash hardware rusted for the hinge so it's 
a little slow to pop up. grrr. In other words, I haven't exactly babied it. ;)

As far as megapixels go, this one is a 6.1MP camera. For tests, I had test 
prints made up to 8x10 with no reduction in sharpness. I figure that's the 
largest I'd ever print. I've seen tests before that show anything over 3MP for a 
5x7 print makes no difference. I imagine where it helps is for zooming in and 
cropping a frame.

Things I'm looking forward to having on the K5: sensor cleaning, faster mirror 
lockup, shake reduction, movies, weatherproof housing, metal subframe, 
ultrasonic af lenses, faster overall operation... No reason not to get it 
really. ;)

I'm envious of you guys on Vancouver Island. There is no lack of things to take 
pictures of there. That is truly God's Country!

From: Ron Mitchell <bytehacker at tallcedarskennels.com>
To: geoffrey oltmans <oltmansg at bellsouth.net>
Cc: coladam at adamcon.org
Sent: Thu, March 31, 2011 6:20:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Coladam] Pics of Panama cruise

Thanks so much Geoff. 

My weapon of choice? Well I didn't really use my weapon of choice for those 
pictures. They were all taken with my 'lil ol' point-and-shoot. A Panasonic DMC 
FX01 (6 Megapixels, and a few 'dumbed down' settings, but adequate for most 
circumstances), acquired sometime around 2006. It's always on my belt pack, and 
this trip I decided I was going to travel light.

My 'real' camera is a Pentax K10D (10 Megapixels, and all sorts of bells and 
whistles). Bought 4 years ago. Only have one lense for that, (Tamron AF18-250). 
When you use a lense like that which tries to be all things to all people, you 
usually end up sacrificing something. In my case if I was going to buy another 
lense for the K10D, it would be a macro lense, or a honkin' big zoom. The latter 
would be well over 2 grand. 

A couple of my buddies up in Comox have the K5. Sounds like a very good 

Also have a Canon Elura 80 Camcorder, bought in 2005. It came to Panama with me 
as well.

I do not count myself particularly as a photographer. Was president of the Comox 
Valley Camera Club for 2 years and some of the members were into it way more 
than I was. My only objective was to learn to take better pictures, and somehow 
I ended up in the chair. I tend to take pictures as a record of where I've been 
and what I've done more than anything else, although sometimes a subject and a 
particular set of  lighting conditions will lead me to attempt something 

Equipment wise- I'm probably going backwards. The best pic I ever took was with 
a 3 megapixel no-name point and shoot, so I'm suspecting that bigger might not 
be better. Just blew 5 bucks on a Canon Powershot G2 (4 Mega) in a local thrift 
store. It's going to cost me another $45 for a new battery and an external 
charger, and I won't know if the thing actually works till I get the accessories 
shipped to me. 
My computer experience is also mostly old stuff bought 2nd hand, and I've yet to 
be burned. Seems worth the gamble.

Have no particular plans at this point to get anything else in the way of new 
camera gear. Would like to learn to use what I've got to better advantage. Still 
need to work on things like focussing adjustments, white balance, shooting raw, 
histograms, lighting, composition, and the proper use of flash. There's still 
enough capability in the  K10D to do all of that. If I could get to the point 
where I could see at least three different options in composing any given shot, 
that would be a plus.

It's a fun hobby, and like most hobbies, you can throw whatever money you've got 
at it. 

To keep this all on topic, I do have another objective. To take a 10 million 
pixel colour photograph and figure out a way to bring it into the ADAM world 
without losing so much. Have tried a bit of that, and some turn out better than 

Ron Mitchell

On 31-Mar-11, at 7:16 AM, geoffrey oltmans wrote:

Those are great pictures! What's your weapon of choice?
>I've had a Pentax *istDS for the past 6 years, and am about to upgrade to the 
>new Pentax K5. Though lately I've been playing around with good ol' fashioned 
>Black and White photography with my old Pentax ME Super (yep, a dyed in the wool 
>Pentaxian here). Doing all that by hand... processing film and making the prints 
>myself. It is amazing how much better the quality is if you do it yourself vs 
>taking it to a minilab. One of the things that really turned me off of film 
>photography at the end was that machine processed prints were either: milky, 
>soft in focus, or in the case of color prints had a greenish cast. Always wanted 
>to try my hand at darkroom photography and now the prices for the stuff make 
>this cheapskate happy. :) I picked up an Omega B-66XL enlarger off of craigslist 
>for the grand total of $0.
From: Ron Mitchell <bytehacker at tallcedarskennels.com>
>To: coladam at adamcon.org
>Sent: Wed, March 30, 2011 8:47:59 PM
>Subject: [Coladam] Pics of Panama cruise
>Here's the link to my picasaweb site for the Panama Cruise Album.
>Enjoy - if you wish.
>Ron Mitchell
>Coladam mailing list
>Coladam at adamcon.org

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