Blue Forms Graffiti

Small little blue one word Graffiti piece. Forms. I've photographed a few "forms" artworks over the last year. Some of them are worded / spelt differently, such as Phorms. Same with Pase. I've posted a few of them around the Internet on some of my social media accounts. I don't publish much Graffiti stuff here. In fact, I post almost none of it here, just the odd piece.

forms-blue-graffiti-UK

Might start putting more Graffiti on this blog. But it depends on what else I feel like posting here. Usually its more camera related technical / guide / review type posts. Anyway, this picture was taken last year. Location: UK. Camera: A little Samsung WB500 - more info here.
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Jase Chrome Dub Style Art

Classic style Chrome Dub throw. Jase. Taken on the same day I took the "Tesk" chrome throw. Impulse shot. Same camera (Samsung WB500). Location: Bromford, Birmingham. Near the canal and train tracks.

Jase-Chrome-Dub-Style-Artwork-letters

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Low 3D Blue Chopped Graffiti

Chopped style Graffiti, taken last year some time. I guess you could call it a blue dub lol. It either says Jase or Pase. Problem is, I think there are two different people who go by these tag names, so I don't know which one to credit the piece to. Location: Birmingham UK. Camera: Samsung WB500.

Low-3D-Blue-Chopped-Graffiti

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Blurred Image In EVF View Finder Fix

If you've just bought a digital camera that has an electronic view finder (EVF), and you have looked through the electronic view finder and discovered that the screen is all blurred and out of focus, there is an easy fix. For someone new to cameras, they may think that what they have bought is faulty. However, most of the time this is not the case. This "problem" is usually down to the Diopter being in need of adjustment.

Some symptoms of this are: The EVF screen is blurry but the actual produced images, if shooting using auto focus, are still pretty sharp. But they won't be perfect if you are using the EVF when taking pictures because you are working with an out-of-focus inner screen. Even worse, taking pictures using manual focus will be a disaster, all of them will be out of focus.

What and where is the Diopter


The Diopter is a little dial / wheel type scroller that sits to the side of the electronic view finder. It controls the sharpness and focus of what you see when looking through the view finder. The size and location can differ slightly between camera makes and models. See the picture below for the location.

Diopter-Camera-Location-EVF
This is the Diopter location on a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ50 Bridge Camera

How to adjust the Diopter to sharpness


Turn the camera on and put it on auto focus. Point the camera at a subject with a lot of detail, preferably in the day time outdoors. To confirm that the auto focus is locked and loaded on the subject half press the shutter to make sure. 

Move the Diopter wheel up and down while looking through the view finder and adjust as necessary until you hit the sharpest, most in-detail EVF screen image that's right for you. And that's it, nothing else is needed. Just leave the dial alone and in place once you have found the sweet spot.

All people have different levels of vision. Many wear glasses. So, if you borrow your camera to someone else, be sure to check the Diopter on return. Even if the person doesn't know the purpose of the Diopter, they may have moved it on accident.
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Tesk Chrome Dub Graffiti

Here's a quick graffiti throw that I photographed last year some time. "Tesk". Done in chrome / silver and black (Chrome Dub) and has some cracking going through the letters if you look at the image enlarged. Nice Dub. Location: UK. Camera: Samsung WB500 Point and shoot.

Tesk-Chrome-Dub-Graffiti-England

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Lumix FZ50 Bridge Camera @ 413mm Zoom

Here is a quick sample photo of the Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ50 zoomed in on a pair of CCTV cameras @ 413mm. That's close to the full zoom length this camera is capable of achieving. The maximum optical zoom is 420mm (range is 35mm equivalent - 420mm).

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Almost full zoom (413mm)

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Here it is at 74mm zoom. Yes, the rainbow is real.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 Digital Camera

If you've been doing some research on the 7.2 megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3, I'm sure you have already come across many reviews from some of the big camera websites that list the good points and bad points about this camera. Most reviewers rate it highly, with the only real let down being the lack of manual control over things like shutter speed and aperture.

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But don't let this put you off. Most people who are looking to buy a simple, now older model point and shoot camera like the TZ3 just want something that takes good pictures and is not too complicated to use. That's what you get with the TZ3. Individuals who fall into this category will not miss, or even notice the lack of manual controls. And to be honest, this camera more than makes up for it. This isn't a review. I say this because I prefer to write about anything I choose to mention about the camera rather than have to point out every single detail and function.

Straight shooting: All images in this post, other than the picture of the camera itself (still taken by me), have been taken by me with the Lumix TZ3 and have not been edited in any way other than made smaller.

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All images / content Copyright © Still Paused

Build quality is excellent, and the weight of the camera, while a bit heavy by today's standards, gives it that extra quality feel when in the hand. The 28mm wide angle Leica lens, with its 10x optical zoom works really well. Viewing screen is big at 3 inches for such a compact camera. Overall Images are sharp and have fairly good depth.

Dedicated Macro mode is quite capable, and can, on occasion, score an impressive image capture. Mega O.I.S (Image Stabilization) is close to fool proof on the TZ3. Even someone with no experience of using a digital camera can definitely manage to capture a good picture with no blur after a few attempts.

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Sports mode on a hazy sunny day

Colours can sometimes seem a bit washed out in "Normal" mode, but there are different image settings, such as Vivid, Cool and Warm that can help add a bit more life to an image if the first shot(s) looks a bit dull on the viewing screen. On top of that there is also 20 scene settings that cater for many shooting subjects and situations. Sport, High-sensitivity (ISO  3200), Night Scenery, Soft Skin, Sunset, Portrait and Party to name a few.

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The flash is strange on the TZ3. I find it to be superb. It's dull, but more often than not, when combined with the Exposure compensation settings, seems to be able to produce just the right amount of light to produce a really nice image. It can be tweaked quite easily to find those sweet spots. Some cameras can struggle in this area. Speaking of cameras, check out these two balloon heads below.

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CCTV is in operation: Ever get the feeling you're being watched..

A quick example: I was trying to photograph something the other day in a darkly lit room and instinctively reached for my excellent Canon EOS 700D DSLR. Almost every shot I had taken, no matter what settings I tried, was over exposed and looked terrible. So I tried with the TZ3, and within a few attempts I had captured images that I was pleased with.

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This is not definitive proof that the TZ3 has a better flash than anything else, as it matters on so many variables, such as subject / conditions / angles / light sources / room sizes / flash strength etc. But it just shows that the TZ3 can still be better in some circumstances (with less messing around with settings) than other cameras can be which are much more advanced.

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Battery life is very good. Mine is still on its original battery, and it still lasts a long time. Even when flashing red like its about to die it can still soldier on and keep taking pictures for quite some time before finally giving up and automatically retracting the lens before going to sleep.

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 Macro mode: For a brief moment we were friends, watching the world go by.

Video recording is the one area that is the biggest let down for me. Yes, it can record video footage, and yes, it's not that bad in terms of quality (highest quality is 30fps VGA + size 848 x 480). However, the zoom does not work in movie mode. I talked about this in a review I wrote not long ago about one of the TZ3's older brothers, the TZ1.

I was basically pointing out that it was a disappointment that the older TZ1 can zoom in movie mode but the newer TZ3 can't. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the DMC-TZ2 can't zoom when filming video footage either.

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Warm mode: Check out this strange image. If you follow the "trail" (they're thin clouds), It looks like a fireball flying across the sky. But really its the sun behind the clouds in a chemtrail filled landscape.

I never even knew there was a DMC-TZ2 until a few days ago. They kept that model quiet. Other than a few potentially major differences, like less mega pixels, smaller LCD with less pixels, and a slightly smaller CCD sensor, the DMC-TZ2 and TZ3 are very similar in appearance and features.

Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3 Pro's and Cons



Pros

  • Good image quality
  • Great image stabilization
  • Decent zoom smoothness
  • Well Built
  • Nice Flash
  • Easy to use
  • Long battery life
  • Good selection of scene settings

Cons

  • Lacks manual shutter speed and aperture control
  • Can't zoom in movie mode
  • Not the best in low light


Also worth noting: User can't view taken images for longer than a few seconds when in normal dial modes. The user has to be in "playback" mode on the dial to be able to view taken images for longer than a few seconds. (same with many Panasonic cameras).

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Sun slithers through a pylon in a moody sky

While its not perfect, the TZ3 has a lot going for it. I have quite a few cameras in my collection, some of which would definitely be considered as much better than the TZ3, but funnily enough, I do still find myself using the TZ3 much more often than I would have expected. That says it all really. Even in 2019 / 2020, it's still an excellent little camera for quick and simple shooting.

Troubleshooting


I can honestly say that I haven't had any problems with my TZ3. But I have read about a considerable amount of issues arising with this model. Some of the more serious being the screen turning either black or purple (showing no image), or the screen (view finder) showing a purple distorted image. The fix for these is most probably either a new LCD display or a replacement CCD sensor. Problem is, it may end up being too expensive to fix, and you would be better off just buying another TZ3 used online from eBay. They are very cheap to buy these days.

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More warm mode: The peeping sun 

However, if you have a TZ3 that has suddenly died and won't respond at all (Won't turn on), it may be the internal battery that might need replacing. If this is the case, you could be in luck, as they are really cheap to buy. The battery that would need replacing is the ML614S/ZT Lithium (3V 3.4mAh Coin cell). There's no guarantee it will fix the issue, but it might be worth a try if you have experienced the sudden death of your TZ3. It has worked for some people. I hope you found this post helpful. Until the next time amigo. -Still Paused.
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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Review

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 "Review". The massive increase in people selling their old point and shoot cameras is at an all-time high thanks to so many people now having a Smartphone capable of taking high quality pictures. I can't tell you how many eBay listing descriptions of people selling cameras I've read that say something along the lines of "don't use it anymore, I've got my phone for taking pictures".

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All images / content Copyright © Still Paused

This trend is not just having an impact on people selling their old point and shoot or Bridge cameras either, it's actually affected the whole camera industry. Camera sales are down across the board, that's all cameras, of all shapes and prices. Smartphones are the main reason. I suppose its just the progression of technology combined with convenience. Why carry around a stand-alone camera. Especially if you're just taking pictures for your own interests, if you have a Smartphone that can do  the same thing and has many more features, such as Internet connectivity and the ability to make phone calls all in the one device. Makes sense, doesn't it.

But for people like me, who don't own a Smartphone (I know, you must think I'm crazy), it's great because with there being so many cheap cameras for sale, there are so many good deals to be found. Anyway, enough about all that. This brings me to a camera that I picked up for really cheap on eBay a while back. The Panasonic Lumix TZ1. This isn't a review, but more of a general talk about this model.

Straight shooting: All images in this post that are not of the TZ1 itself have been taken with the TZ1 and are not edited in any other way other than made smaller.

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Ever seen the TZ1 through Fish-Eye before..

I'm no expert on Panasonic camera history, but I believe this was Panasonic's first camera produced in the TZ range. The name is a bit of a giveaway!

By today's standards, the "spec" of the TZ1 seems very poor. 5 mega pixels is widely frowned upon these days. Some people won't even look twice at a 5mp camera. But don't be fooled, mega pixel count isn't everything. Especially in cameras with small sensors.  This camera can still take good pictures. First I'll go into what I like about the TZ1, then talk about what I don't like.

What I Like About The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1


While the shape is a bit long for what I'm used to, the build quality is excellent. It has a good weight and feels nice in the hand. The zoom button / ring has some resistance, which makes it feel precise and steady.


Easy To Use


Starts up fast and the interface offers a simple but adequate amount of different options. It's very easy to use, just turn it on and its ready to snap away. True to its name - point and shoot. If you're new to the Panasonic user interface, and you do need a bit of help, the manual is available to read or download in PDF format online here.

Features + Specification


Features are quite minimal compared to more up-to-date cameras, but it still has enough modes for most situations. On the dial, the options are Normal, Macro, Simple mode, motion picture and Playback.

There's also 2 scene modes, which have a good selection of image settings catered for different subjects and shooting situations. To name a few of my favourites, or ones I've actually used, are high-sensitivity, snow, starry sky, fireworks, food, night scenery and sports mode.

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 Here is an example image of sports mode. Cars are doing around 50MPH

Manual controls include 3 different aspect ratios, shutter speed adjustment (1/8 - 1/4 -  1/2 - 1), continuous auto focus, various auto focus modes, auto / manual ISO (80, 100, 200, 400 and 800) and auto, pre-set or  manual white balance. Two image stabiliser's also come in very handy. They are also referred to as Mega O.I.S. You can turn stabilization off if you want, but that's not recommended for most situations.

Special Feature


Pick and mix two settings at once. Even some of the newer cameras can't do this. I own a few, much more up-to-date point and shoots that for some reason can only manage one setting at a time. With the TZ1 it has the ability to mix two settings together.

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Quite surreal: Vivid Sepia Test Shot

Example: If I choose one of the colour effect modes, such as black & white, warm or sepia, I can also enhance that further with the picture adjustment settings, which are natural, standard or vivid. So I can have black and white in vivid, natural sepia, or any combination I want. This is pretty cool feature for such an old camera. I also own the Panasonic Lumix TZ3, yeah, the successor of the TZ1, and that model does not have the functions available to do this.

Zoom


The 10 x zoom is very nice on this camera. Slow, measured and steady for a point and shoot. Some zooms, once pressed to zoom in, jolt forward really quickly and can over run the desired zoom range, leaving the user having to zoom out, and potentially miss the moment.

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 Zooming in on motorbike man

This can be annoying. But with the TZ1, it's nice and measured, zooming slow and steady to begin with, then it speeds up a little. It's fairly smooth, and I really like it. However, like a lot of older point and shoot cameras, image quality isn't that great at full zoom.

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This is full zoom


The Lens


I like the fact that the lens doesn't come out at all once the camera is turned on. It only makes an appearance if the zoom is used. And even then, it doesn't come out very far compared to come cameras. The LEICA - DC VARIO-ELMARIT 1.2 8-4.2 / 5.2 / ASPH lens is very capable. Pictures have good depth, and are, overall, fairly sharp considering the age of the camera.

Battery Life


Battery duration from the 3.7V 1000mAh Li-ion has been great. My particular Lumix TZ1 is in pretty good condition and came with the original battery, which, going on how long it lasts, doesn't seem to have been used much. If you buy a used TZ1, the chances are the original battery it comes with may need to be replaced. If this is the case there is no way to know beforehand how long the battery will last, as replacement batteries are so mixed when it comes to quality.

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Messing around with the "warm" mode

I'm not sure if Duracell have replacement batteries out there on sale for the TZ range like they do for other Panasonic cameras, such as the FZ range, including the FZ8 (I have one for my FZ50 - Excellent), but if they do, I would buy one of those rather than take the risk on some unknown brand just because its cheap.

Macro


Macro mode is pretty good. Close up shots come out clear and sharp providing you don't push the camera and try to get too close to the subject. For an older camera the quality is certainly acceptable. In fact, under the right conditions its actually pretty good. Here is a quick example of a flower in macro setting.

Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-TZ1-Sample-Photo
Wild Rose in macro

Motion Picture


Shooting film with this camera is obviously outdated considering the highest quality setting available is 30fps VGA (there's also lower quality settings like 30fps QVGA), and these days we have 1080p / 1280p / 4K etc. However, if you just want to "film something" and don't care about the footage being super high quality when watched back on a bigger screen device, the quality isn't all that bad. But do note: VGA isn't as compressed as many of today's formats, such as MP4, so the files are usually a lot bigger. You can always convert them, though, to make them smaller. Check out some video footage that I took below. This is filmed at the highest quality setting - 30fps VGA. Sorry, it looks as though Vimeo have removed the video for some unknown reason.

And, would you believe it. The TZ1 can zoom in and out while filming video footage. I say would you believe it because as mentioned above, I also own the TZ3, and for some reason Panasonic left out the ability to be able to use the zoom while recording video. I don't know what they were thinking, but wow, what a terrible decision. The older TZ1 can zoom in video mode, and the newer TZ3 can not. Seems a bit backwards in my opinion.

Price


While you won't see a lot of people selling this particular model, the few Panasonic Lumix TZ1's that can be found for sale are usually extremely cheap. Websites such as eBay are the best location if you're looking to purchase a used TZ1. I bought mine for literally £10GBP buy it now. (that included postage costs). The price range is generally between £10 - £25. For such a good quality, versatile little camera, it's a great deal.

What I Don't Like


There isn't much I don't like about the TZ1. For an older camera it still ticks a lot of boxes for those of us who want a simple to use, low priced camera. I'm quite easily pleased, and most things mentioned below are me nit picking.

Size


For what I've become used to, the shape and size of the TZ1 is a bit cumbersome. It's not huge by any means, but it doesn't really qualify as a pocket sized camera either. Don't get me wrong, It can fit into a pocket, but the person who's carrying it definitely wouldn't forget it was there.

Image Preview / Review


Like many Panasonic cameras, picture reviewing is slightly annoying. If you want to look at a picture you have taken, and you remain in the mode you were using the camera in, such as normal mode, after a few seconds the camera resets itself back to live view mode.

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Alder leaves in the sunshine

Of course, in playback mode it does not do this, it stays in review mode and allows the user to view a taken image for as long as they like. But turning the dial every time you want to view an image for longer than a few seconds without it resetting back to live screen is annoying. But in fairness to the TZ1, even my FZ50 is like this, so its not an exclusive to this model design fault, many of the Panasonic's function like this.


Lens Flare


Lens flare can be a bit excessive at times.


Shooting In The Dark


Again, like so many Panasonic cameras, they can be fairly poor when it comes to shooting in darker conditions (outdoor and indoor) when in the most popular modes (Normal, Macro, etc). This model is no exception. However, there are several preset scene settings, as well as higher ISO / exposure that can help with this. But make no mistake, the TZ1 is in its element when shooting outdoors on a clear day. Like so many cameras are. And that's about it. Overall, this is an excellent camera. Well made, easy to use, and takes a pretty good picture even by today's standards. Buy one.


Troubleshooting


I have not had any problems what so ever with my TZ1 Lumix, but I do know that the number one issue with this model (and many Panasonic's around the same age) is a dead original battery. People who own this camera, and have left it sitting in a drawer for a few years but now want to use it again, have mostly all experienced the same issue.

They tried to turn it on and there was no response at all, totally dead. This is either a knackered original battery, or the battery has gone into protection mode from being left uncharged with no power for too long. In both cases a new battery will fix the issue. You can revive a battery that's gone into protection mode, but if you have no electrical tools or experience its best to save all the hassle and just buy a replacement battery. I hope you found this review-type post helpful. Until the next time. -Still Paused.
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Dragonfly Footage With The Nikon Z7

Here is some excellent close up Dragonfly footage captured with the mirrorless Nikon Z7 + Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4 S Lens. Despite what some people think, and how predatory they look, Dragonflies don't have a sting. They are beautiful insects, and some of their colour formations are truly amazing. See another macro video from the same photographer here.


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Canon Powershot S2 IS Sample Photos

Quick snaps. Canon Powershot S2 IS Sample Photos. Since solving the Canon S2 "change the batteries" error message (read about that here), I have took the camera out a few times after fixing the issue. I did take some super macro images with the S2 a while back (here), but the "normal" pictures featured here are taken in either "P" (Program mode) or Auto. All of them in this particular post were taken using different levels of zoom, and practically all of them are of Sheep!

closeup-canon-powershot-leaf

Or Lamb depending on how old they are. I thought Sheep was very fitting for where we find ourselves right now with society, as there are a lot of people who are still very much like Sheep. Totally oblivious to almost everything other than their favourite TV shows, and, of course, their beloved Smartphone. I think they're called Sheeple.

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Sheep-Image-UK

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I felt really sorry for this one. All the rest were feeding together but this one was all alone and looked very sad.

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I had to knock this one out, as it tried to charge me. Just kidding! I would never do that. It was rolling around having a good scratch. Must have had an itchy back. Not surprising with all that wool / fur.

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I think this one wanted to charge me, but the big metal gate I was behind prevented any chance of that being successful. 

Anyway, I may add a mixed sample photo post to this blog at some point in the future. These images have not been edited in any way other than made smaller. It was a dull but slightly hazy day, so don't judge the camera on these pictures alone. Under the right circumstances it is a pretty good older Bridge camera. Though, most of the time you do have to work a bit harder than you would have to with a newer camera to get a really good capture.
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Distant Landscape Rainbow Ball Image

A quick image of the end of a Rainbow. Far over the landscape, a distant Rainbow Ball captured before it disappeared. Picture taken with the excellent Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 and slightly popped for added effect.

Distant-Landscape-Rainbow-Ball-UK
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