In the latest Cool Tools, Kevin Kelly raves about the inexpensive Lumix DMC-FZ5 digital camera,
Several silicon valley billionaire gadget freaks turned me onto a hybrid camera they had discovered: the Lumix. Made by Panasonic (a name not usually associated with cameras) the Lumix seems to have a secret following. The mid-level model has the glass lens of a SLR, but at a smaller scale. Attached to a hand-sized 5-megapixel sensor is a very fast, extremely sharp zoom lens made by legendary optician Leica. The zoom is wonderfully telescopic, ranging 12X, all the way from the 35mm equivalent of 36 to an astounding 432 (!), yet clearly bright at 2.8 f/stop, which is perfect for low light without flash, and -- the key innovation here -- it employs image stabilization. The lens self corrects for vibrations. This means that I can shoot indoors and night with zoom extended (yes!) and get razor sharp shots. During daylight it is startling clear. Turns out that for real world use, sharpness is probably more important than megapixel size.
Reader comment: Greg Webster says: "I bought one of these back in May, for a bit more money than this (of course).
"The image stabilization is good, but not good enough to compensate for jitters at 12x. Pretty cool at closer levels though. Where it really excels is at medium range shots and at a wide range of light levels. The defaults in it's 'SCN' (scene) mode are really quite useful...using the 'snow' mode to take photos of high light levels like sunsets on water is wonderful. In a reasonably-lit party room I don't even need the flash, which is good because it's really a little overpowered and can wash out features. It also works great taking really close up photos with minimal zooming (bugs on flowers, etc.).
"All told, we've used it for almost 2000 photos in 7 months. Our previous digicam (Pentax Optio 230) took about 4000 before the shutter button began degrading. Digital cameras are wonderful things!"
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]