I class myself as a snapper not a photographer. I like to take lots of shots (in the hope that a few look good!). Hence, all I want out of a camera is simplicity, good auto settings and modest size. It is also handy if the camera is weatherproof, preferably waterproof. For a short period I used an Olympus mju770SW. It was OK but I found the exposure a bit variable. Then I bought a Lumix TZ5, which I found to be vastly superior in most respects, although it isn’t waterproof and is a bit heavier and bulkier. However, it has a superb auto setting and the camera shake reduction is excellent.
I was very impressed by Bob’s video on his waterproof Lumix FT3. He also sent me a couple of sample photos. I had given my mju770SW to my daughter but she’s progressed to a budget DSLR. So I decided to give the mju770SW another go on my recent trip to the Lakes. The results are on my Picasa album. However, this doesn’t give an accurate view of the picture quality as I had to do a bit of processing. Some pictures were seriously under exposed. Nearly all benefited from a bit of “sharpening”.
I hardly ever do any processing with the pictures from my TZ5. It nearly always chooses the right exposure. Very rarely is camera shake an issue. It really is a snapper’s dream. Now it is somewhat unfair to compare the Olympus with the Lumix as the TZ5 was more expensive. Crucially, it has a much larger lens. It also has a much better screen. The small screen on the Olympus, made composition difficult. I also found the press button on/off switch was easier to switch on accidentally than the slider on the TZ5.
I was tempted to go for a newer waterproof camera, but I think they will all suffer (to a lesser degree) from the problems I (re)encountered with the mju770SW. I have been tempted by the Canon S95 (not a weatherproof camera), which gets great reviews and is smaller and more compact than the TZ5. I might wait until the next model comes out and see if I pick up one cheap. Alternatively I might wait another year or two until compact cameras become even better. The rate of progress is amazing. I don’t want to step up to anything larger and certainly not a DSLR as it doesn’t suit my style of snapography.
Here’s some shots from the Olympus to show you what I mean.
Underexposure par excellence
A blue tinge in shadow