Saturday, 11 April 2015

Tech: The Joy of CSC

The joy of what? 

CSC - or, to give them their full name, compact system cameras. Basically, one of these:

Panasonic Lumix GM1

I've recently started to take considerable enjoyment in photography again (on a very amateur basis). I've always loved taking pictures ever since getting my hands on my first point and shoot camera. And now that iPhone cameras are decent enough (for basic shots of pets/food/places), I'm constantly stopping in the middle of the street/cafe/wherever to visually record what I'm up to. 

Quite recently, I'd been talking about getting a decent quality DSLR to start expanding on my interests. My boyfriend, who had spent a little while researching cameras, pointed me in the direction of CSCs - initially I was a little sceptical, as I'd already planned to get myself a DSLR.  But with a mind open to alternatives, I decided to have a further look at these little devices. 

The idea with CSCs is that they offer exceptional quality (near DSLR) in a small package, making them incredibly portable and versatile. In addition, they also have some of the features of the traditional DSLR, such as interchangeable lenses and manual controls (focus, aperture etc). The main difference is the lack of mirrors, and on most models, a lack of a viewfinder. The Lumix is one of these - the LCD screen at the back is used for composing a shot. Some higher-end models offer digital viewfinders. More explanation of the CSC is available here - my review is based on it's usability.

I've had the Lumix GM1 for five days, and I have to say - I absolutely adore it. And I'm currently driving everyone I know mad with my constant picture taking. I may well be addicted...

The camera's quality is exceptional for it's range - the detail on the pictures is beautiful, crisp and sharp - I wouldn't say they're better than a top range DSLR, but for a camera designed for portability, they really are fantastic. I've included some samples of my photography in at the end of this post.

In terms of usability, I can only really comment on the automatic aspects of the camera, as I haven't used the manual settings as yet (mostly because I'm getting used to it). The Lumix several 'point-and-shoot' style settings, such as Freeze Animal mode (which captures fast-moving pets), Night Cityscape and others. In addition, filters are also included - they have no real purpose, but are pretty fun. Most of the pictures I've taken are with the auto modes, but hopefully as I develop my skills further, I'll use the Lumix to it's full potential. It's early days.

But so far, I am absolutely loving my new camera. I'd recommend it highly to those looking to get into photography, or amateurs looking for an upgrade.

And here's a few samples of the pictures I've taken:

And this last one was taken by my boyfriend, who isn't too bad with the camera himself...

Most of my shots end up on my Instagram, or my VSCOCam grid - feel free to follow. 

Rosie x

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