I am looking for a bit of advice on getting a new camera.

I take quite a lot of photos. I’ve owned three digital cameras over the years. Since I’ve had an iPhone I am mostly happy with that. I do like to have a camera with a good zoom as well. I mostly take photos outdoors, plant, birds and animals, and a zoom helps.

I don’t really put much effort into the craft of taking photos and don’t have any real technical knowledge. I can’t see me learning any at this stage. I’ve occasionally started or some kind soul has tried to teach me but it doesn’t really stick.

I do really enjoy having a visual notebook of things I’ve seen, walks I’ve gone on and interesting flora and fauna.

For a while I had a PowerShot SX10 IS which I really liked, it stopped being reliable, failed to take photos often and slowly faded away. I then go a Panasonic DMC-TZ80. I liked the zoom on this, but the photos didn’t seem much clearer than my iPhone 6. It also didn’t take being stuffed in a rucksack or pocked very well, the wee dial on the back fell off and later it just stopped working altogether.

This year I’ve just had my iPhone. I do really like it but I’ve taken a few photos of distant dots where I can’t get close enough, typically of birds. I’d like a new camera with a zoom.

The problem is camera reviews don’t seem to help much. The TZ80 had good reviews but the pictures weren’t all that good and it was not robust enough. I bought it mainly because it has a view finder. I was going to replace the canon with anther canon, but at my price range they don’t have one.

Here is what I think I need:

  • A ~50x zoom
  • A view finder
  • < £300 preferably nearer 200
  • Not too flimsy

I don’t need the latest, there seems a lot of previous models on amazon that look ok. I probably want things that help automatic, stabilisation perhaps. Easy time lapse and long exposure would be nice.

I don’t really want to have to learn much, I’ll use auto 99% of the time, dip into to random settings and go back to auto. I don’t care about “creative” modes, filters etc.

There seems to be plenty of choice, I just don’t know what to pick.

The Panasonic DMC-FZ72 is the sort of thing I’ve been looking at, but the last one I had was a Panasonic and did not last. I’ve also though about giving up the viewfinder and getting the older Canon SX530

Any thoughts or opinions gratefully received.

A bit over a week ago I got a tweet from Athole

The premise is simple enough, for 7 days you take a B&W image, tweet it and ask someone else to join in.

I did:

Day 7 is the featured image of this post.

What is interesting about this project is that there is no hashtag. You get mentions from the folk you invite, if they take the invite up and perhaps from some of their invitees.

An enjoyable experience, I though a bit about photography (or at least my phone snapping) and enjoyed seeing other folks images. It felt a little more relaxed than hashtag type collaborations. More meandering perhaps…

Thanks to Athole and the folk who I pestered to join in.

This is pretty basic stuff but I’ve found it useful in class.

I’ve often combined writing poetry with digital tools in the classroom. There are a lot of short forms that mean even the slowest typist can produce something good in limited time. From a pupil blogging perspective pupils of varying ability often get great results they can be proud of publishing.

When I started using iPads in teachers training and with pupils, I started using simple poetry forms as a way to produce something quickly that could develop from text be combined with images, video and audio.

Good, IMO, forms are kennings, lunes, haiku and six word stories.

Back then we used skitch and comic life to added text to pictures. More recently I moved on to the free version of pic collage 1.

When I arrived back in the classroom with a pile of iPads I’ve been using the technique quite a bit.

More recently 2 I’ve cut out third party apps to use the newish built in markup in the Photos app. Recently I demoed the process at an interview and saw Jenni Robertson show it at an Apple event in Glasgow. On both occasions I was surprised to find that it was a new concept to most of the audience. I though it might be worth a post here. There is a video embedded at the bottom of this post, but here are some written instructions.

Start with an image

This is a good opportunity to talk and demo a wee bit about copyright and attribution. In class we often use the Morguefile or my own FlickrCC Stampr.

write some words

I believe it is best to use the notes app for this, avoiding thinking about how the text looks, where it goes etc.

Copy the text to the clipboard.

Combine the words and pictures

Open photos

Select and view the image.

Click on the adjustment icon

When the photo opens click on the ellipses and then Markup

On the markup screen click the T tool to add a text box and then press on the box to edit it.

 

Paste in your poem.

Adjust the size, colour and placing of the text.

Bonus Tip – drop shadow

Duplicate the text, change the colour of one and move the top one over the bottom leaving a nice ‘old style’ drop shadow. I think this is worth it as a intro to layers in graphics. It can also hep readability on complex backgrounds.

 

 

Although this is a very simple lesson I think it give the opportunity to teach a few different things over and above literacy involved in the writing:

  • Copyright and creative commons
  • Combining apps (safari, notes, photos) in a workflow.
  • Layers

It has the potential for being extended into video & audio editing (groups pictures perhaps) and sharing the results.

Here is a quick screencast.

 

1. Some examples from my class using pic collage Frosty Photos and Poems – Banton Biggies

2. For example Kennings, we know about animals – Banton Biggies

Replied to http://blog.henrikcarlsson.se/2017/05/8985/ (Henrik Carlsson's Blog)
If I delete some photos from Photos on one of my Macs, and those photos are actually from photo stream and were originally taken with my phone, will the also disappear from my phone? I’m 99,99% sure that they won’t, but with photos I can’t risk that 0,01%, therefore I’m sitting here, like a cray person, and I’m importing all photos from my iPhone to a Mac using Image Capture so that I can feel confident when deleting som photos from Photos and a different Mac. This is the road to insanity.

Replying to : Henrik Carlsson’s Blog

 

Yup! Unless I’ve misunderstood.

I do this all of the time.