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gothick_matt

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Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner


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Balloon Fiesta


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Originally uploaded by gothick_matt
My favourite balloon at this morning's launch was the monster.com balloon, I think.

It's been a good day all round, really, despite getting up at quarter to five to get showered, dressed and up to Ashton Court. This was the first time I've dragged myself out to an early morning launch, and on reflection, I think I prefer them to the night glows, which are crazily packed and noisy. There were still plenty of people around this morning, but nowhere near as many as at the night glows. It's definitely more civilised, and it seemed to put me in a very good mood for the day.

I went this morning because the plan for tomorrow morning fell through due to last-minute rearrangements by one of the near-infinite number of Nicolas that I know (second only now to the apprently-actually-infinite number of Cla(i)res I know.)

Anyway. Pictures from this morning here and here for anyone interested.

In related news, I'm most definitely feeling limited by my camera now, so I should probably upgrade sometime soon. I fancy a decent "bridge" camera, rather than jumping straight to an SLR, but I'm still trying to figure out whether I want the Fujifilm FinePix S9600 or the Panasonic Lumix FZ-50, or something else. Ho hum.

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Ta for t'input. That nicely balances out the really positive stuff I just heard from an FZ-50 owner I asked recently :)

The other thing the Lumix wins on for unsteady-handed moi, is the image stabilisation, but then the Fuji give better results at higher ISOs, which would combat that in a different way.

Hmm. Think maybe I'll download the manuals for both of them and see if I can figure out which one would annoy me less. (And that's another thing; apparently the Fuji has the irritating feature that it goes to sleep and won't wake up unless you turn it off and on again, thus resetting some things, but I bet they don't mention that in the manual...)

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Ah, but just to combat the battery thing, what it _doesn't_ use is SD cards, when I already have a couple of high-capacity ones _and_ a portable reader for the laptop.

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Ahhh -- I didn't even know you could do that. Ta.

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Incidentally, downloading the manual has reminded me of another thing in Fuji's favour, which is that they seem to be clued up when it comes to customer support and non-pretentious, useful websites. I've heard a lot of bad things about Panasonic's after-sales service...

Having just tried them both back-to-back, I've come to the opposite conclusion. I much preferred the viewfinder on the Panasonic, and the switchgear seemed less annoying. Odd, but I'm pretty sure I got them the right way around while I was comparing them...

I've been a Fuji user for sometime, first of all with a straight digi compact and then, when that got half-inched in Covent Garden, 602 Pro. It's now obsolete, but with the additional tele and wide angle lenses I was able to buy has meant that I have yet to be tempted to go totally SLR.


Well, I was leaning towards the Fuji, and then I tried the Panasonic and the Fuji side-by-side this evening in a camera shop, and I preferred the Panasonic. The viewfinder was better, especially for manual focus, and in general (buttons, firmware, menus) it just seemed better-engineered.

Hmm. Think I may have made my choice. Now all I've got to do is find the money from somewhere :)

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