Santa was very good to me this Christmas, and one of the presents I received was a gift card for Henry's Camera, here in Toronto. The amount was sizeable enough that it made me think beyond just buying accessories and seriously consider a thought that's been on my brain's back burner for awhile. A new camera.
But not a DSLR. I have an awesome DSLR (Nikon D750) and that puppy and I will have many years together if I have my way. Rather, due to all the travel I do for business, I have been thinking about a portable camera that gives me better resolution and capabilities beyond my iPhone, but can easily fit in my carry on, instead of being my carry on. A good quality compact camera that freed me up from carrying my full frame DSLR when on short business trips, was what I was looking for. But good quality compacts are not necessarily inexpensive and that's what had been holding me back.
So, just after Christmas, gift card at my side, I checked out the Henry's web site
to see what sort of Boxing Week sales they had.
And lo and behold, I discovered the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7 compact camera. Several things attracted me to this camera:
- I liked the retro styling
- it was apparently quite compact
- it was $300 off the regular price
- it shoots in RAW
- It sports interchangeable lenses in the micro 4/3 format
As I dug deeper into the camera reviews, I found more that I liked, such as a 60-second long exposure setting, flip screen, and manual exposure/focus options.
While not of huge interest to me, there is also a boatload of scene and effect settings, as well as some sort of intelligent setting that helps beginners take good photos without knowing much about the camera itself.
The potential downsides for me were the lack of a proper viewfinder (EVF or rangefinder style), no hot shoe and no other way to connect an external flash. But I argued with myself (and won) that the idea was to be more portable, so I shouldn't want to be tied down with an external flash. As for the lack of a viewfinder, well, heck, I've been shooting with my iPhone for years without the benefit of a viewfinder.