Monday, August 24, 2009

Pentax Optio W80 - I am sooo Happy!

So I got a new camera and tried it out around the yard. Before we moved here I bought Jeff an Olympus 770w or something like that - a camera that was small and could be dropped, used down to 30 feet (for spearfishing photos) and mainly something he could use and not break (although he did break it by taking it to 60 feet - another story). Since then I have been jealous of its smallness and portability. It goes where my big one doesn't - into caves, in the kayak, to the beach.

I have an Olympus evolt 510 with a few different lenses and for underwater I have a Nikonos film camera and strobe and strobe arms and all that crap. I have never been into equipment and believe that what makes an interesting or compelling image is the subject matter and person's vision and not the equipment. I enjoy my camera, but I don't take it everywhere because I don't want to leave it in the car, don't want to haul it around everywhere and it can't get wet, can't squeeze though some of the spots we squeeze through without getting muddy or bumped or screwed up, etc.

Well finally they made a camera for me. Pentax just came out with the Optio W80 which has some neat features that made me want it. First off it is small - 3 1/2 inches by 2 inches by 3/4 inch thick. The feature I like best is that it has a 5x optical zoom which means I can be as close as 1cm which is exactly the stuff I love doing (bugs, buds, patterns etc). The digital zoom is 5.7 or something, but the internal optical zoom is what makes it great. It is perfect for caves because it can go to 15 feet underwater (many of the caves are actually underground rivers and wet the whole time), can get wet, humid, muddy (although you don't want to do that) and can take little bumps here and there and drops to 5 feet. It is 12 megapixels which I don't care about but will make nice prints. The greatest thing is that it is $299 so I can drag it around everywhere and really use it without being afraid of wrecking a $1500 piece of equipment. Fits my lifestyle and is so small I can have it in the car for my favorite grass collecting photos, animals in the road photos, cow attached to the tow hitch etc etc. So enough blahblah.

Who can resist an ugly cat face? Tuca is the ugliest little cat with a huge personality. We love her but she won't sit still.

Close up of light through a leaf.

New tree fern frond.

Don't know the name of this plant, coral plant or something - isn't that helpful?

My new favorite plant for tough spots - "firecracker" plant. It gets to about 4 feet tall, wherever it touches down it roots and spreads, blooms always, likes it dry and sunny, and holds soil. I put it under our Robelinni palms and will be propagating it and moving it all around the yard.

Finally, after a little over a year the beehive ginger bloomed! I knew it would take a year or so (needs to be about 5 feet) and I expected longer since I have it in rocky soil and it prefers moister more composty stuff.

It is just unreal to see this fake looking thing pop out of the ground.

The Ylang ylang tree absolutely fills the house and yard with scent (pleasant but strong). I am glad it is 50 feet from the house or it would be overpowering! It smells especially strong in the morning as the sun comes up and when things get still and humid.

This was a $4 mystery thing that looks like a ginger of some sort.

I just wasn't expecting this icy blue color. Very nice. So this weekend we are caving up in the Florida area and I'll be taking the little camera underground. It is hard to do a cave justice without tripods, multiple bulbs, strobes etc but I just don't want my caving to be about that. Just like diving here - I want to enjoy the dive, not dive to photograph (done that already). So we will see how the little camera does. Built in flash that doesn't go far, how will zoom work in blackness, with the contrast of limestone and blackness...I am sure something will come out so I can look back and remember the spot and that is what I want! So now I am trying it out before I have to figure out how to use it in the dark - ha!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

IDK much about cameras but the pics look great! :)