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An Analog Afternoon at Yankee Stadium

For $15 you can get a Pinstripe Pass at Yankee Stadium that gets you one beer and general admission access - perfect for a nimble photographer with a Nikon FG 35mm camera and a roll of Fujicolor 200 film.

Standing Room Only "Standing Room Only" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

So we took the train to the Bronx with passes in hand and explored the new stadium (well, new to me) as the Yankees took on the Blue Jays. A little rain blew in that afternoon, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the crowd who watched the hometown favorites pound out 10 runs against the visitors from north of the border.

1435_09-TFP148-Nikon FG-NYC.jpg "Minolta Fan with Girlfriend" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

During one of the inning breaks, I noticed another analog photographer with a Minolta hanging around his neck. "Good looking camera," I said to him. He smiled and replied, "Wouldn't mind having your Nikon, though."

"I love it," I replied. Then I looked at his girlfriend and said, "See, you thought he was crazy with that old camera. He's just cool." She smiled, and I asked if I could take their picture. "Of course!" They look great.

Then it was time to roam. I had my eye on this cotton candy vendor who was working the covered walkway. "Can I take your picture?" I asked. He looked at me, then at my throwback film camera, and replied, "Ah..., why not."

1435_13-TFP148-Nikon FG-NYC.jpg "Cotton Candy Vendor" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

I worked my way back to the outfield. Many fans were gathered around the beer stand. You have to show your ID regardless of age. That's funny to a guy like me who's been around the block quite a few times. So I showed my license and received my complementary Bud Light. while I was waiting, I photographed these guys having a good laugh.

Having a Beer with the Guys "Having a Beer with the Guys" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

The rain picked up again, so I headed for cover. There was this wonderful vendor area that served food and drinks and was perfect for hanging out. There were TVs everywhere, big pictures of Yankee greats, and bars and tables to lean on. People were definitely having a good time.

1435_12-TFP148-Nikon FG-NYC.jpg "Hanging Out with Yankee Greats" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

At this point, the Yankees were leading 10-2. We decided to catch the train back to Midtown for our next adventure. On the way out, my boy grabbed my arm and said, "Let's go this way." He led me this magnificent hall where I spotted a boy playing with his dad. It was the perfect last shot of the afternoon.

A Boy and His Dad
"A Boy and His Dad" - Nikon FG with Series E 50mm f/1.8 "pancake" and Fujicolor 200 film. Program mode. Photo by Derrick Story.

And that was my afternoon at Yankee Stadium: a beer, a win, a roll of film, and my family. Pretty good stuff.

Do You Like Film?

Take a look at theAnalogstory - Film Photography in the Digital Age. We cover great 35mm cameras, personal stories from film photographers, quick tips, and even a camera shop. Stop by, won't you?

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One of the pleasing aspects of iPhone photography is how easily you can creatively fine tune your images in the Photos ecosystem. A perfect example is a picture captured in Portrait Mode on the iPhone can be further refined in Photos for macOS, without losing the Portrait Mode magic. Here's an example.

iPhone-Portrait-Mode.jpg "Jessica" - This image was captured with an iPhone X in Portrait Mode, then opened in Photos for macOS. All of my Portrait Mode options are available, as illustrated here. Photo by Derrick Story.

Once you capture the image, it is propagated to all of your iCloud devices. Here, it appears in Photos for macOS. I can stick with the original Portrait Mode if I wish, or I can switch to one of the other options, such as Stage Mono.

stage-mono.jpg Same image, but now I've switched to Stage Mono Portrait Mode.

Once I've settled on the mode that I want to use, I can then further refine the image with Photos' adjustment tools. Any changes that I make here are also propagated back to all my iCloud connected devices.

This workflow is fast, easy, with results that your subjects are sure to like.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #650, August 28, 2018. Today's theme is "The First Shoe Dropped - The Nikon Z7." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Since our last show, Nikon officially announced the Z6 and Z7 full frame mirrorless camera bodies with three new Z Mount lenses. This is the news that many Nikon users have been waiting for, not to mention thousands of other curious photographers, myself included. So how does the new camera stack up to the competition? We'll take a closer look at it in today's TDS photography podcast.

The First Shoe Dropped - The Nikon Z7

The Nikon Z7 ($3,546) and it's little brother, the Nikon Z6 ($2,146) have given us lots to think about over the last week. The bottom line for me is that they represent a bold, yet delayed move by Nikon. And as a mirrorless shooter, there are many things that I appreciate about this tandem. Let's take a closer look.

nikon-z7-front.png

  • 45.7 MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine
  • UHD 4K30 Video; N-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
  • 493-Point Phase-Detect AF System
  • Built-In 5-Axis Vibration Reduction
  • 0.80x 3.6m-Dot EVF with NIKKOR Optics
  • 3.2" 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • 9 fps Continuous Shooting; ISO 64-25600
  • Top-Panel Dot-Matrix OLED; XQD Card Slot
  • FTZ Mount Adapter in the kit for $3,546

What I Like

At the top of the list is the built-in to the body is a 5-axis sensor-shift Vibration Reduction mechanism for up to 5 stops of stabilization regardless of the lens used. This system also works with adapted lenses when using the optional FTZ Adapter where 3-axis stabilization is used.

I'm also a big fan of the EN-EL15b rechargeable lithium-ion battery providing approximately 330 shots per charge with in-camera charging is supported. This camera is also compatible with EN-EL15 and EN-EL15a batteries, however do not support in-camera charging.

I'm impressed with the 3.6m-dot electronic finder for comfortable eye-level viewing. It has a high 0.80x magnification and uses NIKKOR optics to guarantee a sharp, clear image. The finder also has a Fluorine coating for easier cleaning. I'm also liking the 3.2" 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD.

And finally, the overall Nikon quality factor for ruggedness and weather resistance makes this a camera that you can work with in the most demanding situations. The robust magnesium-alloy chassis is both dust- and weather-resistant to benefit working in harsh climates and inclement conditions.

What I Don't Like

The single XQD memory card slot that is compatible with CFexpress, enabling support for future media. I think there should be two slots, with the second one being SD. Just as the FTZ mount adapter helps photographers migrate to the new Z Mount system, an SD slot would allow the same thing for removable memory.

The overall size and weight with lenses mounted is substantial, and not that great savings over many DSLRs. Without lens, the dimensions are 5.3 x 4.0 x 2.7" / 134.0 x 100.5 x 67.5 mm with a weight of 1.29 lb / 585 g. Add the smallest lens available, the Nikon Z Mount 35mm f/1.8 ($846), and you add another 3.4" and 13 ounces. That's a lot of camera.

And finally, it is an expensive camera, costs $200 more than the Sony a7R III and $100 more than the Nikon D850. Its battery life is half of what Sony offers, and it is a larger camera as well.

Bottom Line

I'm thrilled that Nikon finally has a serious entry into the mirrorless space. Both the Z7 and the Z6 look like top shelf cameras that should appeal to existing Nikon DSLR photographers. I could see the Z6 making a excellent second camera for D850 photographers.

But I don't see Sony shooters jumping ship over these cameras, and I doubt many Olympus, Panasonic, or Fujifilm photographers will either unless they have a compelling need for full frame. And even then, it's going to be hard to choose the Nikon over the Sony offerings.

Panasonic Unveils the Lumix LX100 II with a 17MP Sensor and Touchscreen

Via Petapixel - Panasonic has announced the new Panasonic Lumix LX100 II, a new high-end compact camera (the seventh in the LX series) that succeeds the 12.8MP LX100 with a 17-megapixel Four Thirds sensor.

On the front of the camera is a LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMILUX 24-75mm (35mm equiv.) f/1.7-2.8 lens. Coupled with the relatively large sensor (for a compact camera), the camera is able to achieve shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh. Photographers can directly control the aperture with the ring on the lens, which is suitable for things ranging from portraits to landscapes to macro (the minimum focusing distance is just 3cm/1.2in).

The built-in Live View Finder (LVF) has a 2.76-million-dot resolution, a roughly 100% color reproduction, a 16:9 Wide Screen aspect ratio, a 1.39x/0.7x (35mm equiv.) magnification, and a 100% field of view. Eye Sensor AF makes the camera start focusing as soon as you start looking into the LVF.

This looks like a solid upgrade. I'm disappointed, however, that there isn't a tilting LCD as part of the improvements.

Free Webinar! Building a Powerful Digital Darkroom in Apple Photos

My publisher, Rocky Nook, is sponsoring a free webinar so that I can show you how to leverage the amazing editing extensions created by companies such as Skylum, DxO, and others to build your own custom digital darkroom right inside Photos for macOS.

It's an impressive workflow, really. Your iPhone images are automatically added to the app via iCloud, and it's so easy to include images from your mirrorless and DSLR cameras as well. You can process RAWs or Jpegs, it makes no difference. And once you perfect the image using extensions such as Luminar, DxO OpticsPro, RAW Power and others, the changes are automatically saved to your other devices and computers.

It's powerful and easy. But the part that I really like is that it's fun. Join me on Wednesday, August 29 at 11am PDT to see for yourself. You can Register Here. See you then!

Updates and Such

A big thanks to Marshall Lew, Bill Armon, Bob McCarney, and Ed Spenser for contacting me about film camera donations. I've already received some of the gear, and I'm working on those pieces to prepare for the store.

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Portfoliobox - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

You Don't Need a Drone to Get High

As much as I would love to fly my Spark in New York, it wasn't practical (or even allowed) at many of the locations that I visited. But there's still the old-fashioned way of leveraging observation decks and upper-story windows to get those great views from above.

City of New York from One World Trade Center City of New York form the One World Trade Center observation deck. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with 9mm body cap lens. Photo by Derrick Story.

One of my favorite views was from the observation deck of the One World Trade Center. It's a 360 degree stroll around New York City. The windows are very clean (amazingly, don't know how they do it), and if you use good technique, you can come away with some dynamic views of the city below.

om-d-em5-mark-2.png

For this shot, I used the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the Olympus 9mm body cap lens up against the glass.

I uploaded the RAW file to Photos for macOS, then used the Luminar 2018 editing extension to process the RAW file. After output, I opened the sampled-down image in Photoshop for just a touch of Smart Sharpen.

I've always love views from above. Drones have certainly expanded that work that I do. But I'm still very attracted to an excellent observation deck in a great location.

The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Edition

Updated for macOS High Sierra, the The Apple Photos Book for Photographers, 2nd Ed. provides you with the latest tips, techniques, and workflows for Apple's photo management and editing application. Get your copy today!

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

My publisher, Rocky Nook, is sponsoring a free webinar so that I can show you how to leverage the amazing editing extensions created by companies such as Skylum, DxO, and others to build your own custom digital darkroom right inside Photos for macOS.

applephotoswebinar.png

It's an impressive workflow, really. Your iPhone images are automatically added to the app via iCloud, and it's so easy to include images from your mirrorless and DSLR cameras as well. You can process RAWs or Jpegs, it makes no difference. And once you perfect the image using extensions such as Luminar, DxO OpticsPro, RAW Power and others, the changes are automatically saved to your other devices and computers.

It's powerful and easy. But the part that I really like is that it's fun. Join me on Wednesday, August 29 at 11am PDT to see for yourself. You can Register Here. See you then!

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

The $98 "Go To" Olympus Fisheye Lens

Once again, I'm amazed that one of my most-reached-for optics on the New York trip was the $98 Olympus Fisheye Body Cap 9mm f/8 lens.

Inside the Met "Inside the Met" - I was able to set the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II on a solid surface and capture this long exposure with the 9mm fisheye. ISO 1600, 1 second exposure, f/8. Photo by Derrick Story.

body-cap-lens.png

Sometimes the world is just too big, or spaces are just to cramped for a standard lens. And the key factor that the Olympus body cap has going for it is that it's just so darn compact. It will always fit in the bag. So, if I'm standing there inside the Met, outside in front of One World Trade Center, or at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, I can create the image that I see in my mind. And to tell you the truth, the image quality is surprisingly good.

If you're a Micro Four Thirds shooter, and you don't have the Olympus Fisheye Body Cap 9mm f/8 lens in your bag, you're missing out on some excellent artistic opportunities. I promise you.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #649, August 21, 2018. Today's theme is "Inside Skylum - A Visit with Scott Bourne." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

Skylum Software, creators of Luminar and Aurora HDR, has established its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, WA. I stopped by on my way to New York for a visit with Scott Bourne, Alex Tsepko, and the rest of the Skylum team who were there for the grand opening of the new office. And I thought you might also enjoy a peek behind the curtain. That's the top story on today's TDS photography podcast.

Inside Skylum - A Visit with Scott Bourne

I've been a big fan of Luminar since day one. So much so, that I wanted to be a part of the Skylum team as they continue to evolve it and their other products.

Among my responsibilites, I'm the moderator for the Skylum Photography Public Group on Facebook, the redesign project for their marketplace, and developing new outreach initiatives for them.

To share with you some of the things that I've learned during my time of working with Skylum, I sat down with Scott Bourne, President, to talk about where we've come and where we're headed.

IMG_2896.jpg Bellevue, Washington. Photos by Derrick Story.

P8161078.jpg Skylum U.S. HQ Photo Studio.

P8161068.jpg Team work area with break room in the background.

P8161083.jpg Scott Bourne, President (center), Alex Tsepko, CEO (right), and Scott M. Smedresman, lawyer (left).

Lexar Memory Cards are Coming Back from the Dead

Via Petapixel - "Back in June 2017, Micron announced that it would be discontinuing its entire Lexar removable storage business that included memory cards, readers, flash drives, storage drives, and more. A few months later, the Chinese company Longsys swooped in and acquired the brand. Longsys now says that Lexar will be returning from the grave.

Now a Longsys-owned business, Lexar announced this week that it's resuming full production of its products and will begin shipping to major retailers again this fall.

The product lineup will include memory cards, card readers, solid state drives (SSDs), and USB flash drives geared toward professional photographers and other creators.

You may recall a reference to this possibility back in June when I interviewed Wes Brewer, ProGrade CEO for the Fascinating ProGrade Digital Story.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Portfoliobox - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

The Full Frame Calm Before the Storm

Sony just announced it has sold more full-frame cameras than any other brand in the US over the past six months, measured both by units sold and by value. In part, this is because, as we all know, Sony cameras are top notch. But it's also because they have more recent releases in this category.

sony-alpha.png

On August 23rd, Nikon will announce their full frame challenger, with possibly some very interesting lenses on the road map. Make no doubt about it, Nikon realizes the importance of the moment. My prediction is that their entry will be formidable.

And let's not forget about Canon. It is quiet at the moment, other than a few snorts from the sleeping giant. But once we work through the Nikon announcement, we will hear from them. And like Nikon, Canon realizes that there is little margin for error.

Why is all of this full frame thunder so important? Ultimately, it's bragging rights. The psychology of camera brands is that if you satisfy the pro, the enthusiasts will follow. If you see Canon lenses on the sidelines of the Super Bowl, that is a stamp of approval for thousands of amateur photographers who will follow in that wake. Pros shoot full frame. What they choose is of vital importance to all three brands.

Personally, I'm not a big sensor guy. It's not necessary for my work. I would rather have smaller, lighter lenses. And since I don't have a dog in this race, I'm really going to enjoy the show.

Photokina begins on September 26. PhotoPlus Expo follows the next month on October 25th. During that stretch, Sony will impress upon us of their current dominance, Nikon will remind us of their tradition of greatness, and Canon will take them both on.

What a fantastic way to close out 2018!

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

This is The Digital Story Podcast #648, August 14, 2018. Today's theme is "Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?." I'm Derrick Story.

Opening Monologue

When I first laid eyes on the Panasonic TS7 digital camera, I knew I had to get my hands on it. And once I did, it felt every bit as good as I imagined. But once you get past its rugged good looks, how does it perform? Does it have the brains to match the body? This is the question that I'll address in today's TDS Photography Podcast.

Is the Panasonic TS7 as Smart as it is Tough?

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 is no lightweight, that's for sure. It feels like a crush-proof camera that can be submerged 100' below the surface of the ocean. And it packs some pretty powerful specs as well. But in the field, does it live up to its promise?

Lumix-TS7-1024.jpg

Here are some of the features of the Panasonic TS7 that got me excited:

  • 20.4MP High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 4.6x Zoom Lens, 28-128mm (35mm Equiv.)
  • UHD 4K 30p and 24p Video Recording
  • 1.17m-Dot Electronic Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

Now, let's talk about how those features actually worked. And if you're an Inner Circle Member via Patreon, I have a fun video waiting for you that shows you more of what I've discussed here. Jump over there and take a look.

Photographer Typecasting

I was reading a Steve Huff article titled, Amazon 1dX II Scam Update where he was following up to an earlier article about being scammed via Amazon for a Canon 1DX order. But a funny thing happened along the way that caught my ear.

How the Original Canon 5D Stacks Up Against the 5D Mark IV

Via Petapixel, they write:

Photographer Pablo Strong recently did a shootout to see how the original Canon 5D from 2005 stacks up against the latest Canon 5D Mark IV from 2016. The 7.5-minute video above is a report of his findings.

The Canon 5D, which Strong calls "arguably the best deal in photography" when paired with the 50mm f/1.8 II lens, was a camera that helped full frame cameras break into the mainstream. It was the first full-frame DSLR in a smaller, standard camera body and its price tag of $3,300 also set a new standard for how affordable full-frame cameras could be.

The camera is 13-years-old now and can be purchased used for about $350 these days. Pair it with the 50mm f/1.8 II (which costs about $75 used) and you have yourself a full-frame DSLR kit for around $400.

Do You Have a Film Camera that Needs a Good Home?

Over the last year, I've received donations from TDS members who have film cameras that need a good home. What I do is inspect the items, repair and clean as I can, then list them in TheFilmCameraShop where I can find a good home for them. If you're interested in donating, please use the Contact Form on TheNimblePhotographer site. And thanks for you consideration!

Updates and Such

You can become a member of our Inner Circle by clicking on this link or by clicking on the Patreon tile that's on every page of The Digital Story.

B&H and Amazon tiles on www.thedigitalstory. If you click on them first, you're helping to support this podcast. And speaking of supporting this show, and big thanks to our Patreon Inner Circle members:

And finally, be sure to visit our friends at Red River Paper for all of your inkjet supply needs.

See you next week!

More Ways to Participate

Want to share photos and talk with other members in our virtual camera club? Check out our Flickr Public Group. And from those images, I choose the TDS Member Photo of the Day.

Podcast Sponsors

Red River Paper - Keep up with the world of inkjet printing, and win free paper, by liking Red River Paper on Facebook.

Portfoliobox - Create the site that your best images deserve by visiting Portfoliobox. And get a 20 percent discount by using our landing page!

The Nimbleosity Report

Do you want to keep up with the best content from The Digital Story and The Nimble Photographer? Sign up for The Nimbleosity Report, and receive highlights twice-a-month in a single page newsletter. Be a part of our community!

Want to Comment on this Post?

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.

When the Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7 was released, it reopened the debate for which rugged compact I would pack for my outdoor adventures. Would the TS7 dethrone my current favorite, the Olympus Tough TG-5?

cameras-front-1024.jpg Side by Side - Panasonic TS7 on the left with the Olympus Tough on the right.

Here's what tempted me with the Panasonic TS7:

  • 20.4MP High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor
  • 4.6x Zoom Lens, 28-128mm (35mm Equiv.)
  • UHD 4K 30p and 24p Video Recording
  • 1.17m-Dot Electronic Live View Finder
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • 4K Photo Modes and Post Focus

With the Panasonic, I would get more resolution (20MP vs 12MP), greater zooming range (28-128mm vs 28-100mm), an electronic viewfinder, and a higher resolution LCD back screen. Both cameras have 4K video recording, but the Panasonic has the 4K Photo mode.

cameras-top-1024.jpg

So I carried the TS7 around with me for a couple weeks of summer activity. The Jpegs still images were very good. (But, I was surprised that I did not have a RAW option like I do on the Olympus Tough.) I particularly liked the the burst mode in 4K Photo. In this mode I could capture at 30fps, then choose the frame that I wanted for the still image at 8MP resolution. This was my favorite feature on the Panasonic. It's fun and effective.

Little Girl Watching Ride "Little Girl Watching Ride" - Captured in 4K Photo mode with Panasonic TS7

I was also looking forward to the 4K video capture. But I had a difficult time focusing. Once I started the video recording, the camera seemed to have a mind of its own in terms of choosing focus point. This could be due to my lack of experience with the device. But even when I sat down and tried to figure it out, I still walked away with clips that were not sharp. This was my most disappointing feature with the TS7.

cameras-back-1024.jpg The electronic viewfinder is visible on the black TS7. The Olympus doesn't have that feature. Instead, the GPS module sits atop the camera.

The built-in electronic viewfinder was a welcome addition. I didn't use it as much, however, as I thought I would. In part, that was because the high resolution LCD was quite good and convenient. Also, the EVF is a bit small and not that enjoyable for composing. So for me, the electronic viewfinder is in the category of nice to have when I need it, but not much beyond that.

So what's the bottom line here? Am I going to switch from the Olympus to the Panasonic for my adventure compact? No, I'm not. Here's why.

Both cameras are tough and waterproof. So I can take either anywhere. But with the Olympus, I get RAW format, realtime GPS geotagging, smaller form factor, and a faster maximum aperture. Plus, the TG-5 is $379, $60 less than the TS7.

There were definitely things that I liked about the Panasonic TS7. I like its handsome good looks, viewing options, and the wonderful 4K Photo mode. But I struggled with its video capture, and I do miss having RAW for hard-to-tame contrasty lighting - something that I seem to encounter often during summer adventures.

Also, the built-in geotagging that the Olympus provides is top notch. I don't have to do anything, and the location data is added to my shots. The Panasonic has a feature that lets you add tags via your smartphone. It's not the same by any means.

So, would I discourage someone from choosing the Panasonic Lumix DC-TS7? Absolutely not. It's a good camera that has a lot going for it. It's just not my favorite of the two.

You can share your thoughts at the TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.