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For a couple years now, I've been using a Nikon Coolpix L810 camera. It's a nice camera, but its focus is verrrrry slow, especially on moving subjects. So I decided to hunt around for a new camera, and after a while, decided on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70. This camera has a 60x optical zoom (the equivalent of a 20mm-1200mm lens) and focuses much more quickly than my old Coolpix. So here are some of the test shots I've done with the Lumix over the past few days . . .

P1000225

Mom Moorhen and one of her fuzzballs.

P1000227

Wildflower. If anyone can ID it that'd be great.

P1000229

A Squirrel and his pine cone.

P1000231

Water Hyacinth. A very pretty but very invasive aquatic plant.

P1000232

A Little Blue Heron, hunting for fish.

P1000242

A Roseate Spoonbill preening his feathers.

P1000260

Mushrooms.

P1000268

Gold-colored Dragonfly.

P1000271

Downy Woodpecker.

P1000280

Juniper Fruit

P1000285

Golden Silk Orb-Weaver Spider.

P1000297

Butterfly--looks like a Monarch but seems a little different. Viceroy, maybe . . .?

P1000307

Blue Dragonfly.

P1000316

Limpkin.

P1000319

Butterfly, not sure which species. Can anyone ID?

P1000044

Chicken Turtle

P1000035

Brown Pelican, in flight.

So, the verdict on the Panasonic:  I like this camera.  I really like this camera. The zoom lens adds capability at both ends--nice macro shots at the low end and nice longshots at the high end. And it focuses (and writes) much more quickly than the Coolpix--butterfly shots were always tough with the Nikon because they'd often fly off before the camera could focus on them, and the shot of the soaring Pelican (or most other quickly-moving subjects) would have been enormously difficult with the Coolpix. But the downsides: The Panasonic is not as capable at low light levels as the Coolpix, and shooting through glass (especially dirty glass) sometimes confused the Panasonic's autofocus. And I like the fact that the Coolpix uses standard AA batteries, which I can get anywhere in the world.

So . . .  the Panasonic is now my carry-around camera for shooting wildlife outside, and the Coolpix remains as my "vacation" camera for shooting inside at museums.

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