A bad day, a new camera, and late Spring in Hyde Park

I got out of the wrong side of bed today. Things didn’t improve much after that either, it was raining so biking to work wasn’t an option, and by the time I got to work Soho was practically flooding. People were holding meetings in the rooms I’d booked (always annoying), and it was one of those days where everything I tried to do hit brick walls.

However, there was one bright point: my new digital camera arrived this morning There was nowhere to plug it in and charge it and no memory card so I had to wait until I got home to play with it. When I finally got home from work still feeling frazzled I decided to chill out by taking my camera for a long walk in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. At this point the day definitely improved, the weather even brightened up a tiny bit and the beautiful late spring flower displays were on show in the park. Most of my photos don’t even begin to do it justice, but I have to say that’s down to user (no I did not RTFM*) and partly down to the bad light, it was late evening and not sunny. I also managed to get a couple of snaps of some cheeky squirrels that I could have sworn were posing.

I’m definitely impressed with the camera though. The cameras I’ve had in the past have always taken ages to actually snap a picture, so when I went looking for a new camera this was one of the things that was important to me. I found a great site for camera reviews and decided to buy a Casio Exlim Z750, however by the time I ordered it, it had been replaced by the Z850 so I ended up paying a bit extra for the better model.

When you turn it on, it’s ready to take photos very quickly. The photos it takes so far look pretty good – it’s definitely captured the bright spring green pretty well. It’s really easy to adjust the exposure – just press the shutter release half way down while focussing on a spot either darker or lighter than what you want to take a photo of, then line up and take the shot. The focussing works the same, but I found this harder to get to grips with as it can be quite precise and as a result I have a fair few out of focus shots! Where I got it right, though, the pictures are perfectly sharp.

I’ve yet to figure out how to change the default settings – currently it defaults to infinity focus which is kind of annoying. It has enough settings to keep my busy for a while though which is nice! Also the LCD screen is really big, the camera itself is a nice size, not credit card tiny but definitely small and neat. My only minor complaint so far is that the zoom is a bit uncomfortable to use, especially zooming out on a portrait shot.

So a bad day turned out OK after all … and now it’s about time to go back to bed and start again tomorrow. The weather forecast is good, so maybe I’ll even make it on to my bike.

*Look it up on wikipedia ;o)

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