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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 . . .


Mom Moorhen and one of her fuzzballs.


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


A Squirrel and his pine cone.


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


A Little Blue Heron, hunting for fish.


A Roseate Spoonbill preening his feathers.




Gold-colored Dragonfly.


Downy Woodpecker.


Juniper Fruit


Golden Silk Orb-Weaver Spider.


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


Blue Dragonfly.




Butterfly, not sure which species. Can anyone ID?


Chicken Turtle


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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