Peter M Howard ::

wintermute.com.au

Flora, Thrice

20March2006 [personal]
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Despite Panasonic Australia’s protestations that my NV-GS400 camera does not exist, I managed to find a manual online, and in English. So I read it yesterday, and discovered a few features that I wasn’t aware of or hadn’t understood, having not bothered to read the manual when I bought it as it only came in European languages.

There were two/three features that piqued my interest. The first (and bonus third) is for film: the camera shoots, quite capably, in 16:9 widescreen. On the little LCD and plugged into a normal TV it appears squashed, but on the computer I get true widescreen video (in theory it will automatically adjust on a widescreen-capable TV too). The bonus is that it has a ‘Pro-Cinema’ feature, which is also 16:9, with the addition of a strobe-like effect to mimic the appearance of film. (It is, however, somewhat unnecessary as I could pull the same trick in post-production, or just use the raw footage if I decided it looked bad)

Flora 1

The second feature is a tele-macro thing, that, when at 12X (optical) zoom, focusses only on the immediate subject instead of trying to capture everything. I’d been able to get the same effect using the manual focus, but hitting a button is far easier, and actually works. This afternoon I grabbed a couple rough shots from around the garden at the new place. It looks rather nice, and is remarkably sharp given I shot it without a tripod (in the first case, I was standing and holding it, and feared it would come out all blurry).

Flora 2

Flora 3

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