Saturday, 17 September 2016

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6 Review - Good Food Blogging Camera?

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I bought this Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6 completely by chance 5 months ago. I bought this ruggedised point and shoot camera for my trekking trips, but found that I like to use it for my food blogging too. It has picked up a few scratches here and there through 5 months of rough use but it still works beautifully. 

Disclaimer: This blog is about my personal experience, posted on my own accord and has nothing to do with Panasonic Corporation. #notsponsored

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It all started with my Huai Yang Waterfall Park (Thailand) trip in Apr 2016. I packed my usual gear with me for the 1,300 metre trek up Huang Yang - my trusty DSLR with 35mm prime lens and my handphone camera as back up. 

I found that it is impossible to negotiate the steep inclines and use a DSLR at the same time - not to mention the pain of lugging that heavy gear up the hill. I also found that my handphone camera is useless for trekking. While it is light and handy, my sweating and greasy hands just cannot work with the handphone touch screen.

Fortunately, my gracious trekking mates were willing to share their photos with me, so that I can blog about our Huai Yang trek 👈click. They took their photos with ruggedised point and shoot cameras. Since then, I was on the lookout for a ruggedised point and shoot camera for myself.

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I procrastinated until I was going on another trekking trip - this time to Malaysia's Tanah Aina and Taman Negara (national park). I definitely needed a ruggedised point and shoot, and so decided to pick one up at the duty free shop at Changi Airport while catching the flight to Kuala Lumpur.

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I ended up buying the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6 completely by chance. After clearing immigration, I headed straight for the duty free shop and zeroed in on whatever ruggedised camera is on "special offer".  The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6 was on sale at SGD299, so I just picked it completely on the basis of price. It's supposed to be my trekking, throw around and back up camera, so I was wasn't too particular about specs. My primary camera is still my DSLR.

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(My Tanah Aina 👈click and Taman Negara 👈click posts - my first two posts shot with my LUMIX DMC-FT6 camera.)

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The little camera fits perfectly in my trouser pocket and it is with me everywhere I go, ever since. It's been 5 months now with my Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6 and I love it as my trusty side kick, my own Johor kaki, warts and all 😃

I found the LUMIX DMC-FT6 very suitable for my style of food blogging.

For my food posts, I like to have shots of the food (of course), some macro shots of the food in close up detail, photos of the chef or hawker at work, and photos of the environment. I found that the humble little LUMIX DMC-FT6 can help me do all these well.


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I like the details in the images especially when the natural light is good. Not much bokeh but for close ups of food, I like it this way.


Note: All sample images here are straight out of the camera. Unedited. A bit of post processing will of course enhance the images significantly.

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I like the 28 - 128 mm | F3.3 - F5.9 | 4.6× optical zoom which allows me to take macro shots of the food. I don't have to worry about steam misting up my lens (something I have to contend with when shooting with my 35mm DSLR prime lens).

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With the LUMIX DMC-FT6, it is easy for me to pick up the food with one hand and shoot with the other. Nice!

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Night food shots are useable when we bump up the ISO using the "High Sens" mode. Grilled squid shot at a night market at "High Sens" mode.

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Shot of fresh fish sold at a night market (using "High Sens" mode).

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I shot this at "High Sens" mode - the image is usable for web with sufficient details but the whites like the rice are overexposed and there is no bokeh.


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Another portrait shot with "High Sens". For candid shots of hawkers, I find it easier with a small camera than a huge DSLR as it is less intimidating to the subject. I use higher ISO so that the shutter speed is higher, reducing motion blur of candid shots. Again, the trade off is the lack of bokeh as the background is in focus, cluttering the main subject. But, otherwise the skin tone and colour of the food is realistic.

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I enjoyed using the LUMIX-FT6 to photograph hawkers at work at night markets on "High Sens" mode.

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I like it that I can change the aspect ratio of the photo easily with the LUMIX DMC-FT6 as I like to take wider perspective shots when I am shooting the environment of the restaurant.

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There is also a useful panoramic function which I use occasionally.

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A shot of the Dinner in the Sky at Puteri Harbour as it raises above the sunset over the Malacca Straits. Slightly grainy but useable for web.

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The LUMIX DMC-FT6 lets me do something I wouldn't even dare to think about with my DSLR. As the LUMIX DMC-FT6 is waterproof to 13 metres, I can stick the camera into fish tanks to shoot live fish at seafood restaurants. Live lobsters and crabs will look especially awesome 😆



I shot this video of the Rainbow Waterfall at Sungai Lembing 👈click with the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6. HD at just 10fps (frames per second).

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The lithium ion battery on full charge has no problem lasting a whole day of shooting - some 300+ shots per outing. But, the battery winds down pretty quick when shooting videos.


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Of course, the LUMIX DMC-FT6 has some limitations. Released in Jan 2015, it's a bit dated already. The sensor is a puny 1/2.33" CMOS recording at just 16 megapixels resolution. Doesn't shoot in RAW. Only shoots in JPEG and each image about 4-5 megabytes. Photos shot in "High Sens" is just 2 megabytes. No touchscreen. No manual mode etc, are just some of it's limitations. Full camera specs 
👈click

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I didn't expect to grow to like the little Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT6 so much as a versatile camera for my style of food blogging 😄 I am looking at more tough point and shoot cameras for my future blogging fun.

Needless to say, a DSLR will still be my primary camera because of it's capability but there are many occasions which my little LUMIX DMC-FT6 is my preferred camera.

(Note: The LUMIX DMC-FT-6 is also known as the DMC-TS6.)

More posts shot with the LUMIX DMC-FT6 -

Noodle stall in Singapore 👈click
Rice stall in Johor Bahru 👈click
Food court in Bangkok 👈click
Night market in Johor Bahru 👈click

Date: 16 Sept 2016

Return to Johor Kaki homepage.

6 comments:

  1. Lumix is a good brand. You should check out Fujifilm XT-1 or Fujifilm XT-2.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I am interested in those cameras too. I am eyeing the Fujifilm X70 for my point and shoot replacement. I like bigger sensors in smaller cameras.

      Delete
  2. It is freshing to read your review on this camera and care to share the unedited pictures.I am surprised to note that it has an impressive dynamic range.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but they are small in size. 4-5 megabytes only.

      Delete
  3. It's pretty hard to get bokeh effects with normal point & shoot cams unless it has a special function to render the background out-of-focus.

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, that's alright with me for food and landscape, but it's a handicap for portrait and street shots.

      Delete

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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