Friday, December 04, 2020

Boondocking at the Indian Bread Recreation Area (BLM) and testing a new camera

I displaced from the vicinity of Gila Bend and the Barry Goldwater AF Range Thursday morning, and parked at my FIL's place so I could hand deliver the title for Fiona to my insurance company's office in Phoenix.  

Thursday after, after a lot of anguished thought, much bothering of both CCjon and Scooter in the Sticks' Steve Williams, thinking about needs vs wants, trying to establish and adhere to requirements grounded in reality....I went ahead and picked up a new camera at the BestBuy store near Sun City, AZ on Thursday of this week.

Image source: Best Buy

It's full name is Sony - Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 18.2-Megapixel Digital Camera.   I examined it at the store before buying it and missed one thing that might spell trouble and cause me to return the camera (and pay the 15% restocking fee).  It's aperture range is f3.5-f8 whereas my old Sony A5000 had an aperture range of f3.5-f22!

Since I have to pay a restocking fee whether I returned it the next day or before January 16, I decided to keep it for now and put it through its paces.  Steve Williams reminded me most of my pics are outdoors and in daylight so the not so fast lens on this camera should be OK.  CCjon reminded me that not having the ability to save pictures in RAW format isn't a factor if I'm not going to make large prints of my photos.

Otherwise, it's like having a smaller version of the A5000, same interface and pretty much same capabilities though a smaller sensor with 18.2 Megapixels vice the A5000's 20.1 Megapixels.  It even has the same flip-up monitor that the A5000 had for selfies but which I use for low to the ground angle shots.  Oh, and it has a pop-up EVF or Electronic View Finder for situations where the monitor is washed out due to sunlight.

The big pluses are its small size, making it pocketable so I don't need a tank bag anymore and its 30x Optical Zoom which means no need to carry extra lenses like with the A5000.  I don't have to learn a different camera manufacturer's software interface either!

Here's a selfie for your amusement:

Early Friday morning, once I finished packing up the URRV, I climbed on top of the URRV to get this picture of the palms and White Tank Mountain in the distance.  I was seeing how the depth of field held up as I like both the foreground and background in focus.

And then I zoomed in to the maximum optical range of 728mm:

Not bad eh?  The above were shot in the "Superior Auto" mode, I plan on experimenting with Aperture Priority mode later on as that's what I use for Sunrise/Sunset shots.

I left my FIL's place at 9:30 AM and five hours later I was pulling into the Indian Bread Recreation Area's camping section.  The place was near full with many RVs and car campers, more than I've ever seen for this place.  My favorite spot outside the camping section was taken, dammit, so I grabbed almost the last available spot further into Happy Camp Canyon which is where this BLM site is located.

Once again trying out the optical zoom:

The camera has image stabilization so the use of a big optical zoom setting doesn't require a tripod for sharp results.  At least in this case, I'm sure at lower light levels, a tripod will be mandatory as this camera doesn't have great low light level performance reviews online.  As I said, we'll see.

I rode Yagi, my Yamaha TW200, around the other campsites to see what remained open.  Nothing that I could find that would easily fit my URRV!  The great outdoors, at least in this area, is getting crowded...though it is the weekend.

What do you think of the image quality of the above photos?  Your feedback is requested!

Note: As always some post-processing was done by me, but in light of the testing, very minimal changes were done, mostly dehazing and lightening of shadows.


Kofla Olivieri said...

I love Sony Cyber-shots. Still own my first one, a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P52. My current one is a DSC-W530, but barely use it anymore since I purchased a Nikon DSLR.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the comments Kofla Oliviero. A DSLR would be too large for my purposes but indeed much more capable.

Bluekat said...

Ahh, I was wondering what you would choose for a camera replacement. I used to have a small canon G.... I don’t remember the number. All in one. the zoom range was smaller than I liked, but I loved that little camera. It had a smaller sensor also, but I was happy with it’s photos. The a5000 replaced it, but 99% of the time I use my phone. 🤦🏻‍♀️
I hope you find the one you like. I Love how much zoom it has. Only my old dslr has anything in the telephoto range.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the comments and feedback Bluekat!