Dallas Zoo Photowalk

A new toy arrived on Friday and—quite coincidentally—Saturday was the Penguin Days at the Dallas Zoo Photowalk with the Dallas Photo Walk MeetUp Group.

My first thought was to take the LX7 (with its 24-90mm zoom range) and the D7000 with the Vivitar 70-210 to have a nice range of coverage. Then I remembered I have about a half a roll of black & white film (I think) that I loaded for the West End Photowalk and Scavenger Hunt last November languishing in a Pentax K1000 on the shelf.

Before falling asleep Friday night, I pictured myself lumbering around the zoo, Tenba bag slung messenger-style around my rump, D7000 slung across my torso, and two cameras dangling from my neck…

In this mental picture, I looked ridiculous.

So I decided to use the photowalk as a learning/testing experience, and went armed with the LX7 alone.


As other members arrived carrying tripods and backpacks, sling-straps and shoulder harnesses, DSLRs and multiple lenses, filters and extra batteries, and etc. etc., I began to feel a bit under-accessorized, and looking back, I likely missed a bunch of shots that the D7000 and tele zoom would’ve captured with ease. And looking over the 250-odd photos I made, I sorta wish I’d taken the camera I knew along, rather than taking only the little point-and-shoot—as brilliant a little camera as it is—since a 1/1.7″ (7.44mm x 5.58mm) sensor quite simply can’t match the dynamic range or color reproduction of one roughly three times the size.

In the end, I deleted roughly 150 of the pictures I took straight away, found a couple of dozen worth looking at more closely, and ended up with only 5 worth sharing, and a couple of those are stretching it a bit.

Part of this was due to unavoidable lighting conditions yesterday (Dallas was completely covered in a thick blanket of clouds of a uniform, light grey color, and leading to generally low contrast and desaturated color in the natural environment), but most was due to my inexperience with the new toy.

Oh well.

I did learn some things about the little camera—the jpg preset called “natural,” for example, is desaturated and flat compared even to nature on a completely overcast day, and I’ll be shooting RAW only, or perhaps B/W and RAW from now on—and it’s going to be fun getting fully comfortable with it: I’ve wanted a discrete little camera with far more power than an iPhone for quite awhile now, and I hope to be more easily convinced to take myself on solo photowalks with the little guy.

Once I get comfortable with it, I’ll try to write up a decent, real-world, total amateur-usage-type review of it, as there don’t seem to be that many around, and most that are focus on one or two aspects of the camera (macro, for example) and fill most of the area with rehashing of the tech specs rather than any sort of actual usability-type statements.

Anyway. Below are the shots. And, by the way, I had a nice time on the photowalk, much of it spent with my photowalking buddy Judy, who you might recognize from previous photowalks, perhaps.

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