Panasonic underwater housing review
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Digital Underwater Photography
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3
Underwater Photography
Panasonic DMW-MCTZ3 Review - Page 1/5
Underwater housing review
Seal Photo
Published : Friday, December 21th 2007
Text & Photography by Karin Brussaard
A Seal lying on the dike
It is a sunny Saturday. One of my diving buddies comes walking back from the water. He tells me there is a seal lying on the dike. I am sure he is pulling my leg, as usual, but after telling me three times I want to make sure and I set off to the dike taking my camera with me. I do have the feeling that I will be made a fool but suppose he is right and there is actually a seal lying there? I would not want to miss a chance like that' Fortunately I have the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 at my disposal for the weekend. Often people don't only go scuba diving when they go on holiday or a weekend away but they combine scuba diving with other activities. At times like that it is very convenient to have a camera at hand that serves both purposes. The underwater photography requires a camera that is not too large so it can easily be taken along. Besides that wide angle is an advantage in underwater shooting, because a wide angle lens lets you shoot close to the subject. This means less water in between the camera and the object and thus less dirt and more colour in the pictures. And during other activities the considerable zoom on this camera might come in handy.
Seal enjoying the sun by Karin Brussaard
Panasonic TZ3 digital camera Panasonic DMW-MCTZ3 housing
Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3
DMW-MCTZ3 housing
Panasonic Lumix TZ3 Digital Traveller Zoom Camera Panasonic DMW-MCTZ3 Waterproof up to 40 meters
The Panasonic Lumix TZ3 with 7.2 million pixels is such a camera. This camera is also called a Traveler Zoom camera. The Lumix TZ3 features 10x optical zoom and offers a 28mm wide angle. Often cameras with large zoom ranges such as the one on the Lumix TZ3 are also of a large size but Panasonic succeeded in keeping the camera quite small. Therefore it is a perfect camera for underwater shooting. And the good thing about the 28mm wide angle is that you don't have to carry along a wide angle lens in your usually already overweight luggage.
The underwater housing, the DMW-MCTZ3 has been made of polycarbonate and is waterproof until a depth of 40 meters. Nearly all the functions can be operated underwater. The camera slides into the underwater housing with ease and opening the housing is also effortless. Even when there is pressure on the housing you don't have to force anything. The underwater housing is identical to that of the DMC-TZ2, which makes swapping from the TZ2 to the TZ3 very easy. And as mentioned before, the camera offers a 28-280 zoom range.
Underwater Housing
Panasonic Underwater Housing
Unfortunately the camera's lens is not that bright (f/3.3-f/4.9) but that does not diminish the quality of the lens. It is a Leica DC Vario Elmar lens delivering needle-sharp pictures. The camera features a 3-inch LCD monitor on the back offering 230,000 pixels of resolution. An additional function is the so-called High-Angle mode. This mode enables checking your composition on the monitor from an extreme angle. And that will come in extremely handy when you are trying to capture that one stubborn shrimp that just won't stay on the spot you had in mind for him.
Seal Photography
Picture Seal
Panasonic Lumix TZ3 Seal picture Picture of a Seal Full framed
Carefully I walk on the dike where the seal is supposed to be lying down. My diving buddy is walking behind me, holding his camera ready to shoot. I wonder if this is to capture my surprised face when I find out I have been made a fool again or is there really a seal? Getting closer I do see something lying on the ground and that something looks at me. I am greatly surprised and look around at my buddy, who looks at me as if to say: "see! I told you!" We approach the seal very carefully on our knees. We don't want to frighten this beautiful animal away. It's like a game.
Every time when we move a step closer, the seal moves as if it wants to leave. We then dive down with our heads which makes the seal decide to stay. I am glad I have the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 on me this weekend. The extreme zoom function lets me capture a full framed close-up of the small seal. A minute later the story repeats itself until we arrive on a 3 meter distance of the seal. In the mean time other divers have joined us lying down on the ground. It must have been strange for outsiders to see a group of divers in diving suits lying on the ground on a dike.
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