March 13th – Today, an old friend entered retirement. I replaced my trusty Panasonic Lumix TZ40 for a brand spanking new, just released TZ60. The little red compact camera has been through an awful lot, and survived, and still takes good pictures, but it is probably on the verge of death; it makes ominous grinding sounds when switching on now, and sometimes, the auto lens cover doesn’t open.
I have had and used the camera for a little over 12 months. Apart from the odd day when I forgot it, it has travelled with me every day in a little sleeve in my pocket. It has taken about 21,000 photos, and doesn’t owe me a penny. This little metal-bodied gem of a camera – boasting 20x optical zoom and great adjustability in a small size – has been dropped, got wet, covered in mud, sweat, tea, and on one occasion, was bled on. It’s operated in frost, snow, howling rain and hot sun. It has been a faithful friend and tool. Almost all the images posted here in the last twelve months here have been taken with it.
Panasonic cameras are a bit Marmite – loved and hated with equal passion. I’ve used them since 2007 and adore them, despite their foibles. With Leica lenses and tank-like build quality, I couldn’t change now. I tried a Sony for a bit in 2011 and loathed it. You get used to stuff.
Several of my cameras have come to sticky ends. Dropped down steps, bounced while riding, stolen. This one seemed to have had a real survival spirit.
The little red camera shows the marks of life, and wear and tear. Ingrained dirt, dents, buckles and chips. They are, although the camera probably disagrees, the marks of love.
The newcomer is the direct model replacement, the TZ60 (oddly, there was no TZ50) – it boasts a higher resolution, 30x optical zoom and more features to fiddle with than I can shake an SD card at. It’s slightly heavier, and larger, but feels good. Just enough features have moved button or changed to drive me mad for a good few weeks. Incredibly, it cost exactly the same as the TZ40 when I bought it. Progress.
I shall pass the red one on to someone who needs it for free, as I do with most of my old tech, and I shall become as attached to it’s black replacement as I am to the red one.
Yes, I’m a geek. But not for the sake of it. Tech I have has to prove itself and be useful. These cameras have proven themselves over and over again. Long may it be so.