Sponsored by Nuffnang

I write a blog which contains a large number of photos, so I often get asked by people what camera I use for my shots.

Well, the answer is I borrow RM’s digital SLR when I know I’m going to be shooting close-ups or in low light and the people around me won’t mind have a large camera on the table or in their face. The fixed lens takes elegant, romantic-looking images with a short depth of field, but because it’s a SLR it’s heavy and bulky and not practical all the time.

So in my handbag every day I carry a Panasonic Lumix compact, a hand-me-down from my technically-savvy Jetsetting Dad. Because you never know when you want to capture a great moment (or a plate of spaghetti) and sometimes the situation’s not appropriate for me to announce ‘I’m a blogger, I like to take photos of everything’ by pulling out a big piece of equipment.

So it’s a nice coincidence that Nuffnang and Panasonic have given me the newest Panasonic Lumix model to test out, the 12.1 megapixel Panasonic Lumix TZ10. In fact, Jetsetting Dad was quite excited about it when I told him, because the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 is the same travel camera that he recently purchased himself after much meticulous research.

Battery charged, I took the camera out for a spin. First thing I noticed – huge screen. I was much impressed with the general quality, brightness and clarity of the LCD screen.

Next up, the zoom. I take a lot of close-ups of food and landscapes of interiors, and the 25mm wide angle 12x (ie 300mm max) zoom means for me (a) better shots of the fitouts of restaurants, cafes and shops, with twice the shooting area of a standard 35mm lens; and (b) being able to zoooooooom right up close, whether it’s of a plate of food, of camera-shy people hiding from me or long-distance objects. Jetsetting Dad tells me that a usual camera with this sort of zoom would generally weigh 5 times more and be 5 times bigger.

As an amateur photographer the main challenges I’ve encountered with on-the-spot photography is being able to take a decent shot with available light and how to take a decent shot quickly. Melbourne venues love being dim and dark, but while it makes for great atmosphere it poses difficulties for me – I’m constantly trying to sit near windows, rearranging candles around or actually just taking photos in kitchens. So it’s good to know the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 has double hand-shake correction which means being able to take photos at slow shutter speeds without blurring. When a sudden photo opportunity pops up and I don’t have time to choose any settings, I switch to Intelligent Auto mode to achieve properly exposed, properly focused images.  Basically, the difference between a great shot and one that’s not useable for the blog.

Finally, I’ve also been experimenting with the built-in GPS function which tags the location and local time of photos as they’re being taken. Sometimes I’m not as diligent with my blogging as I should be and I come across photos that I don’t recall taking! So having the GPS tell me the location helps me to match up that pizza to that cafe (Sparrow’s Nest, 95 Queen St in fact).

For more information about the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 and the technical mumbo-jumbo for you gadget geeks, go to http://lumix.panasonic.com.au/products/Lumix/Camera/DMC-tz10.

WIN! To go into a Nuffnang prize draw for your very own Panasonic Lumix TZ10 valued at RRP $649, just leave a comment below with your answer to this question:

Where in the world would you take the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 and what photo would you take?

Naturally I’m not allowed to enter, but I’ll get you started. I would take the Panasonic Lumix TZ10 to Rembrandt Gardens in London and take a photo of the park bench that I donated.

Competition closes Friday 3 September 11:59pm (AEST). Competition terms here.