Photo by Gretel Wittke
Note the Panasonic
FZ20 digital camera that I used this year. The camera is feather-light
and can take wonderful pictures with its 12x optical zoom and exquisite
Leica f2.8 lens; but it's a tricky little devil to use. Refraction
limits it to f8 so I needed a "Neutral Density" filter for shutter speeds
slower than 1/250 in "Infineon" Raceway's bright sun.
I rejected over half my 500+ photos for
being out of focus. Frustrating. What I later learned was that
my focus problem was actually a shutter-lag problem.
Battery life was marginal. I had
two batteries and used up both by the end of the day. The Panasonic-supplied
battery seemed to have about twice the longevity of the supplemental "Lenmar"
unit I bought at "Samy's Camera". Three batteries are the minimum
for my long hard days!
I used ISO 80 and rejected no photos
because of exposure problems. I shot 1/250 at f8 in bright sun with
the histogram centered. For "Motion Blurs" at 1/125 the "ND" filter
yielded f3.3-3.7 with the histogram centered. The Panasonic- supplied
"ND" filter altered the aperture 3 stops. "One-stop" or "two-stop"
ND filters might work better. I'll be getting both!
For storage I used two Kingston "Elite
Pro" 512MB high-speed SD cards. They worked flawlessly and there
was no noticeable write-delay. I didn't fill them but I had the chance
to dump Friday's card onto a CD-ROM, thereby freeing it for another day's
work. Three cards are a must for the next three-day event.
I use 512MB cards because each copies directly onto one CD-ROM while copying
a 1GB or larger card would involve swapping CD's.