About my blog

Welcome to my trail running site. I enjoy being on the trail where I can take in nature and clear my mind. I prefer running in the mountains, but anywhere rural will do. I have completed four 100 mile trail races and many other ultramarathons. I'm a member of Team Red, White and Blue. "Enriching the lives of America's veterans."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lumix Long Zoom Camera

With Spring finally in the air, I’ve been out on the trail testing out my new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 point and shoot camera. I chose this make and model because it has a powerful optical zoom (20X) for a point and shoot, yet is small enough for me to take on my running adventures. Some day I’d like to get a professional camera with plenty of fancy lenses, but that would require ample time to learn how to use it not to mention plenty of money. Therefore I’ll put that hobby off until I’m too feeble to run.

Fortunately today’s technology enables us to take decent pictures with compact cameras. Even iPhones take pretty good pictures especially if you purchase a lens kit like the Olloclip 4 in One. Their newest system provides two macro lenses, a wide angle and a fisheye lens. I mean come on, who doesn’t love a fish eye view? I haven’t tried them yet because I don’t even own an iPhone, but you can read a review about them at Macworld

Along the Rio Grande
I prefer a high zoom so I can capture photos of wildlife that I sometimes encounter while running. I like taking pictures of rattlesnakes, but don’t want to be anywhere near them. I also enjoy taking pictures of my running partners while we are out in the desert or mountains. The macro settings enable me to take close ups of wildflowers and other presets help with scenery, sports, sunsets and night shots. 

Lesser goldfinches

The Lumix DMC-ZS25 also allows the photographer (I use that title loosely) to manually control the shutter speed, aperture and other things which are way too complicated for me. F-stops, ISO, white balance, noise, resolution, blah, blah blah...

“... f/16 is narrower (by one stop) than f/11--it lets in half as much light. An f-number range might be f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11...To find the next aperture in a narrowing series, multiply by 1.4. F-numbers are arrived at by dividing the diameter of the opening into the focal length of the lens, thus a 10mm diameter opening on a 110mm lens is f/11. Alternately used with f-stops." –Ritz Camera glossary of terms 

See what I mean? One day I may master the art of photography, but right now I will keep running and taking pictures of dirt, rocks, trails and cacti. I carry my camera in my hydration belt in one of the flask holders so I can pull it out at a moment’s notice. I enjoy the simplicity of snapping off a few shots and continuing on my way.

Greater Roadrunner
I was recently on the Rio Grande levee road where I saw a hawk and a road runner. They were very far away, but I was still able to get a picture of them even though the quality wasn’t super. On another run, Lucy, Taz and Sierra joined me for some fun in the desert and I tried out the macro setting on some wildflowers that were blooming. Spring has arrived in the Desert Southwest and lots of adventures are on my horizon. I’ll be running the Sierra Vista Trail 50K in Las Cruces, NM and the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, NM this month. Smile for the camera when you pass me. See you on the trail.
A few more photos taken with the Lumix:
Pecan orchard along the Rio Grande 

Sierra and Taz


  1. For a point and shoot, that camera takes nice shots, Greg! The DSLRs are always great to have, like you said, but they aren't conducive for trail running. I'll be looking into one like this to take trail riding and backpacking. Last summer on the Appalachian Trail, I lugged my big camera, and that was unnecessary dead weight. I'll probably look into this one because I like the zoom and the functions to be able to change some of the manual settings. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Thanks, I appreciate a photographer's view of this camera. I'm sure you could make good use of the various settings to get better photos. I miss the AT. Hope to return some day.