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Thread: New work camera suggestions

  1. #1

    New work camera suggestions

    Ive had Panasonic bridge cameras for the last 15 years or so, First a DMC FZ28, then got an DMCFZ200 as my good camera and now on an DMC FZ300 as the good camera. Good cameras need to stay away from me when im working.

    The 28 has always hung off my belt and there for constant documenting. Its been to war many times and finally pooped out, still works but doing some odd stuff. you an see the battle scars plus the home depot plumbing fitting as a lens cap. The cameras are good but found all the lens caps fell of constantly, weak point as well as that diopler thing for focusing the lens that always moves on the first two anyway.

    So the FZ28 worked fine, had good zoom and was light compared to the other two so good on the belt to be with me all the time.

    Any recommendations for something similar or smaller even. Has to put up with abuse and good if not phased by dust, That 28 had been out in the rain and tons of dust and grease working on cars and and it never minded and just kept going. Its a good ad for them all it has done. I think right now the zoom button is sticking and it zooms in and out on its own. past I sprayed WD in and compressed air and its been fine for years. Work camera can be a consumable but still like it to last some years, pretty sure htis one is towards 15 years old.

    Will type in later and see what I can find and asked the camera guy and not heard back. And no I dont need a cell phone.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    US Virgin Islands
    Blog Entries
    The LUMIX GX9 is a wonderful camera in the micro 4:3 format with great resolution and a very compact size. It is what I used for travel and wstreet photography before I upgraded to the Fuji XPro2. I could shove the LUMIX in a pocket and be discreet.

  3. #3

    that one is fancier than I need for a work camera, might be better than my good camera as well likely is. I see some of the Fz28 used for sale from 50 to 150.00 canadian and that would work for now id have an extra charger and batteries as well with the same one.

    I guess this goes from point and shoot to bridge cameras to DSLR's Is that correct.

  4. #4
    Warren, I know that you said you don't need a cell phone but maybe you do? I really don't know what I would do if I wasn't able to take pics or short video of customers' machines and instantly be able to email to technicians, etc. Not a tech geek but my Iphone (X) captures better images than the little digital cameras like you showed. Just sayin'.

    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Davis, CA
    I have never seen a camera experience the abuse you have put it through and keep on working. No cell phone could put up with that abuse/use. Just get yourself another camera and keep doing what you have been doing.

  6. #6
    gone 40 years without one and not much of an inconvenience. Only once delivered a job and had to stop and use a phone for them to open electric gates. maybe a few other times but people around me handed me one. When my parents home sold I could have used one as I wanted to keep working on it between showings. Turned out not to be needed and worked out fine. I think would be a good safety thing in case the old truck ever broke down.

    I know the cells can do great work but doubt they are better than a camera with a real lens. I heard there is one Walrusway one that has a massive digital zoom on it. I wont let the cabinet teachers niece read this she has ribbed me enough times that I dont have one. I usually dont fit in.

    It also whatever it is has to put up with some abuse and be pretty rugged. My current good one can stand sawdust and even bit of rain. My camera guy has given me crap many times. Ive told him the work one is a tool for documenting stuff and like anohter other shop stuff it will get used and not babied. I tried WD and compressed air and it did stop it from zooming in and out but its stuck in the out position., That is all it is the zoom portion is stuck or just plain worn out.

    Its in the back of my mind but really so far not been a drag not having one.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie May View Post
    No cell phone could put up with that abuse/use.
    Not to argue, but my experience has been the opposite. I've damaged cameras by dropping them but on the other hand, dropped my phones on concrete countless times and never damaged them beyond a cracked screen protector. Unlike cameras, they make really awesome protective cases for mobile devices that are designed specifically for rugged use: Otterbox, UAG, etc.

    Again, Warren, if you don't want a smart phone, then you don't want a smart phone but I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone in the trades doing anything with something OTHER than a mobile device.

    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Millstone, NJ
    Id say go mirrorless
    Im on canon 5d but have access to cannons new mirrorless line and its very nice. They are bigger than you are looking for though

    Sony Alpha line may be your best bet (a7 III for photography A7s III for video)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Northern Florida
    My current phone/camera has had a cracked screen for a year now and still going strong. I treat it like most people would treat a camera or phone and I don't know how it would stand up to your job requirements.

    But about cell phones as cameras: they still work even without the cell service. There are tons of iPhones and others with excellent photographic ability out there that no one wants any more because they got the latest and greatest.

    They also work as web browsers if you have wireless internet access.
    Last edited by Alan Rutherford; 07-09-2021 at 1:11 PM.

  10. #10
    I dont think any cell could stand up to what this one hs been through. I also hang this off a carabeener not sure a cell has an attachment though could change where it resides

    THe the FZ200 took a bad whack and was never right, walking past a windsor chair and the strap caught and arm. FZ300 is babied all the time. Camera guy sent FZ1000 and I said no you are not getting it. that one is 1k canadian. its not needed for a work camera. I might pick up a used FZ28 just to tied me over as I put time into it. I figured point and shoot must have advanced by now. Since it is always hanging off a tool belt or pant belt light is good and I probably dont need the zoom this one has but its nice i think 28 -400 MM if im remembering correctly.

    Erik I haven had a cell for 40 years of being self employed so why would I need one now. If some change happens and I do need one id consider it. Work is word of mouth and people find find you. I got lots of work in the US and had no cell,

    Here is the back side of the panasonic where it ended up, it still works just the zoom is stuck in the zoomed out position. Before I blew it out with compressed air with some WD in first it was zooming in and out on its own, likely I could resesitate it.

    Other photo is the type of phone that a past customer had. I guess this was the start of everyone thinking they had to have a phone and instant service or instant questions answered.


    the past like one customer had, no phone back then and as big as a lunch box planer


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Quote Originally Posted by George Yetka View Post
    Id say go mirrorless
    Im on canon 5d but have access to cannons new mirrorless line and its very nice. They are bigger than you are looking for though

    Sony Alpha line may be your best bet (a7 III for photography A7s III for video)
    Warren, if looking for something pocket-sized and better than many PHD cameras (Push Here Dummy), one of the tiny Canon Powershot Elph cameras would be my first choice. I've had several models over the years. The lens has a cover that automatically closed for protection. Reasonable optical zoom. I always carry one in my pocket when traveling to Europe and around the US when I don't want to carry a larger camera. (a Canon 70D)

    One nice thing you can do with camera with a small lens is use one side of binoculars as a zoom lens. The first photo is with the camera zoomed in as far as it can (Glacier Nat. Park) and the second is with it held up to the binoculars.

    moose_long.jpg moose_binoc.jpg

    I do like the mirrorless cameras. I have three Lumix GX85 mirrorless and just today bought a Lumix G85. All these have HDMI output and excellent imaging, great for video production.

    For anyone interested I connect them to a Roland 4-camera switcher, an Atomos NinjaBlade to record on SSD drives, and edit with DaVinci Resolve. Just bought a teleprompter. (I'm creating instructional videos in my shop.)

    switcher_01.jpg switcher_02.jpg microphone_stand.jpg Resolve_editor.jpg

    Good clean fun!


  12. #12
    Geez John

    you are really set up well. I will look up the camera you said.

    Im still going to buy a used same camera it makes total sense then no pressure keep working and i can look into these other ones. Makes sense to have a back up, I do that with all the machines as i had deadlines that were sometimes but then great customers same time.

    Im just doing a favour for a neighbour, went to use the SCM saw not used for a while and wont run. Checked fuses and just turned to one of the general saws and did it. No back up would not have got done. THe SCM larger blades and I was looking at one cut that would have benefited from that. Point is there was another saw to turn to and get it done.

    Documenting all stuff is important to me. I took the starter out of the truck, it was a pain with headers and the trans lines in the way. I ended up pushing then hard to the side to get the starter out, while under there take lots of photos then on a forum show them what I did and get the okay I did it the right way. camera with me all times while under there easy to document it, I often see things later on a computer screen that I did not see in front of me in real life. Hands greasy at the time work camera fine to use, good one stays in the carrying pouch and not safe to come with me at that time

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Blog Entries
    For snapshot type photos my phone out performs my Canon Rebel, is lighter, takes more pics and offers onboard editing (crop, filters, etc.). You could buy an iPhone or an Android a few years old for a couple hundred bucks and just use the camera (no Phone service). Just an idea . . AND . .. they make all sorts of bullet proof cases for them that stay on while in use.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Pasadino, CA
    Phone cameras have surpassed all but the most expensive pro gear.
    My Canon Mirrorless system will probably be sold when my phone gets updated.

    OP, why not get a mint condition FZ200 on eBay? $10? $12?
    All your Home Depot accessories will fit like a charm.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Inkerman, Ontario, Canada
    Warren, I am pretty sure that the manufacturers would give you a free new camera if you let them use yours for advertising.

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