Forget the heavy pro-grade camera gear for a moment. This shot was taken with a $300 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 digicam. These small cameras do wide-angle macro exceptionally well, and their tiny sensors and lenses give them a small-world perspective that SLR cameras struggle to replicate. Here, I placed the camera on the ground underneath a foot-high canopy of mayapples.


  1. #1 Ms Justin
    April 20, 2010

    Great Pics!! I wanted to be an entomologist and am still engrossed with insects. I just got a camera also, for birds. I tried to take a picture of a beautiful orange jumping spider who was sitting on the top of a Civil War gravestone, but it did not come out well.

    I just really wanted to say that I can’t believe that your May Apples are up already, next thing you will be shooting Morels…lol. I am sending your link to a photographer friend of mine. He said that Micro is his next project. Thanks

  2. #2 Dave Stone
    April 20, 2010

    That’s a pretty spectacular image, Alex.

    Have you posted macro images from this camera on your blog before? If so, which one(s)?

  3. #3 Morgan Jackson
    April 20, 2010

    Not going to lie, I had to look twice at the image! I had originally thought it was from the tropics and those were Cercropia trees! Very cool way to bring the tropics home with you!

  4. #4 Alex Wild
    April 20, 2010

    I’ve not posted much at all about the Panasonic- I think this is the first one. It’s a great little camera, particularly in that it maintains decent optics over an enormous range from wide-angle to long telephoto. It suffers from the usual problems of digicams- shutter lag, low dynamic range, and noisy images. But one can’t complain for the price.

    For non-professional work I like having a camera that fits in my pocket- a welcome relief after lugging the usual 10 pounds of SLR gear about.

  5. #5 Ted C. MacRae
    April 21, 2010

    I second Alex’s comment about keeping a pocket camera handy – I still bring mine along even though I’m now doing the whole SLR shebang.

    Admit it though – the success of this photo owes as much to the photographer’s eye as most of the others posted on this blog. The perspective, the thought given to lighting – this was no accident!

  6. #6 James C. Trager
    April 21, 2010

    School children who see these (Berberidaceae: Podophyllun peltatum) at the nature reserve often call these “umbrella trees”, and this persective gives insight into the coining of that name.

    BTW, there is a moth whose wings closely match the color and sheen of this plant’s flower. The moth roosts – you guessed it – in said flowers. I know nothing more about its life history. Anyone?

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