Crazy Close With Olympus ZX-2
It is wildflower season. That means exhausting motor trips to the outback to look at things that you could probably grow in a window box. Please forgive me for cynicism - I can understand going to Ningaloo Reef because whale sharks are difficult to rear in a goldfish pond, and I can understand going to Karrajini because most of the gorges in the metro area are filled with old car bodies and squashed tin cans. But flowers are manageable.
Still, if you are determined to go away, at least take a good camera with you. If you have the Climb-Everest Syndrome that requires you to take 3 pro bodies and 5 lenses and a two tripods to terrify the Agapanthus, by all means do so - but remember that you may have to walk a ways in the heat and dust and flies and an extra 20 Kilos of backpack will not make you a happy photographer.
We can improve your disposition and your photo results. The new Olympus ZX-2 is in stock now. Think of the older ZF-1 and add more positive controls and better screen. Add the possibility of an electronic viewfinder and an f:1.8 lens and I think you have a winner.
This is a slightly-larger-than compact camera. It has a grip that fits a western hand nicely and under the front finger position is something I wish more manufacturers would copy - a two position function switch. You can switch on AF or MF with one action and any other selected function with a press of the center button. You can tilt the rather large LCD screen for use close to the ground - perfect for flower people. The macro runs crazy close at 1 cm if necessary - and you can extend the focus mechanism all the way out to the horizon if need be...
Small in-built flash, Stereo microphones in case you are taking pictures of the rare Banded Nasturium at breeding time ( the song of the Banded Nasturtium is considered sacred by natives of Pittsburg ) and full HD video. There are art filters in case you cannot think what to do and C1 and C2 custom channels in case you can.
And best of all - this and a small tripod are all you really need to take on that trip. A little pack with a spare battery and card, a roast beef sandwich, and a flask of brandy. A hat for the sun and a paperback novel for when the flower-annoying palls. What better way to spend your springtime.