New Camera

Test_10_Apr_11_DSCF0009Decided I wanted a camera to take hiking and other activities where lugging my D300 was impractical, and something better than my Canon PowerShot SD980 IS (a camera I have never been happy with), l, so I decided to get the new Fujifilm HS20EXR.  A couple of things that I noticed were that the lens was filthy with a smear of grease, and there was dust in the lens tube.  It took about an hour to completely clean the lens, using a quality lens cleaner and a micro-fiber cloth.  The dust in the tube is not evident on images, so I am undecided if I should be concerned and return the camera.  So far however, the two negatives are not that concerning to me.

The images of the chickens in a previous post were the first images taken with the HS20, and I was very satisfied with them.  The detail is good, though the chickens were a bit overexposed ruining some of the feather detail.  That was my fault however.  Today, I decided to use the “SuperMacro” and took a few pictures of my orchids.  The setup was fast since this was a curiosity test more than a accurate test of the cameras capabilities.  Overall, I have to say I am satisfied.  The other picture I took today was on a hike, and it also turned out fine considering it was a cloudy and snowy day, and it was simply a snapshot moment. 

Overall, for a “bridge” camera, the HS20 is doing fine.  As I play with it and figure out the camera, I am sure it will do even better. 

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Outside

Chickens_6Apr11_DSCF0021 Put the chickens outside today. They have been in the garage for about three weeks and were beginning to smell quite badly.  Even cleaning the brooder every few days resulted in a strange chicken smell that was not at all pleasant.  So, outside they went.  I wanted to wait one more week, when they were 5 weeks old, but at 2 days less than 4 weeks, they are big and have feathers.

The picture to the left is of their coop and future run.  I plan to enclose the coop fully, which will make it 8’ X 4’, or 32 sq. ft., which is enough for 8 chickens.  I do not know the measurements of the run, but it is large.  I will put up poultry wire to 4 feet, and then bird netting above that.  In the winter I will cover the the run with a tarp.  Hope to be done with the coop and run by the end of April, and before the chicks outgrow their current coop.

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As can be seen, the chickens took well to the outside.  They immediately started to explore, found their food and water, and seemed happy to be in a larger area than the brooder.  They did not want to go inside when it became dark, so I placed them inside and closed the door.  I have a heater in the coop, but they were at the opposite end, by the door, probably waiting to go out again.  It will freeze tonight, so they may want the heater later in the evening – or not.

Anyway, they seem fine.  I have 6 French Black Copper Marans eggs in the incubator at this time.  Placed them in this morning, so should have more chicks on the 27th of the month.