Last week, Panasonic invited myself and three fellow Bloggers to the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey to hang out with otters, foxes and owls.
I was very kindly gifted a LUMIX GX80 camera and was set the challenge of capturing some #UnmissableMoments throughout the morning.
It was a stunning autumnal day with ideal light conditions for trying out our new cameras.
We began the morning with a talk from inspirational Wildlife Photographer Phil Gould (the original creator of 365 days of photos), who shared some top tips with us for capturing photos of animals. The tips could well be applied to capturing children too, as patience was high on the list!
Then we were shown around the centre by Tom the keeper.
We started our tour with the red squirrels. Nick and I like to visit the Lake District as often as we can, and our favourite National Trust property is known for the red squirrels, but (unfortunately) we’ve never seen one up close. I was over the moon to be so close to them in the enclosure; I even made friends with one!
I’ll go into more detail about the camera in my full review in a few weeks, but I found the 4K feature invaluable for capturing photos of the super fast critters! The 4K feature allows you to video your subject and then take stills which can be used as photos. These 4K images can be blown up to A3 without losing image quality. The 4K feature is ideal for photographing wildlife or children… or anything/anyone who moves fast!
My red squirrel photos were taken using the 45mm-150mm lens.
After the red squirrels we headed over to the fox enclosure to hang out with Biscuit the vixen. I was back to the kit lens for this part of the tour, but sadly Biscuit wasn’t keen on coming too close so I didn’t get lots of photos.
We then headed over to the Scottish Wild Cats.
I swapped my kit lens for the 35-100mm lens at this point, which had an F.Stop of 2.8 and rather lovely zoom too. I felt very at home with this lens and captured some gorgeous photos of Macavity.
It was onto the otter enclosure next – and probably the enclosure I was most excited about! We met Ellis the otter who was beautiful. He was extremely inquisitive and even more greedy!
I stuck with the 35-100mm lens for these photos.
Finally, our tour ended with Florence the owl.
I had such a wonderful morning experimenting with the GX80 – and really enjoyed playing around with the 4K mode! The touch focus is a fantastic idea too, and made adjusting the focus so much less fiddly than it is with my DSLR.
All of my photos are shot in manual mode, which didn’t take long to get to grips with on a different model to my DSLR, and by the time we reached the wild cats I felt quite comfortable with the camera.
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Panasonic for inviting me on such a fun, exciting morning, to Phil for an absolutely fascinating insight into Wildlife Photography, and to Tom at the British Wildlife Centre for being a great guide! It was also very lovely to meet Ben from Ben Porter Wildlife and Jason from Wildlife Gadget Man, who were both extremely friendly and are amazingly talented photographers.