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My Cancer treatment

The GX80 - my thoughts after 3 months with the camera

I started looking at buying a bridge camera last year, wanting something to sit between my SLR (and the many lenses I feel compelled to carry around) and my phone. But I just couldn't justify it until I started thinking about our upcoming trip, the weight of my bag with my DSLR, the water I cant live without these days, my tablets and all the other random crap I'll inevitably need whilst out and about. I basically played the cancer card on myself to justify buying a new treat! 

I looked at the Canon G7X, because I've got friends with it and I know that it's awesome, but the fixed lens worried me, which is silly because I don't want to carrying lenses but it's how my brain works. Then I considered the Olympus Pen, because you know, blogger and all that but it might have been a bit blogger for me. Then I thought about the Sony A series, but the lenses are limited and a man in Jessops told me it would be a waste of money.

And then I heard about the Panasonic Lumix GX80 and I was kind of sold from day one!
And I've had the camera for a few months now, and I love it. So I thought I'd introduce you to it and some of it's features and how mirrorless has won me over.

So the first thing is the size. Its so much smaller than my SLR, under half the size - although it isn't a pocket camera - it's a bit bulky for sticking in a pocket, but it leaves so much more room for things in my bag whilst we're out adventuring. And it has a viewfinder, which I know might not seem like the most useful feature in this day and age, but it's something that I really value in a camera. And the picture quality is excellent too. 
There are two features that, after the quality of the images, really sold me on keeping the camera; 4k Photo and Post Focus.

4k photo is a really clever feature that allows you to shoot a short video and then pull high res stills from the video, which I think you'll agree is a pretty awesome thing to be able to do. It comes in so handy when it comes to getting pics of the pooches.
Next up is post focus, which essentially does the job of my 50mm on my SLR. The post focus mode essentially takes 20+ photos of the same thing and you can pick the focal point after you've snapped. Which is great for DOF shots without needing to have another lens on you.
But there are a few draw backs to both these settings - they are fab but you need to remember to unset them or you'll end you'll end up trying to snap a quick shot and end up having to wait for the photo to process, 4k or post focus - both take some time after the photo has been taken!
And now a little glimpse of the phone app interface - because we all know the main point of taking photos these days is to share on Instagram. So, the camera is wifi enabled (if you camera isn't just buy a wifi memory card). You can download your images, remote shoot your camera and edit photos and videos in the app. I've not used the editing facilities as I've got loads of apps for that already, but the remote shooting and downloading of images couldn't be easier! (and don't judge the amount of puppy photos. You'd do the same!)
I know that I bought this camera to do away with the need for extra lenses but I've already got my eye on a couple of them for a time when I might have some space cash lying about. I mean, because I always have some spare cash lying about. Don't you? 

So, here are my thoughts on the Panasonic Lumix GX80 (GX85 in the US) after using it for a couple of months. Have you used a micro four thirds camera yet? What are you thoughts? And if you have, have you bought any extra lenses for it - what you suggest if so? 

And just for full disclosure I bought the camera with my own funds - no freebies here - but I'd not say no if someone from Lumix wants to send me some lenses or something just as lovely! 

Recent Reads - the Radiotherapy Edition

Its been a while since I wrote about my book consummation. I found the posts hard to write, trying to write up a synopsis and not give anything away and the review, but the I had a comment chat with Life As Unusuals (who always does the best book reviews) and realised I don't need to do that. Hopefully my thoughts on the books will be enough to make you click through to their listing and read more. 

So I'm starting back with some reviews of honest to goodness printed on paper books I've read recently - mostly whilst having radiotherapy! 

I bought this book souley on the merits of Eowyn Ivey previous book, The Snow Child, which I adored. And I have to say this book didn't disappoint. It's historical, and magical, and adventurous all at once. I learnt about Alaska and the tribes, and their myths, and photography.
It made me wish that there were lands still out there that were open to be discovered - paces that needed discovering, lands where the magical can happen, and people that we know nothing about. 
I read this book during my radiotherapy visits and on one occasion I had to berate my nurses for being too quick, not giving me enough time to read. In the end I sacked off an afternoon of house hold chores to finish reading because whilst I didn't want this book to end, I had to keep reading! 

I bought this book based souley on the beautiful cover. And the fact I was on a hardback book buying spree. There's mystery, there's murder, there's family drama. Despite the books slightly gruesome undertones, is not a dark read and I found that the characters drew me in and I enjoyed the changes in the time frames.
It might not be the best book I've ever read but I really enjoyed it. It's easy to read, maybe a little hint of a YA feel about it, but a good read and it's super cheap for the kindle right now. 

Another stunning cover on a book that was a pre-order. I was looking for another author like Rainbow Rowell (if you haven't read any of her books yet, do so!) and Nina LaCour came highly recommended. And I think it was well up there with the best of Rainbow's books, even as YA fiction it was beautiful. The characters were flawed and realistic, there is sadness and grief, and love and that feeling of growing up. It made me cry (that might be the hormones) and it made me happy, and the ending. Oh. the ending. If my keyboard had the heart eyes emoji I'd be using it now! 

Jim's mum bought me this book for my birthday this year. It took me some time to get into it. Not because it's a tough read but because it needs your concentration and chemo brain didn't allow for me to concentrate when I started it the first time. It's another historical novel, based in Manchester. It deals with the lives of women in the 19th century as the rights they have are changing and evolving. It's not the happiest book ever written, the main characters don't have a very happy existence, but it was a compelling read!  

Now, I bought this book based on the reviews I read of it being amazing, but I have to say, it wasn't the book I thought it would be. It wasn't this great book of the ages I'd heard it was. Maybe I just didn't connect with the characters. Now, don't get me wrong, its not that I hated the book, but I just didn't LOVE it and I found it hard to get in to. But I did like the suspense of not knowing what had happened, I liked the switching between the past and the present and I liked the insights about what goes on it a teenage girls brain.

So, there we have it, some of the books I've read recently. And don't get upset about the state of the book jackets above - books are to be read and thrown in bags and on car seats and in baskets during hospital appointments.

Tell me, what are you reading at the mo? Anything I have to add to the to-read pile? 

The #snowgosh pin. Raising money for CoppaFeel! Have you got yours yet?

The Snowgosh pin. Raising money for the breast cancer charity, Coppafeel!
If you're following me on Instagram, you might have already seen this cutie that my wonderful friend Zoe created for me, our little #snowgosh pin, which is raising money for an awesome charity, CoppaFeel!

I knew I wanted to do something to raise some money for a breast cancer charity, but I wasn't sure what. I'm not fit enough to run a marathon, or climb mount Everest. I'm too much of a wimp for a skydive. And I'm not cool enough to throw a big event that could raise money (plus I have a lot of flaky friends who can't be trusted to attend things!). So I started thinking of something that could be sold. And so I started talking with Zoe about getting her to design me something a few months ago, when I was just about finished with chemo. But it's taken while after Zoe had drawn it for me to get it made and out for sale. Mostly because I couldn't decide what colours to go with. (Then I thought I had ordered them, and chemo brain fooled me.) Then as soon as I had ordered them I was hit by a fear that no-one would buy them and it was all a bit waste of time..........

But finally they've arrived, and I love them. Not only are they super cute, and glittery, but they are going to raise money for a awesome cause.

Picking a charity was probably the hardest part though. I've purposefully not really sought out any help from any charities. I've not taken any of the funds available to pay bills, or applied to the charities that send you on fun trips. We haven't needed that sort of help. But we did it. And I think it's a good one.  
The Snowgosh pin. Raising money for the breast cancer charity, Coppafeel!
If you've not heard of CoppaFeel! they are an awesome charity that aims to educate young people about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer so that they are more informed and have the confidence to go to their doctors earlier if they do find something.  

Which resonates with me so much, not because checking my boobs was something I did, but because it was something I didn't do, and clearly should have been. It wasn't even me who found my lump, it was Flash. And then, because I wasn't at all clued up, I believed the GP who told me it would be nothing serious as it was painful. Only when my boss told me to go through our work Bupa did I find out that a painful lump can be cancer! 

Luckily for me Flash found my lump early, but too many people aren't checking their boobs, too many young people aren't finding lumps early enough, too many young people don't go to the drs if they do find a lump. And Coppafeel! aims to change this with their teams of boobettes, their festival stands, their runners dressed as giant boobs, their reminders to check your boobs. 
The Snowgosh pin. Raising money for the breast cancer charity, Coppafeel!
So here is the #snowgosh pin. We're donating £5 from the sale of every pin to Coppafeel, which will hopefully add up to a pretty nice donation to this worthy cause. (And just for full disclosure, we're not making any money from the pins.)  

You can get yours here at Zoe's Etsy! Please pop over and help us raise some money! Oh and take a look at her awesome paintings and stitchings whilst you're there too! 

{And yes, I've been away from this blog for a little while as we were on holiday and before we left my brain really wasn't in a writing space. Or it was, but I couldn't get the words out. But I am back. Or I hope I am. I have a list of ideas of blog posts but forgive me if there are spaces between posts!}