Saturday, October 13, 2007

Post-disaster post

Well, I messed with the camera all morning, trying to take it apart (kinda chickened out on that halfway through), reading various forums on the web dealing with what happens when your lens gets stuck, etc. Repairs would cost almost as much as a new one. (Why does the world operate like that? Why do vendors encourage us to throw stuff away instead of repairing it by charging so damned much to fix things? Another rant for another day.)

It's no good. My wonderful beautiful birthday camera is no more. And it's all my fault.

After several hours of messing and googling and being upset and everything else, I just couldn't sit here and look at the camera any longer. I went outside and picked raspberries, a whole bowlful. They looked absolutely beautiful in the autumn sun. I wanted to take a picture, but--well, you know.

There was only one thing to be done. I girded my loins, screwed up my courage, held my breath, and told Kat. After staring at me for about 15 seconds, she said, "Well, we'd better get you a new one. You can't go to Cape May without one." So I told her what I had been thinking about as I tried desperately to fix the camera: Should I still go to Cape May, or just take that money and buy a new camera? Do I really deserve another camera after so recklessly breaking this one? Should I just give up this whole photography thing?

After listening to my ranting, do you know what she said? "Honey, you put up with a partner who works 12- to 15-hour days and is never around. Taking pictures and watching birds is what keeps you happy when I'm working. For that you deserve another camera."

Insert the sound of my weeping here.

I really thought she'd lose it. See, you've only read a few of my tales of DIY woe (the homemade scope being probably the biggest one before this). She LIVES with me and my unfinished projects, my half-rebuilt broken stuff, my "yeah, I'm gonna fix that!" collection of junk. Now, I don't want to make it sound like I never get anything right. I mean, I built the Taj Majal of bookcases for Kat:

and several other pieces of furniture, and I've fixed lots of other things. However, I believe it's safe to say that some things are simply beyond my abilities. Working with electronic equipment is one of them.

Anyway, she took time--one of her most precious things right now, as she's working like a dog to finish her comps paper (imagine writing a master's thesis in three weeks--yeah)--to look online with me at some cameras. We determined a budget, and now I'm online to do some research. I have narrowed it down to the following:
1. Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS 7.1MP 12X optical zoom with Image Stabilization
2. Fuji Finepix 3700 7.1MP 10X optical zoom
3. Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ8K 7.2MP 12X Optical zoom with image stabilization

All are comparable in price, but 1. and 3. feature image stabilization. Wow.

Perhaps I should go the camera store and look at these babies live. I'll keep you posted.

21 comments:

FranIAm said...

Wow, I don't show up on your blog for a day and miss all kinds of goings on.

First of all, I am so sorry about your camera. I can't tell you how to feel, but my heart was breaking when you were expressing how upset you were with yourself.

And then my heart leapt up- like a bird in flight, when Kat said to get the camera.

Yay! Delia! Camera! Cape May!

A few unfinished projects - feh, you are one of most beautiful souls in the blogosphere and also in the world - in my humble estimation. That more than makes up for what you think you haven't done.

Happy Shopping!!!

dguzman said...

Oh Fran, you give me far too much credit. You're a beautiful soul!

I can't tell you how excited I am--but it's the most cautious excitement I think I've ever felt. It's like so much is riding on this purchasing decision, you know? I'm trying to read as much as I can about all these cameras (it's a little overwhelming), so I can make a good choice. I'm leaning toward the Kodak; I was able to see and play with one today at a local camera shop. But I'm going to take my time making a decision.

You're the coolest, Fran. Keep on truckin'.

Ruth said...

I like my Canon Powershot S3IS. It has 12X optical zoom with stabilizers. I have a 1.5X lens so I get 18X Optical zoom. I paid $350 for the camera in Canada, the lens was extra. The Kodak is also a nice camera. Good luck in making a choice!

FranIAm said...

Camera shopping is one of the hardest things in my experience. There are so damn many- how can one choose?

Truth be told the first one I ever got was way too much camera for me and I really regretted spending the money.

Second camera was ok, but I never fell in love, but it was more to my liking. (a coolpix!)

Then I got a Casio Exsilim and fell completely in love. I lost it and was devastated. I went back to the coolpix that was still at my house.

Finally I just bit the bullet and got another Casio.

Worth.
Every.
Penny.

Got to run and read your new post!
New camera time!

FranIAm said...

DUMB ME! I quickly looked at the headline/title and thought you got the new one.

Delete that last comment after you read it.

Unless you don't want to- then go ahead and post them both. Your blog- your choice!

Mary said...

Delia,

Oh, I understand your grief right now. Cape May is only two weeks away... Sounds like MY luck! And every day I listen to the bloggers ooze excitement and I mope. Next year!

I love my Kodak. It was a Christmas gift from Michael last year. It's a Kodak EasyShare Z612. 12X optical zoom plus 4x digital. 6.1 megapixels, but I heard megapixels aren't really a big deal, contrary to popular belief. I use my Kodak on "automatic" most of the time, but it has modes for macro (bees, butterflies, flowers), scenic, action, low-light.

It's a great - wonderful sunny day camera. When outside lighting is low, I have a problem with it. Maybe it's ME with the problem! It has great image stabilization when I'm in full zoom (you just need to stop breathing and fight wind), as I heard from others with similar cameras.

Yes, I do love Kodak cameras. After using it for a year, however, I'm ready for a step up. I want more zoom and the ability to work with lighting, etc. I have a lot to learn but I'll be shopping around. Might be a long time before I decide on my next purchase but, in the meantime, I'll be snapping away.

Get your camera in time to practice with it before your big trip!

Hugs,
Mary

dguzman said...

Ruth, thanks for the Canon plug. I was looking at those, but gosh--I just don't know if I can go that high money-wise, you know? I've also lusted after the Canon Rebel xTI, but those are ridiculously high. Maybe someday...

Fran, I looked at those but I was wanting something with a ton of optical zoom. Still, I saw this red one that looked sooooo cooool.... *drooooooling*. Okay, I'm back...

Mary, glad you like the Kodak. I played with one at the store and really dug it. I would love to move up to a camera with more manual control, but honestly--can I really be trusted with such control? Doubtful. I'm more of a "shoot on automatic, and play around with stuff" kinda gal. Someday, though--that Rebel xTI will be mine!

Susan Gets Native said...

Delia,
I have the same as Ruth: A Canon Powershot S31S. It's a lot of camera for a fair amount of money. But if the amount of $$$ scares you....
Definitely go feel out your camera. They all look so pretty on the Net, but you have to hold one in your hands to chose THE ONE.
My word on the matter: Image stabilization is WORTH the MONEY. We are bird-photographers. We need I.S.

Take one look at Mary's blog and you can see that her camera (and Mary herself) are beautiful. Look into an EasyShare. Megapixels are purely academic unless you plan to blow up all your photos for posters or something.
You need lots of optical zoom, with just a hint of digital zoom for those little buggers who are way up in a tree on the other side of a field.
And Mary? Please don't mope. You WILL be there next year. I cringe when I think of how you and Pam are feeling about not going. We love you and you will be there in spirit.
Good luck, D.
PS....Kat is a sweetie.
1. She puts up with your birding, even though she is in the same league as NBB.
2. She didn't freak.
3. She understands how important the trip is to you.
4. Maybe we should create a Non-Birding-Spouse support group.

dguzman said...

Susan, what great thoughts! I looked at that Canon for a LONG time in the store, but honestly I liked the feel of the Kodak better, which surprised me because I'm kind-of a name-brand snob against Kodak. I think it may be THE ONE. I better make my decision quickly though, so I can have some time to get used to it like Mary said.

Kat definitely belongs to the NBS support group, just like I belong to the Spouses of Grad Students support group. We all stand around talking about how boring State College is while the spouses talk statistics and the latest research (yawn).

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