Thursday, March 15, 2007

New Toy!

I have had a camera since I was eight or nine years old. My first one was a hot pink 110 MM camera that my Auntie Wolf bought me. This was bought in defiance of my parents, since they wouldn't buy me a camera. I loved it, and it's … somewhere.

My second camera was $20 at Natural Wonders- a great little 35mm camera with panoramic functions, which I used during our summer trip to Tehran in 1997. I took pictures of Persepolis, Hafez's tomb, the Blue Mosque and Iranian toilets. At some point during the trip, I dropped it in the joub (gutter with running water). Once it dried, we salvaged the film, and incredibly, the camera still worked.

Andrew bought his digital camera over the summer of 2004. I think it was christened in South Dakota, where we took pictures of the Sioux Falls, the Badlands and Mt. Rushmore. I've got a great picture where I am posing like the forefathers. I would look great carved in stone. But I digress.

Between 1997 and 2004 (when Andrew bought his digital camera), I didn't find much use or need for a camera. So I didn't buy a new one. During that time, I can only remember taking a few pictures of Indigo, my favorite rat EVER. I wasn't really the picture-taking type, and I especially wasn't into developing pictures that could (and usually did) look like crap.

I started blogging in 2004, but only recently (in the last year or so) started adding photos (or FO-tos, as I like to refer of them). I found that Andrew's camera has a good user interface, but I had an incredibly hard time gauging what my photos would look like on my computer monitor/blog from the view screen on the camera.

Pictures that had incredible color contrast (on my computer) looked dark and unfortunate on the view screen. It was frustrating, but we had a digital camera, and I couldn't justify buying a new digital camera for a free blog.

Until Saturday.

Andrew picked up a newspaper and we read that one of the local camera shops is going out of business. On a whim, I said, "Well, if they're going out of sale, they might have their stock on sale. I want a digital camera with a bigger view screen."

So, we're rolling towards the camera place, and Andrew starts throwing out technical questions, like "Digital or Optical Zoom?" "What kind of storage do you want?"

I was tempted to use my Cartman voice and say "Dammit, I just want a camera!" Instead, we discussed the merits of digital and optical zoom, SD storage cards, and the Nikon user interface.

We get to the camera place, and this very cute girl walks up to "help" us. We tell her we want a point-and-shoot camera, and she hands over four different models (two Nikons, a Canon, and something else). We start playing with them, and immediately, I reject everything but the Nikons because they had super-small view screens.

So, there was the little, teeny, flat Nikon CoolPix, and there was the S10, that was much cooler. We start asking questions about the camera- not hard questions, but questions that a camera shop salesgirl * should * know. In theory.

Every time was asked a question, she would make a cute face an plaintively ask for her co-worker (Mike or Dave, or something) to come and answer questions that could have been answered by LOOKING AT THE BOX. Apparently, being pretty was the sole basis of her employment, and she wasn't smart enough to hand us the box or a manual.

I ended up getting the CoolPix S10 (which has 10x Optical zoom, and after that, digital zoom), and a rotating lens. It's neat-o.

It has like a million other features, but I haven't had a chance to read the manual yet (which is my homework for this weekend).

I hope you, my silent readers, can see a quality difference in my photography on Le Blog. That way, I can convince myself that it was an equipment (and not a user) issue.

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