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» Sunday, October 14, 2007Say Cheese!
I've been thinking about a new camera for some time although I loved my Mavica when it first came out; Alice had one and I thought the concept was wonderful, especially in the one I eventually purchased, which could take MPEG movies. These MPEGS were tiny, but I still have cute little clips of Bandit making love to a chair (don't ask) and Willow as a young dog. And using floppy disks was so convenient!
But this was back in 1998 after my film camera, the wonderful Pentax which I had bought a super telephoto lens for, finally gave up the ghost. The shutter did not work properly even after I had it repaired and the standard lens had broken the day we went to see Intrepid in NYC. So the Mavica I purchased to replace it was nine this fall.
My main problem has been with the lens. A 3X zoom is simply not enough. I was constantly borrowing James' camera at DragonCon to make use of the 10X lens, but his Mavica with the 10X lens did not have the MPEG movie function. In the past few months I have also been having trouble with the camera function itself: focusing problems, and lately the battery telling me one minute that it had 120 minutes charge on it, then a second later telling me I was running out of battery life.
I also noticed that I was having to do a lot more editing of photos than I used to; the colors weren't exactly correct or were washed out.
Not to mention that the Mavica wasn't even a one megapixel resolution camera. When I wanted to send some snapshots to relatives, I would buy a disposable camera and have the pics developed. I wanted something I could print myself or take to Walgreens or CVS and have printed.
I had planned to wait until Black Friday to go hunting a new camera, but an opportunity presented itself today at Office Depot. I went looking at the camera itself, just working the buttons without looking at instructions, then came home and read some reviews of it. The majority of the reviews were excellent. Some people were looking for "more camera" and stated so. I was looking for basic things: did it break "right out of the box"? Were the higher functions difficult to learn? Did something not work properly? I was amused at a couple of the reviews. One person was concerned because he had taken some test photos and the battery appeared to have used quite a bit of its charge; he was concerned lest he have to take the battery charger with him on a vacation. Say what? You mean you don't take it with you? (It also seemed silly, as in the case of this camera, the charger is the size of a pack of cigarettes! It's not exactly hefty.) I charge my battery every night no matter how far I've run it down.
I also checked to see if the multicard reader I'd bought a couple of months ago accepted the memory card this camera used. Why, yes, it did.
So I have another Sony, a DSC-H7, and a 2GB memory card. According to the chart, at 8.1 megapixels, I can put at least 1000 photos on the card. Wow. I don't think I've taken 1000 pictures on any trip we've taken, even two weeks in New England on our honeymoon. At 640 Fine, I can take a 25 minute movie.
And the lens? It's 15X (it also has a digital zoom, but I've been warned about those), has a macro function, and, to add icing to the cake, it's a Zeiss lens. Mmmmn.
First pics (sorry that Schuyler isn't better; the camera tends to focus on the bars rather than her, so I did have to sharpen the pic a bitotherwise, other than size reduction, these are as they came out of the camera): James at his computer, Miss Willow looking at her "Daddy," and Miss Schuyler trying to figure out just what the heck that box is:
Ironically while I was out buying the camera my wireless mouse quit working. I thought it was the batteries, but it turns out it is the transmitter that sends signals to the mouse. What a pain.