Sunday, November 04, 2012

All I Needed Was a Sign

A couple weeks ago I was browsing blogs and came across one that had particularly sharp, clear photos on it. (I'd link to it but can't remember its name.) The writer posted about how pleased he was with his new camera and its amazing zoom capabilities.

Now, I love me some zoom. I love it on the camera, and I love using it as a telescope to figure out if that "brown thing" near the tree in my neighbor's yard is a squirrel or a hawk. If eyeglasses came with a zoom feature, my no-line progressives would have it. Naturally, once I discovered how much more magnification is available now than it was when I bought my current camera, I began to yearn for it.

Being a practical person, I didn't think about it too hard. Often, maybe, but not too seriously. Every time it crossed my mind, I stifled the thought. My camera has been good to me, and it didn't make sense to replace it when there wasn't a thing wrong with it.

Until today. Today the Gods of All Things Digital must have convened to discuss the needs of amateur photographers everywhere, after which they sent me a sign. My trusty camera broke this very day. If that had happened a month ago, I'd be sitting here feeling sorry for myself and writing some kind of what-am-I-going-to-do post. Instead, I almost hollered "Yee-haw!"

I've loved my old camera, and I could hardly believe what I was seeing when I tried to use it today. The zoom lens no longer moves consistently. Sometimes it zooms out and won't zoom back in. Sometimes it freezes halfway out and the shutter button won't click. The playback feature has ceased to operate, so I can no longer preview the photos I've taken. Stranger still, sometimes the camera fires off a few shots all by itself when my finger is nowhere near the button. Here are a few of the pictures the camera took on its own today:

Something is clearly very wrong. Isn't that wonderful?

That sign was all I needed. I spent the rest of the day online researching simple-to-use cameras with lots and lots of zoom, and in eight-to-twelve working days, the one I chose will be delivered to my door. Out of loyalty and gratitude to my now ailing old camera, I decided to go with the same brand. The new one will have seven fewer levels of magnification than the one that ignited my zoom envy, but twenty more levels than the one I have now.

Thank you for your faithful service, old camera. May you rest in peace.


  1. Wait! You didn't say what your old camera is and what the new one is (brand and type). Your curious readers want to know!

  2. Duly Inspired, my old camera was a Canon PowerShot S2 IS. The new one is a Canon PowerShot SX40 HS. The new one is not actually the latest model, but I saved substantially by buying the one I did. I wish I had both the money and the expertise to own one of the amazing (and outrageously expensive) cameras I saw online. Some of their photos were amazing. Given the constraints of my budget and my skills, though, I think the one I chose is a good compromise. We'll soon find out.

  3. Velvet,
    You have a great eye and a great heart! I think that your skills are beyond your camera but I agree that zoom lenses are awesome. I trust that the main idea in all of it is to have fun. Yea!

  4. Thanks, Alison. Fun is definitely the main point--but I'll be disappointed if the photos aren't at least better than the ones the old camera produced, and so far I've never found disappointment to be much fun at all. Just got an email that the new one has shipped and estimated delivery date is day after tomorrow. Super!

  5. Oh,oh,oh! I have the same camera that died on you and it is doing the exact same things you describe. It has even begun taking photos on its own, but none have turned out as well as the "goodbye photos" yours took!

    I wish you lovely hours and days of photography, especially with that zoom lens. Oh, I want some zoom...xx

  6. Marion, how odd that your camera is doing the same thing at the same time. Maybe those digital gods I mentioned were specifically discussing the photographic needs of female bloggers of a certain age--a focus group, if you'll pardon the pun.

  7. Unfortunately, this particular post has become a target for spammers who flood it daily with comments that include links to products. As a result, I am going to close comments for now.