Silly Cameras II

DSLR   Silly Cameras I

6/2/17. Another day, another silly camera: the 6/02 Casio 4mp QV-R4 3x zoom. I got it for $6!! at a junk mart, with a generic hard-shell case and a warning that the battery door was broken. Harshly, I at first rejected it — but I was wrong, because it’s one of those rechargeable doors, which just keeps the bugs out of the compartment or something; the battery is held-in with a tough plastic lever. So I went back and splurged, got it home, and it didn’t work. ... As advertised, it came with a charger, which took one look at the included li-on NP-30 battery, lit-up for a minute or so, and then extinguished into darkness. I think that means the battery’s gershtunk — it’s not as if the junk store promised a working battery — so I spent another $6 to get a plausible replacement at amazon.

6/5/17. And it works! Beautiful pictures. Well, a little greeny, but easily fixed in psp9’s 1-step fix. ... Now I will ponder in the days and years ahead some cunning trick to make the broken door pretend to be whole. ... And eventually arrived at the blue tape solution. ... So “the QV-R4 had a suggested retail price of $499.99” back in the day. ... But then back in the day I paid an actual $513.15 for a much lesser casio.


Broken Doors: The Blue Tape Solution (?)

As I was pondering how to make my QRV4 broken battery door not dangle embarrassingly, I settled for a little while on scotch tape, but then realized “painters” masking tape was more appropriate; it’s supposed to come off easily, and the effect provides a cheery stigmata of defect, which is much more in the silly camera spirit. ... Specifically “Scotch-Blue Painter’s Tape for Multi-Surfaces #2090”. ... First I used it on the QVR4’s battery door which doesn’t actually hold the battery in; but then I found that it would hold in batteries, too! ... For cameras with broken doors where the film is with the batteries, it’s particularly klujey — but even then, the point is, the tape comes off and goes back on pretty good!

Googling “fixing broken battery door” I actually found a useful & obvious suggestion, which is to use the tripod mount fixture to screw a metal plate there! Oughtta work great. ... And look so admirably bailing-wire/chewing gum. ... But in most cases, the blue tape is obviously superior, and my one tripod mount attempt was not inspiring....

... So I’ve used it on the qvr4, the second Coolpix 3100, and the designed-defective but also a little broken battery door Olympus C740. And, in a miraculous resurrection, the laboratory Nikon L22. ... It is beautiful. ... Well really it barely works on the L22; but still better than an alternate metal plate screwed-in with the tripod screw, what I was considering. ... And the sad passing of days reveals its temporariness. But still — better than nothing. ... On the actual broken doors — the Nikon L22 and the 2nd 3100 — the tape came off after a day, but I’ve now installed double tape. I will not hold my breath. ... But still, I consider it an improvement: it’s nearly impossible to take L22 pictures while I’m holding the batteries in; the tape definitely makes it possible — today, but, sadly, probably not tomorrow. ... And of course there’s no earthly reason to take any L22 pix — but what availeth such reality-based trifles to the devoted silly camera collector?



6/2/17. The endearing 5/04 Kodak “EasyShare” CX7530 5mp $12 camera lit right-up fresh from the junk store, when I added batteries + 2Gb SD card. Of course, the junk store tag did proclaim “it works”. ... $52 on ebay — ~$250 used @ amazon! ’Though presumably ebay’s price’s also used. ... 17,345 rupees I believe @ an indian site, ~ $270, new?

... On the back, the CX7530 has a prominent “share” LED/button, denoting the unspeakable menace I’ve already encountered with fear & loathing on my Kodak Z990. The estimable dpreview.com in a “throwback thursday” article about a silly Sony camera admits Kodak was there first with this icky-poo proprietary share c--p, although the Sony system is doubtless even more idiotic/fraudulent. ... But the CX7530, like my dubious zoomer Z990 for that matter, is amazingly free of Sony’s typical proprietary battery/film scammery, although I admit I’ve only come to appreciate that fully in my senescence, with the beloved silly cameras....


6/5/17. The 1999 Kodak Advantix F600 film camera does not qualify for membership in the silly camera collection, which I have decreed will not include these pitiful analog film barbarities. Although I have of course preserved my own antedeluvian SLR. ... The advantix was what I heartlessly call a dead-husband deal, wherein some presumably-sad person offers some junk with a high gloss of ignorance, usually priced ridiculously high from survivor delusion although this was instead a sensible $3 for the remains of somebody’s presumably-brief/stillborn venture into snapshotting.

It’s a film camera with computery features: motorized zoom, LCD, auto exposure etc. — a common format, at least judging by the drifts in the junk stores. ... It was gershtunk; not that I could tell before I tried it, but I actually bought it ’cause the generic soft case looked like it’d be a good fit for my beloved A650, and so it was, but the plastic bag also included some presumably-stale lithium 3 volt batteries which might come in handy someday — not the CRV3 of the scammy sp310 below — and an unopened 3-pack of advantix film cartridges, sell-by 2013, which will never see the light of day. And an incoherent instruction manual. ... Kodak actually advises us to use a little plastic something on the camera strap — not included in my pitiful remains — for pressing some of the very teeny tiny buttons.

But the film door wouldn’t open until I pried it out, and it still was jammed for the duration. It’s supposed to rewind the film magically at the press of a button, but it seemed electronically dead to the world and I didn’t try very hard. Despite getting no results googling “jammed kodak f600” I am confident that many of these cameras left this vale of tears in just this wise, like that triumph of murican engineering the 8-track tape. ... I did find a guy who paid $110 for the thing new in 1999; he complained about the picture quality. He was gonna get a real digital camera. ... But I could buy a used F600 today for $9.90 at amazon....


6/7/17. I bought (another!) 8/03 Nikon 3mp Coolpix 3100 for $10, but too quick: the battery door was broken. As usual. ... It is amazing the number of broken camera battery doors. I imagine the great Japanese Camera laboratory workers slaving through the days & nights and years trying to contrive a battery door that won’t break, but apparently without success. So I will while away my idle hours trying to figure-out how to crudely fix a broken battery door. I mean, it lit-up beautifully when I held the stupid door closed with two genuine Kodak rehargable batteries in there. ... After pondering the tripod mount strategery, the blue tape solution seemed to work good, providing that fashion accent. ... And even better, once I applied the magical abusive screwdriver....


6/8/17. The 7/02 HP Photosmart 620 2mp is charming. ... Overstock.com has an out-of-stock $140 refurbished one; probably ~$200 in 2002? ... And it came with an adorable lens cap. And is completely without function. ... If I were actually trying to get a cute golden age camera, I’d go to amazon and buy a Canon from some ancient day. But it’s no fun going around the junk stores with batteries — well actually I suppose maybe I could, in a little handy plastic container. ... Anyway, the beloved Photosmart is one with the angels, even after abusing-off the green spots in the battery compartment left from some ancient catastrophe, and toothbrushing with deoxit....

6/14/17. Another DOA was the 1999 Polaroid PDC 700 0.8mp with rust and corrosion in the battery compartment which no deoxit could cure. I scraped some of it off with a dental tool, but it was doubtless water-logged long ago in a flooded basement of antique doom. ... I suppose I should try to avoid these things, but so far I feel I’ve got my money’s worth; there’s something about these artifacts even when they’re stone dead that moves me, in this case the fabled pitiful Polaroid brand name which has stumbled on zombie-like for decades.

... It seems fitting that their dubious digital camera offering should be gershtunk, as all their film-age cameras were, essentially — I can’t remember any occasion when someone’d get a polaroid picture with the first try. The flash would fail, or the stupid thing would develop wrong, or something. The embarrassed enthusiast would hop about trying to make it go and maybe eventually succeed, after wasting numerous expensive polaroids. It was a costly and low-rent gadget for people too silly to put up with the boring round-trip delay involved in getting pictures developed. Although of course I too on occasion tried to take the wily polaroid picture, and failed, like the rest....


6/9/17. Well at least the battery door isn’t broken on a 3/02 Olympus C-740 3mp “Ultra Zoom” proprietary-film camera. ... It’s weak, but the thing still lights up (and benefitted from the blue tape solution). ... Unlike the beloved C-720 however, it doesn’t use the proprietary Stupid Media but instead a presumably even-more proprietary “xD Picture Card” of which the laboratory, in our continuing quest for the silliest camera stuff, actually has a sample! Which worked! But not until it wounded me while I was trying to extract it from its plastic womb.

This C740 has its troubles; the ultra zoom doesn’t want to go back and must be coaxed, the wide isn’t very wide, and the battery door, although not broken, is definitely in pain — but I have taken a picture! After dousing the tiny fingers of the xD card with deoxit and rubbing it a bit, but at last I have done so and could read it my multicard reader, and another silly camera triumphantly enters the fold.

Aquisition Policies

The acquisitions policies of the silly camera collection need review. ... The truth is, I bought the Olympus cameras mostly because they’re so scammy — the proprietary digital film, certainly. ... I get Canon cameras, on the other hand, and even the Kodaks, because I delight in the cute high-class gadgets so cheap in these degraded latter days, and they produce such lovely pictures! ... So I guess one policy adjustment is, don’t buy Olympii. ... Although surely it counts for something, that the silly camera collection now has two generations of Olympus film scammery. And it’s no doubt true that all the sadder cameras on this trip would’ve been rejected if I’d followed a “test with batteries” policy.

... Which leads-in perfectly to ...

6/10/17. The next ridiculous camera to pop out of the box is the 8/05 Olympus sp310 7mp with its permanently pre-broken battery system. The AA batteries it came with and some used-about-10-times rechargable NiMHs would only produce the peculiar BATTERY EMPTY message — every time, and every time it would manage to tumesce and detumesce the lens without fail! — whirr, whirr, BATTERY EMPTY ... and then it’d stay on until I turned it off with the power button (whirr, whirr). ... So I figured it was some kind of scam promoting a proprietary “CRV3” battery — but I was wrong; apparently the CRV3 is an industry-wide scam — cheaper cameras with hidden battery-replacement costs.

But all is not lost; the camera does use proprietary xD film, and I examined it and discovered four typical junk store pictures, suggesting the obvious expensive solution to the BATTERY EMPTY problem: brand new batteries. ... Every 3 or four pictures, no doubt. ... The web was full of Olympus BATTERY EMPTY stories, and one fellow had a video where he poked-up the little tabs on his battery door, which supposedly made his Olympus behave. And I tried that, but no dice. ... The camera, of course, defaults to power-soaking LCD-on all the time....

But after all, the pitiful camera enthusiast’s getting ripped with the film; why shouldn’t he have to buy an expensive battery a week after the purchase? And DPreview explains the sp310 shipped without the xD film even; it has built-in memory for a few pictures. I remember in those storied days I would be so furious when they expected me to buy digital film also — and my innocent ignorant outrage wasn’t so inappropriate. ... In these glorious latter days of serene point ’n’ shoot obsolescence, when the Canons frolic and cavort in beauty, all the Olympii have to offer is, well, the rip-off film might be cheaper today than it used to be (?). ... But oh golly, the sp310’s got raw! ... Be still my heart. ... And someone says it was only $333 new; I probably paid $12, thank goodness. ... And this camera has by far the worst menu system I’ve encountered. Why couldn’t they just copy the Canons? They copy the buttons.

... But still, my heart is glad when the pitiful little machine lights-up again. ... No matter how stupid/fraudulent. ... And at least it was only $12 (?) at the Buchanan VA Purgatory Emporium.


6/12/17. I got a 9/02 4mp Canon PowerShot G3 for $45 used @ amazon, inspired by DPReview’s “throwback thursday” article about how it was a watershed digital camera what induced many film shooters to cross the digital divide. The Amazon vendor “RCH Mercantile” included a charger and two batteries and a 64Mb compact flash card, and it’s really quite lovely. Some fellow out there on the web says it was $550 in 2003.

The google images I found seemed to minimize its “cameriness”, but I think my (a1200) picture => gives an idea — to my eyes, it was intended to attract the gadget-smitten film hordes — it reminds me of one of those intricate expensive range finders of yore, as if I knew. ... As promised by dpreview, the viewfinder is notably bad, with the lens poking into the frame except at the telephoto end of the range. But it takes lovely pictures, like all the silly cameras. ... And that’s a genuine “Canon PowerShot” strap there....

But it doesn’t really warm the heart like my smaller less-threatening Canons. The Canon “G” series was apparently intended to be the next-to-the-DSLR camera, which is positive in itself inasmuch as it doesn’t have the ridiculous mirror & mechanical shutter. But it was supposed to be a $tep up from the crummy point ’n’ shoots, and I am anti-fancy and pro-cheap; I want reg’lar hum-drum cameras what the commoners use. ... In summary, the G3’s a fine historical addition to the silly camera collection, but not really silly enough....


6/13/17. The only defect in this 3/03 3.2mp Kyocera Finecam L3v is its scammy CR3V battery, like the lamentable Olympus sp310. And this one came with a working CRV3! ... Which does suggest however that it has the same 4-pix-per-AA set disability as the sp310. ...The L3v was missing its SD, which is a common fault, but odd when someone’s gone through the trouble of installing a working battery. Perhaps they took the SD to those pitiful department store digital photo finishers that linger-on and just lost it there or on the weary way....

It was $449 retail in 2003; $24 (?) at the Buchanan VA Purgatory Emporium where, oddly, I apparently also bought the sp310 — I’m just assuming the wretched sp310 is the $12 “Camera” on the Purgatory receipt =>; I took an iphone picture with the sp310 on the left, and it probably looks more like a camera to the innocent eye; the Kyocera’s more the receipt’s “digicam” kind of thing. And really both cameras are wonderful, even ’though they both use CRV3 batteries, which annoyance I am fixing with resupply and rechargables. And I must admit the sp310 is the more amusing silly camera, despite its sins which are very possibly shared by the L3v, although I haven’t the slightest inclination of finding out. ... And of course the sp310’s got more megapixels, and does look more like a real camera, i.e. like one of the Canons....


6/13/17. So the label on the 2/06 6mp Panasonic Lumix DMC-F27 12x zoom was not inspiring, but I went & bought a $23 Li-on recharger + CGA-S006 batteries — note how the label covers the battery compartment — but that might’ve just been trying to prevent a stolen battery. ... “From $489” on amazon it says at DPreview — I assume that’s a lingering retail price, but still; the amazon page’s got much more reasonable prices, and bad reviews ... actually, perusing them they’re not so bad. And the 2006 reviews mention a ~$350 price. ... Whatever. ... Gee this is the same vintage/megapixels as my pitiful broken A540. Which indeed had a lower price, but was of course totally wacko. ... Maybe the 420 over there <= is what the seller paid for it so long ago?

6/17/17. And it is whole again. The old battery — which was a replacement, like mine — I think is dead, but the new battery seems to work fine and the camera lights-up and everything. It is wondrous & dubious: a perfect silly camera. ... Some web chit chat alleged low light was horribly noisy, but I’ll never tell. ... On the other hand, the camera politely demands that I take the lens cover off when I’ve left it on, unlike my zoomer which rudely complains when I stupidly leave it on, and shuts down. ... The F27’s great claim to fame was the fabulous Leica lens which us pitiful photo fan children were supposed to drool over....

So the seller must’ve lost the charger, ’cause the dead Li-on battery it came with seemed to charge up eventually in my replacement charger, ’though it took longer than the two Li-ons that came with the charger — which presumably still had some “factory” charge. ... And thus the “AS IS” is honesty, not a cry of scorn at a discard. ... And I got a wondeful bargain! ... Altough it’s true the amazon used page today has the f27 with a charger and original box for $22.04; the next item is the same price without a charger or anything....


6/22/17. Inspired by my G3, I wasted $30 on the 2001 3.3mp Canon Powershot G1 @ amazon and was not disappointed — it was $1100 in the day! ... Ultra-classy point ’n’ shoot. ... The kindly amazon merchant included a charger and a battery which, to be sure, took 4 or five hours before the charger light’d turn green. But it took beautiful pictures although not, it’s true, quite as beautiful as later silly cameras....

But the really interesting part is how the G3 supposedly inspired the film children to cross the digital divide. https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canong3... You can see the battery “bump” on the left of the camera — completely absent on the G1 — increase and reach its final prominence with the G3. ... It’s not real clear why this should be a factor; none of the 35mm film cameras had the bump — except those equipped with a motorized film drive, a well-known stigmata of the super-professional camera meister....