Silly Cameras II: The Endless Journey....

And so the days of silliness melt into months and then years, and still I delight in the adorable commercial scammery and hobbyist frenzy. ... I know not where it leads or why, and I am so grateful to the fraudulent vendors for their years of service in entertainments and delusions. And the pitiful web sites, so scrabbling for lucre and failing so far. ... It’s all so beautiful....

I suppose it’s the incredible devaluation. ... I can understand why old film cameras are worthless — those that aren’t actually treasured antiquities — ’cause digital’s so inherently cheaper/better for most purposes. ... But why today’s digital should be so expensive compared to last decade’s — that I still regard as a sacred mystery beyond human understanding, even as I reap the incalculable benefits in ridiculously cheap & cute cameras from the fabled era.

... Of course it’s not nearly as ridiculous as the modérne DIY PC scam, where you can build something only 2 or three times as expensive and flaky as store-bought — or at least, amazon-bought....


The others:   DSLR   Silly Cameras I   Canon SX20 IS   Lumix F27   Olympus sp310   Sony Mavica FD71 & 75!   Canon A75    Gossen Luna-Pro


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. ... Oh, I think I see: the seller might’ve conscientiously thought the broken door had something to do with the broken battery....

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 this and this report a $499 list price back in the day. ... But further 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 much 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 isn’t actually under any pressure; but then I found that it would withstand springey batteries, too! — particularly after abusive screwdriver treatment. ... For cameras with broken doors where the film is in the same compartment as 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 seemingly-useful & obvious suggestion, which is to use the tripod mount fixture to screw a metal plate there ... & it would 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. ... On the actual broken doors — the Nikon L22 and the 2nd 3100 — the tape came off after a day, but I still 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, if 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? ... And then the abusive screwdriver technique seems to make the blue tape last weeks.

... But then again, as the world turned and owenlabs technologies marched on, the ultimate dodgy trick seems to be the cable-tie....



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. My pitiful 1999 Kodak Advantix F600 film camera does not qualify for membership in the silly camera collection, which membership it is decreed in holy writ will not include these pitiful analog film atrocities. 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. The F600 was not canonical in that respect, since it was only $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 popular format, at least judging by the drifting wreckage in the junk stores. ... It was gershtunk; not that I could tell before I tried it, but I actually paid my $3 ’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 the presumably proprietary advantix film cartridges, sell-by 2013, which will never see the light. 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 his F600 new in 1999; he complained about the picture quality. He was gonna get a real digital camera. ... But I could buy a used one 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 minions 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 all-important fashion accent. ... And worked even better, once I applied the magical abusive screwdriver....


The Dead

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 the Polaroid film-age cameras were so, 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 in a mature professional way. Although of course I too on occasion tried to take the wily polaroid, and failed, like all the rest....


6/9/17. Well at least the battery door isn’t broken on a 3/02 Olympus C-740 3mp “Ultra Zoom” xD camera — $24 at the roadside junk store. ... The door’s injured, but the thing still lights up (and benefitted from blue tape & abusive screwdriving). ... 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 debris, actually had a sample! Which worked! But not until it wounded me while I was extracting it from its plastic womb.

... Then I thought the ultra zoom was bad, but apparently I just wasn’t patient enough when I told the fully-extended zoom to go back; it seems to return after I hold the thing for two or 3 seconds, and always works @ power-off, so I assume it’s just some super-talented Olympus design/programming. And this guy complains about “Occasionally sluggish zoom response”. ... 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 with my xD-qualified multicard reader, and another silly camera triumphantly joins the fray. ... This review says it had a “$499 Est. Street Price”, so I obviously made out like a bandit anyway....

Aquisition Policies

The acquisitions policies of the silly camera collection may need review. ... The truth is, I buy Olympus cameras because they’re so scammy, at least the proprietary digital film is outstandingly so. ... But I get Canon cameras, & some others, ’cause they’re so cute, and so cheap in these degraded latter days. ... Both, of course, make beautiful pictures. And surely it counts for something that the silly camera collection now has two generations of Olympus film scammery!

Renunciation

& then one bright junk store morning — well, really, it was drizzling — I actually passed-over a 1.3mp Olympus. Which, to be sure, was priceless, but I didn’t even inquire, even with its enticing original box.

... And if Olympus is scammy — well, one of the sparkling highlights of the entire silly camera cameras, especially the grand DSLR itself, is the relentless decades-long scammery. ... Which leads-in perfectly to ...

6/10/17. The next ridiculous camera to pop out of the box is the (orig. $333?) 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 solemn 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 tumesced until I turned it off with the power button, and whirr, whirr again, as the empty battery retracted the zoom. ... So I figured it was some kind of scam promoting proprietary the “CRV3” batteries — but wrong; apparently the CRV3 is an industry-wide scam — so everyone can sell a cheaper camera with hidden battery-replacement costs. And of course the blindingly bright LCD....

But all is not lost; the camera does use proprietary xD film, and I examined it and discovered four typical junk store pictures, suggesting an obviou$ solution to the BATTERY EMPTY problem: brand new batteries. ... Every 3 or four pictures, no doubt — well they’ve lasted a few weeks at least. ... 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. ... 7/17/17: BATTERY EMPTY again. Eleven pictures, 5 weeks. Olympus scores! ... And now I get to try out my rechargeable CRV3! ... Which worked great. Although the date/time of course required setting; maybe I wasn’t fast-enough....

The remaining puzzle for the silly camera enthusiast is, how’d Olympus work the scam? Since the CRV3 isn’t proprietary? ... Right, they must've supplied the camera with two low-rent alkaline AAs wrapped in cellophane, what’d eke out a picture or two. And the joyous retailers’d sell a “pro” “kit” with a CRV3 recharger, and maybe somehow Olympus horned-in on that? You know, “Official Olympus Rechageable CRV3”? ... But after all, the pitiful camera enthusiast’s getting ripped with the xD film; why shouldn’t he have to buy an expensive battery a week after the purchase? ... And there's even more! — DPreview explains the sp310 shipped without film; it has built-in memory for a few pictures. ... I remember in those distant days I would be so furious when they expected me to buy digital film also — and my innocent ignorant outrage wasn’t so spurious.

... But oh golly, the sp310’s got raw! ... Be still my heart. ... And then I realized I’d neglected the olympus viewer program, which I downloaded from here — search for “olympus viewer”; they wanted my camera’s serial number. Although the free Rawtherapee sees ’em good. And the sp310 takes forever to record the raw. ... But while I was perusing the dubious raw images, I noticed for the first time the seller — or perhaps some innocent passerby — had recorded a tiny movie, of a girlfriend presumably, hiding her face. Touching, really....

But be still, anyway; my heart is glad when the pitiful little machines light-up, even Olympii. ... No matter how stupid/fraudulent. ... And at least it was only $24 (?) at the 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 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 “cameraness”, but I think my 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 just took the SD to those pitiful department store digital photo kiosks that linger-on and lost it there or on the weary way....

It was $449 retail in 2003; it was probably $12 (?) at the Buchanan VA Purgatory Emporium where, oddly, I apparently also bought the sp310 — I’m just guessing the wretched sp310 is the $24 one on the Purgatory receipt =>, ’cause it’s got more megapixels — my latter-day scribbled blue notes are probably wrong. And really both cameras are wonderful, even ’though they both use CRV3 batteries, which annoyance I am fixing with resupply and rechargeables. And I must admit the sp310 is the more amusing silly camera, despite its sins which are very possibly shared by the L3v. ... And of course the sp310 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 must’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. ... The “420” over there <= is probably 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 thought was 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 just honesty, not a cry of scorn at the discarded treasure. ... 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 10/00 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 intriguing part is how, according to dpreview, the G3 inspired the film children at last to cross the dark digital divide. ... Could it be the battery “bump” on the left of the camera — completely absent on the original G1 — increasing and reaching its final glorious prominence with the G3? ... It’s not real clear why this should be, other than scurrilous psychological character defamations. ... But none of the olden 35mm film cameras had the bump — except those equipped with a motorized film drive, a well-known stigmata of the Holy Way of the super-professional camera meister....


6/23/17. I gave up on the modern point & shoots with their exorbitant prices and perverse features, but then in a wild frenzy of frivolous spending I splurged $115 on a practically modérne-but-used 9/09 12mp Canon SX20 IS 20x zoomer @ amazon, and it is beautiful beyond the recall of words. ... However it had no lens cap so I retrieved one for $7. ... Amazon claims it’s $480 but I assume that was before it was discontinued & I had to buy it used from “these sellers” as Amazon snootily puts it. And then again, this guy says it was supposed to be $400 in the day — or even a squalid $380, says the “user report” which alleges it’s the “budget alternative” to the $580 SX1 — which is probably untrue, since that’s a previous year’s camera with less megapixels. ... But really, it’s almost as big as the holy DLSR it barely fits my beloved DSLR neoprene form-fitting case; but then the DSLR only fits a little better. It’s a bit shorter than my pitiful zoomer, but still about as bulky, and only a 20x zoom as opposed to the zoomer’s 45x! ... And somehow it hasn’t forgotten the date/time! ... Must be a date/time battery in there somewhere — yes, my old canon buddy, the cr1220.

... One of the charms of the silly cameras is walking around the palatial estate with one no matter how sizable, and deploying it without damage or personal injury & with fair ease. ... This is not so likely when traveling with the things, hence their iphone etc replacements all over the world. ... Still I manage to take a silly camera or two on my wanderings, but only the smaller cuter kind, these days the a1200 and the a650 and even the latter sometimes seems too unwieldy — although a svelter case fits better, now I’ll have to keep the thing’s LCD screen closed, but that’s OK since I hardly use it anyway, almost always preferring instead the shamefully-automatic-only a1200.

Progress

Then there’s the technology. Like all computery devices, the silly cameras are endlessly infuriating, but I believe wild success and general competitive frenzy made the sx20 menus specially ornate. At least I certainly got that feeling when I couldn’t get the fancy articulating LCD screen to light-up again — it seemed to be always on when the LCD was turned out, and off when it wasn’t, and I thought this was limiting but kind-of good/simple-minded — but of course not, the elusive DISP button can adjust it any which way, but I was fearful and anxious when it wouldn’t turn-on even ’though I turned the LCD screen round and round. (Although subsequently the sx20 does appear to try to light-up the LCD or not depending on how the screen is turned?) 

... I got into this dire contretemps trying to adjust the exposure compensation with a button whose icon I though I knew (), but I couldn’t guess it was supposed to be adjusted via the fancy wheel feature instead of the good old arrow buttons, and indeed using the wheel has a tendency to randomly activate the good old arrow buttons’ numerous additional functions (as dpreview also complained), so I had a high old time with stuff flashing off/on and turning things on/off I didn’t want, and/or will never know. ... And of course it took me at least a half hour to figure out exposure compensation in the first place on the beloved a1200....

So the SX20’s not only big, it’s complicated advanced. Which of course warmed the cockles of the foto fan boys’ hearts once upon a time in those golden days. ... And is why I got the “I complain, therefore I am” t-shirt. ... And when I accidentally pressed another button, it seemed to take a very nice movie, with stereo sound.

... When I tried to take this lovely picture <= of two overly-large Canon cameras, DSLR & powershot together at last, the first two attempts — with the Lumix F27 and then the Kodak z990 — were blurry! And the z990’s supposedly got image stablization or something. ... It took a genuine Canon A650 IS to get the power & beauty of not-so-blurry overly-large Canons.

A Camera Bag!

In a revolutionary readjustment, I’ve been trying-out the sx20 as an a650 replacement — it’s so monstrously cute and real-camera looking! ... So I bought a new $9 camera bag for it, to replace my usual ingenious stapled-together bubble-wrap, so I can carry it around and not look so silly — and my bubble-wrap only works inside some other bag-like container, but my chic new camera bag’ll keep the sx20 out of the rain on independent foto fan missions....


7/4/17. The 9/98! 0.3mp (VGA!) Sony Mavica FD71 (list $799!) (a mere ~$45 from amazon dealer “betmul”) is a silly camera, but still obviously a kind of stranger in the collection, as it was not a pretentious pretend-camera-looking gadget, but instead a harmless sizable thing that used floppy disks — that is, mortals could get the pictures into their computers, and many did, as dpreview’s Throwback Thursday article recounts; a commenter notes it was the Ebay camera back in those halcyon days. Real estate agents were also enthralled, as I dimly recall. ... I mean, the FD71 was an actual product! You didn’t have to be a photo-meister-aspiring kind of guy; actually the exact opposite. Women bought them! ... And it’s at least as big as the DSLR, the SX20, and the zoomer....

My FD71 pictures are kind-of dim — nothing my PSP9 one-step photo fix can’t deal with, but I suppose I’ll tinker with the thing a bit and see. ... So there’s a “brightness” control and turning it all the way up makes the LCD look bright, but the pictures remain the same. The admirable FD71 might be defective; but I doubt it — Sony defects tend to be much more noticeable/destructive, like my video camera that, if you were foolish-enough to turn it off without removing the battery, would rise up in the night and attempt to destroy your 8mm tape cartridge, if not the camera itself, by peremptorily ejecting it. ... Ah but it’s the foto fan who’s defective! I broke down and read the manual, and the brightness control’s for the LCD of course! If I want to change the exposure, I do something with the arrow keys....

Ease

But I must admit, cavorting here with my FD71, I just take a picture and then pop the floppy and look at it on my USB floppy drive — it’s really much more convenient than most of the other cameras. Although I suppose leaving an SD reader plugged-in — i.e., like the floppy — and dealing with the camera’s SD/CF card is almost as good — although only if the camera has a separate door for the film card. ... Like the FD71 has, of course, for its floppy drive.

Darkness & the Ćsthetical Mac

And even with an EV (exposure value?) of +1.5 the FD71 pix aren’t that bright — but this was as it was of old, even with the Canons — same symptoms, bright OK on the LCD but image actually darkish. ... And now in these latter days it occurs to me that it could’ve been the Macintosh, which once upon a time had a ridiculous gamma setting or something[1] — the age of the internet cured them, because you’d see these ridiculously dark pictures on our Winders PCs, and they were inevitably the fault of MACs, the favored computer of the arts & foto fans & their ilk. ... And actually that might unriddle the ridiculously-overwrought raw cult — I mean, aside from manufacturer greed and natural disinformation tendencies, the pitiful “creative” Macintoshers would desperately try to make their expensive camera pix “work” outside their macs. ... Ah ... what a tangled web....


9/7/17. And then like a complete hobbyist idiot, I got another Mavica, the newer 2/01 0.3mp Sony Mavica FD75 which is doubtless a thing of beauty and cheaper ($400 retail!), but its installed Radio Shack battery was not copacetic: like some other broken thing I had, the charger'd go orange for about 10 seconds, and then dark; I have come to believe this is something like the universal so-easily-understood code for "broken Lithium". ... But the also-included original Sony battery charged-up good, and the camera lights up and everything! 

Date/Time

... But I suppose if I'm becoming a Mavica specialist I should buy a spare battery. And so I did and got a vast 2500mAh replacement which accordingly took more than four hours to charge! And during all the excitement I discovered the charming Mavica date/time cannot be set to an afternoon time! So I must set the clock in the morning! ... Just another crack quality feature of what was once ballyhooed, in a time beyond recall, as the wonderful Japanese-American company. ... Judging by the diskettes left with these things, nobody ever bothered anyway ... but perhaps this's why. 

Further joyous investigation revealed that it's far worse: it somehow remembers it was set to the wrong am/pm, and retains the error! Or something. ... When I tried to reset the time in the morning, it insisted on pm time! No choice! And note that somehow I managed to innocently set the FD71's time OK.  ... So I tried removing the battery for the ritual brain wipe, and the FD75 woke-up with the world-standard 12:00 am, but then when I tried to alter it, it reset itself to pm! 

But I was able eventually to get it right; I think it has something to do with the direction I try to alter the hour, i.e. when I used the up arrow that worked? And maybe it flipped to pm when I offensively used the down arrow to go from 12:00 AM to 9:00? ... But who knows? That's the wonder of stupid broken software, the magic & trembling mystery. ... I note the manual claims if the clock isn't right it'll insist on you setting it, but they apparently clobbered that early on; it must've been truly infuriating, which is something Sony has achieved amazingly in my life more than once, with ingenious & astonishingly-creative slipshoddery.

... But now I can cavort with two Mavicas! ... What joy.....


7/11/17. Another pitiful visit to the amazon kindly kamera klub and $23.47, and I got the 2/04 3mp Canon A75 — a mere $394.50 in the day. ... And the poor thing is shaky ... it’s LCD quivers and flashes. I was anxious ... But it was just start-up jitters, I suppose, and after some switch exercising, eventually it seemed to settle down — although relapses have occurred. ... Actually figuring-out what the switches did was, as is frequently the case, at least part of the problem....

It’s a little banged-up, and is missing its “ring” cover — presumably mislaid by the owner when he installed some cunning add-on gadget in the misty past. ... But my 52mm “for Canon A510attachment gadget — I didn’t own the camera yet, but presumably the adapter fits others in the herd, including now the beloved A75, and I can attach wide-angle and telephoto gadgets with wild impunity! ... What fun we’ll have....


7/18/17. The 4/05 3mp Canon A510 was only $20 at amazon! And once I got its date/time battery straightened out, it works like a charm; beautiful pictures, + the amazon vendor “Salahhussein” supplied the camera with a super-chic skin-tight 3rd-party accucase, obviously designed to form-fit this camera and no other. I am so thrilled....

The case suggests a pricey cute little gadget, but dpreview gives a $190 “street price” — compared to ~$400 for the same megapixels in the 2002 A75 above. ... And $200 is about what I paid @ 12/06 for my pitiful a540, a more splendiferous six megapixels camera (’though mine, sadly, was a fraudulent lemon). ... So it seems the tragic camera biz collapse may have predated the 2010 peak, inasmuch as that year saw the maximum units, but the prices were obviously going south long before....

Cheap

The Kamera Kult was amazingly like the PC racket where, with the astonishingly coincidental help of microsoft, every year saw PCs with enhanced capability and approximately the same prices as last year’s, but requiring the new capabilities so Windows’d run “right”. ... Just like the escalating megapixels in the cameras, otherwise undetectable by human sensory apparatus. Just like the windows “features”. ... The tragic commonality was that, despite industry-wide herculean efforts at restraint of trade, things got cheaper — leading to the tragic denoument — really, in both cases, PCs and cameras — of the all-conquering iphone and the tag-along mob of other cellphones....


9/4/17. The 1999 VGA 0.3mp AGFA ePhoto780c was pretty cheap in an American junk store, and worth every penny, even 'though it was $199 back when. ... With, of course, the ever-scammy StupidMedia — but a 2Mb card was supplied, but not of course in my junk store rendition. My SmartMedia sample failed ("format failure") — but not to worry, I was just trying to cram in a 16MB StupidMedia card; dpreview describes its preference as "2MB", but an 8MB sneaked by....

And I mustn't fail to note the totally-bogus "XGA 0.7mp" resolution it was advertised with, which was what they call "interpolated" — i.e., "bogus". But it's apparently better 'n' that: the "big" pictures actually have more bytes in them — ~167k versus ~82k for the smaller non-bogus — but, I assume, would only appear larger in the bogus scam software supplied with the unit which of course I don't have, never will, and it wouldn't work anyway. In my numerous browsers & paint programs, the pictures appear to be the same size/resolution — 640x480 aka VGA....

... And then the proud Germans got out of the silly camera biz in 2001; so sad....


9/8/17. Moving from the scammy to the sublimely scammy, we have the appalling 2006? Vivitar ViviCam35 obviously designed to snare the pitiful & ignorant and it got me, and probably for even less than it was in the stores in its bubble pack prime. I actually bought for real one of the comparably-slimy Vivitar "video" cameras, while in mourning for the flip. Although it must've had actual electronic film...

The ravishing vivicam35 does not — in the golden early days of foto fun scammery, merchants sold cameras whose "film" was volatile built-in memory: battery dies, pictures disappear. This was quite common in the bubble-pack products of Walmart & Target and I try to find some excuse in my heart, but it's hard. ... The Vivicam35, as was typical, included monstrously awful "picture" software, some of which I actually downloaded from somewhere and which of course didn't work, although the usb connection beeped a bit, and the software actually sprang to life in my PSP twain "scanner" thing with some kind of hopeless error — it probably worked for 15 minutes in Vista or something. ... But essentially the camera is a paperweight ... but a very light paperweight, at least without batteries. ... Perhaps I'll try revving it up in my beloved virtualbox XP someday.

... These things are still for sale in Walmart @ 9/17 — i.e., scammy cameras with no removable film and still bearing the Vivitar ViviCam mark, although I assume the supplied/required "upload" software has developed considerably in malwaresquey.


9/4/17. The ~1965 Gossen Luna-Pro Electronic light meter is not a silly camera but is nevertheless achingly beautiful, and I got it for a pittance somewhere in America. But in a harsh lesson of degradation & humiliation, my beloved Komposer discarded my initial encomium — but actually of course the poor senile camera fan was totally at fault yet again, executing one of his patented moves-instead-of-copies with which I seem to be enchanted without limit or reason. So I did it all over again.

And well worth it: the Luna-Pro definitely has the treasured silly taintI never had one back in the day with my vivitar which, of course, had a built-in meter, and I wasn't going to pay $70 for something — $510 in real money! And my built-in was almost certainly more accurate. 

... But I did buy a light meter once upon a time, not so grand and probably used even then, what I think I imagined would improve my beautiful cinema verité super 8 films. I pasted-in an extra scale marked in pencil, probably supposed to deal with the latest (400? 200? ISO) super 8 film of the era. ... My Gossen Scout's provenance is obscure even from google, but it says "GERMANY [WEST]" on the back, so it's before 1990, and I'd guess it's from the '80s sometime, like the vivitar....

So I'm making up for light meter neglect by buying bunches wherever they show-up across the fruited plain cheap, and putting most of them in a box in the garage — they take-up so little room! — but back in the day the thronging foto fans would get a fancy meter to show how super-pro they were, and still even today — the scammy mags suggest how wonderful it'd be, and take your foto fun to the next level — and for whatever you want to pay, obviously the more the better — the Sekonic Speedmaster @ amazon's $600!

... But the beautiful Luna-Pro is undoubtedly the fanciest meter I ever got. ... And it is lovely. It has a battery (2xPX13 or a single PX14) to better sense the light; but then, so does my vivitar....


9/16/17. The pursuit of silliness is not all beer and skittles and for another non-silly-camera item I had to give up $30 for a new Neewer Adjustable LED macro light and even then I must pursue its wily ways in ignorance and relative darkness. ... I first saw the ravishing device in a Polaroid puff at dpreview, so naturally I went looking for the Neewer rendition, which was $10 less. And actually, operation was pretty straightforward except the tiny pamphlet nor the loquacious amazon commenters would admit the device could be triggered from the flash shoe of the aspiring hobbyist's camera. Which, of course, is where it mounts, making the resultant camera/flash assemblage look like a prop in an antique scifi movie.

... So I got a mini alligator clip out and touched bits of metal and indeed it got set off. It would've probably got triggered from my proud 'n' looks-just-like-pro DSLR, but that seemed like a lot of work to try, especially since I've more-or-less graduated to the arguably sillier sx20 and perhaps, if I don't forget, the quest'll keep me busy for a little while in paradise. ... There's some kind of flash menu lurking-away in the sx20, and I'm guessing the helpful canonites would not have been so harsh as to make it impossible to fire a 3rd party non-auto flash from the flash shoe — Sony, or Olympus, of course, but not the kindly canonites. ... But that's what makes the silly camera calling so exciting and pointless — who can tell? ... And who cares?

... And it turned-out to be really simple; no stinkin' menus need apply. When I mounted the silly LED macro flash, the Canon flash menu disappeared, it went gray — 'cause of course there were no settings for my pathetic manually-adjusted flash! But it flashed when I pushed the shutter button oh joyous day. ... It's quite possible e'en the scammy brands might do the same, what with competitive pressures 'n' all. ... We understand of course that the picture's appearance is determined by setting the flash's controls/effect, and digital film is cheap and reusable, so everything's for the best....





1. Here is a mac loyalist explaining the darkness of the macintosh in 2004. Even more pitiful loyalists infest the entertaining comments....