Silly Cameras III: The Time of Plenty

1/2/18. The world has finally caught up with me, or lost sight, and the silly cameras appear in abundance, lurking menacingly in the corners of the palatial estate. A box of Ebay EZ Scam junk started the onslaught; then a wandering trip in America filled a milk crate with more examples of the oriental camera contriver’s art; and finally, an innocent New Year’s Eve visit to southern Florida’s own Cooper City Antiques erupted in four perfectly functional — well, presumably, once I get hold of the Sony’s typical scammy recharger for a latter-days-cheap $13 @ amazon — perfectly functional, I say, digital cameras of the golden age....

And I suppose I will mention the 1960 Kodak Pony II 35mm camera I picked up as a wonderful relic — even at the time, in my innocent youth, I knew there was something inherently funny about Kodak 35mm cameras, and their lustre has not dimmed. This one in particular; all the real-foto-fan markings around the lens in different colors — ahh, it takes the breath away. If I ever took another 35mm picture — and I have more than one roll of film, waiting in the refrigerator — I was planning on using my own historic vivitar ... but who knows? This might be stupider....


Others:   DSLR   Silly Cameras I & II   Olympus C-2100      


1/5/18. I got my 2/04 5mp Sony DSC-P100 (a premium $25 at Cooper City Antiques but $400 in 2004?) last in the great fall '17 silly camera acquisition frenzy, but here it is first 'cause I got it a charger/batteries which had to be played-with. ... The camera didn't protest too much about the non-Sony batteries I got, and the non-Sony charger successfully restored the p100's dead would-be proprietary Sony info-drivel NiMHand the camera's included proprietary Sony MemoryStick Pro was filled with the previous owner's sadly unedifying images — more than 70! — new-camera debris from 10/07, none beyond 2007. 

The quality of the "found" pictures in a silly camera is an important element of the frisson us dedicated connoisseurs look for, although it's often impossible to tell how "nice" they are until they age a bit. Both the Nikon CP3100 and CP990 had "good" pictures, at least after they decorated the numerous screen savers in the silly kamera komputer kingdom....

Back at the ranch, occasional dsc-p100 software hysterics are probably dirty buttons which'll calm-down with usage and/or DeOxit. ... The camera has a "P" program and "M" manual setting on its mode wheel, but they're a snare & delusion, and I can't adjust the fstop or shutter timing, and I must pine for them in wrenching camera-fan desolation....


1/8/18. A box of Ebay Kodak EasyShare junk included a broken 8/01 3mp Kodak DX3900 and a cornucopia of EzShare debris including three no doubt actively-valueless Kodak software CDs. ... Further investigation will no doubt reveal marvels to the discerning connoiseur — and just so! The camera's dead, but not the CF which yielded a tasteful selection of industrialesque images, as the pitiful Kodak kept its keep in its latter days in, apparently, an Ebay merchant's dungeon....


1/10/18. After yet another Mavica, my American safari junk box yielded-up a 2/05 5mp Kodak Z730 of style & beauty & no battery & actually from the Florida Oviedo Antique Mall, where I paid $25 for it, and I gotta pay another $15 to amazon for batteries/charger. Which may not even work, and I couldn't return it 'cause who knows if it's the battery or the camera? I am jejunely foto-fan outraged. As I have been before, at its 4mp sister model the Z700.

The Z730 did come with a lovely Kodak camera bag, and perhaps it'll fit one of my obviously-hostile EZ scam docks — but it'd still need a battery — and anyway, no such luck; of course the whole point of the EzScam was to make each pitiful camera customer buy a unique proprietary EzScam dock, for every single different camera. Just like the proprietary NiMH batteries. And the special proprietary USB cables. ... That's the poetry & beauty of the silly cameras ... Kodak, Sony, and Olympus style anyway.

... But Lo, battery/charger came, and worked! But a new trick: there're pictures stored in the camera what can probably only be gotten out with ridiculous software/proprietary USB cable. ... And it has a novel breakage: usually the battery door is broken, but in my Z730, the inner battery hold-down plastic clip is defective. Although the battery still works with the door closed, and perhaps the battery clip was just another imaginary feature/excuse for the proprietary battery. And it seems to take sadly too-dark pictures. ... But it has a fancy joystick button! 

So I will put an SD card in, and perhaps figure-out how to extract the inner pictures another day, checking through my proprietary Kodak USB cable stock — oh, of course, my Z700 cable fits, and does nothing, of course. ... The Z730 spat at my 4Gb SDHC, so I used one of my reserved 2Gb stock and it leaped to life. And the pictures weren't too dark. ... And it has real camera fstop/shutter speeds! Be still my foto fan heart. ... But I believe the clock will fail every time I remove the SD card — the better to con you into getting the full package EZScam dock/cable.

... Really the Z700 is a better scam camera: it's cuter — apparently the additional megapixel in the Z730 takes up space. And of course the Z700 uses AA batteries instead of the scam rechargeable, and the NiMH AAs seem to work OK, at least it just lit up. ... I.e., the Z700 can be used like a normal camera without worshipping the now-antique Kodak EZScam.


1/11/18. My cornucopia seems to be rusting here, with a useless software-based 4/00 VGA Afga Ephoto CL18. By "software-based" I mean it'll never work for more than about 15 minutes, as Usux™ fiddles with their beloved operating systems, in this case XP. ... And it was actually rusting, or corroding anyway, in the usual batteries-left-in-forever scenario, but I'm becoming quite expert in dremelling / DeOxiting that stuff off....

But I will not turn my head away in despair — oh no! Just because it doesn't work in Windows 7 or vbox xp, that is not the end. I can creep over to my actual Dell XP laptop, what I got so I could see my beloved Oxford English Dictionary CD again — which wasn't worth it, the miniscule-printing dead-tree rendition / giant magnifier with which it came is textually superior, and actually usable with an unencumbered table and a very bright light. ... But surely my CL18 will come to life again. ... And oh yes, "software-based" also means they didn't invent/couldn't afford eeprom, and so, when the battery runs out, the pictures are gone, bringing a sort-of super reality back to picture taking; I'm surprised the photo gurus haven't taken it up....

Ok, now I'm turning my head away in despair. The best virtual box Win98 tutorial I could find on the web had no stinkin' USB. ... But the marvelous CL18 was only $3! And it came with a precious little leather case! 

It's Got EEPROM!

But stop, oh gloomy one — it's not the camera we seek, it's the silly. ... Like this <= beautiful 1999? D-Link DSC-350 with extremely corroded batteries. But it has a dlink web page, kind-of, with an XP driver! ... It doesn't work of course, but because it came with a manual, I finally realized I'm supposed to use a Twain driver, i.e. find the silly pictures in a paint program, of which I have an endless supply. Which doesn't work. But it might in XP; windows 7 warned me furiously against the installation. ... And I have misjudged these cameras; they do have eeprom or something, since they seem to remember the picture count even after I removed the batteries for a few hours....

Towering Triumph! I have "imported" two ridiculously-blurry images from the DSC350 to the XP laptop! ... The world erupts in wild acclaim. ... And a bunch from the wretched CL18 — 30! ... Eeprom stuffed indeed — pix of friends / some bar, and two pictures I took. 

... And despite appearances, I have learned something here: that the vbox xp usb doesn't work like the real thing. Not that the real thing works so great, I gotta plug it in 3 or four times to get it to go. And after all the software struggle, the stupid dsc350 mechanical focus is broken beyond mortal remedy. 

... But don't I have a windows 98 machine rotting in the garage somewhere?


1/14/18. At last I'm getting somewhere, with the next gadget out of the wanderer's milk crate, the beautiful stridently foto-fan 12/00! 2mp Olympus C-2100 Ultra-Zoom (10x), stabilized! For which I paid a measly $20 as it says on a sticker on the bottom. ... And it takes nice pictures. ... It uses Olympus' scammy proprietary ridiculous StupidMedia, a supply of which I have carefully maintained, and there is an intermittent broken pixel column, oddly in both the evf — which the camera gratifyingly defaults to — and the LCD screen on the back. But not, so far, in the pictures. And apparently, although I haven't tried, it can take giant "raw" TIF files, which'll be challenging in the tiny 8Mb Olympus scam film in my inventory — although then I realized I've got the super-size 16Mb which, the camera informs me, will take 31 jpgs in its blank state — or two TIFs, as a chart in the manual says. So I'll get a $30 64Mb StupidMedia card, and then I can take eight! ... But it uses good ol' AA batteries; Olympus concentrated on the their film scam as their preferred customer-screwing technology....

Naturally I am reluctant to take the tumescent object out into the bright world but, depending on foto fan dedication/delusion, it might've been just the ticket in those halcyon days. ... It had better've been, @ ~$900 — $1,136.72 in real money, and a good ways towards its initial retail $1,300.

A 35mm Doppleganger

In celebration of my endless folly, I must mention the 1993! Olympus IS-3DLX 35mm, what I accidentally bought for $19, 'cause it looked so much like the C2100, and its film door was hidden. But it explains the ridiculous phallic zoom of the C2100 — I mean, it got me — & google books has the IS-3DLX from 1993 to 1999, with numerous full or 2-page ads and the usual ridiculous puffy "reviews", so it was definitely a player. ... And it must be noted that the IS-3DLX was bigger and, in its day, cheaper than the C2100....

... I know what! To heck with my vivitar or the amusing Kodak! I'll use my refrigerated 35mm film with the IS3DLX! I'll take automatic 35mm pictures, and maybe with the automatic gadgetry I'll actually expose something, as opposed to mailing-in a completely blank roll, my most recent 35mm accomplishment so many years or decades ago. ... On the dark side, I'll have to read the manual — one of the puffy reviews warned me. ... And I can look forward to scurilous obloquy hurled from lesser poseurs, who shoot 35mm film with expen$ive interchangeable-lens SLRs or at least Nikon Rangefinders, which we authentic working-class obsolete foto fans will snootily deride in our turn....

And oh see <= the price! Of course that's in '99 dollars with the dubious "kit", but I especially like the ridiculous add-on telephoto lens, showing that the back-page photo ads have always been a proud bastion of fraudulent mediocrity — well, even more than the editorial side — the IS-3DLX is a point 'n' shoot, of course, and can't take no stinkin' lenses. ... But I'm confident they would've sold it to you anyway.....