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 in the days of my innocent youth I knew there was something inherently funny about Kodak 35mm cameras, and the lustre has not dimmed. And this one in particular: all the real-foto-fan markings around the lens in different colors — it takes the breath away! ... If I ever took another 35mm picture — and I have more than one roll of film, lurking in the refrigerator — I was planning on using my own historic vivitar ... but who knows? This might be stupider....


Others:   DSLR   (used canons)   Silly Cameras I & II & IV  Olympus C-2100     is-3dlx 35mm!   Z2    X5    Zoom?    S3     SX10     S5     CMOS/CCD     DPReview      Nikon D80      Kodak C340 


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 camera's 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 my "software-based" condemnation was bogus: 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? ... As it turned-out, no....


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 curated, and there's 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.

Memories

And in an uncharacteristic defense of Olympus' scammy stupidmedia, I think the IS3DLX (below) kind-of demonstrates Olympus' perception of the C2100's chief competition: 35mm film. ... Most buyers'd probably think digital-film's immediate proofing/deletion with the LCD, + reusability,  were clinching features. The C2100's 2mp resolution was more-or-less common to their digital competition,  as was the low picture capacity. In 1999, PC Magazine recorded the highest capacity of SmartMedia at 32Mb @ $100, CompactFlash, 96Mb @$230 — so dollar-for-dollar the stuff was comparable, if one ignores the inevitably lower reliability of stupidmedia and its obviously murky future, since it would never scale to higher capacities like CF.

Olympus IS-3DLX: A 35mm C-2100 Doppleganger

In celebration of my endless folly, here's 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 — apparently sold by the same guy at the Oviedo junk store. ... 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 two-page ads and the usual ridiculous presumably paid-for puffery "reviews", so it was definitely a player. Doubtless Olympus was doing their best to get their smitten fans to go digital, with a gadget that looked just like the beloved IS-3DLX. ... Which was bigger and, in its day, cheaper than the C2100

Empty Film, Blank Pix

... I know what! To heck with my vivitar or the amusing Kodak! I'll use my refrigerated 35mm film with the IS-3DLX! 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 which was my most recent 35mm accomplishment so many years or decades ago. ... On the dark side, I'll have to read the manual — the puffy review warned me to. ... But I can look forward to scurilous obloquy hurled from lesser poseurs, who shoot 35mm film with expen$ive interchangeable-lens SLRs or at least Rangefinders, which we authentic working-class obsolete foto film 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. ... But Ah-Ha he laughed with a sense the world was mad! — I lie! ... There is a B-300 adapter, shown on page 98 of the PDF manual, what produces "1.7X" it says right there in black & white! ... Ah, me of little faith....

35mm Pictures

4/2/18. Finally, inspired by my D80 shame & confusion, at last I loaded some film into the IS-3DLX. It wasn't easy-peasy — always, they lie! ... However after I managed to get it more-or-less the way the manual showed and closed the door, it whirred with joyous motor noises, and when I turned it on, there instead of "E" it said "1". Which is definitely beyond my previous 35mm experience. ... Well naturally as far as I recall....

And I took a picture! And now it says "2". Of course I won't know what the pictures look like for weeks if not years, depending on when/if I take more pictures. I'm using ASA400 35mm film, probably not terribly out-dated, and it looks like it knows that — but it won't say. When I pointed it at the gloomy unlighted camera collection, it balked until I opened the flash, but then it went forth flashing. ... It's supposedly autofocus, but no image stabilization, so probably all the pictures'll be jiggly, whenever at last they are seen, in months, or years....

9/27/18. And at last I took picture #24, and the camera rewound the film! ... All by itself, without question or answer. And so I popped the film canniaster into a DarkRoom envelope with a genuine printed check for $21, and sent it off into the empyrean blue of the USPS, and I figure it's 50/50 I get it back with not-totally-unusable pix....

10/6/18. The film returned. Just as I remembered: all washed-out. And greenish. The DarkRoom included a glossy "proof sheet" with miniature versions of the pictures which were obviously color-tarted, and indeed I could make them look just as good with a stroke of PSP9's "one step photo fix", color-balanced 'n' everything. No doubt I was using outdoor film indoors or something. ... I doubt the film revolution will gather much steam this way; the money alone would stop most normal people, and the digital route is so much cheaper, easier, & better. And SD cards don't have outdoor/indoor flavors. Although of course washed-out funny colored pictures are also part of the digital scene (expert mumbles something about "white balance"), and can get fixed that same way. ... But anyway, I have seen the past, once again — in washed-out greenish color....

Film & Rangefinder ▄ber Alles!

And now that we're in a filmic kind-of mood, be sure to check out https://kenrockwell.com/tech/real-raw.htm: not only is he totally ridiculously pro-film, he also regards the Leica M-3 rangefinder as the most perfect camera in all creation, past & future, world without end — and to be sure, he is not alone. But on the other hand, it all depends on the worship of super giant prints, i.e. 30' wide. The usual medium for all these cameras, film & digital was, at best, large-format magazines like Life in its heyday, printed on fairly nice glossy paper, but hardly 30' wide. So no matter what fabulous resolution you can get, you're limited to the magazine's....

The rangefinders apparently introduced a "split image" focus thing that works with wonderful accuracy, which doubtless was a major factor in their adoption by professionals, but the auto-focus of our space-age electronic cameras including my IS-3DLX, while probably not as super-accurate, is also probably easier/more reliable. Which of course is why the dwindling tribe of professionals all but universally use the digital stuff today. ... Also because, as opposed to film, digital images are tattletales about what camera they were taken on, so the customer can tell if the pro's using the right $tuff and be correspondingly scornful otherwise — without any necessity for visual acuity....


1/19/18. A flawlessly cute 2/06 4mp 3x zoom Nikon Coolpix L4 has no viewfinder and is therefore scorned by the knowledgable obsolete camera foto fan — although it fits right into my attic camera-buying habits, starting with the beloved coolpix 2000. ... But it seems a little unsuited for such duty: when I take a flash picture it's out-of-focus. Seemingly to make provision for this talent, it detects that the picture is out of focus, says so, and offers me the chance to delete it; which I do. ... Very handy, if a little puzzling.

... Oh silly; the flash was off! Works much better when set to "auto". Of course the little cryptic icons on the screen aren't much help. Its 128Mb kodak SD card came with three antique-store pictures, out of focus, so I will blame them for the fault. And the thing is sort-of in the middle of my previous 2002 and 2010 cute Nikons, justifying its membership in the silly camera collection....


1/20/18. The penultimate cornucopia treasure is a $26 9/04 4mp 10x zoom Konica Minolta Dimage Z2, $450 in the day says PC Magazine; but $310 @ Broadway Photo. ... But I couldn't figure-out how to raise the flash like the beautiful picture. ... The manual says "to use the ... flash, simply raise it". Thus instructed, I eventually discovered I had to tilt it up using the right or left sides; the front was no good, since it's not part of the tilt-up fixture — as I could've seen with ease, from the picture.

... I am sometimes amazed at the clever conveniences / features offered in my next silly camera, often never to be seen again. This one's got a prominent 3-position dial around the power button on the back, what selects the EVF or the LCD. #3 is the international green playback symbol, which doesn't actually seem to do anything, at least reliably. ... As a special treat, when it selects the EVF a magical shutter covers the LCD inside the transparent case plastic, with a thrilling shuttery noise (but see below) — perhaps to make-up for the missing similar feature that many silly cameras have on the lens, which our Z2 lacks. I could do without the LCD shutter, but the easy-switch EVF/LCD feature is something I always want, since only primitive savages use the LCD to take pictures (except in my attic). ... And the international green playback feature worked when I switched from #1 to #3 with power on. Perhaps realizing this was a problem, the camera has an additional playback button, marked intuitively "QV/trash"; below that button is the "i+" button which of course alters stuff in the display. 

Mysterious Shiny Mirror

I've completely misunderstood the "EVF" says the 6/22/04 PC Magazine: the Z2's "Switch Finder system uses mirrors to move the LCD image between the rear panel and the viewfinder". So my admired dial turns-out to be a necessity. ... And perhaps the Z2 dims the display for the viewfinder version so it won't use-up the batteries in a few minutes. ... And see how the feature eerily echoes the totally-ridiculous DSLR mirror? It's like Minolta figured it would borrow some of the shiny magic. 

Like some other silly cameras, most recently the sx30, it has a hidden flash shoe, accessed by removing, with some difficulty, a plastic cover. Unlike the sx30, the Z2 didn't come with a ridiculous little leather case for the plastic cover. ... But not to worry; it only works with proprietary minolta flash units. ... So PC Magazine seemed generally unenthusiastic, but of course they didn't pay a bargain $26. And their complaints about too light/dark seem so crude, since I can't imagine using a digital camera without a paint program, which easily corrects such mishaps — although millions of techno-peasants tragically did without. I found the dimage's occasional unhappy autofocus more annoying....

So then, because it wasn't silly-enough yet perhaps, I figured I'd get it a lens cap, but amazon had nonesuch. They did, however, have a 52mm adapter for $10, so I can use my idiotic wide-angle / telephoto / etc. toys with the Z2!


1/23/18. The final cornucopia offering is the 10/10? 14mp 15x zoom stabilized GE X5, truly a uniquity in the silly camera collection. ... It is for some reason scorned by the digitally-enthused community — dpreview is mute — well actually when I searched harder, there's some positive chitter in the forums, remarking on the ridiculous $130/$140 low price. But such institutional neglect makes it all the better from my point of view, and it gets 4/5 stars in 205 reviews at amazon, largely, to be sure, because it's so cheap. ... Ridiculously inexpensive compared to the going tariff @ 2010-12 — my 2009 sx20 was probably ~$400 in its day. And my x5 was $30 at the junk store, and worth every penny. 

The low price was probably a drastic discount, in honor of the X5's exactly-wrong release timing in the season of the iphone. ... And, because of shoddy manufacture no doubt — the chitterers suggest it's really a Fuji camera — the lens cap falls off. Another X5 failure is it defaults to the LCD, and I have to switch it to the EVF every power-on so I won't drain the batteries in a few minutes. ... Nevertheless, I think it a thing of beauty, obvious competition for my other 14mp camera, the (broken) Canon sx30. The X5's cuter, and uses the obviously preferable AA rechargeables instead of the sx30's proprietary thing — which was probably Canon's regrettable reaction to the iphone meteor.

Zoom?

I was going to say these ridiculous zooms, like the sx30's 35x, are just silly — but then I took what seemed an adequate maximum zoom X5 picture, so I suppose they're kinda kuel. ... But really, when examined on the big screen, the zoomed pic was out of focus. ... But to my late-in-life amazement, it works outdoors, the typical snapshotter's area of concentration, and where zooms can come out fine. So ridiculous handheld zoom is OK — outdoors. ... And of course it also works great indoors, if the ignorant foto fan can remember to turn-on the flash: the zoomers are apparently designed to zoom good with it, to my na´ve startlement.... 

An outdoor example sprang to hand, a beautiful handheld sx20 picture <= of tiny invisible fish in the local water feature: maximum zoom, and then treated with the magic of digital necromancy, without which it was a bunch of greyish-yellow fish in greyish-yellow water. ... From the same day, another Florida fauna =>, also 20x sx20. ... These pix without flash of course.

... More X5 Faults

The X5's falling-off lens cap? It's a feature — it popped right off when I zoomed the thing! ... 'Though I've treated it with layers of painter's blue masking tape, so it won't fall-off so easy ... I hope. ... And I've since realized that it was a competitive market feature, and both the Canon s3 and s2 have genuine Canon falling-off lens caps so, as I've learned, I don't have to take the stupid things off. ... Later cameras changed to the cherish-the-holy-lens flavor — probably because it was annoying when the falling-off caps fell-off so reliably at other times. ... Perhaps I'll deploy my S3 fix....

But I could hear the X5 stabilizing/focusing as it industriously twitches at its work; maybe there's a setting — turning-off "continuous auto focus" seemed to do the trick. Which, to be sure, I've done with a Canon or two....

I must conclude, however, that the X5's default burning-bright LCD is a real handicap, and would stop me from taking the thing anywhere because everytime I wanted a picture I'd have to fumble with the stupid evf/lcd button, which is a time-consuming annoyance when one is just trying to memoralize some pointless moment....

Emblematic

My cute X5 provides its own miniature panoramic view of the whole silly camera world, as it arrived at just past the peak, and was despised by the digerati for its unforgivably low discount price. A few web sites "review" the X5 as completely utterly too-cheap junk spit spit, but mostly, like dpreview, just ignored it. ... But, as usual, the pictures the adorable little machine makes can only be distinguished from today's latest digital magic by special experts with special qualification$, most importantly an overwhelming intere$t in the outcome. And/or of course the ability to read the identifying EXIF info in the picture....

The Final Frenzy

And so the grand 2017 silly camera frenzy comes to a gratifying & exemplary close; I can almost hear the affirmation music welling-up in the background. ... But I cannot give-up the quest; my mysterious GE X5 only emphasizes that there are even sillier cameras out there, yet to be found, exalted, & ridiculed....


1/27/18. Moving on from the cornucopic plenty of the fall frenzy, I bought a $40 (amazon used) 3/06 Canon PowerShot Pro S3 IS 6mp 12x zoom, on the obvious theory that, if the 2010 sx30 wasn't as much fun as the 2009 sx20, maybe the 2006 model'd be more? ... This without noticing I already owned the 2005 s2; but whatever, I'm confident this'll work-out good. And there're presumably a few powershots left, to fill-in any chinks I may've overlooked. ... And all that megapixels stuff is just such nonsense....

Crummy Pixels?

Tragically the pixels were crummy: there was a noticeable "grain", unevenness from pixel-to-pixel. I mean, I actually noticed it without looking for it! .... Digital pictures all appear "pixelated" at high-enough magnification, which is easily achieved in most paint programs i.e. 100% or 200%. When I pitifully examined the S3 pictures, neighboring pixels that should've been the same color weren't. And I suffered the agony of Bad Camera Depression, wailing to the empty ceiling of my pain & sorrow. ... For a while I thought I had discovered the secret source of the silly camera mystery river — why exactly all the newer cameras have to co$t so much — because, of course, the old technology pixels were so ugly, and somehow I had just never noticed. 

... But it wasn't so; with my super-attentive silly camera insider expertise, I realized it looked like the dreaded high ISO! And I examined a picture with some endlessly-obscure feature of the exciting and confusing XN-MP, and indeed it said it was taken at ISO 800, which is way high, at least for a 2006 camera. As it turned-out, the classic too-many-buttons syndrome was at fault, specifically the centrally-located "ISO" button I undoubtedly pushed by accident, evidenced by the "ISO HI" indicator in the viewfinder which went away when I pressed it again. ... So I was just taking art pictures, nothing to see here....

grams (with batteries)

canon 450d/XSi

750
sx10 691
sx20 635
sx30 623

s3

546

a650

405
a1200 166

Weights and Measures

The thing is 89 grams lighter than the sx20, presumbly those 6 megapixels what the S3 isn't burdened-with. But as can be seen in the incredibly informative chart =>, that puts the S3 only in the middle of my silly camera annoyance range, with the gossamer 12mp a1200 taking the prize....

So the amazon seller (Warehouse Deals, Inc.) thoughtfully included a 16Mb (tiny) SD card, two alkaline AAs — the camera of course uses four — and a two-piece genuine Canon LA-DC58E adapter which I thought was just more random debris — but not so, it says right here (at amazon when I searched) it's for the S3 IS, and I would've paid $65 to get it! ... So I'll be able to use my existing 58mm wide-angle/telephotos on the thing! Oh mysteries of joy/confusion. ... And incidentally, the LA-DC58E was also compatible with the s2 and the ~$80 (amazon used) 8mp s5! Which latter I think I can resist, at least for a little while. ... And it turned-out I already had a presumably s3-compatible third-party version of the adapter for the s2. But an extra is always desirable; and this one's a genuine Canon....

Beauty

So once un-HI-ISOed, my S3 takes beautiful pictures, smooth & lovely. The evf fills with exciting icons, including a blowing wind icon which denotes the audio wind filter for stereo sound movies! ... I feel, probably because of some delusional side-effect of the Adventure of the Crummy Pixels, that I've turned a corner, back on the winding road to earlier times and lower pixel counts, back to the days of my pitiful broken 2006 A540 — but, of course, much nicer / cheaper & unbroken, + more zoom....

The S3's Falling-off Lens Cap

It's designed that way — so when I turn the camera on and the lens pokes out, the cap'll fall off "automatically". Or at least that's what it did. I tried using painter's tape to make it a little tighter, but that didn't seem to help much, and it made it ugly. However, a tiny scrap of the fuzzy side of some stick-on velcro stuck on the inside rim (opposite where the lanyard attaches) seemed to do the trick. Now it won't fall-off when I turn it on, which I think I prefer; it doesn't seem to mind much — when I eventually remove the cap it thinks about things a little and eventually extends. I mean I'll probably make a point of taking it off, but it's better on balance than it falling-off when I look at it. ... It should be only the tiniest bit of velcro, or it'll just fall off by itself. I eventually cut my S3 scrap down to 7x4mm. ... Well really it's far from optimal: in particular, it falls off after a while, and tends to leave little blobs of adhesive around. They never get near the lens but some neatniks might be upset....


3/4/18. After the shocking vertical line tragedy with the no-longer-beloved SX30, I quieted my grief by retreating to a 9/08 Canon PowerShot Pro S10 IS 10mp 20x zoomer — the cheapo less-megapixels previous-year version of the beloved sx20, but still $105 at amazon — those antique pixels aren't getting any cheaper — but then again, it was supposedly $400 in the day. ... Well at least I got to salvage the SX30's $11 lens cap. ... And it is, of course, beautiful beyond words, with a few less megapixels than the beloved sx20 to be sure.

... But it is a kind-of wrap-up of my Canon devotions: after the iphone, the digital cameras just got more proprietary/expensive and don't appeal to me, and the DSLRs were always a scam. ... One interesting angle, probably only to me in my ignorance, is the astonishing almost immediate failure of iphone unit sales as compared to the Android, this revelation on the occasion of my historic contemplated switch.

Of course, my pursuit of the wily silly cameras will never cease! ... The junk stores of America still turn-up an occasional sport — the astonishing C-2100 with its 35mm doppleganger for instance — and there are wandering herds of Kodaks yet to be harvested, if I can stand it. ... And the Canons are in such multitudes I will surely get the odd suspect, if it's cheap enough....

And then I went with my sx10 on the wild highway, and discovered of course its batteries needed DeOxiting and/or the  CR1220 date battery replaced, and so I did those things and it will cruise on flawlessly into my 10 megapixel future....


3/19/18. Continuing my endless journey into the past, I paid $70 to the amazon used camera club prime for a 7/07 Canon PowerShot S5is 8mp 12x zoomer, successor to the beloved s3

AA vs Charger

And I see there's still a 2008 10mp 20x SX1 IS with raw! — but no I won't be fooled again: the sx1's got the pernicious proprietary battery/adapter, outstanding taint of scammery. ... The scam was the professional/super-enthusiast wants the rechargeable proprietary approach, because he gets more power than those boring AAs. But the truth is that even my pitiful DSLR had an extra-charge battery grip, a major feature of which was the ability to use AA cells, which can be bought anywhere, and which feature I'm sure was hand-me-downed from all the actual pro junk. The footloose fancy-free amateur enthusiast is even more likely to want the AA capability. ... But there is an S1 I for some reason haven't bought...

CMOS vs CCD

And anyway the sx1 CMOS sensor would probably be broken, like the unspeakably traitorous sx30. ... Poor decaying dpreview has a hard time explaining CMOS sensors, which were obviously cheaper than the previous CCD devices despite being more complex. Only the earliest "EOS" cameras (Canon's high-rent flavor) used CCD according to Canon and dpreview agrees, but admits it was for some reason "difficult" to make the CMOS sensors small-enough for my beloved silly zoomers — a major feature of the EOS sub-brand being larger sensors, some as big as the sacred 35 millimeter for no particular reason other than the marching senility of the typical camera fan-geezer. ... I translate the sensor gobledygook to mean it's easier (aka "more reliable") to manufacture CCD sensors, but CMOS is cheaper, probably particularly in the higher megapixel (aka "delusionally ridiculous") reaches, but it was difficult to make "small-enough" i.e. "cheap-enough" sensors for the lower-rent zoomers. ... Of course I write with the authority of absolute ignorance, but then I'm just trying to keep-up with web culture....

One of the amusing bits in the Canon article is they claim CMOS uses less power — which would be why all the CMOS zoomers get the proprietary battery / charger arrangement$. But they admit the CMOS sensors are "much cheaper to manufacture" which sentiment is otherwise forbidden on the world wild web, including dpreview, involving as it does the obscene must-be-ignored hideously-offensive parameter of price. ... And actually Canon's article is wonderfully informative, demonstrating one of the odd characteristics of commerce I've learned in my tawdry career: the vendor's propaganda is often vastly superior to the pitiful lies & smears of the secondary suck-up retail drones....

The Speechless Beauty of the S5

And it came in a few days, and is charming beyond words, and takes beautiful pictures like all the silly cameras with some minor exceptions. Its successor is the sx10 and as noted there, I seem to be running out of these things and while it is wonderful to have so many golden-age Canon zoomers, perhaps it isn't absolutely necessary to have every single one....



DPreview Decay

3/19/18. So sad. ... Mr. Dpreview jumped ship early '18 to go work for Amazon somewhere, but even before, the enchanting throwback thursday articles dwindled — I've bought more than one cheapo old camera mentioned in those. ... Now another blow: the brand pages, where I used to find my beloved antique Canons and other suspects, has been partitioned into pages — i.e. instead of one giant page — so it's impossible to use the browser search to locate transcendent beauty, like, say, searching the page for "s5". Instead I have to go through page by page, which is nearly useless. Google'll be better. Although it's true I can just go to screen #3 in their assortment which is 2011-2009 and screens 4 (2009-2006) & 5 (2006-2003), and it covers most of my area of interest. ... But via google I get to consume less DPReview advertising, obviously a cunning strategery of the high-minded DPReviewers. 

PDFerry

... I tried PDFfactorying the DPReview Canon pages, which did stick all the pages together (i.e. by printing one after another without exiting PDFfactory); but the browsers have colluded in a grand effort to disable useful PDF printing, so the resulting PDF won't search, because the printing mysteriously became totally graphic at some dark cursÚd update in the past few years. Firefox and chrome and everybody else, 'cause they all use the same stupid wonderfully efficient beautiful stupid junk. ... Probably because some ignorant idiot thought it'd print the web pages better that way. Which it doesn't of course but naturally they can't fix it and put it back the way it was, no matter how many things it broke.

... But Lo! — I've figured-out what internet explorer is for: it prints! ... PDF characters, so I can search the result. ... Ahhhh serene bliss. ... That's the antique IE version 11, in the holy obsolete-of-course Windows version 7, but even the up-to-date Edge'll do it too — by now, everyone knows Edge is pretty-much broken out the kazoo, but it does print searchable PDFs, if you manage to load the page(s). And IE11's a little better now than it used to be, obsolete 'n' all, but Usux™ restraint-of-traded it verboten in Win10 so you will kiss the whip and everyone will instead use Chrome or Firefox or the no-doubt-admirable & execrable Brave — but no, not so! I discovered — oh happy day! — that internet explorer is already installed on my three pitiful Win10 machines, despite Usux™'s wacko whinings about Edge! ... Just lurking in there, so I can use a more-or-less working — as much as anything Usux™ ever works — browser, and print searchable PDFs! ... Well really IE barely functions; it wallows in the java scripts, sometimes to utter stillness. But edge'd still do it, although it in general scorns functionality. And as a bonus, the resulting ie/edge PDFs are much smaller; no wonder all the FOSS guys wanted to graphics 'em up: it's annoying and inefficient! 

So I PDFfactoried my searchable dpreview canon page in IE11 — and integrated the result into my "dpreview.bat" file, which used to pop-up the canon brand page when I'd go "dpreview canon" — and now, does again, in one single glorious searchable PDF! ... I don't of course have to worry about updating the canon PDF as the years roll on, because I don't plan on buying any $1K cameras. ... But PDFfactory doesn't retain the links, presumably because it isn't Tuesday or who knows, so I can't click to the silly DPReview puffs & etc.. ... So really, the DPReview cut-up rendition of the page is better, but the PDF's obviously better for searching. ... But thanks, DPReview, for making it all so interesting....

And then again, perhaps ol' kindly befuddled DPReview's just stumbling in the haze, just trying to make things "easier". ... They can't be trying to prevent poor ignorant geezers like myself from finding old obviously-superior and much cheaper cameras — no, no, that could never be....

Review$

And while I'm blathering condemnatory bile, I should note that all "reviews" — aka "paid-for puffery" — will never reveal anything wrong about a product, so long as advertising dollar$ shall flow and aren't silenced by the glorious socialist revolution occurring just as soon as President Hilary can arrange it. ... DPReview is hardly the worst monster, but they do not shine with beauty either. On the positive side in an alternate dimension they will betray product defects, but then, on the other side of the web page completely forget those nasty blemishes in the "review" aka adverti$ing puffery for the sponsors, which are all but universally celebratory. The occasional "bad" review is just to convince the marks the table isn't crooked, and there's an art to scaling reviews so the most super expen$ive products get the most astonishing very best reviews, and the cheaper ones are appropriately dissed, in minor harmless ways ... although with the price$ of 2018 camera$, the scale is bound to be getting $trained....

Softly, Beauty...

And of course I don't want to leave the impression I'm like an ignorant DPReview comment, so many of which rail at the site for their obvious perfidy. ... No, I'm not that stupid. If DPReview did not lie so much, there would be no beautiful fulsome celebrations of the beloved intricate ridiculous digital cameras, and we'd all be sadder, and only marginally wiser....


The Automatic Darkness of the Nikon D80

3/26/18. Moving on, I recklessly splurged $190 on a costly and defectively designed amazon (used of course) 9/06 Nikon DSLR D80 10mp 7.5x zoomer. ... I imagine it was Nikon's attempt to lure over the Canon zoomerati with a real DSLR with zoom, perhaps also to make-up for its obvious defect — but it turns out the previous model D70 had the same lens kit at $1,299, the same presumably retail price as the D80 in the 11/06 Popular Photography — and, who knows?, maybe the same or some even more obvious defect(s). ... Anyway that's why I was tempted — not the secret omerta-protected defect of course, but the zoom, + the boundless glory of owning two obsolete DSLRs. 

Cheap Zoom

And it's not really a zoomer — that's just trash talk — I merely stumbled on the amazon listing for the zoomerier-than-thou 7.5x 18-135mm "kit". And that 7.5x is nothing compared to my also-2006-vintage 12x zoom S3, for instance, but it was probably zoomier than most of the 2006 DSLR kits. ... And after the dust cleared, it's still one of the cheapest DSLR zooms I've found, ever. ... And then I saw a contemporary (5/18) cheapo $500 offer for a Nikon with two lenses, including the stockish 3x 18-55mm + a 4x 70-300mm "long" — together, they almost make up a pitiful zoomer — so I guess this has been a constant exciting competitive factor in the cutting-edge enthusiast cheapo ridiculous DSLR market....

Anyway, as befits a super enthusiast luxury camera the D80's got a pentaprism viewfinder, not a tacky amateur-night cheapo pentamirror thing like my pitiful (but non-defective) Canon DSLR — the D80 will be so bright and brilliant and obviously superior! ... I anticipate retrospective snootiness like the sun! (In the event of course they're totally indistinguishable.)

... But it doesn't have image stabilization — although I used it for a week or two without noticing and, I belatedly realized, many of my beloved antique Canons also have it not, including my ur A540, broken or working; it's mostly the zoomer herd that's stabilized; of course. And the Canon DSLR. ... And then, as I spiraled around fotofan remorse & despair, I learned its LCD display can't be rotated to keep it out of trouble, and presumably that's why it originally came with an ugly plastic LCD protective gadget, but even if that's missing, there are $15 replacements @ amazon. (My Canon DSLR's LCD doesn't rotate either, but it's hard.) ... And then again, at least the D80's not one of those 3-minute battery life jobs — it was just too young to have the unspeakably-desirable battery-destroying live view! ... And there are ~$35 D80 battery grips! ... Oh be still my heart! — at last, @ the advent, it is equipped with the LCD shield, and the proprietary battery charger blinks its orange LED for an hour & 40'. ... Tomorrow: mounting the zoom lens....

Shadow & Sunlight: the hermetic knowledge of the ascendant fotofan

Oh the transcendent beauty! ... Oh the dark AUTO pictures! ... A moment's googling "nikon d80 too dark" and I found a 2007 colloquy at dpreview where in joyous internet trollery the snoots derided a newbie whose AUTO pictures were just like mine. ... The gloom disease is doubtless partly the darkness of the macintosh, but there were numerous idiotic solutions, except the right one: the newbie asked "is the auto feature useless with this camera?", and the correct answer is "Yes", at least used as designed and described in the manual and other D80 puffery. ... But, as the helpful expert snootsplained, the D80 is better than a crummy point 'n' shoot, 'cause the D80's "AUTO" mode is less automatic, and you have to set the ISO to get adequately-exposed pictures. ... This isn't even wrong; it's obvious Nikon screwed it up, but behold how my pitiful silly camera world is illuminated, so to speak, by arrogant fanboy insiderism: I could've labored under the unbearable suspicion that my 12-year-old artifact's AUTO setting was broken! ... But no, everything's OK; it's broken all right, but comes that way, via good ol' incompetent design, like half the stuff in the land of the free....

As if it were the most obvious thing in the world, the knowledgable enthusiast explained of course you gotta set up your ISO there a little higher, feller! ... The manual, tragically, has nothing about this supposed/dubious requirement of the camera's "AUTO" mode. On page 20 there's a chart about the default settings in AUTO =>, which says nothing about ISO, although the illustration shows "ISO AUTO" in the top LCD display, directly contradicting the incredibly knowledgable expert. There are further murmurings in the manual on the wily ISO, but nothing even remotely hints one would need to use a higher or any ISO setting for the camera's AUTO mode. When I try setting ISO with my beloved and obviously superior Canon DSLR in its AUTO mode, it complains "not in this mode" or something ... but of course it's got two years on the Nikon, and competent design. 

Eventually I got to the manual page 43 "ISO Sensitivity", where it explains that various modes including AUTO "offer an Auto setting that allows the camera to set ISO sensitivity automatically in response to lighting conditions. The default setting for [auto modes] is Auto". Notice it doesn't say it will set lighting correctly; the term "allows" suggesting regrettable vagueness. ... And indeed, the fact that adjusting ISO is in a section covering "All Modes" (says the manual) pretty much certifies how broken the AUTO modes are. ... Finally, in the page 58 "Custom Setting", "7: ISO Auto (P, S, A, and M Modes Only)" the "A" stands for "Aperture priority", not AUTO — but wait! ... the saga continues below....

Brightness & Light

Anyway, doing as the colloquy expert suggested did "cure" the dark AUTO pictures as the expert's example images demonstrated, although he averred that otherwise he hadn't used the shameful AUTO mode in 5 million years, imperiling as it would his immortal expertise. The other snoots' stupid wrong answers like "the meter is keeping you from blowing out the highlights" were just standard internettery, total ignorance expressed as dogma. But to offer an egregiously stupid right answer is truly inspiring. ... So the expert's suggested 200 ISO made my AUTO pictures brighter, but not enough. Of course the expert lit-up his test scene like the sun. So I set my ISO @ 400, more appropriate to my whole-house man-cave, and now my D80 AUTO pix are bright 'n' brilliant — thank you, incredibly knowledgable fanboy enthusiast. And no doubt one would have to reduce the ISO to use the AUTO mode in bright sunlight — well, no. Indeed in bright sunlight + shadows with the camera's broken AUTO mode I tried ISOs of 100, AUTO, and 400, and they all produced the same (usable) overexposed clipped highlights, both in the D80 LCD and rawtherapee. My tragic original dark 'n' gloomy AUTO-ISO pix — i.e., in normal indoor light — certainly didn't clip any highlights; however they show lotsa clipped shadow and a pitiful histogram =>.

... I assume this anti "AUTO" didn't do anything nice for D80 sales, although it would of course be mentioned in no review or magazine or online or anywhere, but people would've returned the thing when it took dark AUTO pictures 'round the xmas tree — we're talking ≥$1K here — and many probably wouldn't've been satisfied with the set-the-ISO excuse, if that was even known by the crack steeped-in-fraud-&-ignorance typical camera salesthing. ... Which is presumably the secret of how Canon dominates the market — with fewer stupid mistakes (although...).The newbie at the colloquy had thrown his D80 in a closet last xmas, so he was out of luck — and may have very well, like me, refused to buy any camera for years & years, thus assisting @ the obsequies of the beloved & totally-pointless DSLR.

Buttons

I did have a bad moment when I forgot to put the SD card back. The Nikon showed an informative "- E -" in the top LCD, and wouldn't take pictures of course. ... Then, the D80 firmware download page had instructions for finding the current firmware version which didn't work: "Press the MENU button and select Firmware version from the setup menu" it says, but there was nonesuch. Fortunately, googling further for "d80 settings firmware version" turned-up the european site which actually explained how to ascertain the current firmware version (you must "select Full for the CSM/Setup menu option in the setup menu" first), and so I did, and my beloved D80 is already all updated, and the amazing broken AUTO is indeed the best they could do — the updates probably included the dubious ISO-in-AUTO capability, to fix the bolixed AUTO darkness so the camera was at least usable in AUTO. I suppose the damage was such that Nikon just moved on to the next model number, the D80 having earned an irreparably bad reputation amongst us ignorant newbies....

And it's perfectly true I still can't figure-out how the thing works — there are numerous buttons, and I push something, for instance what I thought was exposure compensation (), and who knows what happened? I did actually get somewhere, whirling a dial, but had to guess the indicator was in the top LCD. And when I was through, I had somehow enabled repeat exposure. ... But I haven't really gotten simpatico with the Canon DSLR either, presumably the too-many-buttons syndrome also. But I did years and hundreds of slides with my beloved film Vivitar SLR without many major injuries — just too-cheap buttonlessness I suppose....

But I have derived a cornucopia of innocent amusement reading about the Canon DSLR; so I got a D80 book. ... Except the D80 books are scarce — no dummies book! The D70 and the D90 have a much better selection, surprise surprise. ... But I got a likely suspect and, as I did with the Canon, printed out the Nikon PDF manual, requiring a new toner cartridge and much hole punching. But already I am amazed at the things I find in there. Like there's a whole 'nother dial on the front! Who knew? ... And by golly, the Canon's got one of those too! ... However I was inspired to ascertain how to get at least one zoomer — my beloved S3 — operating in manual — well, sort-of; it also has those dratted buttons — so it's all good. ... And to further atone for my pitiful D80 sins, I'm tried to riddle the 35mm is3dlx! That'ull learn me....

My D80 book was of the low-rent Magic Lantern flavor, with crummy black & white illustrations and it was missing its "Bonus Quick Reference Wallet Card Inside", presumably appropriated by the previous owner. Amusingly, all the informative b&w photographs were underexposedMagic Lantern indeed. ... So I bought a color used Digital Field Guide for $8.25 — which turned-out to be worse than the Magic Lantern and the manual. But lovely color pictures. ...  And once again, as with the Canon DSLR books, I am amazed at what the innocent hobbyist was supposed to go through to have fun....

Magic Lantern ISO

When I got to the Magic Lantern rendition of Custom Setting 7, it didn't mention it not working in the camera's AUTO mode. So I went and set the D80 AUTO sensitivity back to AUTO, and then I tried CS 7 — which the D80 refused to alter in the camera's AUTO mode; I had to shift the mode wheel to "P" before it'd let me set the AUTO ISO function to ON. Then I switched the mode wheel back to "AUTO" and the resulting pictures were brighter in my totally-unreliable off-the-cuff estimate. Although the histogram is still pitiful. ... The Magic Lantern expert insisted that running the camera this way is horribly wrong and he's probably right, since the ISO indicator just flashes AUTO whatever I set it to, so I set everything back and who cares. 

... And all the D80s were delivered broken — that I can set ISO in the camera's supposed AUTO mode is obviously broken, and the colloquy confirms it. Although it's true, the beloved Canon S3 zoomer has a special high ISO mode it did when I (accidentally) pressed the ISO button in AUTO. ... And like all the beautiful magical digital cameras, the D80 shows the pictures — the original much-too-dark ones & the later 400 ISO ones & today's magical mystery wrangled-AUTOall show-up bright and peppy in the camera's LCD. ... And, to be sure, will be perfectly lovely when treated with PC software like my beloved one-step photo fix — which is the real dirty little secret of all these magic boxes — the things don't work good unless you own a PC and software, and know how to use it, which of course makes the pitiful AUTO-seeking fotofan scream in terror ... so the manufacturers dutifully lie about it, and include features like the D80's ridiculous touch-up menu, where you can laboriously mutilate your pictures in the camera without any stinkin' PC. ... Of course the foto floggers did the same thing in the days of film, which had comparable/mysterious failure rates/modes, and I'm still looking-forward in fear & trembling to my latter-day automatic 35mm experiment's glorious outcome....

Nikon Software

Eventually I got around to getting some Nikon free software. It installed about 37 services/resident programs which I of course disabled in my trusty autoruns, so maybe the stuff won't work at all now but no great loss — I've always got the free rawtherapee or my beloved PSPX. ... But the Nikon browser thing seems almost copacetic; the "Picture Control Utility 2" looks wildly useless, in my professional snap judgment — but apparently I'm supposed to hook-up the D80 with a USB cable to get it going good. And, presumably, that AC adapter....

In today's exciting DSLR competitive frenzy, DPReview reports Nikon is pulling ahead, as the industry stumbles into the dark future. ... And I should note that the DPReview throwback thursday article is — gasp! — totally enthusiastic about the D80 — some of the commenters are cranky about this or that super insider photo-meister feature/aspect, but broken AUTO? ... Never heard of it....

And so I bought my precious cranky D80 a $35 Neewer battery grip, 'cause it was so forlorn in the corner. ... I mean, the whole thing's ridiculous, all the DSLRs, but the broken AUTO mode doesn't really impede a seasoned enthusiast like myself — although of course it was annoying, creating that all-important bad first impression which I doubtless share with so many so many years ago — but now I'll be able to use my vast horde of NiMH AAs with the D80. ... Shockingly, the D80 doesn't have the surpassingly-cute little storage slot in the grip in which to put the battery door, which must be removed to install the grip. Which enchanting feature of course the Canon DSLR provides. ... However, the D80 looks wondrously massive and monstrously official with its giant grip, marred somewhat by my cardboard cradle to keep it from toppling over, with its giant zoom and all....

Looking Back

I realized I now have two broken cameras in the silly collection with complementary faults, both of the same price & year more-or-less, ~$200 & ~2006 (bought in different decades to be sure): my beloved Canon A540 what I got new and which came with a broken manual mode, but took pretty-good AUTO pictures for quite a while; and now my beloved 2006 Nikon D80 which in its turn has an obviously broken AUTO mode. Of course, other A540s weren't broken, and all the D80s were; but still — poetical, idn't it?

... And then after weeks of pointless merriment I realized I'd started off with this ridiculous machine via a letter in the Brit Nikon puffery mag NPhoto. Someone gave the letter writer an old unwanted "Nikon D80 with its 18-135mm lens", and so another silly legend began. ... & a tip 'n' trick: I can tell when my $23 AC adapter is working — I hope — 'cause the battery icon disappears from the top LCD....


Fri 4/13/18. For the D80's competition, we have the 2/05 Kodak EasyShare C340 5mp which also produces dark pictures! ... By "easyshare" Kodak means of course "you will pay through the nose to use our proprietary junk" but really only if you can't figure-out how to see the SD card in your PC — that is, Kodak is like all the edifying camera industry players everywhere, and punishes the weak & ignorant. Olympus & Sony were far worse, & probably still are. ... Dpreview says the C340 was $450 although today it's down to $10 used....

I got it at ebay for $27 with a useless ezshare printer. I am not unacquainted with easy share scammery, but nevertheless I learned something: not only did Kodak contrive a different dock/printer every three months so you'd have to get a new one if you were foolish enough to get another Kodak, but the ink and paper were, of course, proprietary! ... I slap my forehead in astounded amazement at my ignorant innocence — of course they were! ... Why are we alive in this beautiful vale of tears, if not to scam our customers with proprietary junk!?!?! ... Ahhh ... the beauty....

The C340 might fit the printer dock, but the seller forgot its power supply, and the C340 only "squeezes" in, and it might've never really fit. The seller included an ink cartridge and a pitiful sheaf of special super Kodak paper, hence my proprietary enlightenment, so he was probably scammed in his turn, but loosing the power supply probably came naturally....

However, I did get the "inner" pictures (captured on the built-in memory when no SD is installed) via a Z700 proprietary USB cable which, Kodak slipping-up, did fit the C340. And I was fooled when I first tried to power it up, as I have been before, by the special Kodak battery label, which shows how the batteries should be oriented as viewed from the bottom, thus upholding an amazing standard of stupid white guy management.

... But the camera's got exposure compensation — to make up for that darkness — but it cancels after a power cycle. However it also has an option to turn-off "live view" which persists, and is really quite remarkable in a crummy kodak....