Silly Cameras IV

4/28/18. Sometimes I feel I’m closing in on the canons at least, but then sometimes I’m not at all sure. ... On the other hand, the camera biz is still going downhill, and I guess I take a guilty perverse pleasure in that — it’s not that I want all those lying incompetent retailers and web sites to be punished exactly — and really, if they were looking forward to a prosperous exciting career they presumably have already suffered much. ... Apple itself, with its iphone camera slayer, makes vast sums but not, sadly, stuff that “just works” anymore ... if it ever did. ... Ah ... it’s all gloom & despair — except for my adorable fiendishly-cute recently-antiquated cameras, even ’though some are broken....


Others:   DSLR   Silly Cameras I & II & III      Canon S1 IS       Canon PRO90 IS       Nikon S4000      Olympus SP320      Flip?        Kodak Z981     Nikon cp4100      35mm! Vivitar 250/SL     Polaroid pdc640cf      Kodak C653      Sony DSC-P93       DSC-P93        Canon A470        Olympus D-360L       Olympus C-4040       


Bare Ruined Choirs ...

5/28/18. The groves of silly cameras were silent ... empty ... in a thousand miles of junk! The usual offerings of rusting film devices continued unabated, but no delightful sprightly digital cameras in the bargain bins. ... It seemed the time of abundance had departed, persisting only at the Amazon & Ebay electronic bazaars — so far, I’ve found a single overpriced $50 Olympus silly camera with corroded AA cells. ... My statistical samples are crude no doubt, but it seems that @ 11/17 or so, all the digital camera junk was cleaned out of closets across the land and then — nada. ... But I will defy despair! ... Surely some more digital junk will show-up, someday. ... And then the Florida Oviedo Antique Mall came through @ 6/15/18, with three beautiful silly cameras which will no doubt lighten (or darken) my way — but still not an avalanche ... or even a little mud slide — a single store does not a silly cornucopia make. ... But then came the fall again, with silly cameras in whimpering abundance....

Buy Canon Silly Cameras

I suppose I assumed it was obvious, but I will document the obvious here and note that Canon dominates the silly cameras, and today’s camera market such as it is — and the digital camera market past & probably future, world without end. ... All the enthusiast publications — that is, the paid bogus advertising of at least the other camera brands — pretend that it’s a tough competitive market, the glorious race to the swiftest, blah blah. Except of course the wholly bought and paid-for, like the British “brand” magazines which of course cannot have any unwholesome relationships with their obvious sponsors.

... Anyway, the point is all these scammy journalists, mostly on the web today, they’ll pretend that any market is super competitive — if they didn’t, you wouldn’t read their bilge, so you wouldn’t click-through their tasty advertising, and they’d go out of bizness. Where, in the case of the digital cameras at least, they doubtless are going even as I blather....

In my silly camera endeavors, the Canons have been obviously superior at every turn, most convincingly in the case of the amazing Nikon D80, but everywhere and in all ways. Of course I patronize the lesser brands nevertheless, for the same perverse & joyous reason that I buy 10-year-old cameras at all — because it’s fun! ... But if you want an actual camera and aren’t interested in spending $1Ks on it, get a used Canon sx20 zoomer or some other adorable Canon, perhaps as chronicled in these fascinating pages. ... The 2nd sx20 I got (8/18) was $105 at ebay. ... And you do have to know enough to check it out when you get it — see my tragic sx30, about which I obviously didn’t know enough....

The Rechargeable Battery Scam

I’ve ranted on this elsewhere, but I can’t rant enough: the astonishing beautiful rechargeable proprietary batteries are simply a profit-enhancing scam — indulged-in by all DSLRs, including Canon. I'm not convinced any professional photographer would ever prefer the inevitably-$pecial-order rechargeables to readily-available AAs, which of course can easily be got in the eminently-rechargeable NiMH flavor. This is all but proven by the availability of the higher-class camera extra-power “battery grip” accessories, all of which, at least those I’ve encountered, astonishingly include the supposedly-lower-class AA-capability.

In the competitive ~2008 silly camera zoomer market, AAs were de rigueur in the Canons, presumably because the pitiful enthusiasts wanted them. Once the iphone came, almost immediately the AAs became less “popular” — with the manufacturers, as they abandoned the cheaper-camera racket and sought the higher “luxury” delusional reaches. The AAs are all but verboten today, because the cameras are almost entirely silly costly poseur things — hence my endless devotions in these scintillating pages to the past....

POPULAR PUFFERY

A popular puffery excuse was the proprietary batteries were actually cheaper, since you could recharge them, as opposed to those horrible unecological throw-away AAs. ... Like the scammy contractor excuse of yore, about how “I called and you didn’t answer”, which was embarrasingly exposed at the advent of cheap answering machines, the rechargeable excuse is equally fraudulent: NiMH AAs have been readily available for years & years. ... Well truly mostly since 2005 (?) or so, so earlier cameras had more excuse for the proprietary scammy rechargers....

4/28/18. I realized I had omitted the first of the Canon S-series, so I got a 2/04 3mp Canon S1 IS 10x for a mere $50 at the amazon emporium of genteelly-battered cameras — only $340 retail in the day — and it will arrive any day now to join the teeming herds. ... But sadly, it wasn't genteel-enough: "Primeking131" claimed it "works great but it is not in very good cosmetic condition" but it took one in-focus picture, and then subsequently all out-of-focus — so maybe it worked for Primeking, but not for me; the focus was gershtunk. ... And then I realized the in-focus picture was from my beloved G1, as the EXIF info informed me — and of course last year's date if I'd noticed — I just grabbed the CF out of a drawer and there was a picture there already by happenstance. So Primeking has no excuse. Nor me....

Manual Focus

But I learned about the S1's MF Manual Focus button which, conclusively, didn't work either. But it's on my other Canon zoomers, and does something my DSLRs won't do[13], which is focus at infinity without tears: just keep moving the indicator up to the top. Although none of them seemed to actually change the observable focus, good or bad: even in the little "magnified" center box it deliberately puts up. But maybe in darker conditions something'd show; presumably the zoomers stop up / amplify to make the EVF as "good" as possible. 

But in my too-battered S1 the fuzzy focus remained unaltered, auto or manual, and so it went home to that great silly camera corral in the sky, or at amazon, or "Primeking131". ... I will get another someday, probably cheaper — non-prime? — and presumably better; there are lots more @ amazon....

Compulsory Flash

Another interesting peculiarity of the S1 is the flash was compulsory — I couldn't lift it up with my fingers like the subsequent models require, but it popped-up for the picture when I pressed the shutter halfway — although that could be suppressed by operating the flash button appropriately, if one remembered. ... After this zoomer, Canon obviously realized that accidentally not firing the flash was far less objectionable than firing it by mistake — at a museum, or a theater, or a funeral. And the non-auto-popup flash would've been cheaper. ... But my Canon DSLR pops-up in AUTO by default and makes a huge noise doing it, which frightened the poor amateur the first time. ... Although it can be lifted manually....

6/19/18

Our next amazon marketplace vendor contestant "baxter6000" delivered a far superior S1 IS, albeit with battery dirt I cleaned-out with a dental pick + toothbrush, and a sticky compulsory flash that, when I managed to brutalize it up, still took nice pictures. ... So I oiled the mechanism — an owenlabs silly camera firstwith my tiny bottle of musical instrument lubricating oil, which has an appropriately-delicate hyperdermic-like applicator; and of course immediately qtipped off the excess so the camera will work perfectly. ... I could see the tiny plastic mechanism with a hook and the slot within which it was supposed to operate, and I oiled the slot and abused the thing a few times, and then it'd pop-up as appropriate i.e. automatically. Before this draconian remedy, I could hear the silly thing making a tiny ineffectual popping noise, as it tried to release the silly flash. ... Sic transit etc....

But it takes beautiful pictures, just like all the silly cameras....


7/2/18. A sad day and a broken silly camera — a surprisingly uncommon event here in the laboratory, although not unknown. The 4/00 3.3mp Casio QV3000, a wonderful thing in its day no doubt, is today broken Japanese junk. ... Of course they're almost all Japanese, but this is the first silly camera that insists on reverting its menus to ideographs or katakana or whatever it is @ every power cycle, even 'though I've managed to set it to English — twice now. ... And the zoom is frozen motionless. ... And it doesn't take pictures; just darkness. ... But it lights-up! It shows the pictures already on the CF card!

... I got it at the occasionally wondrous Cooper City Antiques, from whence in January four happy silly cameras came, but it was $95 which, even at the 1/3rd off proclaimed by a placard, was a bit steep, considering the extravagantly-corroded batteries I showed to a fellow wandering the store who seemed to take an interest and was apparently part of the owernship. So he suggested $20, and thus I have achieved broken antique digital camera satori. ... It isn't normal to encounter dickering opportunities, at least in our price-tag kind of stores, and for some perverse reason I'm still glad I wasted my $20, which shows I suppose what a devoted silly adept I am....

& this after spending skillful minutes dremelling off the battery rot. ... And it's true, I couldn't at first figure-out how to turn it on, pressing what I thought was the universal line-in-a-circle symbol, which turned-out to be the delayed-shutter button. ... And then at last I realized the LCD with bits of caption but mostly darkness — that was the camera's dead view. ... Sic transit gloria casio.

... And I think I remember this sad machine from the previous Cooper City visit, where no one with which to dicker presented itself, and I serenely passed on, little imagining our future entanglement, so tragic but relatively inexpensive....


7/1/18. Continuing our journey into the earliest reaches of silly cameradom, I hope my $35 1/01 3mp Canon PowerShot Pro90 IS 10x will prove, whenever it is released from the dungeons of ebay, a better rep of that fabled era than my pitiful casio. ... It has the proprietary rechargeable battery scam, but in our latter-day fallen times they're a mere $17 @ amazon for two incl. charger....

And the Pro90's got the precious raw oh be still my heart! ".CRW"s, 'jes like my beloved G2. And all-in-all, it is a thing of mystery & beauty and, of course, takes beautiful pictures. ... And kind-of looks like a flash gordon weapon. And was $1100 in the day! And its deep glassy gaze looks lovely amongst the lesser later Canons on the shelf....


7/7/18. My final Oviedo 1/06 7.1mp Olympus SP-320 camera has a sticker on it saying "TESTED". ... Of course it doesn't say how that worked out. ... It uses an Olympus-special "xD picture card" but I'm covered, hoarding scammy proprietary camera cards in abundance — well, I had two 2GB cards. ... And it uses AA batteries! 

And it works! At last ol' Oviedo came through ... at a bargain $6. ... And it takes beautiful pictures, as do all the silly cameras, except the totally broken (qv3000), and the occasional derelict like the non-focusing s1

... And it's an educational contrast with my broken-CRV3-battery Olympus SP310 — well, actually, I guess the sp320 theoretically also could use a CRV3 — so it says on the battery compartment — but so far average NiMH AAs have lasted through 5 or ten power cycles! ,,, & it just produced a green "full battery" icon....

And the SP320's got raw, 'jes like the 310. And a viewfinder! ... It's probably the working version of the 310....


7/9/18. The 2011 Flip video cameras! ... As I cavort with my beloved silly cameras, somehow I got inveigled in the beloved flip video gadgets of yore, and realized with a shock why they were still so attractive: no touch screen! Just a small number of working buttons. ... Of course everyone's phone has a far superior video camera, but it also has a touch screen, which means anyone trying to take video, or a picture, or make a phone call, or do anything, inevitably sets off at least one or two wonderful ancillary/totally-unrelated features the manufacturer — of course not out of desperation to make a pitiful bit of scratch in the dwindling last days of the cellphone boom, but just out of loving care for the consumer — has installed on the phone so they are so easy to activate. ... So the flip'll never ask to notify you, or use your location; or be your friend. ... It just records video + audio. ... It's odd how strange that feels — a gadget that doesn't pester you, that's simple to use. ... Press a button, take a video. How can that be in this day & age? ... And of course, it isn't; it stopped around 2011, when we abandoned it for the glorious cell phones. ... But now, today, they're here, for me, resurrected for harmless audio/video note-taking-without-tears activities....

Flake

In one aspect, sadly, the flips are not like the silly cameras: out of three laboratory units in original boxes, only two still worked. The tiny electronics in the third fell-over in the weary years, and would light-up, & hang-up. ... Even the dubious silly cameras — Olympus, Nikon — don't do that — well my pitiful nikon s4000, but that was certainly physical design incompetence, as are the numerous broken battery doors. The camera electronics & optics are astonishingly hardy. ... And many of my cameras, from the flips' ~2010 era, include video & even stereo sound ... and no touch screen.... 

But still, not as cute 'n' convenient as the flip, with its built-in USB connector to get the beautiful pictures out....

Vivitar DVR 410

Then, as a sort-of sub-category of flip flake, we have the Vivitar "jello video" DVR 410. It has a much-inferior poke-out USB connector but, also, a removable SD card and an automatic-selfie flip-out screen!

The unit has pitiful red sharpie fine-point scribblings writ upon it in ages past by an infuriated flip-using video ĉsthete, and had been lost in the garage for eons or at least since the Great Move until I noticed it in the bright morning. But when I scribbled furiously, I was expecting the thing to work; now, I am expecting it to amuse, and support minimal note-taking, which it did admirably as I wandered about the laboratory trying to remember where things are, and the feature will probably be enhanced by the jello effect. 

... So I bought another for $22 @ amazon — which came in its original bubblepack, untouched by human hands, in all its startling pristine beauty — I probably can't bear to unpack it. ... I mean, amazon only promised "Colors May Vary". ... This is doubtless the natal packaging of my existing DVR 410, probably bought @ Walmart....

And in the fullness of time at least one of my menacing cloud of DVR410s has a battery failure mode where at end-of-life it turns itself on and beeps repeatedly piteously. It'll turn-off happily, and then do the same thing....


7/12/18. Stung by my silly camera failures, and wrung by flip nostalgia, I logically went and bought a 1/10 14mp Kodak EasyShare Z981 26x zoom from the amazon used camera emporium, paying an extortionate $85, apparently in competition with all those Kodak fans out there. ... The Z981 is the predecessor to my oft-reviled Z990 — well of course reviled by me; not a discouraging word elsewhere — and perhaps I felt I should get a do-over of my catastrophic failure with the Z990 whose live view I foolishly imagined would actually work! ... Now, so much wiser in silly cameras' ways, I will treat the Z981 with the proper respect and always use the EVF, and never the LCD, and it will work wonderfully with two more megapixels then the antique laboratory standard of 12....

And it is lovely ... understated-ish, for some reason lower-rent-looking than the z990 — the raised "Kodak" on the lens cap isn't silver. ... But it doesn't have a broken pixel column like my other 14mp camera, the perfidious Canon SX30 ... although the z981 is CCD rather than the sx30's modérne apparently-dubious CMOS....


7/14/18. Seeking a comfort camera, I played with my adorable Nikon Coolpix 3100 — and, inspired, found its supposedly-more-capable younger sibling the 5/04 4mp Nikon Coolpix 4100 for $5.51 @ the amazon wonder mart! ... Apparently I should spend more time online, and save the junk stores for serendipitous amazements....

But sadly, it was a comedown: there's no "LCD" button! ... To turn-off the power-sucking "live view" beloved by all in 2004 — and now, for that matter, based on the relentless puffery — I'd have to use the setup menu — i.e., many more perilous keystrokes. ... And the test pic I took is kinda dark, but that's an EZ fix. ... So right, it has the same number of buttons as the 3100, they just traded the LCD button for a center "OK" button on the four-way arrow thing. No doubt some Nikon genius's idea of why Canon was so popular. 

The Danger Button

Oh I get it! That "LCD" button on the 3100 caused grief! The poor little aficionados'd return their 3100s 'cause the stupid LCD didn't light-up! ... 'Cause they pressed the stupid button! ... So, simple fix: get rid of the button & ensure batteries run out ril' fast with the beloved live view. Most camera purchases were used at a single celebration if that, & they probably wouldn't notice ridiculous battery failure for months, while the obvious LCD "failure" ... etc....

And such is the way of the silly cameras, ups & downs, shadows and sunlight, intelligence and of course beloved stupidity. ... But they still make lovely pictures....

Fall 2018

9/11/18. On the road again, I found a $5 2/04 3mp Kodak EasyShare CX7300 which will probably never light-up its beautiful pixels, supplied as it was with at least one seriously-corroded AA which I brutally pried from the poor thing with a clamp pliers, and then applied soothing 3-in-1 oil. ... But it was a harbinger of a gratifying fall silly camera season, where I encountered a reassuring $20-and-less bunch over the wandering miles — well, 4 or five — oh, behold oh silly ones, nine — which makes a total of ten silly cameras, at least one of which will probably work. ... Oh bounteous fall....

But this is not one of the chosen. ... However, it lit up and the menus worked, which is more than I expected. But it doesn't take pictures, or see through the viewfinder, and its time is done. 

... So I bought a $15 one from ebay. ... And it's really a pretty nice 3mp 2004 camera! Pictures are typically dark, but I can turn-off the "Live View" — which is the term the menu uses for it, despite its amazing discovery by DSLR scientists around 2008, and of course it's not really needed since there are no adjustments to make in any menu. But the turn-off feature, without which one's batteries evaporate far more rapidly, is missing from many grander & later cameras. ... And it was only $129 in the day! ... And it turns out I didn't buy it at Ebay, even 'though Bob's Cameras' box said "Ebay" all over it — it was good ol' amazon....


10/22/18. Continuing the Grand Fall Silly Camera cornucopia, I have finally met my match: the 1998? 0.07mp America Online digiCam, apparently completely functional, since once I inserted a 9 volt battery in the right direction — which was guesswork — I could take a picture, or at least the little machine would happily pretend to do so. But its only connection to the world of light & beauty was a miniplug, which doubtless requires despicable AOL software, which probably worked as well as AOL software ever worked. ... The "Focus Free Lens" proudly proclaims "320 x 240" which is half VGA....

I fear I will remove the battery and leave it fallow, alone & afraid, hiding in some junk corner, peering without sentience at a harsh and unpitying world. ... But it's still got its AOL lanyard! ... And someday I may find a box with the camera and a CD and a cable — which still won't work....


10/26/18. And now we will have a charming interlude in my parade of silly cameras for the even sillier beloved 1977! 35mm Vivitar 250/SL which has arisen from its deathlike state to join the tribal dance once again. ... Kind-of. ... At least I loaded it with some film & took a few pix. ... When I disinterred it, there was a roll of Seattle Filmworks lingering-on, presumably loaded some time in late 1992 when I bid adieu, my gadget affections stolen away by the beautiful videocams — and, perhaps, my inability to load the 35mm film adequately, provoking a snooty note from the processing company about the totally blank roll.

... My dramatic resumption of 35 millimetering 26 years later was inspired when I was reviewing my foot-and-a-half of slides, to extract a selection for the apparently stygian darkness of the Kodak Box. ... Whether they come back or not, I was oddly impressed by the beautiful images! Mostly, in the first year 1977, of snow, which is what one mostly sees after October or so in the frozen North of upstate New York. I apparently got the camera just for that Great Adventure. And it probably cost >$200!

I would set the ASA to the appropriate value, mostly 400 I believe, and then use the built-in meter to get adequate-exposure, and usually focus on infinity. The vast assortment of snow-covered garages, houses, cars and people did quite well that way, but even interior shots came-out good — although many have the wrong color, a trivial problem for the universal fixit. ... But this, children, is why light meters became essentially useless after 1977 or so, no matter what the idiot$ claim — the built-in meter was almost always obviously superior to an external unit. 

... And the lens on the beautiful vivitar above? That's the lens of the unknown wide-angle, since the little metal thing fell-off years ago....

Ezier?

The 250/SL is easier to use than my modérne (1995?) computerized 35mm IS-3DLX! This could have something to do with having taken about a thousand more slides with the Vivitar, but it's also the simplicity: I don't have to figure things out. ... And possibly that's because I was born knowing about ASAs, exposure speeds, and f-stops and I suppose that isn't true of everyone, particularly the is3dlx target market. ... But whatever, it feels easier to me. It feels as if I have more control; with the automatic gadget, it may decide to take a picture when there's really not-enough light, so a longer exposure aka jiggling'll ruin it. With the 250/SL, I know that ahead of time....


10/28/18. Moving from the antique & surprisingly functional to a relatively-recent computer-crippled wraith, we arrive at the 1998? Ezonics EZ MegaCam, a pitiful helpless thing which nevertheless "lights" up its tiny LCD menu, once I figured-out which was the power button. And probably takes pictures, or at least it counts them. Which count and presumably the pictures evaporate whenever the batteries are removed. 

And its pictures will never be seen. The device makes a satisfying "bonk" when I plug it in with a standard USB cable. But no more than that — there are no "drivers", the secret software sauce without which our beloved gadgets are silent and helpless. And looking for drivers will introduce the intrepid foto fan to an endless parade of the scintillating wonders of internet scammery — they are so happy to lie to you, in joyous mendacity — but no actual drivers. ... But there was a manual somewhere....


10/29/18. Continuing our fall-frenzy silly camera review, I arrive at the first actual picture-taking camera, and I think the first Polaroid in the silly collection that has ever demonstrated that talent, the 1997? Polaroid 0.3mp PDC640cf which actually took pictures that weren't horrible! ... I mean, it's got VGA resolution! — 640x480 aka 0.3mp. So I can see the pixels pretty much, but it was good-enough for Windows 3.1....

It's cute! I turn it on/off by sliding the lens cover, see? And after drastic massagery with the psp9 fixit feature, a picture => doesn't look that bad! The PDC640cf apparently just sets the speed to however slow the image needs, and the flash appeared to go after the picture was taken and showing in the review LCD, which seems unfortunate. ... I tried the 3 different flash settings — and even reading the manual — but it was obdurate. ... But wait! It defaults to flash off, and indeed if I take a picture with that setting, it's bright-enough, more or less. But jiggly out-of-focus unless I hold it real steady! 

... But then I realized how cruel & ignorant I was, and probably my problem was that after pressing the shutter, there is a significant delay until the camera beeps twice, and then the picture's taken! So I was probably jiggling it even for flash, i.e. pressing the button & imagining the picture was took, sad foto fan. ... Once enlightened with this wisdom, the pictures were a little better....

The battery door, even though broken, still works (it slides in); and the CF receptacle thing required my father's parallel pliers and/or poking the ejection lever with a metal stick to get the card out.

... But it is all carping; how long has it moldered in someone's drawer, and then, today, finally, taken pictures again!?!?! ... Actually I suspect there are pictures inside the camera, but like the Ezonics, they await a transcendent operating system beyond mortal camera users. 

... And there was apparently a PDC640 + or something, which looks different and might well cure some of the sad things — although look! it's got StupidMedia! ... Ah the wonders of camera retailing....


Halloween 2018. Our next contestant is another Polaroid — a 2006 Polaroid 5mp A515 — which strangely-enough also lit-up, but definitely's got crotchets — judging by the amazon reviews, bunches, but in my unit the battery compartment shows the green rot, and they're small AAAs and I don't have a thin-enough brush to get in there — not that I'm certain I'll be able to do any good anyway, but I bought a bunch of dremelish brushes and what-nots in my relentless explorations into the heights & depths of silly camera science, and we shall see. ... In its current pitiful state, it whimpers about batteries right off the bat, as well it might. ... Of course I could buy a $20 (and up) unit from amazon — but what fun would that be? ... And it might come with a green battery compartment anyway — but what is this folly?!?! Of course I should buy another. Then I could put the tiny tot SD into it and forge bravely into the future!

... But behold <= oh savages outside the law: the laboratory's green gunk brush, which did a fair job of offing the green gunk, with the aid of course of 3-in-1 oil, but still the pitiful camera complained, and failed. So no sale. ... And it's hardly dremelish; I had to use a regular drill with the thing, but it did fit into an AAA slot. And it worked a treat with another lovely camera — or at least didn't make things worse — so we march forward in silly camera science, head upheld in proud arrogance....

However my A515 disgorged a lovely SD card filled with celebrations of a tiny tot's earliest years & festivals, which is how I uncovered its natal year of 2006, from the pix dates. Dpreview, my usual source for such info, rather shamefully scorns polaroids, no doubt sensing a hereditary enemy to the phony photo fan racket, as does the rest of the web, probably for other more-than-adequate reasons....

Renewal!

11/17/18. And so it came to pass, that I got a beautiful A515 from ebay for a mere $30 — but with the original CD and other junk! So I didn't get a resurrected operating system, but at least I got the useless software! And I put the old SD in there and even the old much-battered batteries from my pitiful strivings, and all is well. ... Of course now I have to figure-out how the silly thing works. ... And it is stupid: slow, dumb menus, all the shoddy attractions — it's got 4x digital zoom! ... So the tiny tot pictures win hands-down.


11/2/18. Casting about for a silly camera in the fall frenzy box that didn't have a greenish battery compartment, I selected the lovely & gracious 1/07 6mp Kodak EasyScam C653 which cost me $15 somewhere in junk store America and indeed, as the seller's label proclaimed, it "works". And like another of my earlier kodaks, it has a "Live View" off option, so the batteries don't die in 15 minutes! ... The pictures are a little iffy, but nothing a paint program can't fix....



11/6/18. Moving on to the heart of silly cameradom, we have a 2/04 Sony 5mp DSC-P93. As a characteristic historic foonote, it came with a broken Sony proprietary memory stick, which was really the whole point of the marvelous scammery — to sell cheap-junk proprietary memory for racketous prices and gull us little people.

The silly collection includes a sister camera P100, which is improved with proprietary charger scammery, but the beautiful P93's got more modes — Candle, Beach, Hawaiian Luau (not actually). But there's  a "P" and an "M" just like the P100. Sadly, the battery indicator for my NiMH AAs is already at half mast for 1 or two pictures and a little menu diving. ... But both cameras do have manual f stop and shutter speed menu adjustments!

Time passes

11/7/18. Election day passed, the great bi-yearly American festival of triumph & despair. Perhaps it leaked into my normally serene & unbiased silly camera evaluations? ... Whatever, in the glad morning the pitiful little thing wouldn't turn-on until I'd opened and closed the battery compartment, so I deoxited the batteries assiduously, whereupon it woke-up bright & gay, despair & mourning only a tattered memory — and the battery indicator depicted itself full!

The Live View Can Be Turned Off!

Oh foolish silly camera aficionado! I didn't see the little "screen" button right there which not only turns-off the LCD — even through power cycles! — it also turns-off the picture review, so one can't tell what happened in one's magical camera without prohibitive effort. ... Oh nonsense silly fotofan! I can just turn the mode wheel to the right-arrow "play" position, and look at any &/or all pix!

... And the P100 has that button too, although I had to recharge the scam proprietary battery to find out that it works. ... And be sure to see the riveting Tale of Two Cameras....


11/11/18. And now I will inspect one of the little people of silly cameradom, the also-rans, the 1/08 8mp Nikon Coolpix L18. No viewfinder, like the modern with-it cameras, and it seems to take a while getting a picture, but it takes nice pix which aren't even underexposed. ... Dpreview thinks it was a $100 in the day. ... The unit certainly was cranky for a while, seemingly corrected by vicious deoxit wire brushing. ... And oddly, this Coolpix doesn't have a broken battery door. Yet. ... And it has a stupid SD slot, so I can't get the thing out without knocking out the batteries, or in without heroic efforts. And it does come-up with a "memory card locked" message now and then, alleviated (hopefully) by pressing the tricksy SD card in and out 2 or three times and/or deoxit pipe cleaner treatment....

But so far it works, and apparently it's got one of those super capacitors so it won't lose the date/time and other settings whenever you inspect the SD, although the time does seem to lose the minutes the batteries are out. ... But oh lookee, it's got a scam proprietary USB connector, so you gotta buy the scam proprietary Nikon USB cable, and that'd be why it's OK the SD card's so hard-to-get.


11/17/18. There are two notable things about the 1/08 7mp Canon A470: it is the same camera I gave to the dearly departed pater, and I can't figure-out how to make it zoom! ... Probably the departed pater couldn't either, although his Holy sacred rule was to admit nothing. Since then, I've assumed his health aide nicked the thing but, upon initiating this pointless exercise (after rediscovering the camera's CD in my vast diskette file), I realized it was more likely that the aged saintly relic, in one of numerous Great Renunciations, gave it away. Never expecting his departure, it was his little way of showing what an idiot his pitiful clueless child was, for giving him a camera after he kept fumbling with some wretched AOL junk he had. ... Sadly he never got the chance to casually mention it....

Ahhh those golden days! ... The A470 is also unique in the laboratory silly collection in being a Canon with no viewfinder, although I don't know for sure it'll run out of power in a few minutes. And the zoom works from the multi-button. ... It has a fake "M" manual mode, which does allow exposure compensation which is all we really need in this sad mortal world. ... Well, that and a viewfinder....


11/27/18. The 00/02 1.3mp Olympus D-360L uses the fabled StupidMedia and takes pretty good pix! ... I forget what I paid in junk store America, but it's $31 @ amazon today, and a random google review said it was $250 in 2002! And also notes it ran out of power in 15' with the LCD on, like so many. ... The StupidMedia came with 29 pix of two cavorting white siamese cats, apparently taken over several days in 2010.... 

But, yes, it has a viewfinder, oh happy day! ... In that ancient era, they were regarded as obligatory, since using the obnoxious live view would indeed drain the batteries rapidly. But then somewhere in the creeping years they must've concluded the amateur camera buyer was too stupid to notice, and the viewfinders disappeared — and I suppose most of the stupiditariat couldn't use the esoteric thing anyway. ... The D-360L was apparently a popular camera for ebay sellers, just showing how ridiculous the megapixel fantasies are — a reviewer said the macro mode was great for ebay! ... Google was too stupid to let me link to their reviews — taken from ebay! — but I ferreted 'em out by googling "ebay olympus d-360L reviews" and they're here, slightly rearranged versus the google rendition....


11/29/18. Rolling around to the last offering of our Seasonal Silly Saga, we find the 6/01 4mp Olympus C-4040ZOOM (3x optical and 7.5x bogus digital). It was $20 at my junk store, ~$50 (!) used @ amazon, and $1,100 in 2001! And StupidMedia! ... Folks must've loved it.

The four pix in the camera appear to immortalize a lovely girl's 33rd birthday. That's => the last pic, so perhaps an opulent gift was neglected. ... But I learned something about how the StupidMedia scam worked: the camera came with a lousy 16MB card, and a little luxurious LCD counter on the top indicates I only got 11 pix left, so with the 4 in there and the two I took — let me run my hp15 calculator — that's a lousy 17 pix in the supplied storage! Which the ancient review complains about. ... So the camera bug'd have to buy more/bigger StupidMedia at extortionate prices! ... So ingenious. ... And I underestimated the pix count, since the first 4 pictures were 1.2mp

... And according to the manual, the largest available StupidMedia was 32Mb! So you'd just have to buy lots. ... And now that I'm checking the laboratory's antique storage, the largest I got is 16Mb! I've got a number of two megabytes, which are incompatible with the camera, or so the manual says....


7/4/18. I show the box of the beautiful $32 2/10 12mp Nikon Coolpix S4000 'cause it was so new and retail-looking, the seller carefully packing everything in just the right way, including manual, CDs, camera charger and, wrapped in a holy protective plastic bag, the wrong proprietary USB camera charger cable! ... Some poor innocent geezer not so very different from me — except without my encyclopĉdic knowledge of scammy technical minutiĉ, like the USB cords, each a snowflake so diferent and incompatible, the better to confound their innocent victims customers after they'd lose the stupid thing and have to pay through the nose for another. ... Oh the glittering brilliance of the golden age.

... And the guy's cable wasn't even the wrong proprietary junk; it was a standard µUSB, beloved of the amazon kindle among so many others....

So I blew $20 @ amazon on more batteries, an actual battery charger, and the right USB cord. ... But the s4000's got a touch screen — a laboratory first! — well, excluding the home organ. ... But apparently the glorious s4000 was only $200 new! And it's got no viewfinder, like most coolpix. The low price is why I bought them once or twice, the latest in the s4000 era but not of course with scammy rechargeable proprietary battery junk. Even in those innocent days, I'd check that first....

But it was all for naught! My s4000's broken; powers-up, "lens error", turns-off. Impact adjustment didn't help. The thing looks in good shape, so it was probably in someone's drawer for months/years and then one day it stopped working. Or maybe when it was brand-new. Or who knows. ... But I was starving for silly cameras, and foolishly went too far. I mean it's a stupid camera anyway — although the touch screen worked, kind-of — it's a Nikon; it's proprietary rechargeable, and no viewfinder. I mean, the beautiful Pro90's rechargeable, but I got it from an Ebay guy what supposedly takes returns. ... And my Nikon D80 was from Amazon! ... Not a silly junk store. ... Enticing as they are, I should be more caution in the tattered aisles o' junk. ... It's not even worth saving the charger/batteries, although of course I will — the whole point of the scam is its uniquity, i.e. the batteries are designed to fit no other camera....

Obiter Dictum: the Failure

Ok I screwed-up. The magical search for silly cameras has hit a stretch of rough road, and who knows if I'll ever find the highway again. Two previously-amusing vendors, Cooper City and Oviedo, sold me broken junk which, to be sure, were entirely my fault — I mean, they are junk stores, and the Cooper City qv3000 was obviously broken, and I only paid $20. The s4000 was just a classic good-$-after-bad geezer delusion. ... And so be it! ... If I must stumble, I will stumble in search of the good and the right and the silly. 

... So I bought another s4000 for $20 @ ebay, which'll probably also be totally gershtunk....

12/8/18. S4000 Redux: not Totally Gershtunk

It wasn't totally gershtunk, but it shows definite signs of weariness. The LCD's got  sprinkled defects on it, but not the 12mp pictures, which look good. The touch screen, with which one must manipulate the silly thing, is awful, but I never got much of a chance to work the first "lens error" unit, so who knows? Probably the LCD sprinkles were the result of a frustrated user abusing the touch screen....

There was gaiety & amusement when I plugged-in the scam proprietary Nikon USB cable I got for the original nice-looking, all-original-stickers, "lens error" unit: eventually I roused-up some Nikon program I probably got in connection with the amazing D80, with which I was able eventually to transfer some s4000 pix to my harddrive. The USB thing didn't seem to work without a battery in the camera, which is probably sad. Examining the SD with a card reader is undoubtedly easier. ... And the seller "cammer427", who did promise the camera "works good", which was only approximately true, perhaps as a consolation prize included as an unannounced treat an "all-in-1 mini card reader" which, as well as SDs and µSDs, reads at least two flavors of scam Sony memory!

... Ah well, sic transit gloria nikon....

12/9/18. S4000 Resurrection!

When I googled "lens error" all the brilliant insiders averred that it was by far the most common camera error, although in fact in the vast silly camera collection this is the first time I've encountered it — but that's because, as the first google hit explained, it's a common Nikon error. ... But someone suggested putting the camera on a flat surface with the lens down while turning it on, which didn't do any good until I abused it and held it down a little, something "clacked" and voila! — the stupid original silver s4000 came back to life! ... And its touch screen is just as annoying as the pink one's. But the fellow's little all-in-mini card reader read the SD card I provided good.

So all is well in the silly camera collection, the Great s4000 Imbroglio has come to a wildly successful close, and we can all breathe a heartfelt sigh of relief. ... Well, maybe not; the silver pictures so far look worse — yes they appear to be out-of-focus, just because I abused the thing! It confesses its incompetence with a little red focus square; I suppose I'll have to read the manual. ... And, yes, the manual advised I press the camera button button which did indeed make the pictures in-focus — and too dark. ... The last time I did this was a silly camera with mechanical control for the close-up mode, but in both cases, the camera takes better pictures when it's not focused for close-up — as the s4000's red focus square was mutely trying to tell me.

... So once again all is well, or at least normal....