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 & V      Canon S1 IS      Casio qv3000       Casio qv4000       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      Kodak P850      Kodak CD33       Fujifilm S2000       Sony DSC-H7, H2       Canon A70A10, A40    


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 cannot have any unwholesome relations with their obvious sponsor.

... 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. ... So to make-up for it, I bought a $35 qv4000 @ amazon....


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 a 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 with 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 æsthete, 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 pictures 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....

The Darkroom

4/1/19. And now I'll plug The Darkroom, with whom I have developed two rolls of totally-uninteresting 35mm film: a pitiful end-of-life 250/SL roll and, even before that, a roll from the idiotic-but-admirable is3dlx, on each occasion spending <$25 or so. ... There's a fellow in some junk store we go to in our endless wanderings — several times now! — who has leaped on the chemical-film / old-camera bandwagon, and I must admit I feel embarrassed to see his meticulous-looking spiffed-up film cameras what I would never buy in a million years. But of course I was there the first time; conceivably the youth of today, surrounded with all these spitting mean pixels, might obtain some solace from the antique way. Perhaps The Darkroom's future isn't dark....


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 02/00 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 overestimated 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 dubious geezer not so very different from me — except without my high ethical values. 

I thought maybe he/she was just confused about the USB cables, each a snowflake so diferent and incompatible, the better to confound the innocent victims customers after they'd lose the stupid thing and have to pay through the nose for another. ... But no; it must've been obvious it didn't work, 'cause the box didn't include a charger of course, so you couldn't've charged the thing up to discover it was broken, what it undoubtedly was already. ... But of course this omits the common silly camera surviving wife story, where she gets to pack-up the idiot's camera junk after he checks-out — so perhaps it was innocence. ... Oh the glittering brilliance of the golden age. ... The 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 the proprietary charger / batteries / scammy USB cord. ... But the s4000's got a touch screen — a laboratory first! — well, excluding the home organ. ... And the glorious s4000 was only $200 new! And it's got no viewfinder, like most Nikon junk. 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! It'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 — with just-enough time to lose the USB cable. 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, perhaps I should've been more cautious in the storied 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

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 quite yet; 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 a 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....


12/18/18. I can't decide whether this 11/01 4mp Casio QV4000 is broken or just nuts. I mean, I've taken one or two pictures, and it's hung-up four or five times. This may have been its sad fate, or it may be the weary toll of the grey unforgiving years. ... Whatever, I suppose it's already earned it's $31.48 amazon fare in entertainment value. ... I assume DPReview's assessment and throwback Thursday don't mean a thing, deriving as they do from the amazing ethical standards of cameradom. ... And it's odd — I've had cameras that were obviously broken, including my ur-silly a540, but amazingly I've managed to avoid the "flaky zone", units that kind-of work, sometimes. ... Is the qv4000 the first?

No! ... It was an eviiil 4Gb CF card which I have scrawled with red marks of warning, to forestall future tragedies. Four gig was too much anyway — actually, I realized that with my antiquated tastes, I should only stock the two gigabyte old-FAT flavor — the bigger ones were for latter-day rip-off DSLRs, even unto the current era or at least a few years ago. ... Anyway, the camera works much better with a good old-fashioned 2Gb CF; turns off & on without terror, buttons work, everything! ... Well, a lot of things — I don't want to go crazy here — the pictures are still, as always in the Age of Macintosh, too dark. And I can't do the ridiculous 100 "scenes" I could've loaded from the casio CD included in the $700 retail, to my eternal despair. ... But it definitely works better than its pitiful inspiration, the qv3000....

Of course the manual doesn't mention the MENU won't go in auto mode. ... And I have to use a tiny screwdriver to get the CF card out. ... But lookee <=! It installs a wondrous HTML menu thingey on the CF card which, on the remote chance the user could find it (@ \DCIM\INDEX.HTM), will display his beautiful pictures. ... I suppose the CD included stuff to find the thing — and so much more. ... Actually some of the other silly cameras probably have comparable features; I generally try to ignore the debris on the CF card once I find the jpegs. ... And speaking of which, it's got TIF, the poor man's RAW! ... Oh be still my heart....


12/20/18. The 12/05 5mp Kodak P850 12x I regard as the first in a trio including the Z981 and my outstanding heartbreaking Z990, mostly 'cause of a fan's flickr page. The other two have AA batteries, but this is a proprietary rechargeable job, and cost a cool $46 at the amazon resuscitation yard — including, to be sure, a charger and two batteries....

It takes charming pictures, some of them strangely dark — i.e. more than usual — but I assume the flash capacitor's still forming-up in there and it shows signs of encouraging improvement. I took the first tests with the internal memory which will only be recovered with Kodak proprietary "EZ share" scammery — i.e. it is locked-away like the tombs of the pharohs — but a nice SD card got some working images. The flash doesn't seem to go off until I tried a few times; I have to be more adroit with the DEL button....

But these are mere peccadilloes, and make me feel better about wasting my money on my broken A540 a year after this lovely device's advent. And the pix are nice, at least excluding the broken-flash ones....

Pre-broken Automatic Flash

And then ol' dpreview came to the rescue yet again. I googled "p850 flash" and found this, where someone explained that he had to physically "nudge" the flash back to make it work! Which did, and I guessed it's a contact thing so I tried deoxiting the adorable little machine — but that did no good. But it does flash, reliably, with the nudge.... 

When I wiggle the stupid thing, it's obvious: physically it doesn't spring backwards enough. That is, I can start taking a pic that needs flash and the thing will "automatically" pop up, but I can feel how it'll obviously go further back, or for that matter, once I nudge it into the working position — where it willingly stays — and it takes a good flash picture, I can easily nudge it a little forward to the non-working position, where it'll rest there and I can take bad flash pix! ... I.e., cheap junk spring. ... But let's say, an artisanal automatic camera, requiring knowledgeable user intervention? ... Because of the camera's subtlety? ... So? ... It's a Kodak!


12/22/18. In perhaps my final 2018 silly camera, we have the 11/05? 3mp Kodak ezscam CD33, which dpreview is too snooty to bother with. It was apparently "under $130",  and googles-up in "books" (& magazines etc.) in late 2005 Ebony, Jet, and People (?!). I guess the CD33 really was for the "rest of us". ... But it was $250 in the day....

And it doesn't work. It was $15 at ebay, and I suppose it's not worth returning so I'll just try & repair it to destruction — a sadly common practice here at the laboratory. ... Its SD card socket is sick; the SD doesn't stick in "good" and doesn't pop-out right, and the software complains the card is gershtunk. ... Actually, until my repair, it could probably take internal pix but of course no mortal will ever know without adequate ez$scam equipment. After the repair, which involved essentially submerging it in deoxit, it is sadly gershtunk forever or at least until the deoxit dries out and/or we are reborn in a better world. ... So I bought another @ ebay — only $14! ... I'm sure it'll work out well....

12/30/18. And it did! And I learned that, shamefully, I unncessarily repaired my original CD33 to extinction and wasted $15! ... Truly, the first CD33's SD socket was physically gershtunk — which must be my inadequate excuse — but apparently the camera's software couldn't stand the vast open spaces of 2 gigabytes, and my $14 replacement produced the same "card full" complaint as the original — which was cured with a smaller SD card, 16Mb I think. ... In the interim I read the manual, especially the "storage capacities" appendix, which indeed maxed-out at 256Mb.

So I grovel in repentant shame for my pitiful tiny silly camera abuse. ... Forgive me, tiny silly camera, for sending you into oblivion before your time.

... It does have an optical viewfinder, but no way to turn-off the LCD, so it'll probably run out of batteries before I can take my 20 remaining pix. Of course I can always upgrade to a 256Mb card. ... Actually it was able to deal with a 512Mb card nicely — and now I'll definitely run out of batteries before I take 452 pictures. And there is an LCD off button; but it doesn't persist through power cycles....


1/21/19. Oddly, I have neglected Fujifilm (and perhaps I know why). ... The amazon-used-but-$65 (!) 8/08 10mp Fujifilm FinePix S2000HD will no doubt be an excellent representative of the golden age, just as soon as the amazon vendor can shoot it over. ... I trifled with buying a new Fuji once, but it was without allure — but an old one — why that's a whole different silly camera! ... And it takes AA batteries....

And the stupid thing's broken — it's got a corner of darkness at the lower right, an excessive vignette of shame, and it's really too  bad for $65. I wait in silent terror for amazon to agree to take it back — it's not really I'll begrudge the $65, it's that if they don't, I can't buy any more amazon used cameras, and that would be tragic! ... And there wasn't any lense cap....

So the amazon/vendor will take it back, but I gotta pay shipping! So the moral is: don't pay so much for a used camera, and maybe check-out ebay. ... And I must aver the S2000 is a wretched shadow of the 2008 canons — the Canon S10 for instance, which of course I also bought at amazon for vast sums but also of course that was OK 'cause it's a Canon. I suppose the S2000 was the cheapo competition and, aside from vignetting, it was real slow compared to any canon.

And then I had to pay $18.02 @ the UPS store to return the stupid thing (to a "Louis Anderson"), via snail mail. Of course I could've got it cheaper if I'd repackaged it and waited 17 hours in the post office line. ... And the way it's gone so far, I'll probably have to dispute the charge. ... I would have to say that Amazon is no longer, if it ever was, the right place to buy broken used cameras....

Ebay Rescue?

But hold it a minute, here's a $40 free-shipping S2000 @ ebay! Certainly I will have to get it — right price, and the vendor is obviously less confused than my amazon merchant. ... So the adventure continues!

Rescue Faulty: Camera Broken in a Different Way, but No Comments, No Rating Allowed!

1/28/19. The ebay fellow was better — certainly, the undisclosed totally-broken LCD display was a disappointment, but since I rarely use the things, and the preferred EVF seems to work fine, I might not bother with the annoyance of returning the thing. Takes good pictures! Although the LCD is occasionally useful, if I was actually using these silly cameras for anything, for reviewing one's pix....

And I note that both amazon and ebay have taken to hiding their used vendors' IDs. Which, if they sell a lot of stuff with undisclosed defects is perfectly understandable. However my ebay account reveals all — well, a terse "schicjar" is the only ID, and he's a "power seller" so I can't leave a negative rating until 7 days have passed. ... Maybe I will return the thing.

But the ebay return was EZ — like Amazon's used to be! ... Assuming, of course, it works. And in defense of "schicjar" he appears to deal in more than a single S2000, and presumably some minion was too stupid to notice the LCD was totally gershtunk. Although that does sound a little far-fetched.

... I don't know if I and the Fujifilm S2000HD will meet again, but so far, my opinion of Fujifilm has not been enhanced. ... But paypal claims the ebay vendor's refund happened — before the still-pending amazon nonsense — so I guess I'm content....


2/2/19. The beautiful as-yet-broken 5/07 8mp Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H7 15x is once again my fault. ... With giddy innocence I bought the beckoning $40 ebay unit, knowing that the film'd be the usual Sony scam-o-rama memory stick, but serene in totally unwarranted confidence that my store of wacko flash film'd be ready — which it wasn't at all — I only had the shamefully-antique Memory Stick, and Memory Stick Pro. which is nothing like the Memory Stick Duo & Memory Stick Duo Pro ... or maybe Pro Duo? ... The Sony scamsters doubtless snort in their beer at my profound innocence....

So I've ordered scads of the scam-of-the-week (2007 vintage) Memory Stick Duo Pro, and the first one should turn-up in a few days, still leaving me time to find-out the stupid camera is actually broken, and return it to the ebay "free return" vendor. ... And oh look it says on the bottom "Memory Stick Pro Duo"....

But still I revel in my innocence. It's a totally cute silly camera, and if I cannot pursue senseless cuteness in the vale of silliness — what will I?!?!? ... And I should point out that the vendor included a totally-incompatible SD card — which really shows that, like me, he knew the scam — he could not have been so ignorant as to imagine the obiously too-big SD would somehow magically fit in the memory stick slot, where it clearly won't. ... However the camera came with a dubious selection of pix in the built-in memory which I will perhaps delve and scrape for — but of course the DSCH7 boasts a scam-o-rama USB cable, what I bought at amazon for $10....

2/3/19. So my Duo Pro film came and I took a picture! A little shaky but perhaps it's still settling down. ... But the silly camera works! And the stupid USB cable came, and it worked — 'though I had to turn the camera on. ... So my beautiful scammy Sony DSC-H7 is perfect and ready for foto fan fanatic fun! ... Well my 2nd pic still look a little shaky, but that is well within the range of scammy foto fun. But it has Sony Super SteadyShot® image stabilization!

... But still no foto fun. Finally I turned-off the tulip-in-the-viewfinder macro mode, but that seemed to make it worse. Then I looked at the lens and, seeing it covered with smeary stuff, cleaned it with official fotofan lens cleaning junk and — voila! — is it perfeto! ... Sadly it's too stupid to remember I wanted the EVF instead of the battery-draining live view LCD, and when I took a picture what included some daylit windows, there were purple strips in the EVF — but so what! ... It is the way of the silly camera....

But actually there's plenty of foto fun left — figuring-out the menagerie of graphic symbols on the screens is bound to be a treat. I mean everybody knows the Tulip means you got the thing set to macro mode by accident. But what does the yellow triangle with "0EV" caption signify? Sillly camerists want to know. ... Oh! It mean zero Exposure Value, which cannot be set with any prodedure described in the manual, although in auto mode, up/down arrows seem to do it. ... But being Sony, the manual has a complicated relationship with the product — "bogus" is probably the term I'm reaching for — not helped to be sure by apparently being for at least two cameras, my innocent suspect and the gloriously superior no-doubt H9. ... Ad astra u know....


2/9/19. The H7 proving such a general-purpose disappointment, I traveled through time to a better & more-amusing era — well, a year earlier — and got the 6/06 6mp Sony DSC-H2 12x Zoom, which proved to be a vastly superior & cuter camera. And broken. ... But let me bullet-point the wonderful good things:

  • Uses 2 AA batteries! No scammy proprietary rechargeable.
  • Standard mini-USB cable to offload built-in memory. No scammy proprietary USB cable.
  • LCD/EVF button persists through power cycles! Instead of forgetting every time, so it can waste more battery-power on the LCD....

That's what I found almost immediately after opening the amazon vendor "rockymountainbrown" box, for which I paid an exorbitant $23.99. ... Dpreview claims it's $295 @ amazon, and google provides a cornucopia of presumably-bogus prices topping-out @ newegg.com with $346.30! So I got a tremendous bargain. ... And I must note that my bogus proprietary Sony Pro Duo memory stick was in itself a wondrous achievement: somehow accidentally I bought stuff that was actually a µSD card with two "carriers", one of them of the Sony Scam Pro Duo flavor — and it worked wonderfully! It wasn't actually real cheap, but I feel so proud of somehow denting the fraud.

... The H2 is a mere six megapixels compared to the vast eight of the H7. Which, basically, demonstrates the bogosity of the industry-wide megapixel scam — 99.9999% of camera purchasers couldn't tell a 2mp difference if it ran over them with a cement truck, but the biz proudly cons them into a simple child-like faith. ... But still, the cameras are so cute — like the H2. ... Of course the Canons were always a better deal....

Then I wrapped things up with a camera-strap-ectomy 'tween the H7 & the H2, so the latter'd get the glory of the genuine Sony strap ... which actually seems to fit/work better on the H2

The Sadness: H2 Shutter Focus Defect

But then, I was stricken! The H2's sacred half-way shutter doesn't. However gently I press it, no jumping green rectangles or whirring or any sign of camera focusing, until I press down & click the button and the picture gets taken — after a focusing delay. My precious bargain antique H2 is broken. As are, apparently, most of the Sony H1s, H2s, and H5s. ... I googled for "autofocus sony dsc-h2" and the second hit was "Sony H2 Auto focus half press button problem". Groveling around a little led me to me to this, a glorious flickr forum or something, with beautiful pictures. Like that one =>, just part-of one of 14 pix. ... Which look like brain surgery....

Half-way Scam

But the no-halfway H2 pix themselves are fine. After clicking the shutter down all the way, the H2 does the focus/exposure in half a second and takes the picture, and even close-ups seem to get good focus. Suggesting the hieratic half-way shutter ritual is just another industry bogosity. So my broken H2 just became more honest, somewhere in the wandering years before it came to me. And actually, probably most digital pix are taken that way, because probably most people can't do the halfway thing reliably. Indeed, even my Canons will sometimes go off "half-cocked" because I can't succesfully achieve the delicate required magical half-way ritual gestures.

... So in the first shuddering convulsions of denial, I desperately hoped it'd be like my D80 darkness, just a little disability designed-in and unavoidable in that model, and forum snoots would explain how it was a superior 1-click shutter, instead of offering panoplies of brain-surgery repair pix. ... But no, it's a defect in the proud Sony tradition, and apparently unavoidable but, still, not every H1/H2/H5 has it. For instance, those cameras left in the box and never used until today might still "work". It's almost like the D80 darkness, except the brand new H1/H2/H5s executed the half-way shutter as prescribed by Holy Writ & Liturgy — but probably no used H1/H2/H5 still does. ... So, really, I tell myself in pitiful whimpering exculpatory excuse, it's not a defect, but a brilliant Sony delayed feature that defeats that annoying half-way shutter nonsense....

Serene Conclusion

After wrestling with my complicated digital camera spiritual values a while, I've concluded I like the H2, with its cruddy accidental simplification — it's really better. In the future I will operate all my silly cameras without that annoying sacred gesture (except in the small minority of occasions when it's actually useful), but the H2 makes the simpler way easy


3/5/19. Pitifully cringing after a seemingly endless stream of broken cameras — 2 or three, I guess, but at least one occasioning a charge-dispute eruption — finally I got around to an amazon $14.99 8/03 3mp Canon PowerShot A70 which worked. Even got its "ring" cover, unlike my equally-pitiful A75. ... But it twitched a bit when first lit it, and the little adorable lens protective thingey looked a little improvisational, and occasionally the LCD display wandered-off. ... But oh my goodness it's a working silly camera! Bleakly I was considering the unacceptably-dark possibility their time was done.

... But in the day this adorable little gadget was $599 retail! ... I delusionally cherish these obviously bogus numbers, but people probably paid — well it turns-out $300 or so. And I got it cheap! With a printed manual!


3/20/19. Finally reaching a $50 harbor after the dark night of broken ebay, amazon provided me with a wonderful "ur" camera, the 2/01 1.3 mp Canon A10 what came with a beautiful original box and stickers and worked! ... It's got no snooty photo features, no aperture / shutter / iso — but it supposedly has exposure compensation, like my beloved a1200, and that's good-enough for me! ... And did I mention, it works? 

And it came with a valuable CD, no-doubt filled with obsolete software. ... So, reeling-back, shell-shocked from my frightening broken camera trauma, I bathe in the quiet competence of an early totally-automatic working Canon camera. ... Which, of course, takes beautiful pictures. 

... And it was only $350 in the day; or less. ... I don't know why the a20 was so expensive.


3/24/19. In a stunning development, I managed to buy another working camera, merely $37 at the amazon prime camera emporium for a beautiful 2/02 2mp Canon Powershot A40 without bent-over CF pins or weird shutter buttons or nothin'! I think that's three working camera in a row — Oh be still my heart!

Just another point 'n' shoot Canon with its advertising sticker — shamefully proclaiming "7.5x zoom optical & digital combined" — without such fraud, it is a pedestrian 3x. ... But it takes OK pix. 'Twas $349 retail in the day. ... I suppose I could get an A30 now ... well, probably not. It was the cheapo 1mp alternative, and I'd assume the retail prices collapsed so fast in those stirring times that it missed its window i.e. compared to the luxurious 2mp A40; at least it seems to be without web offerings....

Can it be my pursuit of the wily silly camera is losing steam?!?!? ... Am I sated? Is the endless adventure dribbling-away? ... Tune-in next week. Or see SILLY V....