Monday, January 09, 2006

Love of Camera

Back from a weekend of codeine-induced sleep punctuated by household chores.

About a month ago, I was going to shop for a digital camera, since the only people who don't have one yet are me and the Unabomber. I saw this on SONY's Web site, and decided to wait until January 20, when it was officially released. Okay, make that "January 20 and a few days until it goes on sale at Circuit City."

My reason for choosing this one is that I could take pictures of the cats without using the flash, because it has that Image Stabilization thing that lets you use available light. But I stopped by Circuit City to try some other SONYs, and wasn't thrilled with how it felt in my hand.

And besides taking pictures of the cats, the other big thing I'd use it for was to throw it into my bag and whip it out to take pictures of whatever interesting thing was worth uploading that day. Okay, so maybe this means I'm a cheapskate, but $450 and "throw it into my bag" do not belong in the same sentence.

What I'm really looking for is the successor to my all-time favorite camera, my Pocket Instamatic. To anyone who's taken a professional photography course--and I took two back in school--this is blasphemy. It would have been like admitting I liked bubblegum music when I was 13. Like Lenny Bruce said, "It's not hip to wanna ball Frank."

That Pocket Instamatic was my faithful picture-taking companion from the mid-Seventies into the early Nineties, and the only reason it was retired and subsequently given away is I could no longer find flashbulbs for it. Sure, the closest you could get to your subject was three feet away, and it didn't have a telephoto lens or a wide angle lens or any lens or exposures except for the one built into it. But it took great snapshots with good color, and I could throw it into my bag at the beach and forget about it.

As for taking pictures of the cats, after the demise of the Original Cats, I reorganized every box, envelope and album of photos and very few of them had that "Kitties of the Damned" look. There were plenty where you could see the yellows of their eyes. And no matter how unique you think the cat's pose is at the time, when you look over years of photographs, sometimes the only thing that distinguishes one year from another is what color the bedspread was.

So my quest is to find my new Pocket Instamatic, only with the immediacy of digital. While I was being picky and choosy, other people were creating countless megabytes of perfectly adequate pictures, and sometimes adequate is perfect.

I thought of you, over the weekend. We made a run to Wal-mart for some watch-type batteries and hanging from a neighboring pegboard, they had a bunch of cute little (not much bigger than a thumb) digital cams on keychains, in a variety of colors, for just $10 each.
I've seen those, too. I saw the Phillips on a keychain for about $20. Only problem is that they only work on a PC and we have a Mac.
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