Friday, July 14, 2006

Friends Don't Let Friends Buy Cameras From Friends

A friend of mine sold me a complete dud of a digital camera. It's a Canon Powershot A70 which I purchased from him for about $45, which is fifteen bucks more expensive than Ebay. But he was offering it, and I wanted a digital camera.

Let's pretend, for a moment, that you were the one who bought the camera. You're anxious to try it out, but when you turn it on, the screen is completely black. You might think that this is just the screen malfunctioning, but when you take a picture in this mode, you discover that your image looks like this:

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Now, just as your seller (who will never be invited to your wedding or the bar mitzvahs of your children) explained to you, you hit your camera on the side. The screen gives you a couple different views of purple lines across a black screen, like so:

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As you continue to pound the camera, you get your very own private and extremely frustrating performance of "Fantasia 2000." After seven or eight pounds, the camera turns off. You turn it back on and give it another try. A few pounds later, the screen shuts off off again.

Anywhere from seven to ten minutes later, a vague, purple-ish image appears on your screen. You excitedly snap a picture.

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Not so good. You keep pounding. The screen switches back to black, to purple lines again, then back to the purple-lined image. Then it switches off again. You think you're back to square one, but you soon learn that - you're not! You're actually even further away! The camera begins to shut off every three or four pounds at this point.

Suddenly, though, the screen snaps into focus. A few short seconds later, you've taken your first real photograph.

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Naturally, of course, whatever big event you were prepping the camera for documenting has long since past. So you're left to take pictures of whoever happens to be around, which is usually no one, because nobody hangs out with a guy pounding a camera for more than five minutes.

Therefore I'm launching a photo gallery called Pictures In And Around The Room. I'll post some up tomorrow sometime. It's a whole different school of photography: the ease of use of digital cameras with the set-up time of a 1920's film camera, except without hand-loading flash powder. Though I'm not opposed to it.

*Ah, a visual aid for those of us who can't imagine what a perfectly black rectangle looks like! Let it never be said that I don't have faith in my readers.
** Those two photos are at least 15 minutes apart. I can't tell the difference either.


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