Let’s Talk Cameras

Let’s talk cameras. Or should I say, let me talk about the cameras I have had and why I liked or hated them.

When I was a kid I received a little instamatic Brownie camera. You know the kind, it used 110 film. Came with a small instruction booklet that told you to take pictures with the sun behind you so it would light up the faces of the people you were taking pictures of. It was all automatic. No manual adjustments whatsoever. I loved that little camera. Of course, I was all of 12 years old. But it was my first camera. It did, however, require film development at your local drug store.

Next, came my Poloroid. It was a big, clunky thing. But I loved it because it was instant pictures. All you had to do was pop in a large squarish film pack, take your pic, wait for it to pop out and watch the magic of it developing before you own eyes. Of course, you had to coat it with some kind of goo (film preservative) and let that dry before you could actually handle the photos much. I’ve had two of these particular cameras and the second was an improvement over the first. However, the film was expensive for these babies.

In my early 20’s, I bought my first 35mm camera. It was a Canon and it was entirely manual. I had to learn all about ISO’s, f stops, types of film, hot shoe, etc. I took many a picture with this camera, but as with all film cameras, I was never really sure if a picture would develop as I envisioned or not. I always had to wait for the results from my local photo lab. Sometimes I was very happy with the results and sometimes not. It was always an iffy thing.

In between that Canon and my digitals, I’ve owned a slew of 35mm cameras, some better than the Canon and some not. I even owned a Minolta at one time, not my favorite camera by a long shot.

Then came the digitals. I was in heaven. No film to deal with, had built in flash, moderate zoom at the press of a button, and I could see my pictures instantly.

My beginner digital was a 2 megapixel camera with a 10x zoom and built in flash. Oh WOW! I studied that instruction booklet front to back several times. I could take my pictures, download them to my computer and view them right away. I could even send them to friends and family. I owned several small, pocket size digitals before I stepped up to a larger digital camera.

My next camera was a Kodak digital, automatic and manual. The megapixels were more, the zoom was greater. It was an extremely user friendly camera. One almost didn’t have to read the manual to understand how it functioned. Manual settings were EASY to figure out and use. And the photos came out crisp, sharp and very detailed. The camera could recognize and adjust for any “shake” whether in auto or manual mode. Rarely was there a blurry photo. It even had a movie mode. You could use a CRV3 battery or AA’s, including rechargables.

Then I bought a Nikon Coolpix….12.1 megapixel, 15x zoom. Hmmmmm…It’s okay. But I wouldn’t call it the best camera I’ve ever had. I wouldn’t call it all that user friendly either. The flash is not automatic. You have to lift it manually if you think you might need it. Manual settings are okay, but the camera is so sensitive to movement that you can’t take a picture without a tripod on any manual setting. Handheld pictures come out blurry in any manual setting. I found myself using the auto mode more and more often. The photos weren’t any better with the Nikon than with the Kodak and I paid more for the Nikon. It doesn’t have a viewfinder; it only has an LCD screen. So on a bright, sunny day you can’t see what’s on the screen. You are blind shooting, hoping you get a good shot. Oh and it uses 4 AA batteries and goes through those batteries like a child eating candy. I have tried the rechargables, still uses them up quickly.

As a comparison, for the money, you get a better camera and more features with the Kodak than with a Nikon. I think you are just paying for the name with a Nikon. But if that’s your thing, then go for it.

My latest camera is a Poloroid Lumix DMC FZ70 super zoom camera. OMG! I love this camera! It has a 60X ZOOM, 16.1 megapixels, 3 inch LCD screen and a viewfinder, manual and auto settings. The battery came with the camera and it is rechargeable (came with the charger too). Pretty much straight out of the box the camera is user friendly. The manual is easy to understand and there is also a CD with additional information on it.
The only thing I didn’t care for was the photo program that you need to download from the CD in order to get your pictures from the camera to your computer via the USB cord. Yes you can take out the SDHD card and download your pictures straight from that, but that can be a pain in the bohunkus. I guess I just like using a USB cord download option.

Here are a few of my test pictures. I hope to be able to get out and get some more interesting photos next week.
Granted these were just out in my back yard, so experimenting with the zoom was somewhat limited.

test a

test b