Saturday, June 18, 2005

Do I Really Want a Digital Camera?

I feel like I'm one of the last people in the world who doesn't have a digital camera. As prices come down and they become more and more common, kids in middle school have digital cameras and I still don't. My very non-technical dad has a digital camera. In fact, he bought a computer just so that he could print out the pictures he takes with this digital camera. But something makes me hold back on actually purchasing one. I want one, but I don't want to actually spend the money on it.

It's actually kind of funny that I should be fixated on this issue when I'm not much of a picture taker, so not having a digital camera should be a non-issue. I used to take pictures at the end of the school year in middle school and high school. Looking back, I'm not sure why. Everyone seemed to do it like we weren't going to see each other back in the same school in late August. But I have a few fun pictures from those times, so I'm glad now that I did it so that I have a memento of my school days.

For a while in college I took a lot of pictures. I was in a club that had a scrapbook competition at the end of the year, and I also made a newsletter, so I had a definite motivation to chronicle the year so that the club could have my double prints and I could scan a few shots into the newsletter. I had a Kodak Advantix camera, and I loved to play with the panoramic shot option. I felt like a real photographer when I took a panoramic shot of chickens on the grill at a chicken dinner fundraiser.

In fact, I still have that camera, although I've been slowly working my way through the same roll of film for a couple of years. Without any outside motivation like a newsletter to populate with photos, I'm just not a natural picture taker. When we got a new cat, I took a few pictures so that I could show him off to family and friends. Of course, I would need to finish off that roll and actually develop it in order for any sharing to happen. I also haven't gone on any vacations recently, and there are only so many photos you can take of your place of residence before it just gets ridiculous.

But I feel like there are so many things I could do if I had a digital camera that I don't bother to do with my standard camera. I have a few items around the house that I would like to sell on eBay, and I think a few pictures would be necessarily to really garner any bids. There are moments when I see something that I would like to share with my friends across the country, and the spontaneity is gone with a regular camera. I could scan a picture for either of these purposes, but scanned photos are never quite the same as a clear digital image because you always get a bit of lint or a smudge on the scanner plate that keeps the final scanned image from being its best.

I suppose for the time being, I'll just have to keep pondering my digital camera ownership status.

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