Friday, December 30, 2005

When you get your Dream Camera

By Christina VanGinkel

A friend of mine received her dream camera for Christmas. It has all the bells and whistles that a digital camera could have. Tons of presets, plus the availability to set things like the shutter speed and focus manually if the person using it so desires. It has a whopping 12 optic zoom and 8 mega pixels. Another friend of mine got what she considers her dream camera this year at Christmas too. It may have manual settings, but she does not think so. If it does, she would never use them anyway. The maximum zoom is three, whether that is optic or digital zoom, she is not sure about that either. It does have three mega pixels though; she said that is stamped on the outside of the camera face itself.

How two cameras, with such obvious differences, both be considered dream cameras is easy, really, as both of my friends will use their cameras for very different things. My first friend has grandiose plans for a vacation to rival all family vacations this upcoming summer, and wanted a camera to document every step of the trail. She wants the availability to zoom in on her kids as they climb among the rocks at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado, and to take beautiful shots from the top of Pikes Peak that she can print and hang on her wall as her own personal art collection. My other friend wants to be able to take quick snapshots of her crafts to sell on Ebay. She does not need a zoom lens or a high resolution, as she doubts that she will ever actually print a single photograph, though the salesperson who sold it to her husband, assured him that with three mega pixels, the camera would take pictures that are more than adequate for printing at a typical 4 x 6 inch size.

This actual scenario paint a very vivid picture of why it is so important to know what you intend, or intend not to do with your camera, especially if you are in the market for purchasing a new one. With a price range for your average new digital camera ranging from less than one hundred dollars, to well into the thousands, it is not hard to be caught up in the bells and whistles available when shopping. That is fine if you will use them, but not if the camera will mainly frustrate you with all those perks, especially if you never intend to use them in the first place.

Because of these very huge differences in the available cameras, I have another friend, ok; really, it is me, who is reluctant to part with my old camera even though I have a perfectly good new one with all the prerequisite bells and whistles of mega zoom lens and tons of mega pixels. I like my old basic camera for taking an occasional picture to email or post a pic online at Ebay or a website. I know my new camera is capable of doing the same things, but I am so comfortable with the old camera that I find myself often grabbing it if I know that is what the pictures are intended for.

Having more than one digital camera is not even very odd. When I asked a few friends who I know just got new cameras, if they already had a digital, and what they did with it, I was not surprised to hear that many of them, actually most of them, kept their old ones for the very same reasons I kept mine. This whole discussion came about when a friend asked me what I was doing with my old one, as she would like to buy it. I was going to say that I gave it my son, but she knows me well enough to know that he has my oldest digital already. I did consider selling it to her, but in the end, I just could not do it. Like a good friend, I know the ins and outs of it, and I will continue to use it. SO to all of you new camera owners who received your dream cameras this past holiday, but find yourself reluctant to part with your old camera, know that if nothing else, you are not alone, as I am keeping mine too. As my two-year-old grandson says, it's mine, and no, you cannot play with it!

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