I’ve been looking for a new camera since my old Olympus conked out a little while ago. Well, it could just be that all three batteries died at the same time, but I figure if I buy a new battery and the camera’s the problem, I’m out twenty bucks. If I buy a new camera, I’m out five hundred bucks, but at least I’ll have a shiny new camera. My Olympus C8080-WZ came out in about 2004, and I’ve had it at least since 2007, so a new camera has got to be quite an improvement over that.
My new camera is a Panasonic Lumix FZ-150. It’s not a Canon, it’s not a Nikon, and it’s not a DSLR. I started out looking for a DSLR, because those are like big professional cameras. Quickly I realized I didn’t even know what DSLR meant and why it was better. I also thought about how I’d like a smaller camera to take on trips and not have to worry about changing lenses and buying new lenses which costs even more money. Plus, I just don’t take pictures enough to justify the cost of a DSLR. Over the summer, or at least the next few weeks, I’ll probably take pictures like a maniac, but come September, probably not so much. My old camera usually sat around for months, only being used during birthdays and holidays. I don’t need a DSLR for that.
So that’s why it’s not a DSLR. It’s not a Canon or Nikon because I spent a lot of time comparing the features of all the current bridge cameras, and I found that the FZ-150 had the best specs for what I was looking for, even though it was the oldest of the bunch.
The Nikon Coolpix P510 felt great when I tried it in a store, but it had the worst stats of the five I was considering (bad minimum aperture, bad battery life, bad macro, bad minimum shutter speed, and no RAW). I don’t remember much about the Canon Powershot SX40; I liked the feel of the Nikon better, but my main concerns about the SX40 were no RAW, small screen resolution, and the fact that it limits shutter speed and ISO settings. I also looked at the Sony Cybershot DSC-HX200V a bit. There was nothing terrible about it, but there was nothing that really made me love it either.
The Fujifilm Finepix HS30 was my second choice. It had pretty good stats, but it was the biggest and heaviest of all the cameras I was looking at; still lighter and smaller than my Olympus though. Actually, I found my hands felt cramped with the smaller cameras as well, so there weren’t any big negatives about the HS30. However, when I tried it in the store, I just didn’t like the feel of it. It didn’t focus very well when zoomed in and the pictures I took were quite grainy, even when lowering the ISO. At first, I thought the zoom by turning the lens was cool and more professional, but I found I actually like the zoom levers more. There are definite benefits to that kind of zoom (increased battery life and more precision), but I’m all about friendly interfaces, and I’m used to the lever.
I was rather disappointed that I didn’t like the HS30, because my first choice, the Panasonic, wasn’t available in any stores. It’s back-ordered on Panasonic’s website, and Henry’s website says the camera is not in stock. I went to Henry’s to check out the cameras in person, and I was surprised to find they had one FZ-150 there for display. I got to pick it up and check it out, which I felt is quite an important thing to do before buying a camera. The guy offered to sell me the display one, but my dad said he’s always had trouble buying display models of things, so I decided against it. He didn’t even offer us a discount. He *did* try to sell me a seventy-five dollar course to learn how to use my new camera though. I could tell he thought I was just a clueless kid who wanted an expensive toy (which, okay, I did call a part of the camera “the twirly thing”, but I still know how to use it, and if I didn’t, I could read the manual or watch YouTube videos for free). Plus, when I was hemming and hawing about which camera to get, he said something like, “Don’t be like every woman ever and look at everything before you buy it”. Wow, buddy. I *really* want to buy a camera from you now. Anyway, the guy told us there were fifty back-orders of that model, but there were two in stock in their store in Dartmouth (which for some reason they can’t order from). My dad said we would go there, not realizing it was in Nova Scotia.
Anyway, after much searching, we found a store in Toronto that claimed to have the camera in stock. My dad and I drove out yesterday afternoon to get it. I was so worried they wouldn’t actually have it in stock, but they did. I was pretty excited.
I didn’t get much chance to play with the camera yet, since as soon as we got home, we had to go out to St. Catharines to sign a lease for a house my brother and I are renting next year. We had previously found a great house, but the landlord was sketchy, and I found some suspicious information when I googled him. It was all too good to be true, and there were a lot of little things he said and did that didn’t add up. Everything was much easier and straightforward with this new guy, so I hope it all turns out alright.
As we were coming home, we passed by a store called Target Apparel which was having a takeover sale, so we decided to stop in. It’s a good thing they’re closing, because if they weren’t, I’d be spending all my money there. They had tons of adorable shoes, and I *hate* shoe shopping. I got two pairs of cute little summer shoes for fifteen dollars each. There were some nice boots there too, but I figured I had already spent enough money for the day. I also got some pants for the gym, since I’ve started going there with my mom a few times a week. There was a three for ten dollars sale on scarves, and my mom bought two, so I got a third. I don’t really wear scarves, but I think they’re so cute. I can at least wear it in winter.
As we were driving home, the sun was setting and it was just gorgeous. We drove along Lake Ontario, as we always do, and at one point, the sun was over the lake and the lake was still and it was pretty awesome. I wish I had had my camera then.
At that moment, I was quite happy. I know it makes me sound shallow and materialistic to be happy about buying a new camera and new shoes, but I was. Quite often lately, I’ve had minor existential crises when I’m trying to go to sleep, just wondering what the point of my life is, and how scary it is that one day I’m just going to not exist, and how it could happen soon, and if it does, that would suck majorly because I’ve accomplished so little, and also with me being sick, it could happen sooner than I’d like it… just not nice stuff to think about. Anyway, the camera, the shoes, and the sunset just made me feel comfortable and happy. If I get a lot of little moments like that in my life, then maybe things will all be alright.