Rants on business, science, technology, society, politics, police, and justice, plus life hacks and tricks, since 2003. header image 2

Diminutive Delaware Day-Trip Decidedly Disappoints

August 7th, 2005 · No Comments

Hi… I’m in Delaware. I’ve always wanted to say that.

Maybe the headline is a bit harsh; I didn’t have a bad trip really, it was just “not my night”. The major disappointment of the evening was breaking my digital camera. Honestly, the camera was on its last legs anyway. I had even been looking into a digital camera for a while. I now own a non-functional Canon Powershot S50. For twenty-one months, that camera served me quite well.

When I purchased it in November of 2003, Sears was asking for $499.99. Through some finagling, I got the price down to $399.99. In retrospect, I wish I had purchased the maintenance agreement (now known as a protection agreement). I always associate Sears’ service plans with reliability. If you buy their extended warranty, they will gladly replace the broken item. Of course, they sell good products and don’t want you to have to use your extended warranty, and so they sell products they don’t think will easily break in the first place.

Just as an aside, in retail, the higher the cost of the protection agreement (or other extended warranty) is proportional to the likelihood that the device will fail within the warranty period. The companies that sell you the “insurance” against product failure set the price of the warranty in such a way that they can maintain profitability. Of course, remember that sometimes, you want to pay that small markup just to ensure that you’re not the one that is on the short end of the stick. If the insurer loses out, it’s a calculated risk. If your item breaks, however, you’re left with the burden of replacing it.

Anyway, the Powershot S50 was a great camera. It packed professional quality features in to a pocket size (albeit a large pocket size) package. I had put it through such a heavy duty cycle by carrying it everywhere I went for nearly two years that it’s amazing that the camera didn’t fail earlier. I specifically recall one time where I set up a tripod so that I could get up a sort of self-portrait with Allison and myself when I went with her on my road trip last year. We were just entering Michigan, and we pulled over to the side to get a horribly dangerous shot of ourselves at the border entering the state. The highway had incredibly heavy truck traffic and a ton of construction was also going on. Since the shoulder was so narrow, a truck that happened to be passing by created such a large gust of wind that the tripod, perched atop Allison’s grandfather’s car, blew right over. The camera sustained a good 6 foot fall. The fall last night was shorter, but I guess it just hit the precisely wrong way.

And so, my camera’s Achilles’ heel was struck. Honestly, I’m pretty disappointed that I broke my camera only because I’ve been through so much with it. Sure, I had been getting fed up with some of the unreliability and general problems associated with aging. I just guess I wasn’t quite ready to get a new camera. Now, I pretty much had to. And as such, I decided to go with what I already know works – the Canon Powershot S70. This particular model of camera has done something that not many products can do – it earned my brand loyalty. As is made clear by many of my other entries here, I often have negative things to say about the products or services offered in today’s marketplace. Occasionally, however, I go out on a limb and put my seal of approval on a product. The Canon Powershot series has earned that seal. To see the photos that I put together with the Powershot S50, may it rest in peace, check out the Photo Portfolio, which is maintained separately from the galleries.

And on that note, just imagine the cool shots I’ll be able to get with the newer model. For starters, those 2.1 extra mega-pixels can make quite a difference, as I’ve already seen from other people’s photos from the S70. The lens on the S70 is one of the things that excites me most about getting a new replacement camera. The new lens is capable of exceptional wide-angle shots, and can also focus in as closely as 4 cm away (the S50 can only zoom in as close as 10 cm). The range of available shutter speeds is about the same, although the 1/2000 sec exposure time will be new. The movie mode on the S70 is capable of 640×480 resolution video, which excites me greatly, also. But the best part in my mind is the new ability to use wide-angle and telephone lens adapters. It is not common that you find a consumer-grade, pocket sized digital camera that offers the extensibility of swappable lenses.

So, with the changing of the guard, I’m excited to see what the new camera can do. I’ll be receiving it on Tuesday, since I ordered the new one with next-day shipping. I’ll make sure to post a couple of shots to see what it’s capable of. Oh, and I’ll make sure to post some pictures and such from the party too.

Tags: My Thoughts

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment