Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Once upon a time there was a camera...

We have 3 digital cameras. Not big SLR ones, but small "put in your pocket and handy to shoot whatever" ones. The reason we have 3 is that we had one (a Canon PowerShot A720 IS) which we absolutely loved and had since 2004. It worked well, had 8 megapixels, 6x optical zoom and was perfect for us. And then throughout Bianca's treatment it was so important for us to capture as many photos of what was busy happening so that we could have a visual record of Bianca's journey. Something that one day she could look at and know that that was her journey. Yes, there were many really difficult days, sad days, and some more normal and happy days also. And despite the sad and difficult and challenging I didn't want to try and forget what was happening, this was her life, it is part of her life, her memories and we owe it to her to recognize it and be able to share with her when she is older and might have some questions. And since 2007 we have taken probably a few thousand photos. So for us, a camera became very much part of our lives. But anyway, to get back to why we have 3 cameras...

We went to Piha Beach once. A beautiful black sand beach. Absolutely stunning. And when we were there one of the kids (maybe Bianca, can't remember) slipped in the water and I jumped and ran towards her (she wasn't far from me and certainly not in deep water) and in that moment, almost in slow motion, our camera, our beloved companion slipped out of my pocket and landed in the water. In salty sea water!!!!! Terence gave me such a hard time about it. So we phoned Canon and asked them if there was anything we were able to do to try and save our camera and they told us that unfortunately because it landed in the sea water it probably won't work anymore. We were devastated and thankfully they had the exact same camera on sale at the time so we bought another one and invested in a much bigger memory card. Then months later I discovered the older camera (the one that fell into the sea water) on a shelf where we left it and I decided to try and turn it on and... it actually still worked. Wow! I couldn't believe it. Turned out that it was a good decision after it fell into the water to not turn it on and so it actually had time to dry completely. So now we had 2 cameras which was really handy.

Recently the two started giving us some hassles. The one keeps asking to have the batteries replaced even though we just replaced it with brand new batteries. The other - the flash stopped working. Well it does sometimes, but more often than not it doesn't and unfortunately it means the quality of photos are pretty terrible most of the times unless it is bright enough so we could use available light. A bit depressing with Christmas on its way and so many photo opportunities that we would be missing because of these two temperamental (although probably quite overworked) cameras.

On the 11th of December Terence flew to Auckland to attend his company's Christmas party and (lucky as always) he won a new digital camera. A Samsung. Unfortunately we found that whilst it is new and had quite a few cool functions, unfortunately it is not the best quality and no matter how hard we try it keeps taking blurry out of focus shots unless you get the kids to sit dead still until you are completely done with the shot. The slightest movement before it finished the processing bit, and the image is simply out of focus.

So despite having 3 cameras neither worked particularly well. We rang Canon asking them how much it might cost to fix our Canon cameras and for them to just take a look at it (not actually fixing it or buying parts or anything like that) it would be $150 (not sure if that is for both or per camera), but we figured that since we could probably buy a brand new camera for the same cost as them looking at it and fixing it (if possible) it wouldn't be worth spending the money to get it fixed.

Yesterday we got a pretty cool surprise, just in time for Christmas. For a while now we've been participating in Fly Buys. And if I say for a while, it was since 2008. It is a loyalty programme where you get points each time you buy groceries from New World and spend at least $25 (which isn't hard with our food prices nowadays), or if you get your tyres done at Beaurepairs or your WOF and licensing at VTNZ and so on. There are quite a few retailers that are participating. And so over time we've been collecting points and finally we had enough to get a reward we really wanted. A new Canon PowerShot SX130 IS and today we received it. How exciting! And it didn't cost us a single additional cent :-)

It is much better than any of the other ones we have and such cool functions like this one where you can select just 1 colour and it makes the rest black and white (I think this is going to be one of my favourite functions):

Or you could choose a colour and replace it with another. Here Bianca's shirt is pink:

And changing it to a shade of blue:

Okay it changed her lips as well, but you get the point...

And best of all - we are all ready to capture many nice memories for Christmas :-)


Sharon said...

That is a very cool function!

The Clam said...

Awesome features! Enjoy it ")


balance said...

B/W snap is really looking one from a professional photographer; cool!

'pig of happiness'- really cute video! I wish it was that easy but one should try of course!

kiwifruitfi said...

Cameras just get more and more clever don't they! By the time you buy one it's out of date.

Congrats on winning all your prizes! Lucky you :)