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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Uh, yeah. I'm *not* buying that one...

Posted on May 17, 2010 at 5:34 PM

It's my turn to be off on Mondays this month, so that meant a day of errand running. The day started by taking Lauryn to her 3 year pediatric check-up (only about 6 months late thanks to an H1N1 back-up when they weren't seeing anyone who was just having a regular visit), and we had been telling her for days leading up to it that the doctor was just going to measure her and talk but absolutely NO shots.


So, after about 5 minutes with the nurse, she informs us that there actually WILL be a shot. This is not well received. So, we are offering Lauryn lots of things in exchange for the fact that there will be a shot. Where do you want to go to lunch? (Taco Bell). Do you want to go to Toys R Us and get a toy? Do you want to go to the library? Do you want to go swimming? She finally agrees, and it actually not too bad; the nurse is fast and efficient and it is over before she even knew what happened.


Since we're driving up north to T R Us, I decide to swing into Sam's. We've been needing a new digital camera -- I noticed on my trip to DC that all the indoor pictures I took with my 5-year old Canon look like they were taken using natural lighting at around midnight, and it has a habit of putting a pinkish-purplish stripe through the top 1/3 of the picture. Plus, it has always had a cap of 30 seconds on video clips and it is slow as molASSes. Plus, I have a gift card worth about $185 for Sam's, so it seemed like the stars were alligning.


So we get there and start looking through the cameras. As much as I know about technology, I always feel totally out of my element when camera shopping. I know absolutely nothing about F-stops and picture modes and histograms. It's not that I am intimidated by the experience, but I do worry that I'm going to buy the "wrong" thing and then end up hating it for the next several years.  But, I kind of feel like digital cameras are a bit like tier-1 TVs---they are probably all a lot more alike than different at the same price point, so I doubt I can go too far off course.


After a few minutes of fiddling with the displays, I think I find one that looks like a winner. It's a Sony, has 14 megapixels (still only 70% of Kinsley's dad's phone, but...), has a 7x optical zoom, a 3-inch LCD screen and shoots 720p video clips. Since we are Sony dealers, I call my shop and ask Andy to check the pricing and it turns out the my dealer COST is about $25 more than the Sam's price, so that is pretty much the deal clincher. The only thing is that the camera is the ONLY one that doesn't power up, so I can't see how quick it is on focusing and taking a picture. I mention my concern, and they assure me I have 90 days to try it at home and bring it back, so I'm sold.


I take the little "buy me" coupon over to the lady and they retrieve the camera from a case and it is obvious from the ripped and retaped seal that it has been purchased, opened and returned. So I tell her, "Hmmm. I really don't know if I want to buy one that has been used and returned...."


She continues opening it up, and yep all the manuals are bent and used, so she says, "Well, why don't you put the battery in so you can see how fast it shoots."


That's when I go to pull it out....and watch as it slips out of the little plastic sleeve and falls four feet down to smash into the concrete floor. This creates that rather awkward moment of silence where she is looking at me thinking, "You just dropped my camera" and I'm thinking, "We both know that I'm not buying this thing now, right?" I pick it up and there are clearly little scratches on the LCD screen, which I do my best to wipe off, but, well, there's only so much my cotton shirt can do.


So, still in the market for a new camera. They are getting some more in a few days, so if anyone has any experieince with the Sony Cybershot W370 -- for or against -- I'd love to hear it.

Categories: May 2010, Electronics

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Reply PR Buddha
2:44 PM on May 18, 2010 
Nikon....D40 is a great place to start. I'm currently in love with the D70, but being a realist I know I can afford the D40. I was a cannon girl until I took the best photos of my life, one handed in 3-6 foot seas on the bow of a 28 foot sailoboat...with a Nikon...
Reply John Sciacca
2:47 PM on May 18, 2010 
PR Buddha says...
Nikon....D40 is a great place to start. I'm currently in love with the D70, but being a realist I know I can afford the D40.

Sure, I'd love an SLR -- and a toilet made of solid gold! -- but they are equally out of the cards! I'm looking in the $200 range. Plus, I want something svelte-ish that I can tuck into a jacket pocket for all those PR jaunts you guys take us on, instead of needing to tote around a man bag or sling yet another something over my shoulder.
Reply PR Buddha
2:55 PM on May 18, 2010 
Try the Cannon digital elph.
Pocket sized so you can leave the man purse at home, and has tons of features including night and underwater....Great point and shoot for the money.
Reply [email protected]
5:29 PM on May 18, 2010 
Have you ever heard "Lovely to look at, lovely to hold, if it gets broken consider it sold. But I am glad they did not hold to that.