Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Lost Camera Odyssey

I love my camera.

It's a fairly basic Canon PowerShot A75, it's been outdated for at least four years, but it's mine and it's beautiful. It's taken pictures of rehearsals, workshops, and performances at Richmond Shakes and VCU, it came with me to Santo Domingo, Jackson Hole, Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Pascagoula, and everywhere in between, and it got me out of a tow charge and parking ticket. It has its problems with taking indoor pictures without a flash, but it does the job and I love it.

Three weeks ago, my beloved camera disappeared.

I had just used it to take pictures of Jill Bari's workshop at Richmond Shakes, and was a bit delinquent in getting the pics on the server and blog. A week after the event, I ripped the files to disk at the office and packed up to go home. That was the last time I saw the camera.

I tore my car apart. I looked in every room of Richmond Shakespeare's offices. And I examined seemingly every nook and cranny of our house (which was surprisingly easy; apparently we're in a liminal place between moving-in mess and settled-in clutter). No luck. I decided to just hang back and assume it was going to just pop into view at any moment. Every now and then, I would search the car again, glance around a corner I couldn't remember scanning, or walk around the office once more.

Finally, yesterday I decided it was gone for good. Out running errands in the middle of the day, I shopped a bit at Target, Staples, and finally Ritz Camera, where I spent the same $150 I had spent on the lost camera on a brand-new PowerShot A570. Truth be told, it's a huge upgrade from the A75; the interface is similar but cleaner, the display is twice as large, it's 7.1 megapixels instead of 3.2, and it's just much more camera. I also picked up some new batteries ($12), since eight expensive rechargeable batteries were also lost in the camera case, and a new 2GB SD memory card ($20, on sale at Radio Shack), quadrupling the memory of the lost camera's big clunky cartridge.

I brought my booty back to the office, feeling annoyed about the money I'd had to spend due to my own carelessness, especially coming as it did on the heels of spending $377 on my Firewire interface on Saturday.

However, as soon as I got home and put the new batteries in it and started playing, I was astonished at just how huge of an improvement this new camera was over my old one. It was faster, clearer, easier to use, and just better in every way. Karen got home and I started to show it to her.

Then, suddenly, I simply knew where the old camera was.

I walked up to the landing, reached into the mail basket, moved a few large pieces of mail off the top, and pulled out my old camera, perfect and intact.

Well, now I'm well pissed off.

I don't want my old camera any more; I want the new one. I had moved on; I was not only accepting of the expenditure, I was beginning to see it as a good investment. But I need that $150 much more than I need 7.1 megapixels right now. Senor Mortgage beckons.

So the A570, so new in fact that I hadn't even unsealed the bag with the manual and warranty, so fresh that the screen protector is still on, goes back today before I'm tempted to "lose" my old camera again. The batteries and SD card are not returnable, so I'm out that money for items I don't actually need at all.

Maybe for our anniversary...



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