Meet the New Toy

I went out and bought myself a new digital camera yesterday: A Kodak EasyShare DX4530, photographed here by the Olympus Camedia C-21 which it is replacing. Which almost seems cruel, doesn’t it. Like the guy who’s being laid off being made to train the new guy who’s taking his job. Fortunately, they’re objects, without sense and feeling, and anyway, as I noted over at By The Way, the Olympus is destined for Athena duty, since we already know she likes playing with the camera. I can’t say that we’re frugal here in the Scalzi household, but we’re definitely “waste not, want not.”

I was hesitant about the Kodak at first, more or less for the same reason I don’t like shopping at Sears; it seems like the last century’s brand name. But it it was well-reviewed, reasonably priced ($300, which is what I bought the Olympus for about four years ago), and it had a nice range of features yet provided me the ability not to do anything but snap pictures if that’s what I wanted (and it is; I’m not the guy who is sitting there fiddling with f-stops). Also, it uses AA batteries and a non-proprietary storage system, which recommended it over other cameras in the same price and tech range. The camera has a 5 megapixel resolution, which considering that nearly every picture I have gets cropped and resized, is more than I probably need on a day to day basis. I in fact currently have it set for the “medium” 3.1 Mp resolution, since it allows a nice balance between number of pictures on the memory card and picture detail. I won’t be printing posters of my shots, after all. But’s nice to have.

I’m pretty pleased with the camera so far, particularly in its color reproduction; the Olympus would be a little washed out, but the Kodak hits it. For example, the trees outside my house really are this shade of green:

So it’s nice not to have to fiddle with a picture in Photoshop to get it closer to correct. I’m still trying to figure out the various quirks of the thing, mostly having to do with exposure and focus, but it’s got a pretty shallow learning curve. I’ll get it.

One thing I did not buy the camera for but which I can tell will be something I am going to use is its ability to record moving pictures (it has a little built-in microphone, so you can have sound, too, but it’s not exactly super high quality). I surprised Krissy when she came home last night with a little film of Athena saying all the reasons why she loved mommy, which was so cute that Krissy didn’t even ask what I paid for the camera. I don’t have any illusions as to where Athena gets her manipulation super powers, you know. Anyway, I expect to take lots of little movies of my little girl. Don’t worry, I won’t inflict them upon you.

Should you expect more pictures now? No, just expect them to look marginally better. See, I’m all about customer service.

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