Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Returning my camera, or, losing my eyes


I shot my camera. Or rather, I put it down—like a terminal beast. I finally had it with my 'new" camera lens not focusing on the sides of the image, and I took it back to Costco 22 days after final return date.

At first the manager said no, then said, that can be fixed. I said there was nothing wrong with the camera I was returning, except the lens is utter crap, and showed her my receipt for the other Panasonic Lumix ZS50 lens (same model) was returned for the same reason. I said, you can't fix bad glass. I should've thought to bring in an image.

I said, I buy a lot of cameras from you. I whipped out the previous beloved ZS40 model with its stuck lens from my bag and said, I'd give my eye teeth if you could fix this one, it took fantastic photos. Great glass, larger image processor (18 mp). I buy a camera a year from you. The camera lens is bad, I tell you. I'm not budging.

She hemmed, she hawed, she called yet another higher-up manager, then looked up my electronics purchase file (as per my suggestion) and then her eyes widened as she looked up my purchasing history, and she said, well, you've spent $3500 in electronics in the past six years, and no returns other than the other bad Panasonic. Done!

The next model ZS60 is in (it has the same specs as my beloved dead camera replete with wifi‚ I can view the photos on my iPad!) Apparently the even numbered ZS models are the new releases, and the odd-numbered ones are the 2nd year's cheaper knockoff models (cutting corners). 

I am rarely satisfied with my iPad Air photos, not enough megapixels. I don't like 'noise." I always look at the center of my pix @ 100%, and if the resolution isn't there, or if it's "noisy" I usually toss it. The ZS50 lens rarely passed muster.

One thing that drove me crazy was that in bright sunlight my latest camera would blow all the pixels, no way to save what ain't there. And It completely lost its processor mind when I shot red flowers.

I like having multiples of the same camera family, so I can swap batteries, parts, etc. I did that with my Nikons. Got pretty good at dissecting cameras...except for the time I tried to change my LED screen and touched the thuristor. Sparks came out of the top of my head.


Waiting for a sale, I am. After I get over the sticker shock. $350! (Still it's way cheaper than Amazon). Some places list it as nearly $500, and it's a 17-month-old model. Old by electronic standards. The ZS70's been out a month.

When the Leica lenses work, they're fantastic. Worth the babysit. Was a time when the low end Nikons were great. I jumped ship after a few bad cameras in a row. Loved the Nikon P60, wore three of them out. The image processors are good for about 10K images. I do that in a year, easy. So a camera a year is a good compromise.

If the camera doesn't fit in my jeans pocket, I don't want it. I also want to be able to control shutter, aperture, depth of field in a compact camera. Is that too much to ask?

I have a big honking Nikon. I hate it. It gives me a whiplash just carrying it. And when it tries to be helpful, it's just stupid as a stump. It only likes bright outdoor landscapes. Anything else stresses its little brain.

Yeah, and back in the film days I was the Tri-X queen for pushing film to the limit, then making up for abusing my film in the darkroom. I miss my old Pentax K-1000. I sure don't miss packing that camera bag with 20 pounds of lenses.

I feel a bit naked, cameraless and all. Will have to dust off one of my old cameras to tide me over until the price drops. I feel like I've lost my eyes.


The Panasonic Lumix ZS50 got rave reviews over the ZS40, but it wasn't as good.


ZS60 specs are a bit better, back up to 18 MP (from 12 MP), same 30x f/3.3-6.4 lens. Got a ding on low light. Apparently the ZS50 got better reviews. It's a tradeoff with pixels and long range telephoto, something's gotta go—low light sensor.

Panasonic Lumix ZS60 vs ZS70 The ZS60 won the battle. Like I said, even-numbered releases are better. I really need to get a real camera. 



At Drake we used Yashikas, I had a Minolta I loved but my mom took it back, an array of Instamatics, polaroids, etc. I had several Pentax K-1000 bodies. Lovely VIvitar zoom lens. Got to use a Hasselblad from time to time when I worked for the Paper. First digital was a Chinese knockoff that had a blue cast, but a fun lens. Better than many of the later digitals. Fuji is always so blue. Borrowed my aunt's Minolta digital for about a year. Fantastic camera. Switched to Nikon for a decade or so...have had a dozen or so. Then they got crappy.



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