Santa was exceptionally gracious this Christmas: Julie got a new digital camera! At long last, I would be able to give back to my brother his camera: one that I’ve been using for approximately eight months now. Why was I using brother’s camera? More on that in a minute.
My love for taking pictures is a new one, my addiction having been enabled by my photog friend Carynn. Though the artistry of my pictures doesn’t quite live up to her results, it’s nice to have something to aspire to. (There’s your shout-out, C-Dawg!).
My first digital camera was a good one, but as is often the case when one starts making “real” money in a “real” job, the need to upgrade slowly creeps in. In retrospect (sigh), I should have saved my money.
So, in late summer/early fall of 2008, I started shopping around for a new camera. I settled on another Kodak: my first one was fine, why fix what ain’t broke? So one fateful evening, after weeks of playing that add-to-cart, remove-from-cart game that often precedes a purchase of over $100, I bit the bullet and clicked Place Order. In about a weeks’ time, I’d be the proud owner of a new camera.
One week, two weeks, three weeks passed. According to the UPS tracking number, my package had been delivered… but where? I filed a claim with UPS — no help. I even called Kodak — no help. I stalked the mailroom (at the time, my shipping address was sometimes complicated, so it made sense that it was just sitting there, undelivered). Every day for about a week, I called to inquire about my package in the morning. Then, when I felt like there might have been a shift change, I would walk over there in person in the afternoons. I asked to speak with the person who had apparently signed for my package. I was even allowed inside to watch while employees searched shelves upon shelves of packages, looking for mine. The folks I spoke with seemed genuinely sorry, especially after I told them exactly what I was waiting for.
I was upset. I was disappointed. I was very, very angry.
But after a few months of waiting, I chalked it up to a loss. I shouldn’t have been so greedy, I told myself. My old camera was perfectly fine, I didn’t need a new one. I decided it was a sign.
Fast forward to about February 2009… when my package mysteriously arrived. Seems it had gotten shoved to the back of some pile of boxes, or… No. I didn’t even care anymore. As long as I had my camera, all was well. She was a beauty, and took fine-looking pictures. I’d even sprung for a memory card (I’d never owned one before) so that I could take more than a dozen pictures at a time. It was awesome.
But then, one fateful night, I placed my camera in my purse and went out with some friends. We were chaperoning a dance. I put my purse and coat in what I thought was an out-of-the-way closet. I forgot that my camera was inside, but no worries. Other people had cameras; the night would be documented regardless.
It wasn’t until the next day that I pulled my camera out of my purse.
The screen had been smashed.
This voided the warranty.
It could not be fixed for less than the original purchase price.
Talk about a cluster fuck.
It appeared that someone must have stepped on my purse, with the camera still inside. I had tucked it into a corner, under a chair. Maybe someone moved the chair and crunched my purse in the process? I didn’t want to think about it. Disappointment and sadness and anger – more than before – overwhelmed me. I vowed to never waste my money on a camera again, and I took possession of my brother’s. He never used it, after all.
But then someone funny happened: he wanted it back. So back to the drawing board I went, playing the add-to-cart, remove-from-cart game.
Until Santa intervened, bringing me the glorious device pictured above.
To say that I was stoked would be a gross understatement. I mean: look at this thing! Santa done good! This was far better than anything I’d considered buying for myself.
So I got her out of the box, charged her up, and took her for a test spin: Wow, what a zoom! And so many settings! I was overwhelmed, but with excitement and happiness and gratefulness this time!
Until I noticed something funny: after I took a picture, the camera started making noises. I can’t quite describe these noises other than to say it sounds like it’s trying to autofocus on EVERYTHING. Little scritch-scritch sounds I’ve never experienced with any other Kodak (remember: this is my fourth). Online research and troubleshooting has proved to be unhelpful. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why it’s doing what it’s doing (or what it’s doing, really). Scritch-scritch. Scritch-scritch.
So here’s my dilemma: The sound is incredibly annoying, but it doesn’t seem to affect any of the picture-taking. Am I being too picky? Is this just a quirk of this particular model? Does this mean that the camera will cease to function the day after the warranty expires? (Side note: Santa was kind enough to purchase the Extended Warranty. Santa knows me quite well). Should I try to exchange it now? Send it in for service?
Or is this just a sign that I should have never wanted a new camera two years ago?
If it ain’t broke…