Friday, August 08, 2008

Digital Death and Rebirth

I realized something was seriously wrong with my hand-me-down Canon PowerShot A70 when I tried to take a picture of my “antique” hair dryer the other day. The image looked like abstract art. “Trippy” my friend said.

I am a firm believer in repairing electronic devices when it makes sense, so I took it in to Penn Camera today to get an estimate. The technician immediately diagnosed it as a broken CCD (electronic charging device) and said it would cost a minimum of $150 to repair the old camera.

The spiffy new one he showed me was smaller, lighter weight, cuter, and had a lot more functionality for just $200. So I am now the proud owner of a Nikon Coolpix S550, which comes with a case, a 2-year warranty, and a coupon for free prints every month for a year.

I’m intrigued by the free prints offer. I happened to notice in my library clean-up project that out of 24 photo albums, the last one covers 8 years and has had virtually nothing added in the last couple of years. So I’m wondering if the camera stores are on to this phenomenon and are trying to tempt people to print their pictures once again.

I worry from time to time about the new trail we are blazing for future genealogists that will require them to know how to access our on-line photo libraries and read our e-mail exchanges to accomplish what used to be possible with photo albums, scrapbooks, and hand-written letters.

Those of us who Blog are making it simple for the upcoming genealogists, assuming Blogger is around for the next 100 years or so. Unfortunately there is no easy solution when evolving technology is involved. Maybe life in the present moment is the best we can do.


Blogger Kristin said...

I've started having books made. Albums of my trips, my family, my nothings at all. They make me happy.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Someone will be grateful long after you are gone!

5:39 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

congrats on your new camera!

My brother has a cool saying about digital photos: You can't have what you don't take

Because we grew up in an era of film being costly, we are natural conservators, but hey, take a million pictures and enjoy the results.

I think Kodak gallery and picasso will offer you new prints when you sign up. My sister (did I mention that photography is a full-contact sport in our family) says that having your prints done at a place that does a high volume (like walmart or costco) ensures fresh fluids and better results. The cool part now is that you can upload your photos now and pick up your prints when you shop. kewl!

I am the type of person who buys other people's foto albums just to read the family dynamics by how people are standing, but I can' figure out why anyone would sell their own photo albums?!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Ruth D~ said...

I've often though that blogs will be the greatest historical links for the future historians. Have fun with the new cam.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kelly -- I would never have thought of buying someone else's photo album or selling one of my 24! (Or any of the boxes of albums I inherited from my parents). Come to think of it, I don't know most of the people in their albums, maybe it would be better to sell them!)

Ruth D -- Blogging is definitely a good way to capture a person's history, but unfortunately not everyone has one!

9:15 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

A Nikon for $200, that's cool(pix)! I was in Best Buy recently and saw that every major camera company (Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, even Kodak) has a camera like this. In comparison, my Canon Elph 4.0 Mp, which is about 5 years old, is big and heavy. But I'm deciding between replacing it with a camera like your coolpix, or getting a more serious SLR digital camera with zoom lens, etc. The blogs demand it!

9:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MC -- Think about the weight and you will go with a CoolPix/equivalent. My husband has a fancy, expensive SLR and a CoolPix 5100. He usually takes the lighter camera (and that would not be the SLR). Just how good does a picture have to be?!

10:47 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I am so happy to have discovered blogging after having lost 99% of my photos dating back to college. Now I have a place to keep them where they will hopefully not get lost or destroyed.

Kellyann - That is so interesting that you buy random photo albums to study family dynamics. When I did a post about my family trip to Yellowstone last fall I included a buffalo and raven video that was made by a very nice family because it was such a contrast to the videos I made featuring the same subject matter. I found the differences to be quite amusing. It was also interesting to note the regression to my former bratty 10 year old self, which I'm quite sure was stimulated by the presence of my parents and my brother.

1:57 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

Cyndy, I also find myself buying other people's yearbooks as well...
one of those other people's photo albums that I bought has this iconic photo of children eating watermelon on a picnic, maybe 80 or 90 years ago, some things are just a part of the human experience - picnics and watermelons.

2:22 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- So sad that you lost so many pictures, but you're right that Blogging provides a lot of security. The Google people could make a lot of money by suddenly shutting down Blogger and offering us a chance to buy back our lives!

Kelly -- Maybe this is how I should expand my tiny only-child family! :)

8:20 AM  
Blogger lettuce said...

hope you're enjoying your new camera


4:24 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I still print a select few of my pics, but I take so many now that I can't print everything!

Cute camera!

4:36 PM  

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