Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The revolution will be photographed.

All the digital photography I've done for the last seven or so years has been done with a Nikon CoolPix 990 that was handed down to me by my friend Oleg. I figure that if you mostly take pictures of guns, a camera once owned by Oleg Volk is a good thing to have, so why change? (Plus, I am nothing if not a creature of habit; if something works, I use it 'til it falls apart.)

Guess what I forgot to pack when I drove down to Tennessee?

So the morning of the LuckyGunner shoot found me in Wally World, figuring to pick up a cheapie digicam for sixty bucks or so, just to use for the shoot. By coincidence, the Turkey Creek WalMart was having a clearance, blowing out a whole raft of discontinued cameras. In a hurry, I grabbed one that looked half decent, (a Kodak EasyShare V1073,) for eighty bucks. I started to grab a battery for it, but the clerk assured me that it came with one.

And it did. A dead one.

Thankfully WizardPC had a 12V USB adapter in his car which he was gracious enough to let me borrow, else I'd have been a sad panda for Day One of the shoot.

I'll post pics as soon as I get home.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Two is one, one is none, and three is even better.

Drang said...

Yeah, we went to Hawaii the first time and I forgot the charger for the Kodak EasyShare. Went to the Kailua Kona Walmart and the clerk was sharp enough to point out that any battery they sold would need charging first, so all photos that first trip were taken with my cell phone. :-(
You'd think the low-end cameras would take AAs or CR123s, which started out life as camera batteries anyway...

Lergnom said...

On my one and only ever trip to Italy, I graciously allowed someone on the trip to borrow my flash. She graciously returned it the next day, having forgotten to turn it off and draining my only set of AAs. This was 1974, so AA batteries were thin on the ground in most of the country. I was just lucky to have a Europe-compatible power cord and fast film. Ever since, I bring replacement batteries for all my electronics.

Anonymous said...

[quote]You'd think the low-end cameras would take AAs or CR123s, which started out life as camera batteries anyway..[/quote]

Many low-end cameras do take AAs.

Approximately half of my entry level photography class used cheaper cameras with limited manual adjustment that used AAs.

The rest of us used dSLRs with rechargeble batteries. I recharged mine maybe 2 or 3 times the whole semester.

The people using AA point and shoots used enough batteries to come close to paying the difference for an entry level dSLR.

Les Jones said...

Oddly enough most digital cameras use custom batteries even though most flashes uses AA cells. Not sure why that is.

Kristopher said...

Bad batteries are at the root of most online complaints about that particular camera.

I use a Nikon Coolpix that uses simple AA cells. I can get batteries anywhere.

Tam said...

Kristopher,

"I use a Nikon Coolpix that uses simple AA cells. I can get batteries anywhere."

The Nikon CoolPix 990 that I left in Hoosieropolis uses AA batteries, too. ;)

atlharp said...

I actually have been using the little cheapo camera on my Blackberry phone as of late. I even did some filming with it at a local IDPA match and I was impressed. As long as the light is good it seems to do ok.

Anonymous said...

This is why I use a checklist to pack. I also have another list titled "Things I Forgot". Top of that list? Pencil & Paper - which is useful for writing down things I forgot.

wolfwalker said...

Unfortunately, AA-driven cameras have been getting scarce of late, as manufacturers realize that a) it's a bit more difficult to design a camera that will work off 2 or 4 AAs, and b) proprietary batteries are nearly as good a cash cow as proprietary printer ink and toner cartridges.

That said, should you be lucky enough to have such a camera, I HIGHLY recommend a set (or two) of Sanyo EneLoop rechargeable batteries. These things are a quantum leap beyond any other type of rechargeable battery: they take a big charge, produce a nice high current, and they absolutely do not "bleed" charge as many cheaper NiMH batteries do. A couple of sets of EneLoops and a charger, and you'll never have to worry about camera batteries again. Add a power inverter so you can run the charger off a car 12v DC socket, and you can charge batteries while driving.

Kristopher said...

Yea, I couldn't imagine Oleg handing someone a bad camera, even as a freebee.

But Kodak has earned a really bad rep. They got into the digital camera business very late, and tried to cheap out to avoid bankruptcy. They manufacture none of them themselves, but rather rebrand whatever asian manufacturer they are using for the deal de jure.

wildman7316 said...

I've got a FujiFilm FinePix S700 for my "Not Serious Enough for the 35mm" shooting. Uses 4 AA Batteries and likes rechargeables just fine. Got 3 sets of batteries that fit in the case, a "quick charger" (1 hour) that plugs into the cigarette lighter (or into a wall wart). I can (and have) fill a 4 Gig memory card with a single set of batteries and find that the "extras" sure come in handy for other stuff.

og said...

This is why I have a $29 5mp "range camera' that uses AA batteries and stays in the rangebag. Sounds like you have a rangebag camera now too.

Tam said...

Og,

Kinda sorta.

I imagine that this is going to replace the Nikon for general away-from-home picture-taking work, in that the CoolPix 990 is about the size of a 35mm SLR sans lens: It has to hang around the neck while the Kodak will slip into a shirt pocket.

JC said...

Was that an intentional Gill Scott Heron ref? He daid now, y'no. Saturday, if I'm not mistaken. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BS3QOtbW4m0


In a fit of irony, the main cause of his death was crack cocaine.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

avoiding AA batteries in cameras can be a form of experience control. If you can't fit AA batteries, you won't have idgits getting all worked up about their *camera*'s battery life problem when in reality the problem is the batteries they've been feeding it coming from the 10 year old crate of 1000 knockoff Chinese carbon-zinc cells they got at a trade show... or worse, the equally knocked off fresh ZnCl or actual alkaline cells that ran the camera almost alright, before deciding to play super-soaker with a nice KOH electrolyte spray.

That said, I've used exclusively Olympus digital cameras so far and both models I've owned had AA power options. Either would burn a decent set of alkalines in one good session. The lithium AAs were a marginal improvement, 2-3 sessions worth, which is/was enough to last a couple months in my spotty usage. But, even the cheapest CR-V3 camera cell would last so long I'd forget how long it was in the camera... in spotty times, a YEAR or more of use. They're actual 3V chemistry lithium cells in parallel, versus the modified chemistry 1.6v(iirc) single lithium cells. Even at $10 a piece it far surpasses the actual break-even point and goes much, much further in aggravation mitigation.

Rechargable AAs are an even worse case, so I completely understand proprietary rechargables. AA rechargables range from inherited AA NiCds that might possibly muster up 400Mah through NiMH, LiON, LiPOLY, the rechargeable alkaline technologies, and differences amongst manufacturer's offerings as well as the 'memory' of previous treatment and use... can easily imagine some irate git all bent out of shape because the aging NiCds he got in the 80's that run the flashlight or toothbrush just fine only last 30 minutes in his newfangled camera.

D J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D J said...

I am using Eneloop batteries in my Pentax K-x reflex with highly satisfactory results.

I prefer the four-AA system to the proprietary battery because a) I keep cameras a long time so want batteries to be around just as long, and b) my "good" camera gets put away for months at a time and new AAs are cheaper than replacing a proprietary battery that died from lack of use.

Bear in mind that not all cameras will run nickle-metal hydrides due to their being 1.2 or so V. My little Canon range finder camera hates them (although the newer versions run just fine with 'em). The Pentax self-adjusts to the battery type, or can be hard-set for NMH or alkaline.

On the subject of point and shoot cameras, what frosts me is the virtual disappearance of them with actual optical viewfinders. This nonsense of holding a camera out in front of you, screen washed-out in anything but subdued light, is for the birds. In my line of work, I just need the viewfinder. Fortunately, Canon still makes one or two. And they use AAs.

Larry said...

I have four digicameras, two of them were "damn, forgot the camera!" purchases.