Sunday, December 13, 2009


Due to reasons I really don't want to go into, as of three days ago, I no longer own my $850, camera.

As of next week, I get to replace it with a much cheaper one.

First of all, let me take this opportunity to point out once again just what a complete waste of time user-reviews of anything are. You look for reviews of digital cameras and the reviews fall into one of four categories.

Total idiots:

This is a terrible, poorly designed camera and user support is even worse. The camera wouldn't turn on and when I tried to open the back to put the film in (which I ended up needing a chisel to do) the whole camera broke in half. I called the help-line and the idiot on the other end claimed that the camera didn't use film and gave me some cock and bull story about voiding my warranty just because I took a hammer and chisel to the casing.
This level of incompetence is totally unacceptable!

Reviews that give no information what so ever:

"Good camera, I like it."

Reviews by people who have been living under a rock and are dazzled by technology:

"This is the best camera ever! Not only does it not need film, you don't have wind it on to the next exposure and it has a screen so you can see your image immediately, it's like magic!"

Finally, the reviews by the asshole, pseudo-intellectuals who claim that everything that isn't the absolute top of the line is totally shit:

"This camera is consumer grade trash. I don't know why anyone would ever consider owning one. I looked at this then bought the imager from the Hubble Space Telescope instead."

To be complete honest though, the main reason I decided to write this post was after looking at some of the 'features' available on the latest digital cameras. I won't deny that some of them are very useful and handy (I personally have always preferred a totally manual SLR, but some of these features are great for just regular snaps)…but one or two made my jaw drop open.

For example, one of the cameras I'm considering buying has a 'skin softening' feature. Basically, you take your picture, the camera detects the face and then softens out the skin to remove blemishes, etc in the camera before saving the image.

Are we really that vain?

You see, while I'm definitely just a hobbyist when it comes to cameras, when I started out in my teens, I was using a film camera, black and white film and used my dad's darkroom equipment in a blacked out bathroom to develop my own pictures. While I definitely embraced digital technology, and just adore photoshop…there's something just a little off to me about a camera that does its own photo manipulation.

I mean, what's the point in a camera that doesn't really capture what's actually there. We're going to have to change the saying from 'The camera never lies' to 'The camera is one lying son of a bitch'.

In all serious, what's next? A camera that automatically softens your skin, makes you look taller, whitens your teeth and gives you a six-pack?

If 'auto skin softening' is a feature on just a mid-range camera today, it's going to be on every new camera within a few years.

I can't help but wonder what it will be like when the aliens discover the remains of the internet after we've blown ourselves up in a hundred years and report back:

"They're all dead, sir. They appear to have been a very war-like, savage race…but they all looked amazing."

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