Monday, November 5, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend?

In the summer of 2005 I purchased my favorite toy - my first digital camera. I was going on a trip through Europe that September and I wanted to be able to document my trip so I could always look back on all the places I'd been.

I wasn't picky; I only wanted three things from a camera - a large LCD screen, a compact frame, and a rechargable internal battery. Other than that I didn't look into digital v. optical zooms, or serviceablity, or anything. A co-worker of mine had a Casio Exilim and couldn't stop singing it's praises. It had been a tough little camera, had a giant screen (2.7"), and a slim, compact design. So I took his recommendation and purchased a Casio Exilim EX-Z57.

I has been a great camera. It made the rounds with me through Europe, then Vegas; it documented many parties, family gatherings, trips to Disneyland and the beach, and was there to welcome new additions to the family. It has been such a great camera that my mom often ditches her own and borrows it when she wants to take pictures. I occasionally go through lulls when I don't take very many pictures, but I always come back.

Yesterday Bobby, Emma, and I went to Disneyland for a few hours. I'd packed us some snacks and drinks so we wouldn't be tempted to eat there - we've been disappointed by the food there too many times. Just before getting on Star Tours, I closed my Gatorade and put it in my backpack. When I grabbed my bag getting off the ride, I felt wetness.

The cap of my Gatorade had been cocked to the side and so had not closed all the way - the entire contents of my bag was soaked... including my trusty camera.

I immediately dried it off as best I could and pressed the power button, but alas, it would not turn on. I opened it up and took the battery out - it was wet. I was instantly sad - I felt this was truely the end.

My camera had recenlty had a problem and would not start - the screen would read "Lens Error" and shut off immediately. I took the camera in to a repair shop and was told that they would try but made no promises - Casio's are notoriously difficult to repair and the company offers little support. A recent trip to the beach meant sand had likely weaseled it's way into the lens. But they had been able to clean out the sand, and I my friend was back.

Now I fear that it is really done for. I am going to let it dry out for awhile before I just purchase a replacement, but I don't have high hopes. I am sad, I will miss my friend.

Normally I would have taken my experience with this camera and just purchased another Exilim. But I'm afraid that may be a bad choice.

My co-worker that had originally recommended his camera to me had since lost his Exilim and purchased another. He not only had problems with this camera, but with Casio. When he tried to have his camera fixed under the warranty he was met with nothing but road blocks. Casio finally agreed to send him a new camera, which they did not - they sent a refurbished one that also had problems. By the end of the ordeal he'd been through a few Exilims, and had taken Casio to small claims court.

I don't want all that. I just want another trusty little camera with a compact frame, internal rechargable battery, and a large LCD screen. The camera repairman said to avoid Casio and he prefers Canon and Olympus. I'll have to look around.

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