Crunch goes the Camera

On Saturday, my brother Jered got married to his longtime sweetheart Aimee Gouge. …and I didn’t take a single picture. Being the digital-picture-holic that I am, this was pretty difficult. Why didn’t I take any pictures on the wedding day? Because I ran over my camera at the bachelor party. That’s right, I ran it over.

The Last Picture:

My brother on a go-kart.

For the bachelor party, we went out for a couple “house” size pizzas at Bizzaro and then on to Andretti Thrill Park for some Go Kart racing. I probably should have heeded the “keep both hands on the wheel” rule and kept my camera in my pocket, but I decided to take some pictures. At some point during the run, my camera fell down under my seat and I felt a bump as my rear tire ran it over.

The Damage:

My broke'd camera.

It’s actually surprisingly intact having been run over, but the LCD is shattered, the camera body is scratched up, and it won’t stay on. Sometimes the status light just blinks red when you try to turn it on, and every once in a while I can get it to turn green and the LCD tries to light up, but it dies after a few seconds. I managed to keep it on long enough to get my pictures off the SD card, but now I think it’s time to say farewell.

The Bright Side:

It’s about time for a new camera anyway. If I hadn’t totally destroyed this one I might have hoped to make due with it for at least another year or so. It seems there are a lot more options on the market since I last looked seriously at digital cameras though, so I’m open to suggestions. Amy and I talked about it a little on the way home and here’s what we’re thinking so far:

  • Less than $300 – Gotta set a budget.
  • 3x+ Optical Zoom – Amy’s number one request.
  • Compact or Ultracompact – I take our camera everywhere. I don’t want a bulky SLR.
  • Long battery life – I like to actually be able to use the LCD every now and then.
  • Quick Power-On and low shutter lag – The Kodak was BAD about this. I had a hard time catching the shots I wanted because it took so long to startup and to take pictures.
  • 5+ megapixels – I usually take pictures for web stuff, so megapixels aren’t really that big of a concern, but it’s nice to know I can blow them up or crop in more detail if I want.

That’s about all we need. I would say that’s all I want, but Ames knows how much of a tech-head I can be so I think this is a good list of requirements. After talking to my boss about his latest camera purchase, I was leaning toward the Canon Powershot, but after looking at the Ultracompact reviews over at dpreview.com I saw that the Casio Exilim series is pretty highly rated as well. I remembered that Mike Davidson had posted a while back about his latest camera purchase, and sure enough, he too is raving about an Exilim, the Casio EX-Z750. I guess we just need to take a stroll through Best Buy and try a few out.

9 Comments

  1. I was able to finally check out the EX-Z750 at CompuUSA not too long ago. I couldn’t find it anywhere else, not Best Buy.

    It’s a pretty slick little camera and I’d love to get one, just need a little extra dough.

    Sometime between when Mike wrote that review and now, there was an update to it where he recommended against getting the camera. Something about warranty related malfunctions or the like. I noticed it 3 months ago, but now it’s gone. Hmph.

  2. I never saw that… I guess he must have resolved that issue because he mentioned in a comment on this post in December that he still loves it:

    “As for the Casio EX-Z750, I still love mine. Would buy the same camera today in fact. Nothing beats full-manual mode on an ultracompact.”

  3. Mike never retracted his recommendation for that camera. It was Cory that swore them off.

    I know a few people that also have the 750 and love it to death, and I’ve seen the pictures they manage with it and it’s really amazing.

    I went through this in December and had trouble deciding between the Z750 and the S500. Best Buy doesn’t carry Casio, but Circuit City does. Go there and put your hands on them and it’s really amazing.

    Ultimately the S500 was way way WAY too sexy to turn down. I didn’t figure I needed more than 5MP for my first digital camera, and the physical size and style and screen are amazing.

    They don’t have viewports—you have to use the LCD to line up your shots. I wouldn’t use a viewport if it was there, but a friend of mine found that one a dealbreaker. Some people have commented that my S500 is actually too small and dainty, but I like that, and if you go for the Z750 (and let’s be honest, you probably will), that’s not really an issue either. The only thing I’d say even roundabout negatively is that the ability of the Canon (620, et al) to have the LCD fold out is super sweet. I covet. You can tilt it to get a better view of weird angled shots, and you can even wing it out and turn it around to preview goofy hekd at arm’s length and pointed back at you pictures.

    Oh, and the S500 doesn’t connect without the dock. Not a big deal, because they give it to you, but it’s always nice to have things self-contained.

  4. I should point out that Cory’s damning of their service was troubling, but:
    1. I don’t have a lot of service problems, so I gambled on it not mattering.
    2. I put the camera in my hands, and nothing else mattered.
    3. Doesn’t he live in London now? US support should be a whole different animal. Right? Right?

  5. Right. 🙂 Thanks for the Casio reviews, Ryan. We’ll have to head over to Circuit City and check’em out. I personally don’t care much for a fold out LCD, so I think I may end up sticking to the Casios. The S500 does look pretty sweet, but I think I may end up taking a slight step down to the z57…but we’ll see.

  6. Hey, my parents both have have Cannons, I have a Cannon and my littest brother has a Cannon. My other camera is a Pentax. If I could go back and find a compact camera again, I’d purchase the Cannon, it’s simple to use and has the picture quality I’m looking for. So my vote would be for a cannon.

  7. When you are ready to purchase, check out http://www.newegg.com. I haven’t found anyone that can beat their prices (without selling off the back of a truck). The are highly c|net and froogle.com rated, I’ve made several purchases from them and have been very satisfied with the prices and service.

    Nay, I do not work for them, for I am “El Jefe.” 🙂

  8. We went out to Circuit City and Best Buy on Wednesday night and were about ready to make a purchase when we got home. The cheapest options were newegg and buy.com. My wife has shopped at buy.com before, but I never have, so I thought I might be able to use a new customer coupon code and save some more money. I guess they match on billing address because after creating an account it said I was not eligible to use the code.

  9. I had an old Sony digital camera and it really wasnt worth much. For my birthday last year the wife got me a Samsung Digimax A50.
    It looks like it beats or at least meets some of your requrements above and I really like this camera. Tons of different modes to capture just that right shot. Maybe worth a look.

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