RIP, the brick

So, my old camera really is gone and I miss her terribly. In a really sentimental way too. I knew without thinking where all the buttons were and most likely how to take a particular shot. I miss the flip out LCD screen (so handy for self portraits and so amusing for the child), how you could turn the flash off in any of the automatic modes and I miss the single autofocus point. I miss knowing what I could and couldn't do. And I miss how the old brick was already a bit battered and seemed to survive all sorts of indignities, like rattling around in the bottom of my bag and being grabbed (and dropped, more than once) by Grace.

Which might have something to do with why she stopped working, why she wouldn't charge up anymore. But she's worked really hard, probably taking at least 150 photos a week for the last year and a bit. And I've taken her nearly everywhere. Just in case there's a few minutes to spare and the urge strikes me. Especially relaxing when I'm tense, like smoking used to be. In a fit of nostalgia, I went back over my archives and found the entry I wrote when I finally figured out how to use the auto focus. What a revelation that was!

This camera became part of how I see my world. A way into a mostly urban landscape that's different everyday eventhough I've been there more than a hundred times before. Something that turns a boring tram ride, even when the camera is tucked away in my bag, into a feast of light and detail.

This week I've been using my Dad's DSLR and that's pretty exciting. It feels pretty special too that he would lend me his camera in such an open ended way. The timing is proably about right too, and there's no doubt that I'll keep seeing new things, but it's harder than I expected letting go of the brick (a theme here? difficulty letting go? hmm?). Anyway, I've been dissappointed with most of the pictures I've taken so far. The new camera is lighter overall than the brick, but bigger and the lens is quite heavy. So there's been a bit of camera shake as I learn how to hold it properly. Not to mention feeling like a dork behind a big camera. And I'm still finding my way around the controls. It's annoying me at this point that I can't turn the flash off in all the auto modes, so I can't do an automatic macro with no flash. And I'm a way off understanding how to use the camera in manual mode.  And you know, it's a bigger, better, much more impressive looking camera, so I expected my pictures to be better. Automatically. When I caught myself thinking that, I laughed inside and relaxed a bit. Learning to use the new camera will be fun if I let it.

So what to do with the brick? It doesn't work anymore and would cost more than a replacement camera to fix, so I can't pass it on or give it to the opshop. Can it be re-cycled? I can't just put it in the bin... poor old brick, she deserves more than that. 


  1. Give it to Grace to play and 'pretend' with.
    Although I know it won't work, as she's not stupid, and it never worked with my boy. But anyway ....
    ( P.S. - I hear ya on the 'learning the new camera' routine. Annoying. You're not a Taurus, are you ? ;)

  2. My Father, a lifetime passionate amateur photographer has both the fancy DSLR and the light, cheap, easy to use compact. He bought the fancy one first and now, though he is loath to admit it, prefers compact and is a bit sheepish at the $$$ that is in the camera bag...Though he still hasn't let me borrow it!

  3. Did you try a replacement battery? Is it definitely the camera?
    I invested in a very flash pro camera but I still carry my old decrepit Powershot with me everywhere. It's sad and outmoded And it's older than your brick. But I love it so. We've been so many places together. I can't decide if I should buy a new purse camera or just commit to lugging all my gear with me.

  4. Oh yes, we tried new batteries, new leads. Eveything really. The man at the camera repair place was so kind and patient and seemed to understand how much the brick meant to me. I nearly cried when he told me what he thought it would cost to fix. And part of me was tempted to pay it, but my dad's been at me to try a DSLR for a while now...
    Once I figure out whether I like it or not, I'll either get a new powershot or keep the DSLR and get a compact (maybe an olympus waterproof - already called the "splash and bash" in my head) to keep in my bag.
    Apparently the old canons have really good lenses for point and shoots. I can understand why you are so attached to yours Rachel. Indeed if it hadn't given up the ghost I probably wouldn't be putting in the time to learn how to use the DSLR...
    And h&b, I'm a scorp. Even more annoying than a taurus ;)

  5. I have a first generation Canon Ixus which cost me way too much but has been wonderful. I've just started idley looking at eBay for a spare in case mine finally decides to give up the ghost - have you checked eBay to see if you could buy another (working) brick?

  6. i was lucky because i cut my teeth on film slr so using the dslr manual mode was a breeze ~ you mean i can see it right away :) tee hee
    give yourself some time because once you lean it, you'll be thrilled with what you can do :)

  7. I think you should put the brick in a nice shadowbox, with some memento photos in the background.