I've been a little overwhelmed lately.
Well ... Charlie's started a new job and has been working out of the house ... three year old triplets that have been increasingly difficult every day since their birthday ... our poop eating dog ... a badly infected toe ... my adorable 20-pound, three month old baby that nurses every two hours 'round the clock ... career choices ... a broken digital camera ... ninety six loads of laundry ... this, that, this and that.
This afternoon at 4:00, I left for the camera store. I had done all the research I could do on the internet, now I needed to get in and hold the various cameras and find out which one would work best for me.
It's no mystery that I'm technologically challenged.
But that doesn't stop me from knowing what I want.
For the past several years, I've used the Kodak DX6490. I've never been particularly happy with the camera, but then again, I'm not much of a photographer. Even so, I thought the response time between shots with the Kodak was way too slow and it didn't work well in low light. Although it has a relatively good zoom (10X), for every 10 pictures taken at least 5 were out of focus.
Before I received my digital camera as a Christmas gift in 2003, my primary camera was a Nikon N50. I loved the picture quality that this camera produced. Even though I didn't know what I was doing, the majority of my pictures turned out really good. The problem was that this camera required film and why use film if you don't have to?
Especially since I still have several rolls of undeveloped film from ten (?) years ago.
At this point in time, I want a user-friendly digital camera that is capable of taking awesome pictures. I want to be able to zoom in super close on an object. I want the option of an object to be perfectly crisp and clear and the surrounding image to be blurry (shallow depth of field).
I want to be able to take pictures really fast, without delay. I want to take pictures at night when our kids are sleeping and have the lighting look like it's actually nighttime and not high noon. I don't want to use my flash. Ideally, I'd also like to have a video component to the camera, because although I have a nice camcorder, I don't like taking two cameras with me when we go out.
I had a limited amount of time I could be away since Charlie was home with the children. The first store I went to clued me in that SLR cameras don't have a video component. My Nikon is an SLR, so you'd think I'd know that ... along with the 27 minutes of research I'd done on the internet. But, technology is so advanced these days, I thought maybe they'd made strides.
There were several cameras that looked good - but I couldn't decide.
After an hour, the guy finally told me that he thought I should check out the Canon PowerShot S3IS. But they didn't have it at "that" store. The closest store was at the mall, five miles away.
It was 5:15 PM.
I call Charlie. The kids are fine. Henry is awake but content. Charlie gives me his blessing to go to the mall and check out the Canon.
I jump in my car and zip to the mall. I run to the store. I check out the camera. It's very nice. But it takes 4-AA batteries. The other cameras only take two. The camera doesn't allow me to zoom in as closely on things as I'd like, while keeping the object in focus - like the SLR does. I take pictures of everyone in the store.
I take pictures of things in the mall. I'm going nuts taking pictures.
I still can't decide.
Of course I can't decide. I can't ever decide on anything.
I really like the features of the SLR. But it's big. The smaller cameras are nice, but I want a really good camera. And if I'm going to be forking out several hundred dollars - what's a hundred or two more?? The sales staff don't seem to know much. With every camera they pull off the shelf they gush "Oh, this one is REALLY cool!!"
Maybe I should get two cameras. Sure, that's it. I'll spend $1,500.00 on cameras. What am I?
All I want is to get a camera and leave. But I want it to be the perfect camera. What I really want is a SLR in the size of a micro point and shoot, with digital capabilities and a rechargeable battery.
It's been two hours since I've left the house. I'm asking questions, but not hearing the answers. Surely the baby is hungry. The baby has to eat. My God, the baby has to eat. But, I don't want to leave the store without a camera. I have to have a camera. I've been without a camera for almost a week. I call Charlie and he tells me that the children are climbing off the walls. They are driving him absolutely insane. He cannot guarantee their safety.
Suddenly, a man appears. He has a big camera case. He is looking to purchase a $2,000.00 lens. He is clearly knowledgeable about cameras. I turn to face him and say "Please help me. I need a camera. I don't know what camera to get."
I tell him my criteria. He tells me that I really need an SLR. But until I'm prepared to make such a purchase, I should get a small point-and-shoot type of camera. After another 30 minutes, and seeing that I've missed two calls from Charlie, I settle on the Nikon Cool Pix P4. I select this one because I'm totally frantic, my chest has sprung a leak, the camera has rechargeable batteries and they threw in a free carrying case.
I literally run out of the store. I run to the parking lot and can't find my car. My shirt is sopping wet. I call Charlie and can hear children screeching in the background. I feel totally irresponsible leaving him at home with all the kids, by himself.
I've never been gone this long from the baby.
I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home. I. Must. Get. Home.
I still can't find my car. Finally, in desperation, I hold my car keys over my head and hit the panic button. My car is directly in front of me.
I jump in and drive home - the whole way - I'm second guessing my purchase. I arrive home to a howling Henry. I'm nursing the baby and trying to take pictures of the kids. I'm unhappy with the 3X zoom. I'm really unhappy. I'm crying. I spent all this time at the store and now I am not happy with my choice. Everyone is concerned. The kids are giving me hugs, Charlie is getting me a glass of ice water. I'm wondering why I'm crying over a camera. On a Friday Night.
It's now five hours later. I'm sipping wine and feeling better. But I must go to sleep. Because tomorrow, I'm going to go return my camera and buy a new one.
I never guessed it would be so much fun.