Skip to main content

How much is camera gear supposed to cost? (Part 2)

IMAG0201-1Here's another datapoint via the Fujifilm Quicksnap and Walmart. For $8.67 in a local Orlando Walmart you can purchase a 35mm film camera with the following features:
  • Pre-loaded with Fuji Superia X-TRA ASA 800 color film, 27 exposures
  • Waterproof down to 35 feet
  • No batteries
  • Rangefinder-style optical viewfinder (framing only, fixed focus)
  • Single use - use, drop off at your local developer, pick up prints
  • No chimping, no instant gratification
Outside of ego-stroking and the ability to take photographs in dark areas where even the human eye can't register light, what have we really achieved with our multi-hundred to multi-thousand dollar digital cameras?

Really? You say your fancy digital camera provides more?

If the camera really doesn't matter, if it's the photographer, then isn't the Quicksnap all the camera any of us need?


  1. Bill, I like your blog and have been following it for a while but I do have to disagree with your political views. Yes, I am a conservative but not quite in the Tea Party realm. You seem to blame S&P and the Tea Party for the current problems while I blame Washington in general and the 'spending beyond their means' in specific for our terrible current situation.
    The downgrade of our credit rating was not unexpected in financial circles. The Tea Party has been doing nothing but to say that this neverending increase of our Federal debt has to stop and that cuts have to be made to bring spending in line. This wall that we are hitting has been visible for years yet we have careened towards it as a spend, spend, spend nation, living beyond our means as individuals and as a country.
    Take care and keep up the great blogging. I am getting ready to head to WalMart to pick up a new 8 dollar camera:-)

  2. Having just read Kirk Tuck's blog about his decision to go back to medium format FILM, I was struck by this statement: "My epiphany today was, that for some people, the tool is inseparable from the artist, from the process, from the outcome. I can shoot competently with just about anything. I can only shoot passionately with a square format."

    Well, for those of you who don't know, the kind of camera that Kirk is talking about in regards to "square format" is a precision piece of Swedish engineering that starts at $3,500 for a very, very basic kit, and quickly zooms off to the stratosphere from there.

    While cameras, cars, computers, etc., are just mere intimate objects that have no soul, no emotions, they are all, as far as I know, engineered and manufactured by human beings, and those engineers who are wise find a way to make their intimate objects "human" in a way that the device you are holding becomes an extension of oneself.

    I'm not sure the little Fuji's you reference are quite "there" in that regard, as adequate as they may be. Hence, even at their very low and reasonable price, they are not capable of imparting the kind of passion and creativity that Kirk is talking about.

    As far as I'm concerned, the old quip "it's not the camera, but the photographer" is a bunch of crap. The photographer and the camera become one in the creation of their images; and there are simply some cameras that are easier to get along with than others, all else being equal.

    Ron Z.


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.