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A Camera’s Tale

by Meghann on September 21, 2012

Mama’s got a brand new toy.

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And Mama likes! (so far – I’ve only had it in an hour ;) )

I should preface this post by saying that this camera was not a blog-related freebie, nor am I being compensated by Best Buy, Olympus, Canon, or any other company I may mention below. I’m just story telling here – nothing else. :)

Anyway, remember when my Canon S95 bit the dust right before I boarded my flight to Chicago on Friday? Yeah, it never fully recovered. One second I was taking a photo, the next it was screaming *lens error* and shutting itself off with the lens stuck out. No matter how many times I pushed the button, twisted the lens, or tried pushing it back in, the lens would not budge. I gave it a few days to right itself, but no dice.

RIP Canon S95.

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If you’ve been reading my blog a while (a loonnggg while), then you know I’m a camera klutz. Back in 2008 I went through 5 point-and -shoots through the course of a year (no lie). With that sort of history, I learned a long time ago to buy a camera with a good protection plan, which is why I always buy my cameras from Best Buy. The $39.99 extra investment is worth it. ALWAYS worth it. That way I don’t have to worry about dealing with the camera company directly (they take care of that for me) and the plan covers being a klutz (like dropping the camera or getting it wet).

I bought my first Canon S95 back in May of 2011. LOVED it… until I dropped it (whoops) last November. No worries – I had my plan! I brought it to the Geek Squad at Best Buy, they sent it off, and a week later I got a phone call that I was eligible for a new replacement camera – sweet! I took advantage of my warranty and got a brand-spanking-new Canon S95. The only thing I had to pay for was a new protection plan (the plan didn’t transfer from device to device).

Everything was going great with my newer Canon S95 (I used the hell out of that sucker) up until Friday when the *lens error* appeared. Whomp. Whomp. Once I knew it was good and dead, I brought it straight to Best Buy on Monday to be sent off for repair.

Usually when I bring a device in, I can just give my phone number and they can just look up my information, but the Geek Squad member was having problems looking up my account. He told me the only S95 he found under my number was one purchased in May 2011. Unfortunately the computer told him the protection plan for that camera had expired in May 2012. At the point, I couldn’t remember when I bought the camera, so I just took his word for it and left to research my options. It wasn’t until I was in the shower that night that I remember the whole dropping and replacing incident in November. He was wrong – that camera was still protected!

I spent the next 48-hrs combing through all my secret receipt hiding places looking for a copy of the original receipt (I save EVERYTHING) just in case I needed proof. I found nada. Then I faintly remembered the receipts saved in my inbox and decided to try there.

Bam!

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I was covered!

Back to Best Buy I went.

With my receipt, they were able to locate my plan without a problem. Even better, when they punched the info for the camera in, it popped up for an automatic replacement (I guess the lens error is common in that camera?). Awesome news! However, since they no longer cary the Canon S95, I was instructed to pick another camera within the same price range to take home. Ever awesomer news!

I was first drawn towards the Canon S100.

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(my Galaxy S3 was NOT digging the store’s lighting)

The Canon S100 is basically an upgraded S95. It has the same features, same functionality, same everything really. Up until that minute, I thought that was the one I was going to be taking home. I mean, I loved my Canon S95, right? Why wouldn’t I love the S100?

That’s when I really started thinking. How much did I really love the S95? I mean there were things I liked about it (the manual shooting mode option, the F2.0, the small size, the low lighting setting, etc.), but I haven’t been as happy with it lately. The pictures have just been, well, blah. I can’t really pinpoint what made them “blah” besides the fact my gut was telling me to explore other options.

So I started walking around the display of cameras and came across the Olympus TG-1.

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For some reason, this baby caught my attention. It’s “rough and tough” so it’s waterproof, shatterproof, and, essentially, Meghann proof. I already have a waterproof camera at home, but it SUCKS. It takes great photos underwater, but awful above-water photos. Because of that I only use it IN the water (so when I’m at the beach I still have my regular camera for “beach” shots and my underwater camera for “water” shots <- annoying).

What REAlLY pulled me into the TG-1 was the f2.0. Hmm… that’s the #1 thing that first attracted me to the S95 and now it’s attracting me to the TG-1. I took a few practice shots in the store (playing with the various features) and was impressed with the low light and macro settings. Not bad. Not bad. Then I googled the camera and discovered it had some pretty decent reviews online. Everyone seemed to be impressed with the quality of photos for a “rough and tough” camera.

I was actually in the middle of reading the reviews when a Best Buy employee found me and asked if I needed help. We chatted about the camera and, the more I heard him speak on the lowlight features, the more he sold me on it. If I didn’t like it, he reminded me I had 30 days to return it.

So I took the plunge and said yes to the camera. I got the box, brought it up front, and handed it over with a smile on my face. That’s when the nice Geek Squad lady asked if I had the cords to the S95. Crap. Nope. I’ve never needed them before? Is that new?

She couldn’t trade the camera in without the cords from the old one, so I was SOL for the day (read: too lazy to drive all the way home and all the way back).

Best Buy take three.

I found all the cords in the camera’s box (untouched and still wrapped neatly in their bubble wrap – does anyone actually use the cords that come with their cameras anymore?) and brought it to Best Buy at lunch time.

This time I was triple prepared – I had my old receipt, I had all the cords with the broken camera, and I knew which camera I wanted – if this wasn’t it, then I was on the verge of throwing in the towel!

Luckily, everything went smoothly. They traded my camera in, were able to credit my protection plan to the new camera (since technically the manufacture’s warranty was used for the camera replacement), and I walked out with my new camera 30 minutes later (there was a short line).

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I hate to give a camera review a mere hour after purchasing it, but so far I’m a fan. The few test photos I’ve managed to take of my Starbucks cup have already impressed me.

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Of course, I’ll have to report back in a couple of weeks to see how I really feel. I have high hopes though! :)

So that’s my camera’s tale – I told you I was just story telling. :)

Oh, you want food?

Here you go!

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Tofu tacos with spinach and feta for lunch.

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With a side of pretzels and hummus.

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Yummy in my tummy. :)

What point and shoot do you use? What do you love/ don’t love about it?

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