Maybe I’m being somewhat melodramatic (actually, I know I am), but buying a new camera today was somewhat bittersweet. I wasn’t planning on jumping into buying one and probably would have done research for months. But I think M got tired of me moping every time I caught glimpse of something picture-worthy and suggested we go this afternoon. (Yes, op Sundag!)
I did a little research beforehand (though I never feel like it’s enough) and knew exactly what I was getting. There were seven Kodak Easyshare Z1485s in stock at the XSCargo in my town. I picked it up for significantly less than if I had bought it new and not refurbished. When they came out last September, they were $299. You can buy them new now at $179-$199. I found it for $149 (tax not included, of course).
It was not an expensive camera.
And, I was pretty excited about it when I opened the box. It’s got 14 mega pixels, 5X zoom. For low light, it has ISO settings up to 6400. Good manual controls and a pretty easy to use interface.
But, my first few pictures haven’t been great. The one above is the best I’ve taken so far. Granted, lighting hasn’t been great today… we’ve been having thunderstorms, and I didn’t have my hands on it, at full picture taking capacity until 7:30 when the light was disappearing into thunderclouds. There’s a little noise and they’re not as crisp as the 14 mega pixels seemed to promise.
And then, I read a few more reviews. Reviews I probably should have read before I bought a non-refundable piece of technology. There is one problem with the camera, according to consumers: battery life.
My HP Photosmart, my first camera, allowed me to take about 15 pictures before it died. It was frustrating. I was constantly changing the batteries, and it would only take good rechargeables, so batteries were not always quickly at hand.
Then, I was spoiled with my Canon Powershot. It took four batteries and never seemed to die. I needed to replace them once every two weeks with not daily, but regular use.
This camera takes lithium batteries. I expect that a lot of the reviews complaining about battery life were from consumers who didn’t realize this and were using regular NiMH rechargeables. Lithium is significantly more expensive: one battery pack is at least 25. I can’t even find a recharger on the Internet to price out how much it would cost to spring for a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Anyway, more expensive than regular NiMH batteries no matter what.
At the store, regular AA non-rechargeable batteries started up the camera and allowed me to check it out. So maybe the situation isn’t so dire. Perhaps when Kodak first came out with the camera, the battery life was an issue. But maybe they fixed it. I can hope.
Anyway, I’m having some buyer’s remorse. The battery issue scares me and the pictures are disappointing so far. But, I need to give it a chance. I need to acknowledge that it’s not my Canon and I didn’t pay enough money for it to expect it to be. I need to play with it some more. Find out for myself.
Fortunately, it was only $150. And now, the picture taking continues!