New Camera

imageOne of the harder lessons to learn, at least for me, is that there is a big difference between second attempts and second chances. The difference between these two things is contained within two adages that most of us were taught as children:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me

It seems pretty simple, but sometimes it’s difficult to decide which one of those bits of advice is the one to follow. In fact, sometimes they seem like the two sides of the same coin.

This post isn’t going to be about relationships, but relationships, all sorts of relationships, romantic, friendly, employment, student-teacher, religious, you name it, are likely to end at the juncture of one of those adages. I suppose that I should have said “likely to pass through or end at…” but, in my experience, “end” is the appropriate verb.

Clearly, I digress. The title says this is about my new camera. It is, but my new camera was found at the intersection of these adages.

The camera is a Sony CyberShot WX350. I purchased it from B&H. My previous camera was also a Sony CyberShot that I also purchased from B&H. I bought the original Sony because I wanted a point and shoot camera that I could slip into my pocket. Sometimes I want to be able to take nice photos but I don’t want to be bothered with a camera hanging around my neck. I have a camera that hangs around my neck, and when I want greater control over the settings, like when I accompany my daughter on a photo-shoot, I take that camera. Unfortunately, a few weeks before I traveled to England last year, a trip on which I really wanted that slip-in-your-pocket camera, my Sony developed a smudge.

The first time I noticed the smudge, I cleaned the lens. OK, I imageemailed my daughter for instructions on how to properly clean the lens. No Brillo Pad, no Scrubbing Bubbles and no hooking up a blowgun to my compressor. I carefully followed her instructions, took a few test shots and voilà, no smudge. The next day, the smudge returned. A quick wipe with an eyeglass cleaning cloth and the smudge was gone but again, a few pictures later, smudge. This was no ordinary glob of goo.

After a bit of investigation, unfortunately after my trip to England, I determined that the “smudge” was the result of a problem with the sensor. The smudge appeared on the same area of every photo, but only when the area of that photo was a particular shade of blue.

I am a bit colorblind, so when I refer to a “particular shade of blue” you should know that I might actually be describing something you see as blue, light blue, green, purple or gray.

I decided to have the camera repaired. I hadn’t bought an extended warranty, and the original warranty had (of course) recently expired. Given the issue with my vision and the unscientific nature of my testing, I thought the best thing to do would be to print some photos. In the group below, I think you can see some photos have the smudge; some have a slight smudge and some, no smudge. I took this to the repair center. I explained the problem carefully. They seemed to agree with my assessment. We agreed that “it probably requires more than cleaning.”

When I got the camera back, it was clean. It had been cleaned, inside and out and test photos indicated no smudge. A few weeks later, the sky was the right shade of whatever and the smudge returned. I called the repair facility but the conditions under which they would consider their first attempt to be incorrect and refundable seemed way too hard to meet. I wanted it to be a clear case of “you didn’t listen to me” but they wanted it to be a scientific fact. Obviously, we had reached a “fool me once…” moment.

So, why did I buy another Sony CyberShot?

Well, logically I would argue that the sensor problem was probably a freak thing, an anomaly; the kind of thing that happens to 1 out (n) cameras where (n) is very large. Or, maybe it was something I did. Maybe I placed the camera on a hot rock or a damp seat cushion or too close to the microwave or maybe that spider was radioactive. None of the reviews said anything about a widespread smudge problem, so under the circumstances, I think Sony deserves a second chance. Just in case logic doesn’t prevail, I bought a 3-year extended warranty.

Below are some of the first photos from the new camera. I’m having to adjust to the fact that it doesn’t have a “Manual” setting, but I’m learning how to work around that. If at first you don’t succeed…


Note: If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you might have noticed that I dropped the sidebar description of the photos. They were only accurate for a week, and many people are viewing older stories – thank you – so I decided to end the confusion. Now I am either using captioned photos, or obvious photos, or I’ll write the description here at the end. If you’re reading this in email only, you never saw the descriptions and you’re missing the nice large images but I appreciate your reading just the same. The stump at the top, is something I’m content not to succeed with. I tried to get rid of it. I won’t be trying again for a long time.

44 thoughts on “New Camera

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  1. Stunning photographs; photography isn’t one of my strong points so I appreciate the skill of others all the more. Also like the new style of post, very clear and effective. Another fascinating and informative post as always…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, what a pain with the first camera. I’m willing to bet it WAS that spider’s fault. Creepy spiders. It’s a good thing they eat bugs, otherwise I’d kill every spider that was in reach. Hope the new camera is completely trouble-free for you. And the fact that you bought the extended warranty pretty much guarantees you’ll never need it. That’s how these things work, isn’t it? Buy it, don’t need it; don’t buy it, need it? ;P

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hum, since I take some photos with my iPhone (shame on me), I won’t comment on your camera. But I want to add that for whoever reads you (and blogs in general) it is better to go to the blog itself than read through e-mail. For the photos, absolutely, but also for the comments and the uniqueness of the design of the blogs. See you soon, Dan, for more great photos taken with a … camera!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You may have heard the old saying: “the best camera is the one you have with you” – I have thousands of pictures on my iPhone. One of the reasons I bought this camera was to have one that is as easy to carry as a phone. In some ways, it’s smaller than my iPhone. Thanks for the comment and for the nudge to email readers. You’re right about the comments, I learn so much from reading comments here and on the other blogs that I follow.

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        1. I think it’s all show, Dan, but I know nothing more than what I learned on Wikipedia when I wrote my own post for Wildlife Wednesday back in July. He/she and we have cohabited nicely over the years. Can’t say the same for the multitude of flying insects ensnared in the web, but that’s the whole idea, isn’t it?

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a marked difference between the two sets of photographs Dan. Happy happy shooting with that new camera and I certainly hope your relationship with it will not be “smudged.” Enjoy! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Spidy was hanging out on the support beam for the roof over the landing at our front door. We normally use the side door anyway, but I wasn’t going out that door until he/she moved on (and I don’t want to know where).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well the old photos would definitely be better sans smudges, and the new photos are fantastic. I’m particularly fond of the leaves.
    I was gifted a Cannon digital camera in 2005, and it didn’t work, so I contacted Cannon, mailed it in with the form they sent me and never heard another peep. Called, no record of my conversation or my shipment. Gave up nine months later. Won’t buy Cannon, ever.

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    1. The hard part is getting it not to figure it out sometimes. It has these modes where an early am before the sunrise shot looks like broad daylight. I am learning how to work around them though. Thanks for your confidence.

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  6. Nice post Dan. The pictures are great and you’ll probably get the hang of the camera as you use it frequently. I love photography and it took me around a year to invest some money and buy what I want. I must have gone through around hundred different reviews, YouTube videos before I decided to buy Panasonic FZ150. Since I was investing a large sum I wanted to be very sure about what I will get from it. I would also like to say that while Panasonic does not have a great market share that Canon and Nikon and Sony enjoy, but it still offers high quality pictures and performance. Try it out whenever you get a chance.

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    1. Thanks Sharukh. Panasonic makes some very good cameras. Actually, the camera that I mentioned as the one I can hang around my neck is a Panasonic. Their electronics are superior and some of the cameras feature Leica lenses, resulting from a deal where Panasonic made electornics for Leica’s first digital cameras.

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  7. Great job on the photos, Dan. I in fact, wrote down which camera you bought because I am in need of something I can put in my pocket versus lugging around 25 pounds of camera gear. Your shots are gorgeous! Welcome to my world of learning curves. GRIN! A wee bit uncomfortable to be out the comfort zone but look at the photos you took. WOW!!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

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  8. I’m so neglectful in commenting on your wonderful blog. I read and like here and there. But I wanted to say you’ve done a nice job with these photos! And I really love the way you write. :D

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  9. I like that spider photo. Really nice. As are the rest of the captures. But I like even more–love, actually–the phrase “a glob of goo”. Wonderful. I might borrow it for a story.
    Have a great week, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So happy to see this post because I use a Nikon CoolPix and wanted a ‘big’ camera, too. But I love the convenience of a small camera. A photographer swears by Sony A6000. You totally love your Sony?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish it had the manual focus option that its predecessor had, but I am getting the hang of forcing it into the exposure I want by pre-focusing on one section. I love the convenience.

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  11. My Nikon has “spots”. I attribute it to time spent at the beach and no time to take it in for proper cleaning. When they appear I can usually clean them up in editing. I LOVED my Sony Cybershot back when I first started seriously shooting photos. I still miss it for moon shots. I just can’t seem to master the manual aspect of my D7000. Enjoy! If these photos are any indication of what it is capable of, I am eager to see what you come up with next!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I struggled for years to get comfortable with manual mode. Thanks to my daughter, I made some progress. I miss that option on this camera, That said, nothing beats slipping this into my pocket for that event where I might want to take some pictures and have them be nice. It’s a trade off for sure, but I think it’s going to work well. Thanks for the comment.

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