One 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 emailed 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.