Like everyone these days, I have had my share of digital cameras, beginning with a Kodak DC200 Plus that we bought back in the early 90’s when digital cameras were first catching on. The DC200 served it’s purpose, but it didn’t have much in the way of features. No zoom, no video capability for example. However, it worked well and took a pretty good picture.
My how things change, I paid close to $500 for that first digital camera, which was substantial at the time. Now, you can still buy digital cameras for $500 or much more, but you can also pick one u
for much less. And the best part is, they are loaded with features.
The one I use today, and the one I have been using the past 3 or 4 years is a Olympus Stylus Verve and it’s proven to be a great little camera.
The Verve is about 1/3 of the size and weight of my original camera and has 2X optical zoom, 4X digital zoom, as well as video capabilities. It takes a great picture, considering I am far from a photographer, more of a point and click type guy. In fact, a typical picture I take involves pulling the camera out of my pocket, pointing it in the general direction of something I want to photograph, and clicking. That’s it. I’m done, unless I take another couple of pictures of the scene.
But the results are great, at least in my opinion. It’s also lightweight, easy to use, the buttons and features are all very intuitive, in fact, I don’t know if I ever read the book. It looks and feels like a quality camera, which of course it is. It’s also pretty tough considering I have had it in my pocket while I crawl around under the cottage hooking up the water pump, working around the shoreline moving rocks, or cutting firewood in the woodlot.
The Verve has a battery charger that plugs in anywhere and a full charge lasts me for days, if not longer. In fact, it lasts so long I usually forget to charge it up.
By contrast, we just bought a Polaroid a930 9.0 MP iZone
that was on sale around Christmas time, I think Wendy paid something around $50 for it, plus extra for a bigger memory card. It’s not a bad camera for $50, it’s got some nice features, including zoom and video, and it’s not heavy by any means, but….it takes regular batteries, which means you have to have extras on hand, and it’s not as intuitive to use, at least in my foggy old aged opinion. It takes a pretty good picture, and its got a nice big screen, bigger than the one in the Verve. But as cameras go, I have to say, I prefer the Verve.
I dunno about you, but I find manufacturers really get on a roll when it comes to features on things like cameras, much like computers. It really takes some thought to figure out what features you really need, want, and will actually use, as opposed to what features are nice to haves but you don’t need them, or you won’t use them. Sometimes you end up paying for a lot of technology you don’t need. In fact, I would go so far as to say camera manufacturers are not keen on the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) formula, much like computer manufacturers. They are built and designed by feature loving geeks who…well…the love extra technical features and think we do to….
I want to be able to point and click, zoom a reasonable distance, but not across the ocean, turn the camera on or off quick and stick it in my pocket, any pocket. I also want to be able to shoot a short video on occasion and move my pictures and videos from the camera to the computer simply and quickly. That’s it. I don’t need a lot of filters, or fancy picture modes, enhancements etc. Not that those are bad things, but for me, they are things I really don’t need.
The Verve has some extras, and sometimes I get it screwed up while inadvertently, or on purpose, monkeying around with settings etc, but for the most part I ignore the extras, and point and shoot. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other cameras, but well worth the money. Unfortunately, the Olympus Stylus Verve that I use appears to be discontinued, or at least a little difficult to find new there are however, some deals to be had on a used one.
However, all is not lost, because Olympus has a similar camera, the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 14MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD (Black)
Built with the same quality as the Stylus Verve the Olympus Stylus Tough looks like it will be my next blog camera when I round up the money to buy one.
This little digital camera is built for guys like me, guys who treat their cameras rough, and need it to work in almost any conditions. And speaking of geek features, the Olympus Stylus Tough has a system of seals and gaskets that not only makes it waterproof, it allows it to take pictures as deep as 33 feet underwater.
Now I don’t know about you, but it I find myself 33 feet underwater, probably the last thing on my mind will be stopping to take a few pictures, but…..ya never know until you try!!
Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 14MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD (Black)
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