Monday, April 5, 2010

The Passing of Papa Bear

It was Christmas 2003 when I opened the package containing the one thing that I'd most wanted ever for any Christmas of my entire life - a Fuji S7000 prosumer camera. I had taken a CF card, rechargeable batteries, and a flash unit with me to my parents' house that Christmas Eve in anticipation of using the new toy right out of the box. The biggest and best digital camera in my arsenal it was affectionately named Papa Bear and that's what I called it for years.

A few weeks ago I took Papa Bear to school to get a few pictures for the yearbook and that's when the first errors appeared. I'd assumed they were contained to the CF card I was using because when I took it out and used the xD card all seemed well. I became somewhat suspicious when trying to reformat the CF card in the camera didn't work, and then even more so when formatting it in the PC and putting it back into the camera didn't help. The errors went on until I got back to the house and formatted the card in an old Kodak digital. It worked! Until this past Saturday when married daughter and I headed to Lake Scranton to shoot some squirrel pictures and the errors were back.


Fortuitously, said squirrely daughter lives near Allentown, home of Dan's Camera City and offered to take Papa Bear to the camera hospital when she returned home after Easter dinner. She called this afternoon, after talking to someone at Dan's early in the day. All seemed well. For about $145 I could have the big guy overhauled. All wasn't so well when she called during dinnertime to tell me that when she actually got to Dan's the guy to whom she showed the camera suggested that it wouldn't be cost effective to have it repaired because the errors weren't as simple as I'd assumed they might be to fix.

Maybe Papa Bear will squeak out a picture or two still, but he can't be trusted to get the shots that I can't afford to do wrong. With over 100,000 pictures under his belt I suppose he deserves to take it easy or even quietly pass away, but I can't help but feel that a part of me goes with him to the great camera beyond. I've seen some of the best days of my life for the past seven years through his big old Cyclops eye. Thank heaven I have all that he and I saw together through those years backed up redundantly.


4 comments:

Doug said...

100,000 clicks is a good number for an older design. Newer Nikons are rated to 150,000 clicks of the shutter. Anyway, it looks like it's time for you to click over to dpreview.com and begin the search for a suitable replacement. Their Buying Guide/Features search is invaluable in sorting out what you want from what's available.

bobskoot said...

Joe:

your camera has served you well over the years, but as with everything in life, things wear out. good luck in your search for a replacement, which will probably be less expensive, and technologically superior, and perhaps smaller to go into your pocket. There are so little quality differences between different models and brands so get what feels good to the touch, with buttons in the right place

bob
bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Doug said...

Joe,

I came across a link you might find useful if you have not splurged on a new camera yet:

https://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/Camera_failure_study.pdf

The document covers failure rates of point n shoot cameras by brand name. Fairly interesting stuff.

Sixstring563 said...

100k! Lots of memories Joe. Keep the proud old bear and get one you like. Might want to try B&H also if the other links don't work out for you.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/