The folks who love me the most know what an old softie I am most of the time and to what a ludicrious degree I tend to anthropomorphize mere things so that they're living and breathing and dear to my heart. Such is the case with "Papa Bear" whom I "lost" and haven't seen now in weeks since my daughter took him to the repair shop only to learn that he's beyond practical repair. I miss the old camera, the way it fit into my hand, how easily I could change his settings without having to stop or think or (Oh, horrors!) pull out the manual. Since his demise I'd considered that someday I'd need to try to fill his ample, warm, loving shoes (Okay, I'll tame it 'cause I'm almost nauseating myself.) but knew all too well that any replacement, no matter how beautifully crafted and able to perform would come up short.
A road trip to Dan's Camera City in Allentown yesterday evening made me the proud owner of an Olympus E620 DSLR! Ever since I got my mitts on mom and dad's big, luggy camera from the early 60's and got all camera crazy, (I did that with everything. The slightest interest in something and I was hooked, lined, and sinkered.) I wanted an SLR of my own. Now I have it!
But, it's not Papa Bear.
Instead it's this stranger. A stranger with a ridiculously thick book and about 2,000 settings I'll never figure out or use. I'm reminded when even thinking about toying with one of the million options how a good science experiment is supposed to have one and only one independent variable and I'm almost afraid, (except for "Factory Reset" waiting in a phone booth somewhere wearing its super hero cape and eager to see some action), to change one of the settings lest I forget that I maniuplated it when disaster strikes a few more changes down the road and I don't know which change caused the crap to happen.
I opted for two lenses, a through the lens flash unit, a wireless remote shutter release, a cool but expensive case, a new 2 gig CF card, a spare battery, lens protectors, and just about everything and anything else my daughter suggested because she knows me so well, is a photo bug herself, and knew I wasn't thinking straight because I was so excited.
But, it's not Papa Bear.
Until the Oly becomes familiar to me I doubt that it will have an affectionate nickname at all, and I'm doubting that I'll ever call it Papa Bear although it will remain the best camera in my digital arsenal for a long time to come. Don't get me wrong. I positively love the new camera and can't wait to screw up the settings and drive myself batty. I just miss the familiar ease of the old guy and how he told his own thousand words in every picture he took. Over 100,000 of them. That's over a million words, and the new kid's still babbling.