A Belated Farwell

I parted company with my old Nikon Coolpix 8700 in the summer, but never got around to publishing the final photo. It wasn’t an otherwise special photo. It’s of the vet’s surgery near Parque Humdido on Insurgentes, which I shot after taking Floracita in to have treatment for a respiratory infection.

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It was photo number 9886 with the camera, which I had purchased in the summer of 2004 at a cost of about GBP470. Add on the GBP99 for the 1gb compact flash memory card, about GBP40 for the leasther case, GBP99 for a remote cord and another GBP99 for a set of filters, and I shelled out a grand total of GBP807. By the way, one bad thing about buying my laptop in the US is that there is no currency symbol for the British Pound!

That’s about 8p, or 14 cents per photo. Although you have to bear in mind, I only keep about 20% to 40% of the photos I take. So, roughly, I paid 25p or 50 cents for every ‘keeper’. That’s actually quite expensive! How does it compare to my current camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ5. Assuming I take another 9886 photos with it, and keep a similar amount, it’ll cost me about 2p per photo, or 4 cents. Allowing for all the deletions, that’s about 6p or 12 cents. That’s a whole load cheaper! Even if it only lasts me half as long, it’ll still give double the value, give or take a little.

But in defense of the Nikon – it really was a great camera. It’s photo quality was superb and at its best took shots that my new Lumix struggles to match. It was flexible, with a decent megapixel count, good range zoom, full manual options, decent flash, RAW capability and more. And it’s ability to take fabulous macro shots is something I miss – my new Lumix can’t match it there at all.

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So why did I change it for a camera that ‘struggles to match’ it? Because the Lumix fits in my pocket. Because it is at its best, producing better shots than the Nikon, 90% of the time. The Nikon’s auto mode was only ever ok, and it was fiddly, time consuming and sometimes impossible to get the best out of it. The Lumix has Image Stabilisation. And an even better range zoom.

But I do miss my old Nikon! The best testimony I can give it is the fact I kept it for four years, even though I do have a tendency to upgrade my favourite electronic gadgets pretty regularly. Will the Lumix last so long? Adios amigo…

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