29 Apr 2005

The plethora of choice

Dunno when it exactly started, but of late I've been immersed head-first into researching the nuts and bolts of digital cameras. Of course with the intention of getting the right stuff on the first buy itself. And its being a most perplexing task - if not most responsible for deviating attention from other priority tasks.

Speaking of digicams, these wierd little gadgets are most confusing. If a particular make has a nice X feature, as if to compensate for it and to make the market competitive, the manufacturer leaves out feature Y.

So you twiddle your thumbs as you want the fantastic reach of macro mode on the Nikon as well as the excellent low-light resolving power of Sony, the life-like colour rendition of Fuji sensors as well as the wide-angled feature-packed Canon models, the jet-fast shutter-lag on the Casio series as well as the long zoom on the Olympus - all this in an economy package at the budget of, say a Vivitar.

To make it worse, you know some of the 'preachings', that photography doesnot depend on the equipment, but on the vision. You know that greats like Henri Cartier-Bresson worked wonders even with a humble Leica rangefinder model. Yet your heart itches for that extra inch of macro or that time-lapse recording feature. You feel you'll be using it someday.

You fire off queries to the numerous forums at Dpreview's, Imaging-Resource, Steve-digicam's and the like but they can only recommend - choose you camera according to your budget & the nature of your usage. Thus they'll ask you to classify yourself as an "Beginner", "Enthusiast", "Semi-Pro" blah blah.. Akin to 'Neo', you come to the most troubling question in the world - "Who am I. What do I want" but keep wondering whether to take the red pill or the blue one.

Even mega-budget stuff like buying a bike doesn't seem so mammoth an activity. I'd been similarly hard-pressed when buying my first mobile, but not to this extent. The market was competitive and the Nokia's, Samsung's etc ruled the roost. Yet it was easy picking up my ergonomically designed Sony-Ericcson T105.

However, on this front - I've somewhat made up my mind - got to snap up one , just before my pending vacation - be it the A510, the old CP4500 or the recently announced Powershot S2 IS. No more playing the researcher.

Just "buy it", "learn it" & "enjoy it" is gonna be the motto !.

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