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A new little camera

Natasha and I have always said that we prefer digital cameras that are sized in a way that makes them feel substantial in your hands. None of that thumbs and forefingers nonsense, holding the camera as if it were a smelly diaper half a yard in front of your face. Real photographers use viewfinders anyway!

So, even when we bought non-DSLR cameras in the past, we always opted for SLR-like types. And DSLR, by definition, is not compact.

The obvious drawback to that approach is that you cannot carry your camera with you all the time. I’ve been lately finding myself in occasional situations where I wished I had a camera, but I’m definitely not lugging my hefty Nikon with me to work on an off chance that I come upon something worthwhile taking a snapshot of.

So, this week, I made an impulse decision that I needed to get me a compact digicam. Something cheap, not necessarily very advanced, but adequate in picture quality. I’d even settle on a 4-5 megapixels model, because I don’t believe that you ever need large-resolution pictures for non-professional purposes.

I popped into the nearby camera store, surveyed the models they had in the low range, spent a couple of hours researching those models on the internet, and confirmed my usual view that you don’t really save much money on ordering a low-end item online. I also discovered, to my surprise, that photographic progress left me somewhat behind, and cameras with resolutions below 8 megapixels are becoming scarce. Conversely, even the 8-megapixel models are now often priced in the range of a tank of gas.

I went back to the store and acquired a cool Fujifilm Finepix J12 (blue). Which is now settled in my jacket pocket. Now, all I have to do is become more aware of situations worth recording for posterity. And work on not feeling silly at stopping in the middle of my commute routine to take a picture of something.

I’ll keep you all updated.


  1. Kisintin

    It’s not a bad cam, we use the Cannon SD800. And the only problem I have with it is taking pictures inside, the ISO setting can get weird and the pictures turn out on the dark side when using the flash.

  2. Ilya

    I’m sure I’ll find problems with mine, but based on how I plan to use it, as long as the average picture does not come out noisy, it will do.

    Consistently good reviews for yours, by the way. But even though it’s an older model, it is still a bit beyond the price range that I was willing to consider for this.

  3. Tania

    I’m a lousy photographer (need more practice) and I usually never think to take pictures while I’m going about my day. It’ll be interesting to see if the nifty new gadget does inspire you to look at things with the photographers eye. I’m rather excited for you.

  4. mattw

    Good luck with the new camera!

    I have a friend who’s become a pretty serious photographer. He used to carry around a little camera, about the size of a pack of gum just to snap little incidental photos.

  5. Ilya

    Thanks, Tania and Matt! I don’t have many aspirations of becoming a serious photographer – I leave that to Natasha – but I’m curious to see if I can develop my sense of space around me a bit.

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