Friday, April 17, 2015

2015 April 16: I am Nikon

Oh, the woes of wanting to take pictures and not being able to!

While here in Sri Lanka I have been using my daughter's camera that she received for Christmas in 2008. It is a great camera, with a good enough zoom for most of the pictures that I want to take, but no easy way to do macro shots for close-ups. However, all of the latches for the battery door broke last month. I had a camera repairer here in Negombo look at it, and he came up with quite an ingenious solution which worked great as long as I did not take more than a few shots without readjusting the batteries, but the batteries drained faster than you would believe, and who wants to be readjusting the batteries every thirty seconds anyhow?

So, I dug out my back-up camera that I bought for Elanor's dance recital a few years ago. While it takes great video, and great point-and-shoot shots, the quality of the zoom is terrible. Out of over 400 pictures that I took in Bundala and Yala National Parks last month, only about 60 were decent, and only 5 pictures in one park were what I imagined they should be. I cried. It was so disheartening.

So, Steve and I discussed the problem, and decided that we would take the old camera to a camera repair place in Colombo, which he did yesterday afternoon when he and Elanor went there to run some errands. (And to eat at Burger King. Well, for Elanor to eat at Burger King.) The good news is...it can be fixed. The bad news is...it probably cannot be fixed anywhere in Sri Lanka.

This was the news that Steve brought back to me yesterday evening when they returned home.

And then he passed me a bag. A bag containing a new camera. I was more than surprised and quite pleased with the gift. After all, my backup camera still takes nice shots, as long as you don't use the zoom. I can't take flora and fauna shots with it, but it's okay for scenic shots and video.

And so last night, I spent several hours trying it out and reading the owner's manual. (Yes, I am one of those people!) And here is what I found.

It takes great close-up portraits, even if the subject is being a little goofy!

It takes pretty good shots through the mosquito netting, which neither of my other cameras is very good at doing.

Night shots with no flash are pretty good. This is our chandelier hanging from a three story vaulted wood ceiling.

The camera picked up the individual threads in the weave of my house dress that was drying on the stair rail six feet away using the zoom.

It is pretty good at fine details without zoom - here is our dining room lamp.

It has an auto smile feature. When you set use this setting, the picture will not be taken until a smile is detected. To test it, I said to Steve, "Frown....frown...frown....smile!" He did, and this was the result.

It has a cool feature where it will take up to ten shots of the same subject and then automatically choose the best one of the lot. I was watching the LED screen as it took pictures of this gecko, and from what I could see, it did just that! Some of the others were off centre or not quite in focus. 

And the zoom is twice as good as my other two cameras. Here is the gecko at 5x zoom from 8 feet away. 

Here is the gecko at 10x zoom from 8 feet away. This is supposed to be the maximum zoom for crystal clear shots.

And here is 20x zoom, which loses image quality, but still gets you so close you can see the gecko's nostrils, the spots on his wrists, the pattern of its iris, and the nails on his toes!

So, needless to say, I am very pleased. It has lots of other great features, too, that I am planning on checking out this weekend before we head off on our next adventure into the central plains of the island. What a great surprise from my hubby!

And in the meantime....