Friday, February 13, 2009

fucking camera

So I got an amazing camera for Christmas! It has a million settings, and I can zoom in to read the house number of the neighbors half-way down the block. But apparently it doesn't want to focus on something small that's in front of it - like the pendant on a necklace. Working in the right lighting, it takes very crisp, clear pictures of my jewelry. However, if I want to zoom in to show the detail or pendant of a piece, the auto-zoom has an epileptic fit trying to figure out what to focus on, gets close to focusing, and then gives up in the end at the most blurry point of the focusing process. With my manual camera, I can focus until it's at least visible, and then manually focus the rest of the way in by twisting the lens. HA! Good luck with that on a digital camera!!

And I'm having problems with it taking good pictures in less-than-optimum lighting. That was a specific feature I looked for, so I'm really extra pissed about that.

However. I refuse to believe that this expensive camera is as crappy (or crappier) than my old camera. So I am withholding my final opinion until I can find the manual (I found the Spanish version yesterday! *sigh*) and read up on how to use it without the auto-focus. I would love to spend an hour with someone who knows cameras to talk to me about speed settings for different lighting. I think that's called ISO? For $65 I can take a 2-hour seminar at NSCC to learn the basics - the description focused on "getting to know" a digital camera, how to hook it up to a computer to upload files, and how to print pictures. Somehow I don't think this is the class I'm looking for.

Oh yes! Uploading files! *insert ironic belly laugh here*

I took a bunch of jewelry pictures last week, which I needed to upload to the computer and modify with GIMP to create new listings in my etsy shop. Guess what happens when you hook up the camera to the computer? NOTHING! After a number of adjustments to the camera, turning the computer on and off, I resorted to the Software Installation guide - the main camera guide being missing. Guess what - downloading pictures straight from the camera to computer without the software is possible, but you will experience problems such as it taking many minutes to access the camera. WTF? So I had to install their software just to grab my pictures! And then I had to figure out how to get the camera "ready" for the process - the software guide was very helpful when it told me that my camera needed to be put in the correct setting, and such setting would be explained to me in the main camera guide. So more fussing. Finally, everything worked, and I got my pictures. But then when you're finished, it quits the photo transfer program and automatically loads a 2nd program to view the pictures. WTF? I didn't ask it to do that!!!

This whole process took about a half hour. Half-way through I decided to give up, put the memory card in the old camera, and take the 45 seconds required to transfer files from it to my computer. There were no batteries in the camera. Not that I could find the USB cable for it, or that the new camera's USB wouldn't work on it.

And after that, GIMP died. It refuses to start up. Have I ever mentioned how many hours it took to figure out how to install GIMP in the first place??? So now I am back to ZERO photo-manipulation software programs. The camera's suite of software doesn't have one. And I have railed against iPhoto for years. I finally broke down and used iPhoto. 15 minutes to figure out how to tell iPhoto I wanted to look at pictures in a different folder than it had auto-selected. Resized my photos via cropping and scaling - holy shit, last time I tried, it didn't allow scaling!!! But guess what? When you alter a photo, it saves it as the same document. So your original photo is forever LOST. There is no Save-As feature. WTFWTFWTF??????

And then... Oh yes, and then. I went downstairs to make etsy listings on my laptop and spend time with Eric watching our nightly shows so I could calm down and stop being pissed off. This required me putting those iPhoto-manipulated files into our network to grab with the other computer.

The other computer being a PC that was so confused by the iPhoto files that it refused to even copy them over. Back upstairs, grab the old camera and the new memory card, find batteries and USB cable. Hook up old camera to move images to laptop. Use laptop to manipulate images AGAIN, this time with Photoshop.

There is no Photoshop on my machine.

I was about ready to throw every piece of technology in our house out a window.

Eric got me his laptop which allegedly had Photoshop on it. I couldn't find it anywhere. Because the only way I know how to start programs on a PC is to either click the shortcut on the desktop, or go to the Applications folder and find the program there. Want to ask Eric why Photoshop was not in the Applications folder? Neither did I. I was going to throw his laptop into the TV if I did not just give up right then and there.

He found photoshop. Launched it for me. Discovered there was almost no battery life left and he'd left his AC charger at the office. Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? He saw the manic disbelief turning my face into the freaking Joker, took both laptops in the other room, and when he came back my laptop had photoshop on it.

So something that should have taken me 15 minutes tops took about 1.5 hours. And then I still had to alter the images and create the listing. HA! Oh, and Eric couldn't keep from telling me that the new camera hooked up to his PC just fine without the software to do the file transfer.

Eric has a very similar story to tell about how his Mustang didn't work after we got back from Italy. I say point for me because I didn't throw anything in the end. It was a close thing though. Very, very close.