Camera Lucidity

6 April, 2006 at 6:32 pm (doric)

Sony MavicaThe picture to the left is that of the Sony Mavica camera. I’m in love with this camera the way I never have been with a digital camera. And why? Because it’s not especially good. It’s got little in the way of features, and the best pictures it takes are of a 0.8 megapixel resolution. And it’s the size of a late-nineties digital videocamera, the first ones that you’d see parents at weddings and graduations holding away from their bodies as they squinted at the tiny viewscreen. There was an odd zombified quality to their perambulation as they wandered about, holding the camera with stiff arms away from them and trying to frame whatever it was they were trying to capture without jiggling the whole device. One loses the fine motor control of stability when one is relying on that many muscle groups.

However, this camera takes pictures and saves them immediately to a floppy diskette. What a great idea! The school library at which I’m currently interning has two of the little buggers in their A/V closet, and my mind is blown with the possibilities! No more messing with cords or adapters or mini-USBs or flash cards… pop the disk into the computer and post the images on the web or paste them into your word processing document. Boom. Done. What a great thing to give middle schoolers who are writing a class newspaper. It may run about $150, but it doesn’t feel like a big deal because you can’t get great pictures from it! It’s so hard for me to take pictures because I’m precious about features and settings and composition and light and shutter speed and blah, blah, blah. But with a camera like this, a camera that saves images to something as cheap and as notoriously unreliable as a floppy, well, taking pictures with a camera like that is easy, because one can’t take it seriously.

My advisor loves visuals in the portfolio reports that come out of the practicum/intern process, so I dutifully took a couple of snaps of a lecture aid I created and a poster for National Drop Everything And Read Day that I whipped up. Bang, they were on the floppy disk and ready to be exported for presentation. I dropped the diskette in my pocket…

…and it wasn’t until three hours later when I got home that I remembered that I own a Mac, and I haven’t had a floppy disk drive since 1999. So while I’m still in love with the Sony Mavica, it’s doubtful that I’ll be picking one up any time soon.

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