When my bag was stolen in Barcelona the thing I missed the most was my camera. It was a Panasonic Lumix DMC FX-33.
The story behind this camera is – skip this bit if you like – Nick bought himself a new pocket digital camera many years ago and it was great – a Panasonic Lumix FX-30. I admired it and realised it was infinitely better than the one I was using (a Samsung which was definitely from the early days of small digital cameras). Then, one day when he was on his lunch break, he spotted a very similar camera in the Panasonic shop window in Sheffield which was half price in the sale and bought it for me. It was an FX-33 and the newer version of his FX-30 and not only that, it was pink! I was over the moon and it had taken zillions of really good pictures ever since. Until some toe rag decided to steal my bag last September.
I used to take a lot of pictures and without my camera I felt completely lost, as if part of me was missing so it was inevitable that it would not be long before I tried to replace it. You can’t buy the same thing any more and at that time there were none for sale on EBay so we went hunting for a new one. A lot of the reasonably priced similar style of cameras seemed very flimsy and too light weight for me so we plumped for this one. A Panasonic Lumix SZ-10. At 140€ it was about the same as Nick paid in £ for the old FX-33 and about as much as I was happy to pay for a camera to do the kind of photography that I do.
Within a very short time I was disappointed with it. Compared with my old FX-33 it was sluggish, the pictures were grainy and the colours poor. It was nowhere near as good as my old one and I was not enjoying using it. I played around with the settings but none seemed any better and the sluggishness of the zoom and the shutter were really annoying. It was impossible to snap away as spontaneously with this camera as with my old one as by the time I’d set the zoom and it had decided it was ready to take the picture, the subject had moved and the moment was lost.
Having forked out a what I thought was enough to pay for a camera I was really unhappy and reluctant to tell Nick how I felt. But one day sure enough, I blurted it out. He decided to do something about it, and before long found a used FX-33 for sale on EBay.
It was the same camera as my old one but black like his, not pink. And only £13 including postage. So I bought it. It’s got a few scratches and dents but appears to work perfectly.
Of course, a girl can never have too much pink so I went looking on EBay myself and found a used pink FX-30.
For £50 I got the camera, two chargers, several sd cards, the original instructions and CD, a case and other bits and pieces. It has barely a scratch on it, in fact it’s probably in better condition than my old one was when it was stolen and I am over the moon again. OK, it’s not exactly the same as my old camera, being the slightly earlier model like Nick’s but it’s great.
Here’s a picture test:
Two pictures taken with my new pink FX-30 (the same model as Nick’s camera).
The same pictures taken with my new FX-33 (the same model as my old camera).
The same pictures taken with the brand new SZ-10.
The three pairs of photos were taken with the cameras in the same auto iso setting, which, being lazy and not knowing much about how to use a camera, is the setting I nearly always used. These pictures were taken in good light but the difference is infinitely more noticeable in slightly poorer light which is when I often take photos.
If you’re thinking that you can’t tell any difference try these two:
A picture taken with my old FX-33 last year.
A picture taken on the same position in identical lighting (after dark with just the kitchen lights on) and with the camera settings with my new SZ-10.
Obviously these last two pictures were not of the same object but the washed out colours and slightly fuzzy effect of the SZ-10 shows up I think. Plus when you take into account the extra few moments it takes for the zoom to react and the shutter to open, I think I can say that the SZ-10 is a great disappointment.
So now that I have gone from owning one camera to three I’m a lucky girl. I might put the SZ-10 for sale on EBay myself just to get rid of it, as I can’t see me using it again. What a shame.