We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I looked with interest at that one. But I am on an impossible quest for a good ultra-compact waterproof camera. The Pentax and Olympus reviews (even the flacks) of their waterproof ones are not encouraging. They expatiate about how they look, feel, perform under tough conditions but there is just the "slight" problem that they don't apparently produce very good pictures. Yeah, better a picture you are able to take than no picture BUT...
The Olympus Stylus 730 weatherproof looks less sturdy but still beach and hiking feasible and a nice 3" LCD. But no viewfinder...Ho-hum. How is the Casio Exilim in the rain? Growing up in England, I grew used to being out in all weather and want a digital that will not sizzle dead in the rain.
The Canon SD800 IS is only 7 mp but image stabilized, pretty, and takes really good pictures, but not weatherproof.
The Nikon Coolpix S7, the SOny T10 and T30 and T50 look pretty (we females love jewellry) and sound like they take better pictures, but are not at all rugged...AAARGH
We used to have this slick bright yellow waterproof Minolta 35mm that survived being left out in the rain after our rehearsal dinner (and all the pictures were fine) and baby pictures, and toddlers bashing of it. There should be a market for a similar digital. I guess the digital manufacturers have got used to people trashing or losing or having their digitals stolen every year, so don't want to make durable ones?
Back to the internet and my search for the Holy Grail of cameras...hours of fun...
To apple pie: The absolutely most fun way to videoconference is expensive but worth it: get two Macs, either an iMac G5 w built in iSight camera above the screen (which is also the computer), or one of the newer Macbooks with the isight built in. Then buy a year's membership in mac.com (I think it was $79 or 99) and you can communicate with each other anywhere in the world for free. The resolution on the cameras isn't great, but it is built in, there is nothing to configure, or fragile camera to clip on for the cat or adoring partner to knock off.
I used to spend hours talking with terminally ill relatives an ocean away, and the boost to all of our morale at being able to see and talk with each other when we could not afford weekly plane tickets was priceless. I never managed to figure out how to record the video visits (was rather bludgeoned with the stress of wondering whether each video call would be the last), but am sure that Apple will figure it out. There are bugs to the mac.com email service, it is not perfect, but it is such a relief from all the incessant ads and popups of the others that one can tolerate an occasional draft email vanishing into hyperspace. And the video conferencing is great. Check out the Mac.com site.
My husband always sneered at Apples as double the price for half the utility until he saw this feature. And you can't pry him away from the Apple laptop inherited from one of the relatives we so lately talked with by computer video...No, Apple did not pay me to write this...
Just to be fair, I have seen some cheap PC laptops out there (even bargain Acers from places like TIger Direct and Buy.com) that now have videocams built in. Maybe you can access other free services via pc? I don't know.
Thank you for the information--my husband won't let his Apple out of site! We started life out on MAC's, but I switched to a Sony. He is working with students from around the world, who want to talk to him and the laptop with video already installed is a great idea, but like you said you cannot keep the film. We need that capability.
For Retriever: Thank you for your thoughts on still cameras, we would also like to have a new still camera, but himself is still holding out for an old 35mm. I know, I know --you talk to him!
For Gwynnie: Are you the one who has been taking the lovely pictures of fall, if so your new camera and you are doing a wonderful job! Keep up the good work they soothe a jagged day!
P.S. For the ladies: As an older teen I was very enchanted by a young man, who was a photographer. He even flew 500 miles to visit with me in San Francisco. I dropped his Hassleblad off of my lap when the cable car started going down hill, we watched helplessly as it rolled along side of us for nearly a block. I will never forget the look of horror on his face. That was the beginning of the end. Looking back it was probably a good thing--I always do think people are more valuable than their cameras,or other things ;-)
In re-thinking my last comment, I realize that my statement about things may be taken personally by those writing here--That is not how it was intended. I do very much enjoy reading the articles about things that you good folks insert in your daily blogs. I have a difficult time writing tone into my cynicism--please excuse--I hate catty more than most people!
What I did not mention in my little story about the Hasselblad was the purple and white Corvette that went with the Hassleblad--that I did miss!