This has been a longtime coming. I've wanted one for years, but it just seemed like such a huge splurge -- and for someone who freaks out about one too many lights being on in the kitchen or the amount of money it takes to make a tray of water turn into ice in the freezer, I just couldn't justify the expense.An SLR camera seemed like the equivalent of air conditioning the house in the summer by opening the refrigerator door and cranking it to the coldest setting -- a senseless waste of money.
And yet, I couldn't let it go. I found myself researching them all the time. My lowest moment came when I was visiting my parents this spring and I found an old Consumer Reports magazine in a basket in the downstairs bathroom on cameras. I was in there so long I wouldn't be surprised if my family thought my colon exploded. Rather than bring the magazine out to the living room, I just sat there on the toilet, completely enamored and immobile.
Then there were all the weddings I attended this summer. I'm not joking when I say I talked to every last photographer among them. I bombarded them with questions like: What do you use? Why do you like it? What are the pros? Cons? Is it easy to operate? Would you recommend it to someone just getting started? What? Oh sure, get back to the newlyweds. Right.
And then there are the photographers at my newspaper. More than anyone, they will be most excited about this purchase. Probably so I will leave them the hell alone about it. (Little do they know the questions are just getting started.)
It wasn't any one thing that finally encouraged me to make the investment, more like a small series of events that all pointed to the eventual realization of "BUY IT, YOU MORON."
The first was when I found out I was pregnant. Although I'm going to try desperately not to be the type of parent who whips out a wallet full of photos of my daughter to any passing stranger who lingers in my general area long enough, it never hurts to have high-quality images to show off if the opportunity arises, right? And just because my new camera will allow me to make a wall-sized print of my baby's face without distortion or pixilization, doesn't mean I'm going to do it. But the option makes me feel drunk with digital power.
Besides, seeing a newborn's eyeball blown up to the size of a pizza box might just be the finishing touch our dining room needs. In a tasteful frame, of course.
The second indication that I should make the plunge came when my pocket digital camera bit the dust while we were on vacation last month. It still works to a degree -- enough to get a picture out of it -- but the steps it takes to get even just one image is too complicated. I wouldn't trust anyone else to be able to use it, and that's not an option in the delivery room. If I don't have pictures of our seconds-old wrinkly goopy alien baby, I'll be more than a little pissed off. I mean, that's a rite of passage for modern moms. Gross pictures of your vernix-covered infant with umbilical cord still intact. (Another poster-sized candidate for the dining room wall.)
I'd love to be able to introduce my camera with actual photos taken on it, but the brilliant sales guy at the electronics store informed me that all memory cards are universal and I would be able to use the one from my old Olympus.
Yeah. Not the case.
I'd have to shave about one-eighths of an inch off to get it to fit into the slot, and I'm pretty sure that would damage its photo-storing capabilities to some degree. (Just call it a hunch.) So I'm hoping to be able to talk Jerry into stopping at the electronics store on his way home from work today, which I don't think will be a problem. That's like asking me if I'd like a scoop of ice cream. The answer is never no.
In the meantime, I will just stare at it lovingly with admiration and respect.
But I can't wait to take it out for a spin.