Today, I bought what could quite possibly be the noisiest camera ever invented.
I actually already have a camera. But it isn’t working. It’s under warranty. But, searching the flat earlier, I couldn’t even find half of the box, let alone the receipt. As I’m leaving the house for SPLENDID HOLIDAYS tonight, I decided a camera was of the utmost importance. So I went and bought one.
Now, I’m not a photographer. I appreciate photography an enormous amount. Several of my friends and family members are hugely enthusiastic about photography. But when it comes to actually having my own camera, I view it not as a luxury item to fuel my artistry, or such, but as a means to an end. I love having photographs, candid ones, as a reminder of an occasion. To me, a camera is a bit like a tent: it’s just something I need when I go away sometimes, and as long as it lasts for the duration of my stay I don’t care what happens to it after that.
So today I went into town with the view to buy the cheapest camera I could find.
Curry’s actually had one that was nine pounds in the sale. Nine pounds for an 8 megapixel digital camera. On closer inspection, I realised that this was perhaps because it didn’t have a zoom function, which, despite my not caring for extravagant photography equipment, I decided might be somewhat useful. I’d already scouted around various shops, and the cheapest I’d found elsewhere was £40. Curry’s also had one for £40, and, since it was there, I thought I’d ask for a closer look. And then I said, “Yes, that looks fine, I’d like to buy it please.”
What followed was a very strange exchange between myself and the man behind the counter.
“Oh… okay,” he said.
I smiled. So did he, but with a slightly confused look upon his face.
“And could I get the cheapest reasonably sized memory card with that, as well?”
At which point he went and grabbed a £20 memory card from next to a stack of £9.99 memory cards which were clearly at least reasonably sized. But then he said he’d throw it in for ten quid, so that was fine.
And then he asked me what I wanted the camera for.
I told him I just wanted a cheap camera for basic photo-snapping. “I’m no photographer,” I told him.
“Ah, I see,” he said. “You just want something easy to use?”
“Well, yes,” I said, “but mainly just something that doesn’t cost me a fortune, since I won’t be using it for anything extravagant.”
And then he said the weird thing. He said: “Ah, right! Yes, we do get customers like you in here sometimes.”
And then he went off to get the box.
Customers like me? Sometimes?
I’m sorry. I thought I’d come to Curry’s. Which sells everything with an “on” switch. I didn’t realise I’d come to a remarkably professional photography shop which only sometimes serves customers like me who just want a camera to take photos with rather than win an art prize.
How very strange.
Anyway, back to the point. This is most certainly a cheap camera, which is exactly what I wanted. It feels like it’s made of polystyrene. It’s lighter than a balloon. And, most amusingly, turning it on for the first time made me think I’d developed tinitus.
This is a camera that squeaks. Constantly, from the minute you turn it on to the minute you turn it off. A horrible, ear-piercing eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that, I’m certain, will eventually penetrate my very soul.
This is exactly the camera I wanted.
I’m going on holiday. Did I tell you I’m going on holiday? I am. The Leeds and Brighton CREWS are becoming one and descending on a delightful cottage a short distance outside Penzance. We’re there for a week. Leeds Crew leaves tomorrow morning at 7am, in a car. The journey will take, with stops, somewhere in the region of ten hours. I feel tremendously sorry for J.D.’s girlfriend for having to drive us down there, and tremendously sorry for myself for having to spend ten hours in a car with J.D.
But it’s his birthday soon, which is why we’re going away, so I’ll be nice.