When I think of digital cameras these days I have two symbiotic thoughts that lead me to a euphoric urge to go out and buy yet another camera.

1) Why don’t we skip the small talk and get to the next generation now. I know already that my credit card sized Panasonic (Leica-inside) Lumix (left) is soon to be undergrown by a business card version and then some time later by a photo passport size version and so on (thumb size pictured right). It is kind of obvious. That said, why was the last camera I purchased for the big bucks the size of a melon? I have reverted back to the old fashioned traditional SLR-sized Canon (Rebel EOS), replete with multiple lenses, carrying bags and gadgets. Fortunately, haven’t buckled for the separate flash yet. But it does seem like a throwback. My next purchase? A 300mm zoom.

2) To make space for my new collection, at least mentally if not physically, I have to get rid of the old equipment, including the Canon AE-1 SLR kit, the hopelessly large DVR recorders (2) plus the “small” Sony that preceded my current Lumix. Each was state of the art at time of purchase. And ache of the heart pricing. And each has been accumulating dust, lying in the drawer under my daughter’s bed.

Where does that leave me? For problem #1, a perfect justification:

Having gone digital, and assuming just a regular rate of photo production (as opposed to unrestricted gigabytes of pictures in the current digital mode), the annual savings on film and film development is about €270. BTW, brought back to a price per good picture [typically only 2 out of 36], that means about €10 per photo. Having gone digital, therefore, a top end €600 machine is actually amortized in just over 2 years.

For point #2, thanks to the secondary market (my favourite and most effective remains www.Craigslist.com – sorry Fabrice at www.olx.com, the volumes in France aren’t there yet), I can cut into that remaining €430. Each “old” item should fetch between €50 and €100. That means I am down to around €230, which seems quite reasonable.

And, as if I needed any other benefits, I don’t have to fret about my photo albums going up in smoke as I can store the photos on an external server (thanks Fabrice www.allmydata.com). That’s good POM. I can share the photos on line with consummate ease (Dial family website). And, think of the ecological benefits of not printing all those rubbish photos (closed eyes, smirk, over exposure, etc.) in terms of wasted paper and chemicals for classic film development (that smell is oh so unnatural).

So, with these new calculations in mind, no wonder I have (post rationalized and) bought the best smallest and largest digital cameras. Of course, that won’t stop me buying a iPhone with yet another camera embedded sometime in the future either…

Now, the real challenge is figuring out how to save on time.

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