Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One thing inevitably leads to another...

So, remember how back at Christmas time, I got this great new camera? It's a Panasonic Lumix dmc-fz18, in case you're wondering. Roger and I did a bunch of research, and debated about whether to go the full-out digital SLR route, and I chose this little guy. My thinking was that it's small and has an amazing zoom and because it was small and light, I was much more likely to carry it with me and actually use it.

I had a grand time using it, and became addicted to Flickr.com. And then the zoom function started being weird. So, off the camera went to the Panasonic warranty repair place. No problem. A few weeks later (eek! no camera!) it came back. I happily took it out to shoot some flower pictures... But wait! The zoom problem was still there.

I crankily sent it back to Panasonic, after an exhausting and irritating time navigating thru the Panasonic repair phone tree -- which, I'll tell you now, only leads you to a recording instructing you to send the thing to the service center. If there is a way to talk to an actual human at Panasonic, I wasn't able to discover it.

So off the camera went again. Meanwhile, I used Roger's camera and pondered whether I wanted to just demand a refund and get a full digital SLR. My weeks using the Panasonic made me realize that I really like taking pictures and I really, really like the Photoshop post-processing. (And I was already realizing the limitations of a smaller point-and-shoot style camera and how at times the quality of my images was sacrificed.)

After more reading reviews and shopping, I jumped in head first and got this gorgeous Nikon D80 digital SLR camera. It's bigger, and heavier, a real grown-up, big girl camera.

In fact, it's way more advanced than I am and I know that I'll be growing with this thing for a long time.

Meanwhile, no word from Panasonic about the little FZ18. I sent a few emails (ranging from polite inquiries to increasingly angry ones) and finally emailed the president of Panasonic North America simply because he was the only individual name I could find. I told the whole story, pointing out that in my brief period of owning the camera, Panasonic had had it in its possession longer than I'd had it in mine.

And you know, the VERY next day I got a phone call confirming me that they were sending me a new camera.

Coincidence? I think not.

So now I have a little FZ18 which, I think, will live in the car for those "I need to take a picture of THAT" moments. And maybe it'll be the one Caroline can use when we go on family walks.

The especially amusing thing (yes, NOW I can chuckle about it) is that with all the camera talk, my dad decided to upgrade his camera, which meant that he ended up passing his camera on to my sister to replace her really ancient one. So out of my camera agonies, I ended up with two cameras and Roger, my dad, and my sister ended up with new cameras too.

Maybe this is kind of like how people end up with multiple sewing machines (which I never understood until I added that second one...)


  1. Being an assertive consumer can be so exhausting! I think some companies rely upon fatigue setting in and customers giving up. Congratulations on your new camera purchase. Have fun getting to know your new friend.

  2. I'm in the market for a new camera. Nikon is on the short list. Panasonic isn't and now it definitely won't be.

    We had a similar "one thing leads to another" experience with VCRs. My SIL had a euro one while living in The Netherlands, but her company would pay for a new one when she relocated top the US. When we moved to Germany, she left the euro one for us. Unfortunately, on the way home from The Netherlands, our car got broken into and the VCR was stolen. Our insurance payed for a replacement, so we sent our old US VCR to my other SIL who was taping US TV for us. It got damaged in the mail on the way, but again, insurance paid for a replacement. So she got a new one. We didn't end up with any extras, but three people got very nice upgrades!

  3. I have same Nikon D80, it's an awesome camera you're going to love it!

  4. I hate voicemail. I just want to talk to a human being. The other day I had to call Canada because my husband received his canpass to enter Canada by boat for a fishing trip. Anywho - my son's name was missing from canpass. I called the Canadian officials who were responsible for issuing the pass and low and behold an actual human being answered the phone. Put me on hold after I explained the situation and came back, asked me for my fax number and immediately I received the new pass. I was totally amazed with their government officials. Can you ever imagine that happening in the United States?

  5. Sorry you had so many problems with your Panasonic FZ-18 and getting them resolved was such a pain. My FZ-18 hasn't had any problems, but I haven't gone much beyond the basic auto setting of point and shoot.
    I hope your new Nikon camera works perfectly for you, and I look forward to seeing all the great photos I know you are going to take with it! You are such a good photographer!

  6. Congrats on the SLR. I have to say, I saw this coming a mile away. After all, an artist needs proper tools.

  7. That is the camera Lisa has. Steph has the D70, I think!! You will do great things with it.

  8. I am amused at your "camera" adventure! Nothing like going "straight to the top" to get action!