When I started weaving, there was little time to fool with pictures. Even making jury photos wasn’t realistic. I didn’t have a professional set-up, let alone access to a New York model. I gave away my darkroom equipment to a fellow who had an interest, and the Minolta to a young design student who needed a good camera for a college course. I used little disposable cameras for the next ten years.One day I noticed Beth taking pictures with a little silver camera. It had one big button to turn it on and one button to take the picture. Software transferred the pictures to computer. It ran on two rechargeable batteries. It was the new millenium. It was a little Fuji and I bought one.
I used that camera for at least ten years. I passed it along to a grandchild who wanted a camera, and went looking for a new one. My, how they’ve changed. I still didn’t know much about the actual functioning of a digital camera, so I went to a big box store and bought one a clerk recommended. He probably would have liked it for his girlfriend. It’s a Kodak, a name I respect. I didn’t expect to go wrong.
Sadly, this camera and I never hit it off. The “on” button is tiny. The shutter is scarcely bigger. In between are two more buttons I’ve not figured out. There are ten more buttons on the back. I don’t use them. All this on a camera that cost about a hundred dollars. No manual came in the box; that was downloadable.
The camera took only eight pictures before it quit. “Internal memory is full.” Six months later I found the place in the hundred page manual that told me to buy an internal card. Back at the same store I learned, “Oh, yeah, they don’t come with the card.” I think that was forty or fifty bucks. But, I could take pictures. I’d just started this blog, and it was good to have more than eight pictures to choose among.
I’d owned the camera about two years when the original battery would no longer hold a charge, so off to Radio Shack to buy a new battery, last March. Another forty bucks. In May that battery gave out. I stomped back to Radio Shack. Here, at least, I could spread my frustration around.
The nice young man pushed the thumb hinge and opened the battery case. The problem was obvious. The flimsy little orange hinge holding the battery broke off. Gratuitously. Two years old and moved one time, to replace the battery last March. In my estimation, the epitome of faulty design and/or workmanship inside a product carrying the Kodak name. The nice young man offered to take back the battery, but I had an idea. I did thank him for his time and help.
The camera was full of pictures I wanted, and I thought I could download them by shoving the battery in with my finger until it made enough contact to activate the camera. When that worked, I thought about how to keep the battery in place for the short term. So, my camera battery has a toothpick holding it down, and a nice piece of painters’ tape securing the cover, to keep it from popping open.
Of course I wrote a letter to Kodak, telling them my two year old camera has a defective battery tab. By return mail I have a letter from Jose S. at Kodak. I have to read the manual to see if my camera is under warranty. (I doubt it.) I have to send it back together with proof of purchase, and pay for the repair if the camera is out of warranty.
I’ve thought this over. The offer is unreasonable. We have been brainwashed into believing it is reasonable, but it is not.
I should be able to return where I purchased it, with proof of purchase, and have any clerk be able to determine the part should not have failed and exchange the camera with a “Sorry for your trouble.” In the world of electronics, I’ve learned, one deals with the manufacturer now, not the manufacturer’s representative, the store.
Shame on you, Kodak. I’ve felt some sympathy for the demise of a pioneering name in the industry, but my shoddily built and serviced little camera with your name on it is a metaphor.