Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cameras

We are late adopters. For our 1999 trip we were still using a camera with FILM. By 2002 that camera was in terrible shape, so we splurged on a 4 MB digital camera, a Fuji 4800. I came with a 16 MB SmartMedia card, and we also bought a 64 MB SmartMedia card. The pictures we took were generally 640x480, and were called 500KB pictures. There were options to take 1 MB, 2MB, and 4MB pictures also. At the smallest size, we could take 633 pictures on the 64 MB card and 158 pictures on the 16 MB card.

By 2006, the Fuji 4800 badly needed a cleaning. We took the camera in to the shop, and they informed us that cleaning would take 9 weeks (we were leaving in 7) and that for the price of the cleaning, roughly, they had a new Fuji 6800 (6 MB) that they were remaindering. Same batteries, same SmartMedia cards (we got an extra battery - so we now have 3 batteries - and an extra 16 MB SmartMedia card). Great. We went on a 26 day trip, and took 500 plus pictures.

The difference in 2008 is that now we want to try a blog, so we want to be able to upload pictures on the road. We have never done it before. At home, I remove the SmartMedia card, stick it in a slot on the front of my computer, and see all the pictures. The other difference is that our daughter and son in law are lobbying for larger pictures - they don't like 640x480 and want 1280 x 1024, at least.

So I figure that all I need is a USB adapter - in one end goes the SmartMedia card - the other goes in the USB slot on the computer in the Internet Cafe, and all is right with the world. I also thought of buying a 256 MB SmartMedia card, if I could find one.

WRONG.

First, the SmartMedia card is obsolete. We may be able to find some on eBay, or back order them from the specialty shops, but otherwise - unavailable.
Second, there are no SmartMedia/USB adapters. I almost bought a $35 adapter from BestBuy that I would have had to return. I returned one such adapter to RadioShack that said SmartMedia on it, but it was a subsequent version of the card.

Next idea. My camera fits in a cradle so as to charge the battery. There is a USB port of the cradle. Just find a cord. So I carry the cradle to a electric gadget shop in my building. Two USB cords - neither fits. I go to Sears. Two USB cords, neither fits. These cables all come in that despicable plastic shrink packaging that you have to destroy to get at the internal contents, so Sears now has two used USB cables, and no money for it.

Finally, I go over to the Radio Shack and on the second try they pull out a USB cable, which claims to work with Fuji 4800Z and 6800Z. IT FITS. Yeah.

A separate trip to "A Z" gave us a $3 plug adapter for the electric cord into the cradle, supposed to work in China and the Stans. Now we just see if we can make this work in the random internet cafes we will be visiting.

1 comment:

lancealot said...

Carol and Mike- Regarding the insane state of packaging today, I saw an interesting solution suggested by a reader of PC Magazine.
Buy the article in its "Krytonite" casing and bring it over to the service desk and have those folks try to open it, but not only open it, but also take the goody out of the container.
It apparently makes for an interesting show.
I now await your reports. Mark