Old Blue

I normally carry my F717 with me most days but as it was World Photo Day today I was especially careful that I didn't forget anything when I left the house this morning. No sooner had I arrived at work than I saw a potential subject. I dove into my back and pulled out my faithful Sony, side-arm but when I turned it on it started flashing "memory stick error" at me. 'No worries' I thought as I had seen a similar error before and ejecting and re-inserting the memory card usually did the trick.

No dice. I started to get slightly worried. I switched cards. Then again, and again, going through all 5 memory cards I had with me. Still no dice. I switched batteries and hit the hidden reset switch; still nothing. Getting frantic I dashed to the nearest Radio Shack and bought a memory card cleaning kit. I followed the instructions; still nothing. I repeated several times until I finally had to give up and admit defeat.

Luckily I bought the 3 year extended warranty when the F717 was my new baby but a call through to the underwriter did not inspire me with confidence. First I have to find the original receipt from two and a half years ago. As the camera was a gift I have to bug my wife for said receipt and she's not entirely sure where it is; I can see an evening of going through the stack of shoe boxes in our basement tonight. Secondly, when I finally find the receipt it will take 6 to 8 weeks for them to implement a repair.

No participating in World Photo Day for me then ...

I guess I have a few options available to me. I could use on of my many film cameras for the next couple of months. This isn't such an attractive option. I like to use film for a change of pace but digital has been my main format since 2000 and I'm too used to the convenience and speed.

I could go back to my 2 megapixel Olympus. It's not a bad camera but leaving pixels aside, it is very outdated and slow by today's standards. I could make do for a week or two but two months?

I could use the opportunity to buy the DSLR I know is in my future, however, our budget didn't really anticipate me needing a new camera so soon; I was hoping to make it to three years on the F717 by which time I thought the Canon 350xt (new rebel) would be more affordable. Right now I'm leaning towards the compromise of buying a 300d (old rebel) to get my feet wet in the DSLR waters. The best price from a retailer I trust I can find on the xt kit is about $900. I can get a a refurbished 300d from Canon for $600; $75 will get me the 3 year warranty which I'm glad I sprung for for my Sony now. A 1 gig compact flash would complete the startup costs if I could make do with the kit lens for a little while. If I'm lucky I could get going for $750 then. I know that's peanuts for most of you but for a single income, two occupant house, two car, large mortgage house it's not insignificant.

I'm bummed. I'm bummed that I didn't get to take part in World Photo Day. I'm bummed that my faithful Sony let me down. I bummed that I don't have the disposable income to throwaway on a 20D and image stabilized glass.

Any words of advice on which way to jump will be gratefully received.