Thursday, January 21, 2010

Getting the PERFECT Camera Story.

I prepared this post AGES ago, but did not manage to finish it because there is no ending. Now that it's over. I can finally blog out the whole drama mama! *excited*

Having a good camera is a MUST for a blogger, who wants to go to your blog and be greeted by a a page full of lousy blurry photos? Definitely not me.


Here's my story...

Just before my Malacca trip last year, my camera died on me. Since i wanted to blog out a travelogue for the trip, i have no choice but to get another camera. There were 2 options, #1: Borrow from someone AND #2: Get a new camera.

I decided to go for Option #2: Get a new camera. Thus i dig up all my assets, and headed to the IT show to source for a cheap but good camera.

The crowd at the IT show was crazy. Nevertheless, i decided to brave the crowd and look for my camera that fits my description.

This is the camera that I have chosen. Cost a few hundred bucks (about $300+ i think...) Thought the design was rather simple and nice. The quality of the photo with flash was reasonable (Note the - with flash) So i decided to buy it straight away at the fair - That was when i know that i've made a wrong choice :(

After i brought the camera home, I tested out a few shots, and guess what? ALL the shots turned out blurry. Blurry until even photoshop cannot help. I swear even my Samsung Omnia 5mp camera can do better without flash! Wthhhhhhh.

So without a doubt, i posted an advert on hardwarezone on the very same night, hoping that someone would buy it from me so that i can get another camera. I was praying real hard that night, and luckily someone bought it. Transaction was done the next morning. (I got a feeling the buyer regretted buying the camera from me!)

IT fair was then over, so i decided to try my luck and get another camera online from Hardwarezone. After looking though all the cameras on sale there, I decided to contact the seller for this camera:

The Sony Cybershot DSC T5. I won't say it's a good camera, but i won't say it's bad either. But it's much much better than the Olympus! Although it's just 5.1 Mega pixel camera, the photo quality is not bad. Still must photoshop.

But then it's still quite lousy la. When i go for blogger events, i bring this Sony camera along, but i don't want to take it out, cos i think i will be disappointed by the quality thus i rather wait for people to send me the photos...

That is when i tell myself, I NEED A NEW CAMERA.


What i really want in a camera is #1: The photos MUST turn out clear. #2: It MUST be compact, easy to bring ard. It's that simple but i dunno why most camera can't fulfill these 2 requirements. Is there like a camera that WON'T produce a blur shot?

Finally after a few months, I narrow down my option to these 2 cameras:

Lumix Lx3. I was totally sold when i saw the chio super duper ultra clear photos on Xiaxue's blog. The colours were damn vibrant and nice. Plus she claimed that no photoshop was done on those photos. The vintage design and the pop up flash was a plus factor! However, the price is really expensive, it was about avg $700.

Canon S90. The newest addition to the Canon camera. Compact but powerful camera. It also has a pop up flash! The photos turn out damn clear too. Another thing i like about this camera is the control ring! It allows you to control some functions such as the ISO, the focus like a DSLR. Not cheap too. It's around $680.

Since i'm going to Korea, i decided to dedicate the whole of my pay just to buy a good camera so that i can take really clear shots during the trip! Headed down to the famous Sim lim square to checkout deals for both the Lx3 and the S90.

Cheapest for the Lx3? $680. Cheapest for the S90? $680. Can't decide between the two. Another problem is that my pay is less than $680 and i can't afford to get any of it (unless my advert fee decided to come early, which is quite impossible.)

In the end, this is the camera that i bought:

AHAHAHHAHAHAHA! JOKING LA! This is not my definition of compact ok! This is a bulky DSLR can! But it comes a really nice red colour leh. Ok, nevermind. Continue!

While deciding which camera to buy, either the Lx3 or the S90, I was also thinking how to gather enough money... ($680 leh! Not a small sum of money ok!)

I really wanted the Lx3 at that time because in my eyes, it's like the perfect camera. It's a semi pro, it has the cool pop up flash, the photo quality is awesome, it's compact and the list goes on... UNTIL i saw another camera.

Sony H20. Compact? Yes. Pop up flash? Yes. Good photo quality? Yes. Price? $549. It was like a ray from heaven - the perfect alternative. *aura shines*

I went to the Sony concept store to test out the camera and it was EXACTLY what i wanted. Plus it's so much cheaper than the Lx3 or S90. 131 bucks difference!

Once again, i headed to Sim lim Square on my payday and focus on asking deals for the Sony H20. This is when the drama begins...
I always read on the newspaper about those scams in Sim lim square but never pay much attention to it and finally i get to experience it myself.

I went to enquire store by store for the price of H20, and highest was $559 (even more expensive than the official Sony store!), lowest was $498.20.

Then i went into this store. (Damn! I should have take notice of the store no. to warn you guys!) The price they gave me was $530, but just when i was about to leave the store. The guy said, "Ok la, $410." I was shocked. HOW CAN THEY LOWER DOWN THE PRICE BY SO MUCH? It was from $530 to $410.

Obviously I got suspicious. Other stores quote much higher price. I was still thinking about the $410, so i decided to ask the other shop owners.

They explained that the whole thing is a gimmick to make you stay in the store, and then they will start introducing other cameras which is so-called "better" or they will introduce add-ons to the camera you want.

Refusing to believe what others say, I went back to the $410 store and ask to buy the H20 at $410 straightaway. True enough, he started adding GST to the price, giving me a discount for an additional battery, and it all adds up to $____ (Can't believe i forgot the amount. So anti climax -__-)

No matter how persistent the uncle was, all i wanted is to just buy the camera at $410. Nothing else. He gave up persuading in the end and made a phone call to check whether there is stock for the Sony H20 camera.

Conclusion. NO STOCK. Get the story? If you did not succumb to their persuasion, they WILL NOT sell it to you, giving you the excuse that there IS NO STOCK. I can 99% confirm that the phone call to "check stock" is FAKE.

End of story.

Totally frustrated after spending almost 30 minutes in the store and in the end realised it's a scam. Wait till you hear the next drama.
Concluding that Sim lim Square is an evil place, the next place i went was town. The stretch between Plaza Sing and Somerset. There's a lot of camera stores there. I went back to the shop where they quoted me $450.

Obviously the person can't remember me, so i pretend to ask him the price of the H20, and guess what he quoted? He took out the official Sony catalog and show me the official price of $549, PRETENDED to give me discount, and ta-dah! $500 -__- (My eyeball almost rolled all the way to the back)

I told him forget it, i will get it from the another side instead which is selling the camera at only $450 (I was trying to bluff him since he quoted $450 before.) He fall for the trick and quoted $450 BUT the price is without GST. I used the same trick and finally he succumb and sell it to us at $450 with GST.

Then he tried the "Sim lim square trick" by offering screen protector. 8 bucks. I refused, so he lowered down to 6 bucks. I agreed.

Then he tried to sell the camera pouch at 28 bucks. I refused, so he lowered to $15, i refused and moved my butt signaling to leave the store, and he said, "Ok la, $10" -__- I did not get it anyway.

So i left the store happily with a new camera with a screen protector at $456.

Shall end this super duper ultra long post with 2 chio photos of my new Sony H20 camera! Taken by my old Sony 5.1mp camera, enhanced with photoshop :D

Wait. How can i end a post without myself! Soooooo not my style!

Me & My Sony H20. The end.