I've been fishing thrice since my camera died and I hated the experience, I can tell you. Not because the fished was so bad, actually no it was terrible - lovely locations - great company - ornery fish, but because I just could not bear the idea of fishing without having some means at hand of recording my catches if those catches turned out to be personally historic. I just could not chill...
What's happened to me? I fished happily without a camera of any kind after bass for nearly a decade and once only did I happen to be near a camera when I fished - and I have none of the three or four pictures I took of the fish that I caught but I didn't care then or now as the experience was indelibly etched upon the optical memory, a memory that has the charming habit of ripening and maturing with age like fine wine.
Nowadays, I'm a snap-happy pixeljunky who can't step out the door without the tools for a quick fix. It's this blogging malarky that's done for me, you know. But like all junkies, I love my habit secretly even know I know full well that it's bad for me, and I don't want to stop.
This morning, after an edgy fitful fortnight of enforced cold turkey during which time I flogged off enough Ebay clutter to muster the cash for a new one, did my homework on exactly which model top buy and eventually committed to a ride on the rollercoaster that is high value Internet shopping, took a deep breath, clicked on 'buy' and then cleared out my entire Paypal account (and more) in one go, it turned up...
And here it is in all its shiny out-of-the-box glory !
I love it to bits already and I haven't even got out with the dog to test the waters, and with this camera that is exactly what I have to do, as it is, miraculously, waterproof. Yep, it can be dunked in water, in fact the manual recommends washing it under the kitchen tap on full blast from time to time to clear away any crap that might impede the action of the protective metal door that slides over the lens when not in use. Woohoo...!
Thank the Big Boy for that. All these years going fishing with those unprotected and delicate lens mechanisms that digital compacts like to display with unabashed priapic pride whenever you turn them on and zoom out has been akin to fishing with reels that would seize solid if they were to get a little moist or dirty.
Just imagine how crappy that would be!
One day all cameras and phone come to that, will be waterproof as a matter of course, unless that is, the manufacturers decide that making those devices too tough to break would be a shot in the commercial foot...
It cost me around £170 all in with ten quids worth of next morning delivery at Crescent Electronics, easily the cheapest deal available. It was a mercifully brief ride, just 18 hours from mouse click to signing on the line. Excellent.
Beyond its waterproofness, its other salient features are exactly what an angler needs - it can be dropped from reasonable heights and crushed with reasonable force and still work, it has a neat thing called 'tap control' which means that in snow and ice you can operate the thing, select menus and shoot shots without taking your gloves off by whacking the camera body in certain place and number of times.
For me, that is useful. Very bloody useful indeed!
It's also 14 mega pixels, but I have been getting away with eight for years and very happily too, so that is pretty meaningless, like the capacities of my computer were rendered quite meaningless when the memory got above a certain point and the speed beyond a certain point too and the machine started behaving in my time frame rather than me in its.
I don't know.
I have to go now, find out ...