Many years ago, my first wife and I went on a holiday to Turkey. It was a two-centre trip; the first week spent in Istanbul, then a transfer to the south coast, near Antalya. In Istanbul, there is a huge market, called the Grand Bazaar. http://travelioo.com/images/turkey/grand-bazaar-istanbul
Inside this enormous place are many shops that specialise in jewellery, and in particular, gold. We entered there one morning, my ex-wife keen to explore the numerous gold shops. In the first small shop, she found an item that she liked a lot. The owner sent out for mint tea for us, and weighed the item, as is the custom. After some consideration, she advised the shopkeeper that she would ‘think about it.’ We then toured the market for hours, looking at similar items, in near-identical shops. We were served countless mint teas, and in one place, a small boy even washed our feet!
After all this coming and going, we found ourselves back at the first shop. She went in, and bought the original thing we had seen, many hours earlier. There is no real moral to this tale, except that sometimes the thing you see first, the one that looks just right, and has a fair price, is the one you should buy. You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble that way. But this post is not about foreign travel, jewellery, or the gold market in Istanbul. It is about cameras.
Some time ago, I wrote a couple of posts about wanting to change my camera for something more portable, without the weight of an SLR, or the fuss of interchangeable lenses. I did a lot of research, and decided on two that I liked, with a firm favourite. I asked you, dear readers, for thoughts and suggestions, and as always, you responded with help and advice, kind people that you are. Unfortunately, as is often the case, that advice, and one suggestion in particular, threw me off the track completely. I no longer wanted my first choice, and began a new round of late-night research on the Internet, reading reviews and looking at specifications, until my head was swimming. After allowing myself to be convinced that my original favourite was not up to the task, I arrived at a new shortlist, and yet another first choice from that list. Trouble was, they were much more expensive, and my ideas of trading in my old camera kit were deflated by unrealistically low offers for it. At the sort of trade-in price they were offering, I might just as well keep it. It might be handy as a back-up, and would also make a nice gift for someone later on, perhaps.
This left me with the desire to own a camera that I couldn’t really justify spending the money on, with the only option left to wait a while, a long while, until this fairly new model came down in price; by at least half. Add to this the fact that I had to spend a lot of money getting my car repaired, and I had given up on the idea completely. I was reminded of the useful old phrase, ‘Cut your coat to suit your cloth.’ For a while, I stopped looking at cameras and test reports completely, until I was sent an e-mail from a supplier, suggesting I have another look at one of the most expensive cameras. I checked their review, and found that it was compared to my original, much cheaper choice. And it compared most favourably too. So this week, I started to look at tests and reviews of that first choice again, focusing on the positives rather than the negatives. One of the best positives was the price, as a new one was available at less than £280 ($440), almost £80 ($126) cheaper than it had been some weeks previously, and £220 ($347) cheaper than the one I had been considering. No doubt an updated model is on the horizon, hence the fall in price, but that is always the case with electronics, and you could wait forever for that ‘perfect’ time to buy.
I then found a hands-on review, from a photographer in Canada. He pointed out all the various faults of the camera, but showed that there were just as many positives, and he illustrated the article with some convincing images too. He didn’t say it was fantastic, but he thought it was good for the price. The most important thing he mentioned was that he enjoyed using it, and that it made him want to take photos. That was just the sort of key statement I was looking for. Armed with the knowledge of the limitations, I decided to trust his comments, and placed an order. I won’t be getting it for a few days yet, and I had to order an SD card from Ebay too, as I only had different types of memory cards. When it arrives, I will take some photos, and put them up on this blog, as so many of you have requested.
After all that, what did I get? The Fuji X30, in silver/black. Here’s a link.