Photographic frustration

Sorry readers. This is about cameras and memory cards, and all sorts of boring forum stuff. It will probably only appeal to a handful of you, so feel free to delete it without reading on.

New camera. Check. New memory card. Check. Sunny weather, and afternoon walk with Ollie. Check.

Off I go, determined to satisfy all of you who have asked to see some photos. Beetley Meadows, the small river, Ollie in the water, and Norfolk nettles. (The county plant) All on the agenda. Waiting for the light to come from the west after 2.30 pm, I have the camera set up with Kodachrome film simulation, aperture priority set at f 5.6 on the lens, +1 sharpness, and auto ISO set within a range of 200-800. With the electronic viewfinder showing adjustments made with the exposure compensation dial, I am soon snapping happily.

The viewfinder is so clear, I don’t need to resort to the rear screen at all. The Fuji X30 is remarkably small and light, and I have to keep looking down, to make sure that I am actually holding a camera. I get some good mixed ‘greens’, various views of the meadows, and some of Ollie in the river. I explore the wooded areas for a nice close-up of some bark, and even try some close-focus flowers, but it was quite breezy. I keep the settings the same, to try to get a consistent set of images, only using exp/comp as the light changes slightly. The 28-112 (equivalent) lens has a manual zoom ring that is a joy to use, and the shutter is remarkably quiet.

I set a target of fifty frames, and that takes around an hour, allowing for interaction with Ollie. At the end of the walk, I am keen to get back home, check the results in interior light, and get the better ones loaded up onto wordpress, ready for my first ‘proper’ photo post. The three-inch screen shows them up quite well; I am happy with at least ten of them, and most of the rest are still reasonable as ‘snapshots.’ I pick six, and think of suitable descriptions to write. The card is removed from the camera and inserted in my PC card slot.

Nothing. The computer shows the memory card as ‘Removable Disk (F),’ and that is empty.

Try again. And again. Still nothing. I put the card in the camera, and the photos are still there. Put it back in the PC, and nothing can be viewed. Like a cheap magic trick. I don’t have an external card reader for SDHC cards, and the camera doesn’t come with a PC/USB cable. So I turn to Antony, my photographic guru, and send him an e mail. He makes some sensible suggestions, but they don’t work. He suggests formatting the card, which will lose all the images. That’s also sensible advice, but I want to keep them, at least for a couple of days.

I decide to order a card reader online. It’s only Β£4, so not much to lose if it doesn’t work. Then I get on the forums, which turn out to be hit and miss. So, I ask a question at Sandisk (the memory card company) support, and begin to see what the problem might be. I have a Hewlett Packard PC. It is quite modern, bought in 2012, (running Windows 7 though) with a Pentium i3 processor. It generally works well, and I have been happy with it. But according to Sandisk, if it was made after 2008, it should have an SDHC compliant sticker near the card slot. It doesn’t. This could mean that it will not recognise anything other than normal SD cards, of less than 4 GB capacity. If this turns out to be true, it suggests that HP sold me an old-stock PC as a new item. It was discounted, but they didn’t say that it might be four-year old technology. Lesson learned. If this is not the case, then maybe the card reader has broken or malfunctioned, and I will be off to the PC repair shop.

A pleasant afternoon, rekindling my photographic interests, and looking forward to seeing the results. This turns into an evening spent almost entirely at the computer, trying to resolve a computer problem.
And I still haven’t seen the photos. I will let you know what happens, if anyone cares.

I won’t blame you if you don’t.

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32 thoughts on “Photographic frustration

  1. That’s sad and I’m sad, I could not see pictures of Ollie yet. Kidding aside, a card reader works along fine even in old PCs as long as you have the card slot provided there or you can use the USB cord directly from your cam. Most cameras have this along with external chargers for your battery.

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    1. Most cameras do indeed come with a lead for the PC, and an external battery charger, Arlene. It seems that Fuji wanted to save money on my one though, so I am waiting for the card reader to be delivered instead.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Fortunately, you can take those photos, or very similar ones, again if you should have to delete them from your card. It’s not like you took the camera on a vacation to Switzerland. But, of course, I do hope you resolve the problem and are able to keep the photos. I just have a cheap Kodak EasyShare camera (hand-me-down), and had to search for a way to download them to my computer because Kodak no longer makes available or supports EasyShare software. All of the photos on my blog are from the Kodak, though. So I’m getting by. I just need to get out into the world and snap a few more photos.

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    1. Very true David. Ollie and Beetley Meadows will still be around later, to try for similar shots.
      There’s nothing wrong with your Kodak, as the photos on your blog prove. It’s all about the person taking them, not the equipment. Some cameras just make life a little easier, others make for irritating complexity and frustration…
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  3. I have an older desktop PC (2008) with a card reader which wouldn’t read the larger 8GB cards my OH uses. We bought a cheap card reader (USB connection) and it works fine. I suspect the card reader on your machine is old technology, which is rather naughty of the manufacturer, but not worth having replaced as it will cost far more than the card reader.

    The charge ‘in camera’ is a pain. The lovely Panasonic I bought OH last year does that, so you can’t simply swap batteries and leave the dead battery to charge 😦 We didn’t expect that as previous Panasonic cameras have always come with a charger.I hope you have bought a spare battery – it is very frustrating when the battery runs down whilst you are out!

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    1. Thanks Jude. It is fingers crossed for the card reader, and your similar experience is heartening.
      I can buy an after-market charger and clone batteries, for a reasonable price. Once I solve the picture transfer issue, I will be getting one from ebay.
      Regards as always, Pete. x

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  4. Hi Pete, long time, no speak πŸ™‚ My husband is a keen amateur photographer and he said that you could go to one of the supermarkets or the shops that do prints, this way you don’t pay anything as you just pop your card into the machine they have (especially at Morrisons), and if the pictures come up on screen you know that the card is fine – if they don’t then that’s a problem.
    He’s pretty sure that the external card reader will work if the machine is older than you where told as card readers are older technology and should be accepted by the computer.
    He says that you should go along to whoever sold the camera to you and see why you weren’t given a camera usb as this really should have been supplied, or, buy one. Hope this helps somewhat.
    I’ve been reading your posts Pete and keep ’em coming. Can’t wait to see photo’s πŸ™‚

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    1. Great to see you back. You were missed, but I presumed you were busy enjoying life.

      Thanks for the tip about the supermarkets, I actually hadn’t thought about that at all.
      I knew the camera didn’t come with a computer cable. Fuji don’t supply one, and that is made clear by all the reviewers. They like to sell you the Fuji card reader instead…So it’s not the fault of the online retailer. Even the Instruction manual is an online download. It’s slow to use, and lacks a decent user interface. Progress seems to come at the price of profit, in everything.

      Thanks also for sticking with the blog.
      My very best wishes to you both up there. Pete.

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      1. Thanks Pete – John has just mentioned that it could be something as simple as giving the computer a restart – then re-trying the card. As you know, a file may come up at the bottom of the screen after a minute or so. Worth a try if you haven’t already done it, sometimes the PC goes and sits under a tree and forgets to do what it’s told, then you have to threaten it with an axe πŸ™‚

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  5. Computers have a habit of doing that Pete, even when I worked in the industry I was caught out on numerous occasions with incompatibility of components. I pretty certain the external card reader will work and is probably the best solution, I fear repairing the computer would be am expensive venture and cause nothing but more frustration.
    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a speedy postal service and a working card reader later tis morning πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Eddy. I doubt I would have bothered to get the PC fixed just for the card reader. They are coming down in price so fast, it’s hardly worth the expense. If Sandisk are right, (and not just blaming someone else) then the card reader might be the solution.
      Cheers mate, Pete.

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  6. Pete, oh my goodness….. I can feel what you’re feeling right about now… I was surprised your camera didn’t come with a USB cord. All I do is plug the camera into the computer and up it comes.. they are pretty cheap to get .. just a thought.. I’m so sorry to hear of your troubles, because I just know you were so excited to show us the beautiful pictures.. Hang in there and I look forward to hearing what happens next.. Take a deep breath my friend, all will work out in the end…

    Laura

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    1. Thanks Laura. It would appear that Fuji do not offer that accessory for my camera, at least it is not on their website. I will see what happens with the card reader. Fingers crossed!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Pete, well that’s not performance on their part… if you can’t get one , I’ll mail you one,,, all you need to do is ask… take care my friend across the pond… Email me if you need assistance.

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      2. Do you mean to say, a USB cord was not part of the camera package? ? We keep our fingers crossed that you can solve the problem, Pete!
        Love and good wishes to you all in Beetley, Xx

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        1. Anything to cut costs for Fuji Dina! It comes with a charging lead instead of a real charger too, so the battery has to be charged in the camera. An external charger is an ‘optional accessory.’ x

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