This is pretty much the stupidest thing I’ve ever done and perhaps the most costly mistake I’ve made. Good thing I don’t own a car…
On Wednesday I received late notice that I would be able to bring my camera to a show I was terribly excited to see (Iris + Mesh + De/vision + Assemblage 23). I was really hoping I could bring it as it had been a while since I was able to shoot a show, and had since upgraded my equipment and technique a bit.
I only needed to clear my SD card, but Windows wouldn’t let me delete for some reason. “No big deal,” I thought. I figured I could just go and format the card in my camera. As soon as I put it in the camera though, the screen flashed “WRITE-PROTECTED.”
Clearly the little tab on the side of the card had been switched accidentally. I removed the card … only to discover the tab was completely missing. Shit.
I was on the verge of being late for the show. I run around the apartment desperately looking for some Scotch tape, but couldn’t find any. I found something a little thicker and figured “ah what the hell,” may as well try it. First mistake.
The card slid into the camera with a little bit of resistance, but not a huge problem. Unfortunately the screen showed it was still write-protected though. The card was stuck though and I couldn’t get it out. Second mistake: I pried the card out with a screwdriver. Gently and from the edge … it came out with two much trouble. Unfortunately it took the ejection mechanism with it. F— f— f–.
In some stupid bout of even huger idiocy, I tried putting the card back into the damaged mechanism, but really, it was already completely screwed at that point.
I took it to Henry’s today for repair, but discovered Olympus of Canada has recently shut down. For repair, the camera would have to be sent to New York. It would cost roughly $350 and take 8-10 weeks.
Frack. I started thinking, “well, I could go back to shooting film…,” but $350 is a lot for a repair, and there’s no guarantee what the final cost would be or how long it might take. I said I’d have to think about it.
In the same store I discovered they have a used version of the same model for $350 … a no-brainer compared to having mine repaired at least: same, concrete, cost and instant-gratification.
I had to consider though, a more modern, but a “lite” version of my camera is the E-PL2, and is $600 brand-new. It probably makes more sense to spend the money on that instead of buying a used camera which I have no idea how it has been treated. As well, I can sell my old small flash as the new one includes one.
The new camera would have some pretty significant advantages in having a much higher-resolution LCD, an included flash, smaller & lighter, and a better stock lens. On the other hand, it’s a cheaper build quality and has one less control dial which is annoying. Still, the advantages probably outweigh the negatives.
Just annoying to have to rebuy something. I was hoping to buy a cyclocross bike soon.
Heck, I may really still decide to just shoot film in the interim. The m4/3 format cameras are starting to show their age and a more significant hardware refresh may be on its way. The newer models are still using the same sensors as the original ones from two years ago.
I guess the lesson here is that I should have just left the camera alone and gone and enjoyed the show. I should have been more relaxed and rational about it. I could have mitigated this whole thing by just dashing to BestBuy (a block away) and buying a new $20 SD card. Hindsight is 20/20 and all, but I was aware of this even at the time… just thought I could get it working even faster.