Saturday, January 24, 2009

Luke Cam

One thing I didn't mention in my Fernbank recap was a small incident we had about the time we got to the 3rd floor of the museum. Luke got terribly frustrated that there were 4 cameras going at the museum (two of mine and two of Dad's), and he wasn't allowed to play with any of them. I had already been looking for the right camera for him to take to Disney in March (knowing that Mom and me each having a camera there and him not might cause this sort of problem), but his anguish over not being allowed to handle a camera that day increased the urgency. Dad and I agreed to look into it together that afternoon when we got home. In the meantime, we did briefly let Luke handle my smallest camera outside as we were leaving, and he really did quite well for a 4-year-old who's never held one before! See:

I was not holding the camera or helping him compose the shot or anything. That is all him! Once we got home, Dad and I got it all hashed out, and by Wednesday, this arrived: Canon PowerShot A470 in blue. I looked at all of the cameras designed for kids, but I really want the pictures that he takes to be usable and printable, and most of the ones I looked at didn't come close! The few that did only had like 800x600 resolution, took crummy photos, and cost $60+. For an extra $20, we could get him a reasonably good *real* camera. Yes, he may break it. That's why we didn't spend any more than we did! But it is designed to be a "stick it in your pocket" camera, so (I'm hoping) it has to be at least somewhat durable.

We waited until today to give it to him, so he would have plenty of time to play with it. Needless to say, he was *beyond* ecstatic! Only two questions remain: 1) How long will it last before it breaks? (He's been pretty gentle with it so far.) and 2) Will I ever again get a picture of him when he isn't holding his camera?! LOL (I'm guessing no.) Here are some shots of him playing with it:

And here are some of his photos with the new camera:

For his very first photo:

Okay, so he's not Annie Leibovitz. He's getting better, though, as this was his second photo:

At least there is something besides carpet. And then he decided to actually hold the camera up around eye level.

And *then,* he actually got one in focus!

Now it's time for a picture of something specific:

His current MegaBloks creation:

And like all artists eventually seem to do, his first self-portrait:

This is the first one where he took his time and seemed to be taking a deliberate picture. He stopped, held the camera still, moved it a little to change what was showing on the LCD, and then pressed the button. He's learning!

A picture of Daddy:

And turn-about is fair play. I was taking a cell picture to send to my parents (since my father bought the camera for him), and he decided to take a picture of me at the same time.

I'm sure you will be seeing more of his photos featured on the blog as soon as I am able to pry it out of his fingers. The only reason I have the ones above right now is because I forgot to change the card. I used the one that came with it to test it out and make sure it worked, but it is only 32MB, so it only held 15 photos. He was very distressed when it started beeping at him! LOL I was allowed to hold the camera long enough to swap cards (now has a 1GB; the 2GB cards I ordered were delayed for some reason), and that's about it.

I did set the "preview" (how long it stays on the screen after you take the photo) to last 4 seconds instead of 2, both so he would have longer to look at them right after they are taken, and to distract him a bit while allowing time for the camera to cycle and be ready for the next photo. It runs on 2 AA batteries, so it does take a little bit to cycle, though not as long as I thought it would (less time than my non-Elph PowerShot, that's for sure). He has also already learned how to switch back and forth from camera mode to photo review mode (something I was afraid might be difficult for him), and he does so frequently. We're definitely going to need more rechargeables! LOL (I'm kidding, I hope. I think we have 10 right now, which should be good enough for a while.)

I also used a different strap than the one it came with. My Elph, the oldest camera in the house I think, has a slide on the strap so I can cinch it up to my wrist and I don't have to worry about it falling off. Comes in a lot more handy than I would ever have guessed! But none of the newer Canons I have seen have them, including my non-Elph PowerShot. His came with just a plain strap, too, so I switched it for a Wii strap instead (you can order extras for $1 right from the Nintendo website). It has a locking slide, and it is something he is already accustomed to, since he plays the Wii. So far, it is working great! And so is the camera. He's already announced that he wants to take it to the museum and "picture" the dinosaur bones. Guess that Fernbank membership is going to get quite a workout!

Currently feeling: the birth of a shutterbug


  1. I think Luke's start as a photographer is an excellent one.

    Marcus loves using my camera and so far hasn't done it any damage. I'd love to get him one of his own (like you, I don't think the kids' ones are worth it) but they are too expensive over here to justify it. But I keep my eyes out all the same in case a good bargain comes up.

    I look forward to seeing more of Luke's photography efforts.

  2. Wow, imagine if he continues to improve at that rate!! Look out Ansel Adams!!

    We got my niece the VGA camera for Christmas (weren't sure she'd take to it, although she had been asking for one), but we found one for only $20...and in pink, LOL!

  3. Oh my gosh, those pictures are hilarious. I particularly like the one of the stuffed animal - great composition. LOL


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