Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Samsung UCA5 Finally Becomes Faulty

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I've had the same camera for many years. My Samsung UCA-5 has served me extremely well. I think I bought it around 10 years ago. Within that time it has taken thousands of pictures. And for a 5 mega pixel camera the image quality has been really good. So how did this camera finally break..Well, it was my own fault. I had it in a coat pocket and was moving the coat around, and somewhere along the line it must have gotten banged, so now it has developed a serious fault.

Don't get me wrong, it does still work. But now its starting to freeze after being powered up for a few seconds. Sometimes it won't freeze as quickly and I can take some shots. When it locks up the screen completely crashes (squiggly lines or just pixelated in a random colour). Once this happens it's a case of taking the battery out, putting it back in, and then powering up the camera again. After doing this it allows the lens to retract back into the camera, giving me the chance to reset and start again.

The pixelated black screen of death

But I don't want something that's now unreliable, not as my main camera anyway. Specially when a replacement camera can be picked up for super cheap on eBay. I've had my eye on various cameras, from point and shoots to Bridges and DSLR's. However, after doing a fair amount of reading and research about cameras, I was looking at a website (KenRockwell.com) that was basically saying that (within reason) its not about the camera someone is using but the person taking the picture that's more important for getting really good images. It makes a lot of sense to me. That, coupled with some comparison tests that shocked me, has really made me think. Do I even need a DSLR? Probably not.

Comparison tests: An Olympus Trip 35 (Old Film camera) was compared to what was at the time, a top spec DSLR. The results were surprising. I actually thought the DSLR would be significantly better at everything. But it wasn't. Nowhere near. In fact, I'd go as far as to say the Trip 35 (excellent old school camera!) actually produced the better images. Same thing with another test. A Sony Ericsson K800i Cyber Shot mobile phone was put against two high-end DSLR's for that time period.


The same picture was taken with each camera. Again, the results were shocking. While the DSLR's performed slightly better on paper (Technical details), to the naked eye there was almost no difference what so ever in quality. What difference there was didn't justify the price difference between the products. Of course, if the images were blown up to much larger sizes and them printed, I guess the DSLR images would have less noise and more clarity. But how many times does anyone actually do this? Personally, I never have.

Back to my camera search. I only had a small budget for a new camera. Well, not new, used. I did want a Panasonic Leica point and shoot, like the TZ7, TZ9 or DMC LX3. However, they were selling for more than I had to spend. So I starting looking at other brands. Naturally, with my Samsung UCA-5 lasting as long as it has, I thought why not get another Samsung. So I did.

I have ended up buying a Samsung WB500 point and shoot from eBay. It's a used camera (boxed with accessories + 2GB SD card) but from the pictures it looks to be in really good condition. It hasn't arrived yet. It has a Schneider KREUZNACH (10.2MP) Lens with a 10x Zoom. Looking at the sample images and video footage on PhotographyBlog.com, it looks to have really good quality for the price, given its age. And considering how cheap I bought it for (£30 including postage), it appears to be a good little bargain. I just hope it arrives in good working order. Fingers crossed.

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