ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO I published a slender Blurb paperback book in praise of my tiny Vivitar UWS 35mm film camera. So small, so light, so cute, so basic and now, so very expensive to run that I can no longer afford the film and processing.
At the time I wrote that 'it was a pity that there wasn't a similar version using digital technology', but, of course, there was and I was just too narrow-minded, ignorant or plain analogue obsessed to seek one out.
This top picture shows a couple of pages from that book along with my new/old toy, a Canon Ixus 70 dating from 2007 when it was launched in the UK at £179. It was a real find on eBay for less than £20.
I was so delighted with this gem that I read a few reviews on line and, last week, bought its slightly larger brother for a similar price. This Ixus 850IS was launched in UK in October 2006 at around £370 ... unbelievable that they ever sold any!
My former Vivitar analogue love had only one trick. It took wide angle pictures with no adjustements. It wasn't even automatic, just a point and click plastic box.
By contrast these little jewel like Ixus models can even shoot video and have more scope for photography under any circumstance than the 'professional' SLR cameras that I used back in the pre-digital day. The picture alongside shows the 850 as it came; with battery and charger, memory card, carry case, users' leaflet and a couple of discs with software and manuals to download or view.
Even if these cameras are never used to take another photo I gain pleasure from, and admiration for, the talented designers who created these little objects of desire in a package smaller than my beloved 4" x 2"x 1" Vivi.
And yes, even my dulling eyesight, failing dexterity and clumsy fingers can handle most of the controls which are laid out with great logic. I am already looking forward to playtime.