This Space for Rent

Using the emergency camera

When our canon A70 went to consumer digital camera heaven last week, I had to fall back on using the cheapy A60 I bought last fall. Well, the best and the bears went off to the coast for a couple of days today, and they took the A60 with them, so I had to resort to desperate measures.

The Polaroid PDC3000 used to be a pretty good digital camera back in the days when a 1megapixel display was considered to be hot stuff. We ended up replacing it (with a now-vanished Kodak DC290) fairly quickly, though, because it suffered from a couple of annoying features. First, it takes 9 seconds to save an image onto the compact flash card it uses for film, and secondly, it doesn't save the image as anything reasonable like a .tiff file. No, it saves images in some horrid Polaroid proprietary format, and then you have to run a dos program to convert that format into a .tiff file (no other choices are available, and Polaroid didn't even think it was worth their time to even laugh at me when I asked them about the format so I could write a Linux conversion program for it) before you can do anything with it. Oh, and it doesn't have a LCD preview screen (not surprising, considering when it was made) and it eats batteries as if they were going out of style.

If it wrote images in a reasonable format, it could still be very useful, because it's made of metal, has replacable lenses, and is pretty close to indestructable. But when there aren't any other cameras around, it's still better than nothing.