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Well, the Big Mavica era is over.

March 21, 2008, 12:22 AM

The era of Big Mavica has officially come to a close, as the screen is busted, wrecked due to water at the March 19 anti-war protest in DC. Due to the age of the equipment, I determined that a repair is not worthwhile. And the new camera is on order. The new camera is a Vivitar ViviCam 6200W, a 6.0 megapixel waterproof camera.

Well, that’s actually only half the story. This Vivitar will be my all-weather “hazard conditions” camera. This would be the one I’d take on the beach, to protests where showers are expected, and any other situations where I would expect the camera to take some abuse. In theory, this camera should be able to withstand a pepper spray to the face and keep on firing. Just don’t forget to wipe the lens. Isis, a photographer friend of mine, actually recommended this camera to me for bad-weather imagery. And I got a really good deal for it on Amazon.

Then I’m also going to get a more high-performance digital camera, to do most of what you’re used to seeing from me. I don’t want to lose any of Big Mavica’s features in this transition. I still want to be able to do long-exposures, movies, and a host of other things. But I do want something to do it faster and better. And I’ll finally be entering the world of memory cards, after eight years of removable media cameras. This means I’ll finally be getting some use out of the card reader that’s built into Compy. It also means the end of the battery packs, as I’ll be going to conventional batteries with this new camera.

As for losing Big Mavica, though, I’m not too broken up about it, because I was tossing around the idea of an upgrade within the next year anyway. Big Mavica was an outstanding camera in its day, but over the years, the CD drive was starting to show its age through declining performance, the battery packs weren’t holding a charge as well as they used to, and it was really not well suited to protest photography, since it got jostled too much to record efficiently during these kind of events. But somehow we managed.

But the memories it helped capture will last forever. Big Mavica was there for fire drills in Potomac Hall. It was there at my first protest. It went to Stuarts Draft, Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, and everywhere in between. So many adventures of mine were captured with that camera.

And it’s kind of weird the way things are ending. Big Mavica may have died at the protest, but it still came back with a great take from the event. You’ll see some of it come up in the photo set about March 19, as well as in the photo feature.

Web site: As we're now looking the end of Big Mavica square in the face, let's look back on when it first arrived, and how excited we were back then. And look at that hair! My, how I had nice hair back in the day...

Song: The theme to Will It Blend. I'd actually joked about throwing Big Mavica into a blender and blending it, but that would be silly. "Big Mavica smoke! Don't breathe this!"

Quote: Meanwhile, does anyone know of a good electronics recycler in the Washington area? I'm looking to recycle one digital camera and three lithium battery packs.

Categories: Anti-war, Cameras