Milford Track and My Nikon AW1

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Being the prepared person that I am, I had all my gear and stuff sorted and packed weeks before we went away to New Zealand.

Yep, there was no way that I was running around town between my grandmothers funeral and our flight out of the State that night buying myself a new camera, a rain jacket and new walking boots.

Nope, that just wouldn’t be me.  Not one bit.

So, in my fantasy world, I bought myself a brand spanking new waterproof, drop-proof, weatherproof Nikon AW1 Compact SLR from JB Hi-Fi weeks before we went away because I managed to pick it up for a song ($769) plus because I bought it before I went overseas I got to claim back the GST so got a $1000 camera for around $698.  I gotta be happy with that.

And look what great pictures it takes …

OK, so that was Kim trying to photograph GyPSy, but you can see the camera reflected in the picture.

More seriously, I got to give it a good try out over our four days on the Milford Sound Track , so if you’ll indulge me here is a long series of random photos to give you a taste of how I saw the walk …

So do I like my new camera?  Yes, yes and yes.

But I still can’t work it properly and am really still learning its functions, but it’s very easy to use and despite several dire warnings on review websites about short battery life, I was able to take nearly 400 photos over four days and still have 2/3rds battery charge.

I did strike some problems:

(1) the lens seems to mist up quite a lot in the morning, even when the lens cap was on.
(2) I still haven’t figured out how to take infinite focus shots (eg. of the night sky) and as it couldn’t focus on the night sky, I couldn’t take any photos of it
(3) the back screen scratches REALLY easily which sucks for what is meant to be a john proof camera – I just wore it on my front for the first two days and the rubbing against my t-shirt led to the screen being really scratched which is a bit disappointing in a rugged camera.
(4) The lens choices  are quite limited – in fact there is only one waterproof lens available for it which doesn’t let you take good closeups or really zoom in on things.
(5) all my photos disappeared when I tried to upload them with Picasa, but I think that’s more a John problem than a camera problem.  $45 later I had some software to recover them so all was OK.

But these are all things I can live with and a small price to pay for having a waterproof compact SLR.

As to my other last minute well thought out and prepared purchases … yea, wearing your new hiking boots for several hours on a flight apparently doesn’t break them in for a four day walk, and that rain jacket … well the waist bunjee snapped off the first time I tried to cinch it, and the front zip also broke after about a days use.

… which is why next time I think I’ll just try buying things at the last minute.

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