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paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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What is the point of having a web site that gets lots of traffic if one cannot use/abuse that medium by changing the world for the better by whining about consumer trivia.

Today I wish to talk about digital camera manufacturers and two different retail outlets.

I am having a particularly frantic couple of weeks and one of the things on my "to do" list is "digital camera". 

My last digital camera worked spectacularly well until I fell into a swamp with it.  That camera was an Olympus which I purchased at Costco about five years ago.

I popped into a "Best Buy" where they have a huge selection of cameras.  My mission was to spend no more than 20 minutes getting a camera to meet my needs.  I started looking and a guy popped out of the woodwork and my first question was "Which cameras can I plug into my XP computer and see the pictures stored on it without having to install any other software."  He said "All of them do that now."  Lovely.  I then proceeded to narrow the list down quickly based on my other requirements.  15 minutes later I'm out of the store with a "Canon" brand camera.

As bits of time come, I unpackage the camera. charge the battery, take a sample pic and then plug it into my computer.  Nothing happens.  I scour through the documentation only to see stuff about installing software.  I cannot find a phone number to call for help.  I go to bestbuy.com and see they have a "technical support" phone number.  I call it.  Push lots and lots of menu buttons and then get a person on the phone that tells me to call the manufacturer.

I go to costco and buy an olympus.  I get home, charge the battery, take a pic, plug it into my computer and the folder pops up.  Everything works as expected. 

The only downside is that I cannot find the strap.  I probably lost it.  I use the strap a lot to make sure I don't drop it.  The are phone numbers all over the packaging.  I call the number and a human answers on the first ring.  In about a minute and a half they take my address and say they are sending me a new strap.  They didn't want my phone number, nor did they ask me a bunch of weird marketing questions.  Fast and efficient, just the way I like it. 

In summary:  costco/olympus are smooth.  bestbuy/canon are lame.

 
Marilyn Queiroz
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I got a Nikon and had no problem with it requiring software.
 
Dave Boehnlein
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Location: Orcas Island, WA
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Paul,

I have a Canon. It came with all that fancy software to install. I chose not to install it and I can still access my pictures from the camera just fine (like accessing an external hard drive through windows explorer).

Dave
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 22173
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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permaculture.dave wrote:
Paul,

I have a Canon. It came with all that fancy software to install. I chose not to install it and I can still access my pictures from the camera just fine (like accessing an external hard drive through windows explorer).

Dave


That's exactly what I wanted to happen.  It didn't.  So I tried to get help to find out what I was doing wrong - but help was elusive.  So I popped out and got something else.

The new camera is working out really well.

 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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Best Buy has a reputation that is well underground.  See ConsumerAffairs.com and type Best Buy in the box in the upper right.

TEN PAGES of headings will show up!  That's just headings, mind you.

Each page contains about 27 screen pages of complaints, from poor service to misinformation to bootleg merchandise.

For me, no thanks!

Sue
 
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