Thursday, June 03, 2010


I don't smell good. I smell really, really bad actually. There's something about sitting in a car for a few hours that does that to a man. It does it to me too. Did I fail to mention that I was going to Vermont for three days? I think I did. Yup, I'm pretty sure I did. Well that's where I am, up in Waitsfield. The plan is to ride around here tomorrow with the legendary Vermonster, Jeff Whittingham, and then head up to East Burke to ride the Kingdom trails for Friday and Saturday with the likes of Andy Sanidas and some other peoples.

You may have noticed that these are not my, typical as of late, Helmet Hero, wide angle-weirdness photos. I finally got a new point and shoot digital camera, an Olympus Stylus Tough 6000 in (greenish) yellow. I figured if it's good enough for Gewilli, Linnea Koons, and Jill Up in Alaska, then it's good enough for me. I did get the model several levels below the one Jill uses to take all those sick shots of the Alaskan landscape, but I'm just taking sickening shots of the environs of Somerville, MA, I think the 6000 model is up to the task. And besides, the claim is that this thing is "Thom P. proof" — it is shock-resistant to five feet and water-resistant to something like ten feet...something like that. I'm not going to try it, so it doesn't really matter. No scuba-diving or intentional dashing of this camera on the hard ground is going to happen any time soon. Although I might throw it at K-Sweet's head if provoked.

Ya, I don't read fine print when it comes to these things. And that is why I didn't know that Olympus uses a different memory card than a Canon (or just about anything else). And of course the camera doesn't come with the card, something that was clearly stated on the Amazon page I bought it from. So I had to run out to 'The Shack" before hitting the road to buy a card for the wee-greenish-yellow bugger, and I got absolutely reamed for a paltry 2GB card. But hey, what you gonna do? Stop being a dumb ass all the time? Nah, that'd take way too much effort.

When Jeff Whittingham's through making people cry on the bike, he goes home and tries to make his daughters...not cry. I'm sure there was a clever way of putting that, but I'm just too damn bleary-eyed to think of it right now.

Once I got the memory card in and started playing with the thing, I noticed some marked differences between this camera and my old (broken) series of Canon Digital Elphs. For one thing, it is HUGE compared to the Elphs. Not something you might notice in a photo. I'm not complaining, the Elphs are simply incredibly small, this guy is plenty small enough. Next thing I noticed was that it starts up much slower than the Elph and the functions are less intuitive and harder to scroll through. Turning off the flash or going to macro-mode is a slightly more clunky process. Again, not complaining, this isn't a real "shoot out," the cameras I'm comparing are completely different, the version of the Elph I had costs twice as much as the Stylus Tough 6000. It's like comparing factory-farmed apples to organic-local oranges. Or something.

Burgers the size of our heads for dinner

Where the Stylus Tough kicks (I just wrote "licks" instead of "kicks." That would have been a great typo.) the Elph's ass is in durability. My Elphs have only ever lasted about a year, and my last one only made it about six months before dying in the midst of one of the most photo-friendly events of the year — SSWCs in Durango. The horror. I am hoping the Olympus' claims of near-indestructibility hold true.

Time to crash, Whittingham has a four to five hour hilly-ass-beatdown planned for me tomorrow. If you don't see a post on Friday morning send out the search and rescue.

Get it?


megA said...

I switched from a litany of Elphs to the Olympus toughie too. The different downloader, battery and memory card was a drag--now I actually have to know where I put all of it instead of grabbing any old cord and pluggin' her in. It is a little clunkier to handle while riding--I can't shove it in my mouth and hold it while I fumble off a glove like I could the Cannon, but it does withstand the acid sweat of the jersey pocket better, so maybe it'll last longer for me too.


rick is! said...


how is the camera lag time? my current cam, a nikon coolpix seems to take forever to snap shots.

George said...

All those rocks are going to be slick out n the Valley

gewilli said...

i've only had oly point and shot digi cams so the whole stuff was sort of familiar but different.

I find myself using the scene selector and picking the appropriate thing.

The camera should have maybe come with a microSD card adapter (mine did) but it is a slower transfer rate so it takes longer to write the pictures.

one thing i like (since i don't have a watch) is pushing the ? button when the camera is off and it tells me what time it is...

that and i have dropped it on hard floors, (accidentally) and taken pictures of water running over the lens and taken pictures riding in the rain.

it seems plenty fast enough for me from a powered off state but then i wasn't using a fancy elph before ;)

i hope ya find it worth the trade offs...

oh and the movies it does are pretty decent

ElZo said...

I saw Jill's post on Up in Alaska post about the Stylus Tough, and ended up grabbing one at Costco that came with a decent memory card.

So far so good. Image quality isn't quite on a par with my Canon, but I'm a lot less nervous about just throwing the Stylus in the side pocket of my pack where it's easy to grab, or pulling it out to take a picture when I'm ankle-deep in a stream.

Big Bikes said...

The Stylus Tough seems to have survived today's rainy(ish) ride.
I did opt not to jump off the bridge into the river with it in my pocket at the end of the ride. We're working up to that, I think we need to do some trust-building exercises before we take that, er, um...leap.