"'Desire is the true source of economic value,' wrote Virginia Postrel over two years ago, long before she submitted herself to the surgeon's knife to give a kidney to a dear friend," we captioned these photos a coupla years back.
"Ms. Willis: Thank you for contacting Pentax Imaging Company," emails Greg Wooton, Operations Supervisor, Pentax Customer Care, following a rather disagreeable telephone conversation this afternoon re the recent rapid decline of our beloved Optio 450:
Unfortunately, this camera was recently added to the list of cameras no longer servicable by the Pentax service center.
Oh, my. If only their customer service fellow Michael had told us last Monday when we took the trouble to send our camera via UPS two-day at our expense out to Golden, Colorado -- the fifth time in five years since we received the thing as a Christmas gift that the lens cover fell off track and we sent it back upstream. Tuck had a few things to say to put it all in perspective:
They're more interested in selling new cameras than they are in taking care of customers they already have.
It's like taking your five-year-old Rolls to the dealer and being told "We don't service those anymore."
You said it, but given the realities of the marketplace, we're ready big time for a new camera, and our "friends" at Bromfield Street Camera and Hunt's Camera -- ain't it grand to have the top of the heap down the pike south and north of us? -- tell us we can now purchase the same and better than what Tuck paid $500 for five years ago for half the price. We will never buy another Pentax, of course. As Tuck says re our moribund Optio 450:
It's such a wonderful camera, and you love it. And some stupid intra-corporate nobody says we don't fix those anymore. Now, you don't buy them anymore.
Kevin at Bromfield's wants to talk Olympus, Nikon and Canon at $199-250. Patrick at Hunt's says Canon and Panasonic are where it's at. One of them told us that Pentax was smaller than the other major camera companies and is therefore unable to keep up with the competition. One of them told us to stay away from local firms that promise camera repair. Whatever. Maybe we could sell our beloved little Optio 450 on ebay for parts. In the larger view, we're thinking a newer version of what we love, with a better macro capability, would be totally awesome.
Update: Thanks to our commenters for their amusing and helpful advice:
Goomp: Is Pentax a synonym for stupid?
Jordi Waggoner of the image-rich Above the GWB: Pentax is a synonym for inept! I have and love a Canon SD870 IS . . . The one good piece of advice I got was sit down and think about what you want to shoot with it, then go look.
Blogpal Teresa of Technicalities [Check out her gorgeous new banner image while you're over there]: If you want I can ask my dear husband if he's got any links for you as he haunts the camera/photo sites.
By return email, Ken's links and commentary:
As Ken said -- digital cameras are now a commodity. You buy it, use it, toss it when it breaks . . . for the most part. He wasn't at all surprised that your current camera isn't being serviced anymore. It's a sad but true aspect of the changing digital camera scene.
If you are so inclined -- you may want to hang onto it for a few years. I'm betting you'd get more for it on ebay in about 5 years than you would right now. *grin*