How to make splurging on a digital camera pay for itself over and over again
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This is a guest post by Boston Gal, from Boston Gal’s Open Wallet, a single 30-something Bostonian who is seeking enlightenment and control of her Net Worth.
This past August my 5 year old Kodak digital camera finally stopped working (it may have had something to do with my dropping it on the pavement – twice) and I splurged on a new Panasonic Lumix camera and 2GB card for $180.70 (yes, I checked, and that is how much I spent!) When I say splurge, I mean I could have purchased a cheaper camera – something for about half the price, but when I considered how many ways I put my digital camera to work, paying more for better quality and features seemed easily justifiable.
My digital camera has frequently been pressed into service as my photo copier. Just tack a document up on a cork board at eye level, take a high resolution photo, download to desktop and print. Yes, a bit complicated, but when you don’t have a copier or a scanner handy the digital camera is a great record keeper (just ask any 1950’s or 60’s spy who used to do this with a camera concealed in a lipstick tube).
I used my digital camera recently to successfully fight a parking ticket. A meter maid had the audacity to ticket me when I still had a few minutes left. Lucky for me I had the camera in my car and took a few stills of the time and used the little movie feature to record the scene. My appeal, complete with photos and link to video was approved and the city of Boston did not get my $25. Right there I saved myself enough to cover the price of the 2 GB card.
Lastly, before I leave you with a bulleted list of other ways you can put your digital camera to work for you, I recently discovered a time saving tip. When heading off on a trip, I took a few moments to use my digital camera to document my parking space location at central airport parking. This time, when I returned from my trip, instead of wondering around trying to remember which level I had parked on, I was able to quickly scroll back through my trip photos to find the ones directing me to my car. That experience alone makes my new digital camera worth almost any cost!
Now for the promised list:
• Document the contents of your home for insurance purposes (or document your friend’s house with the much better furniture and stuff in it – kidding!)
• Take photos of your treasures to sell on EBay or Craigslist (anyone interested in a once-functioning Kodak digital camera?)
• As a way of peering into dark corners you might not want to stick your face into (is that a bat up in that eave? Let’s let the digital camera’s telephoto lens and strong flash take a look-see…)
• Moving and need to remember what you put in the boxes but don’t want to mark the outside of the cartons being handled by strangers with revealing notes such as “family treasures”, “underwear”, or “contents of medicine cabinet” – then document them with photos and just number the boxes to correspond.
• Getting ready to tackle a repair which requires that you take apart a multi-piece device and not sure you will remember how to reassemble? Take photos as you remove each piece to give yourself a visual breadcrumb trail to follow when putting it back together.
If you have additional tips or ideas leave them in the comments!
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