In which I got exactly what I wanted this Christmas – twice!

by DaniGirl on December 30, 2008 · 13 comments

in Happy holidays, It IS all about me

I’ve been trying to get to the computer to write this post for a few days, but we’re having a very social and very sleepless holiday over here. It’s an, um, interesting combination!

This Christmas, there were only a few things I asked for. One was one of those organizational calendars with separate spaces for the whole family. (Thanks, Mom!) One was the Twilight series of books by Stephanie Meyer. (Thanks, Beloved!) (Ahem, and yet another reason the blogging has been sporadic. Review pending, but damn, I’m seriously hooked!) And one was an inexpensive little point-and-shoot digital camera that I could comfortably tuck into my pocket or bag to carry around with me. You know I adore my Nikon D40, and it takes glorious photos. But it’s pretty bulky, and when my arms are often already juggling a baby and who knows what else, it’s sometimes a bit of a pain to lug around with me. Plus, I wanted something I could take to the beach or the park, or out in less than favourable weather, without having to worry about protecting it.

Anyway, colour me spoiled, I know, but I got exactly what I asked for. Beloved got me a lovely little Canon PowerShot A470, and he even got me a Canon photo printer in matching pink. Does he rock or what?

I loved it, it was perfect and exactly what I asked for, but yesterday I took it back to the store. How’s this for ironic? On Christmas Eve morning, at about 10:30, I checked my e-mail and found a note from Kate, of the blog My Name is Kate. (Great Canadian social media and marketing blog, if you haven’t been over there. One of my favourites!) Kate had been running a contest to win aFuji Finepix S2000HD, a fancy-assed high-end point-and-shoot with HD still and video capability. To enter the draw, she had commenters leave a note with their favourite Christmas song. She said for 10 chances to win, upload a video somewhere on the interwebs of you singing that song. Well, it seems unfair to subject anyone to me singing anything anywhere for any reason, so I decided to exploit my children instead, and uploaded this tiny clip of the three of them singing a bit of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. And, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I won!

Who would have guessed that winning a free, way-cool digital camera could make me feel so uncomfortable? I had an idea that Beloved had got the camera for me, as he can’t keep a secret to save his life (smooch) but he wouldn’t confirm or deny until I opened the box Christmas Eve. I waffled for a while, sentimentalist that I am, but in the end we decided to take back the Canon mostly because it doesn’t have the video capability that the Fuji does (and if you peek at the video I uploaded of the boys singing, you can see that my little flash camcorder doesn’t do much of a job on that, either.)

So I’ve got a quick question for y’all: do you have one of those dedicated photo printers, and do you find it’s worthwhile? Beloved and I are debating whether to keep or return the printer (it was part of a package with the Canon) and whether it’s more cost-effective to just print the photos at Loblaws for 20 cents each or if it’s still cheaper to do it at home, once you factor in the cost of paper and ink. And any thoughts on quality would also be appreciated!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ernesta December 30, 2008 at 12:21 pm

It’s definitely cheaper to print images at retail than at home. The only advantage of printing at home is that you can print when you want. At retail you can take advantage of special offers and coupons.

2 Shan December 30, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Lucky girl! I got the Finepix S100 for Christmas and am very happy with it. As for printing I lean more towards retail then home. Especially, like Ernesta said, when you can take advantage of special offers.

3 Chichimama December 30, 2008 at 1:30 pm

We have a photo printer, which I use, but only for the last minute “Mom! I need a picture of me for school! Today!” requests. Anything getting framed or used for non-school related purposes goes to the photo place.

Am drooling over your camera now. Perhaps all of my drooling over my MILs this Christmas will lead to one for my birthday…

4 Marianne December 30, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I don’t have a photo printer. Retail is fast and easy, whether I submit online and pick up or go in person. For the few occasions I need something quick, I just use my inkjet colour printer and either regular paper or a page of the sample photo paper that came with the printer.

I also realised with retail photos that I no longer have to mail photos to family across the country — I can just order my photos printed at my in-laws local grocery store and they can pick them up when they do their shopping!

5 colleen December 30, 2008 at 4:41 pm

The home printer is expensive so I only use it for “emergencies”. Costco develops for .17 per photo…hard to beat.

6 Roxanne December 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm

We have found that printing pictures at home is not as high of quality color-wise and only do so if we need a few pictures right now. Otherwise it’s cheaper and more high quality pictures to take them somewhere else.

7 Batman December 30, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Agree on the print at Loblaws/Wallymart/Costco etc. The cost of ink for the home printer and the amount used for good quality pics puts a serious dent in the wallet.

8 Cris December 30, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Something else to think about is the quality. Long-term. Printing photos at home = approx. 7 year life span before they start to discolour etc. Printing pictures at a place (like Blacks) who use a printing system where the photo is actually emulsified in the chemicals = a 100 year plus life span. Sometimes cheaper is not better. I’m not sure about what cheaper places use for printing a pic whether it is just a surface print like you would get off a home printer or whether it is a chemical print.

9 Windex December 30, 2008 at 10:27 pm

We print at home when we need to otherwise we go to Shopper (better deal than Loblaws).

But Cris your comment is interesting – I am a huge photo album lover so I should look into that.

10 Rev Dr Mom December 30, 2008 at 11:32 pm

I have a photo printer, and it prints beautiful pictures. With the right ink and paper they are very high quality (and have a long life span, re comment above). But the ink and paper are expensive. The one advantage I see is that you can do different sizes more easily when you do it yourself. So for some of the pix I frame I like to print them myself.

If you just want standard 4×6 prints, doing it at a kiosk is probably easier and more cost effective.

11 suze December 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm

The quality that I’ve experienced from those home printers have not been great (and they don’t look like they’ll last too long either). But I’ve never used the Canon one that you have. I just do mine at Loblaws because I can send them in online (and have them printed across the country too!). If I’m ever in that much of a hurry, a few Loblaws’ have those instant printers that will print them out in front of you (I know there’s a few in the Kanata area).

12 Naomi (Urban Mummy) January 1, 2009 at 11:44 am

I don’t have a photo printer. Send my photos to be printed online (bonusprint, usually – cheap!) and have them mailed to me. Much simpler, for me.

If I’m ever in a hurry, my regular inkjet printer does a decent job on photo quality paper.

13 Jerri Ann January 1, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Color me obnoxious but….we have our big nice camera and then I have one that is small that I carry in my purse that is a …..I don’t know, just a camera and then I have a kodak that stays in my automobile because 9 times out of 10, if my mom has my kids, she also has my auto. So, she has access to a camera too.

And, even with all that, I got rid of our photo printer because……I can burn every single picture to a disk about once a month or so, put it in the fireproof box and then only print the few that I actually want to show off in real life out for ….19 cents or 15 cents or whoever is running a special that week…just my two cents…or 15…

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