I have written many articles on the need to backup digital photos to preserve them. Many photos are lost to hard disk crashes, viruses, or accidental deletion. What was not as clear to me until recently, was the need to backup my camera.
I have come to realize that if I don’t have a functioning camera, I cannot take the picture in the first place. Recently, I have run into a series of situations ranging from discharged batteries to a zoom lens that will not zoom to a camera that turned the entire scene magenta (see sample photograph). By the way, if you know what caused the photo, which was taken with a Nikon D70s, to turn magenta, please let me know. The effect disappeared shortly after the end of the party, and I have no idea what caused it.
When I purchased my digital SLR I relegated my point and shoot to the closet. I don’t even know where it is now. A better plan would have been to keep the camera as a backup, recharging the batteries every now and then. It’s a form of the old scout motto “Be prepared.”
Am I going to dig out my old camera? The answer is no. Fortunately, I don’t have to find it. I won a Fuji digital camera at a casino night earlier this fall, and I am going to open up the box and take the camera out. I will be prepared next time my Nikon is not working.
If you receive a new camera for the holidays, think about my experience when deciding what to do with your old camera. Keeping it as a backup may be your best strategy.