Mourning DC

I’ve been meaning to write about the only camera that lasted more than two years in my brutal hands since I realized it was turning five years old, that was sometime in January of 2016. It was supposed to be an appreciation post about its specs, a summary of all the places we’ve been and things we’ve gone through, a pledge to learn about its ins and outs, a resolve to use the manual mode instead of being content with Intelligent Auto, and lastly, a declaration that even though there are better mirrorless and compact cameras in the market, I wouldn’t trade DC (yes, I name my things and it’s short for Darren Crepsley because I was into The Saga of Darren Shan in 2010) for another.img_5715img_5717img_5719To accompany the post, I even practiced taking pictures using the manual mode. I tried changing the ISO and shutter speed and apertures etcetera and was pretty satisfied with the results. There was even a paragraph in the draft version that went: “We change while things remain constant so I don’t need a new camera because I will eventually get bored with it. Better to be happy with what I already have.” Oha!SONY DSCSONY DSCUnfortunately, as fate (or my absentmindedness) would have it, I’d lose my beloved to the ocean in April of 2015. I was in Lahos Island in Caramoan, the first we visited for that trip. The view was beautiful — blue sky, rock formations, white sand, unearthed treasure chests for props. Someone asked me to take his picture using a phone camera. Wanting to take the best photo I could (because I’m a firm believer of the cliche “memories fade but photographs stay the same” HAHAHA), I submerged my body stomach-deep into the water. A few clicks later, it hit me with a chill through my spine even if it was summer that I was wearing DC around my neck. I quickly went back ashore, removed the battery and covered it in a towel. In that moment I knew it was too late because if there’s one thing I remember in chemistry, it’s that salt and metals don’t go together.

For some reason, I was calm at that time. Maybe it’s the peace brought by the finality of things. Or maybe it’s denial, being the first stage of grief. I remember wanting to wash it with purified water but we were on an island and no one brought drinking water so I just shrugged it off. In fact, I was more worried about what gadget to use with picture taking for the remainder of the trip. I just told myself I’d bring my camera to Hidalgo st. (a magical place where cameras are revived) first thing when I arrive in Manila.

I did bring it to Quiapo. The repairman told me to call in three days for the diagnosis but advised that there was only a 20% chance of success. I’d take 20 over nothing. He quoted a price, 3,500 pesos. It was a lot for a student like me especially since I just burned my money on the trip (a bad habit of mine) but I was willing to do everything I can to gather the amount including borrowing money (which I hate doing). After a week, I was told the bad news I already knew. The main board has short circuited and even after the repairman washed everything with a solution I forgot the name of, the insides of DC was corroded beyond repair. I got its useless body back the same way corpses are returned to the family. Now, it’s stored in a box at home, together with letters and others with attached sentiment, things that make me nostalgic.

Unlike when I lost my previous cameras (mostly due to theft/robbery), no tears were shed for DC. Repeating what I said in my Caramoan post, I just roam around with a camera-shaped hole in my chest that’s usually unnoticeable thanks to better quality pictures from smartphones but grows bigger whenever I’m in a new place or an important gathering.

It’s kinda nonsense (laughable, even) to write an obituary about a broken camera but I couldn’t help it. It feels right to bid goodbye, albeit a year later, to something that left me with countless memories before thinking about a replacement*. So yeah, goodbye DC, you’ve worked well!img_5724



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