I love this camera. Seriously. I think I got all .3 of its wonderful megapixels for 22 bucks or so (new) on amazon three or four months ago. I had just bought the Magnavox keychain camera and was looking to delve a little bit more deeply in the megapixel world.
My relationship with the Vistaquest VQ 350 got off to a rocky start and I almost returned it. There was absolutely no indication of which direction to put the three triple-A batteries in the bottom on the camera so I tried various configurations, thought I had exhausted all of them and so assumed the unit was broken. The plastic door that holds the batteries in is pretty flimsy (about the only criticism I have of this camera—that and the fact it appears that they are no longer making them!!!!! Yipes!) and I worried that I would, in my frustration, end up breaking it.
Not only am I glad that I didn’t return it, I spend most of my time now thinking about whether or not I should pick up a backup (or two) in case anything happens to this camera. Plus, I’d really like to have it in grey as well the reddish-pinky color.
I’m guessing the “painterly” aspects of the images this camera produces has to do with the it’s .3 mp. I dunno. I just like that this produces images that look more like paintings than photographs. At first this bothered me cause I was trying to do as little photoshopping as possible on my images taken with the Canon (Powershot S5) and worried that if someone were to see the images from the Vistaquest, he/she would assume that I had applied a photoshop filter gallery filter (or two) to the images.
Because it’s small, light and relatively inexpensive, I thought this would be a good camera to carry with me everywhere I went. This lasted about a day because I scared myself silly when I found myself not being able to resist the urge to take photos while driving (see, for instance, the first image below. . .this one I did photoshop, making everything but the sign black and white). Driving is not my strength begin with and figured that adding photography to the mix was a really unwise move.
I ended up putting the camera in the cabinet and shortly thereafter the holga arrived (and then the Diana, the Brownie and on and on) and it’s pretty much been about film experimentation for the past two months. In truth, I had kind of forgotten about the Vistaquest and its painterly aspects. After deciding (just yesterday, in fact) that I should probably slow it down some on the film-taking-front, I took the Vistaquest for a spin up to the post office, figuring that I could park there, walk around town and take some downtown pics so that I could see how they compare with those I'd recently taken with the film cameras. After playing around with some cameras that definitely don’t like to take pictures indoors, I love that this one seems to do pretty well with inside as well as outside light.
My fear at this point is that this is all going to end up as a variation of the story (or was it a joke?) about the guy who goes into the hat store only to end up leaving with the hat he came in with. I don’t recall if he actually bought his own hat (which would make this more of a joke) or if he just realized that he didn’t need a new hat but couldn’t see that till he had tried on a bunch of hats (making it more of a story with a moral).