April 29, 2023

A week with my Olympus Camedia D-595 Z [digicam diaries]

I've acquired a few more digicams in recent months and I've been having a lot of fun testing them out. I decided to carry my Olympus Camedia D-595 Zoom with me this week to get adequately familiar with it. I love the photos straight out of camera and I'm excited to share some highlights of the week with you! But first, a little bit about this camera. 

*Some photos are slightly color graded, but most are SOOC. No grain or texture was added to the photos-- that's the camera's doing. 🖤

The D-595Z (or C-500 Zoom if you're outside the US) was announced on February 17, 2005 (I was about to be a high school freshman!) and was released later that year. Its compact body houses a CCD sensor and 5 megapixels-- which lands it right in my preferred spec range for digicams. It has an ISO range of 50-250 and a 38-114mm focal length (equivalent). The rear wheel allows users to select their desired shooting mode: auto, program, manual, video (lol), scene, self-portrait, action, nighttime, landscape, and portrait. It has a small rear screen and a somewhat accurate optical viewfinder. The camera requires an xD picture card, which isn't the easiest or cheapest to come by nowadays, but I was lucky enough to collect several with my various cameras. Luckily, it takes two AA batteries, but rechargeable NiMH batteries are recommended. If you're just getting into digicams/old digital cameras, grab a pack of rechargeable batteries. I've found that some of my cameras won't work properly with anything less. Even brand-new AA batteries won't give me more than a minute or two before the camera automatically shuts off-- if it powers on at all. 

The battery performance of this little camera is one of the things that impressed me the most. I carried it around with me for an entire week. I went out and shot daily, keeping it on while I walked around parks, neighborhoods, and cities. It never once gave me a low battery warning, nor did I have to charge the batteries. At the time of writing this-- two weeks since I started carrying it around with me-- it's still showing that it's fully charged. 

The camera itself is plastic fantastic and lightweight but still feels nicely balanced in the hands. Using the camera is straightforward, though it does take a few seconds to turn on, and depending on the shooting mode, it may take an extra second or two to process and write to the memory card before it's ready to take another photo. I wouldn't depend on it to take anything time-sensitive or that requires rapid-fire shots, especially in poor light. That said, it has a really strong flash and produces a decent fill flash. 

This is a camera I use to slow down and simply enjoy the process of shooting. Overall, this camera is fun and nostalgic. 

Photos with saturated blues, dramatic shadows, and sometimes punchy colors are among my favorite shots SOOC from my D595Z. I took several photos of facades at sunset for this exact reason. 

If some of these shots seem familiar it's because I took a few duplicates with both this camera and my E-M5 that I took with me to Pittsburgh last week. It was really fun seeing how two different cameras interpret the same scene. I really enjoyed carrying one digicam with me for an entire week, so much so that I'll be carrying another one with me this upcoming week. Keep an eye out for that post in the near future!

April 26, 2023

Day Tripping: Pittsburgh, PA

Last weekend, Andrew and I decided to take a long overdue day trip. We really haven't visited cities like we did when we lived in Alabama. I’ve lived in the northeast for almost two years now, but haven’t done much exploring. We got a slow start on Saturday, but we were on our way to Pittsburgh with the dogs in tow by 11am.

We didn’t have too much planned out as the weather forecast was inconsistent. Instead, we made the two-hour drive into the city with the general plan being shopping or other indoor activities if it was raining, and breweries and outdoor activities if it was sunny. We got a mix of both, which made for a well-rounded trip. Traveling and exploring with dogs is a bit trickier than when we were on our own, but the more we do it, the easier it gets for us and them.

Our first stop was unsurprising: Goodwill. The weather was cold and rainy and it was an easy location that put us right near downtown in case the weather improved while I was inside. Sure enough, the sun came out as I was perusing the store and we headed to what was supposed to be a scenic park with great views of the city.

In a ~hilarious in hindsight~ turn of events, our navigation took us to the middle of the Fort Pitt Bridge before declaring that we’d arrived at our location. The second navigation app we used took us to a parking lot with little dots telling us to cross the river to get to our destination. Experiencing equal parts frustration and amusement, we looked up pet-friendly breweries and wound up at Allegheny City Brewing instead. While Andrew enjoyed some local beer and the dogs enjoyed sniffing new smells, I wandered off with my camera to explore the block.

While I was out and about, Andrew was looking up dog parks so that our little hellhounds could go off-leash and get some energy out. We got to South Side Dog Park and had the entire place to ourselves. It was the perfect opportunity to take more photos with both my E-M5 and my digicam of the week, the D-595Z (there’ll be a dedicated post for this camera next week).

After the dog park, we decided on another thrift store, this time a Salvation Army that was in the South Side Flats area. The entire neighborhood was bustling and so, so colorful. I wanted nothing more than to get out and just walk around. Just driving through was so fun and we'll have to properly explore it next time we're in the city. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite thrift finds from the trip:

This old Wilson Leather hip pack is exactly what I've been looking for. I ended up using it all weekend and I absolutely LOVE it. Best $1.99 I've spent in a while. 

I fell in love with this box as soon as I saw it, but the mirror is what really sealed the deal.

I found these at the first Goodwill I visited and had to force myself not to immediately change out of my Docs and into these-- they're just so comfortable!

Our penultimate stop of the trip was Necromancer Brewing. The rain and gloomy weather were back so while Andrew had his dinner inside the brewery, I opted for the Shenanigans across the street for no reason other than the Shenanigans/pistol whip scene in Super Troopers.

Mac: Hey, Farva! What's the name of that restaurant you like with all the goofy shit on the walls and the mozzarella sticks?

Farva: You mean Shenanigans? You're talking about Shenanigans, right?


I didn’t have the mozzarella sticks, but I did get their buffalo wings and fries to go and was pretty pleased with my dinner of choice for the night.

With my dinner in tow, we made our final stop of the trip: Blue Slide Park. Officially Frick Park, we’d always wanted to visit it because of Mac Miller. We’re both fans and wanted to spend some time there. The park itself is large and beautiful and in a beautiful neighborhood. After eating and looking around for the blue slide for a few minutes, we eventually climbed up a hill and found it. The rain stopped and the sun peeked through the clouds— shining bright red right at the top of the slide when we got there. The handlebars are covered in stickers and tributes, and we found carvings and writing on the wooden fences behind the park. I stayed behind even after Andrew took the dogs back to the car. I took some photos, but I mostly wanted to take a few minutes and just exist there. It was a quiet evening with only a ball game happening somewhere beyond the hill I was on. Standing in the middle of an empty playground, a big blue slide carved into the side of the hill, and distant cheering just felt right. I slowly made my way back to our car as the last of the sunset disappeared and we began the drive back home.

The weather kept us from doing many of our original ideas for this trip, but it was still a success. While we don’t have the freedom we once did with our dogs in tow, I actually preferred doing more than just shopping and visiting breweries. We drove around a lot, visited a few parks, and were able to focus more on doing and seeing things. I hope to take more day trips and explore more nearby cities soon. This area is still largely unexplored by us and that needs to change!