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I’m in the Market for a New Digital Camera November 27, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in Marseille.

My old one, a Casio 8 megapixel, was in fine shape. But what good is a camera that has been stolen???

Yes, I’ve had my Marseille moment. I have no idea how the twerps did it, but they got through a solid steel door (more than a 1/2 in thick) with steel pins in the door frame designed to prevent exactly the kind of forced entry the fellow used. Totally busted the lock.

We live on the 5th floor. They did this sometime during the day, so they had full run on the place. And they took their time. Looked at almost everything here. All the cubards were opened, papers rifled through. What did they take? My nice Sony HD3 camcorder, my casio, $100 bucks, and a few others small things. I guess they were just looking for things that would fit in their pocket.

At the moment this is mostly a real pain. While I’m angry about loosing the Sony I still really like it (it was $700 when I originally got it). The Casio I’ve been unhappy with for a while. $100 US dollars? At the current exchange rate what is that? About 10 euros or something!? But the pain is the locksmith. Staying home several days in a row, etc.

The police were something else. They came over the same night to fill in a report. Then the next day, today, another group dropped by and finger printed my whole place. There was fine black dust everywhere. Mostly you can wipe this stuff up with a dry cloth. But not off any Apple Computer box. Whatever those white boxes are made of hold onto that soot very tightly. I knew there was a flaw in Apple’s products!!

But he left lots of stuff. A few small pocket drives (worth about 100 euros each), a computer (which wouldn’t have fit in the pocket) and some other stuff. Very odd.

At any rate. It has been nice staying home. I got out to a nice place for lunch instead of the Luminy cafeteria.

Oh, and my flickr account is going to be quiet until I replace that camera — which may be Christmas time!



1. Pat Heron - November 28, 2007

Gosh, I’m impressed that the police took this seriously. For such a minor property crime here in Ottawa, doubt the cops would do more than make a note of it. Do you find it strange that this happened when P was out of town? Do you think it suggests that someone was keeping an eye on les americains? Do I sound paranoid? I am sorry this happened but it is a relief that the loss does seem rather minor. Still, it’s worrisome. xxoo

2. gordonwatts - November 28, 2007

I was too! I’d never seen anything like that before!

Nope, I didn’t find it strange. I’m sure they rang the buzzer first, and if Paula had been here, they wouldn’t have come up. And it is nice that it was so minor, indeed!

3. Kevin - November 28, 2007

Wow. Now you got robbed. It’s like you’re living my postdoc experience in France all over again. We were robbed in Paris by someone…who had a key! Why don’t they change the locks with every new tennant? Well, the fancy locks cost 400 Euros to replace. My wife lost all her jewelry, most of the items were family heirlooms. She also lost all her cameras (one a 1-week old digital SLR when they were not common), I lost my video camera. Funny though they didn’t yet know what an iPod was, so they didn’t take it. They also didn’t take my fancy road bike or my 50-year-old Gibson archtop guitar (almost looked like I did it!). We got the full extent of what was covered by insurance, but it was a huge chore. We had to use lots of vocabulary that they just don’t teach in school (“pressing charges”, “no sign of forced entry” etc.).

It being France, even the cops told us that we should have faked some sort of damage to the door lock (our colleagues also advised this). Well, we weren’t going to do that, so we stayed honest and still got our reimbursement.

Unlike your case, we didn’t even notice that we had been robbed for a couple days. Our cambriloeurs were so subtle that they left almost no trace. They could easily have come back for second helpings. Once we found out what had happened, we stayed home until the locksmith could come to change the lock.

I really hated that part of our time in France. Sorry to hear you’re in the same boat. At least we didn’t have riots.

4. gordonwatts - November 28, 2007

Wow, Kevin! That is something. I know exactly what you mean about the lock — it will cost 580 euros to replace it. And it turns out that is probably what we will have to do – as the deadbolt — the thing that we now know we need to have — doesn’t work easily enough for us to use it all the time. The lock itself is 50 years old. Wow!

The rest sounds creepy. I wonder if there is a black market in “used” keys. Funny they told you to fake it. I’ll go into work tomorrow and see what my friends advise….

5. Worst Day Ever « Life as a Physicist - November 30, 2007

[…] November 30, 2007 Posted by gordonwatts in computers, physics life. trackback You thought a thief was what it took to get me down? Naw. ATLAS software will do the […]

6. Stephen E. Chalmers - December 2, 2007

Early ’70’s, Hotel Meridian, Paris, my room was ripped through along with the rest on my floor while I was out to dinner. 1 AM, a Sunday morning, the hotel dick takes down the particulars – some cash and credit cards – and asks, insurance? None of course. He told me to go round to the local precinct (gruesome place) and record the deed, make a claim at the hotel desk. A year later I received a check in US dollars for 80% of my claim for the cash. (I was held harmless for $50,000. they ran up on a credit card. I’d reported to my bank immediately.)

7. How To Order Electronic Items « Life as a Physicist - December 12, 2007

[…] December 12, 2007 Posted by gordonwatts in France, life. trackback We have to replace our video camera. And, as Paula just pointed out, we need to do it before Christmas so we can video Christmas! So […]

8. Would you like some money, sir? « Life as a Physicist - March 13, 2008

[…] money, sir? March 13, 2008 Posted by gordonwatts in Marseille. trackback My apartment was broken into last year. Today my insurance company dropped by to inspect the place and interview me. They asked me all […]

9. Gavin - April 13, 2008

Did you get a new camera in the end?
I can certainly recommend the Canon PowerShot SD850 IS 8.0 MP Digital Elph Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom

10. Gordon Watts - April 13, 2008

Thanks! I did — the Cannon G9. It has been perfect for me – lots of features, lots of manual control, and great pictures.

11. Theo McLaughlin - April 15, 2008

What other cameras did you consider buying before you settled on the Canon G9? Like what were your top 3 choices? Thanks!

12. gordonwatts - April 15, 2008

I was coming from the Casio line, so I looked at their 10 megapixel line. But at the time it didn’t have enough manual features and the noise looked like it was too much. The old Casio’s were much better (perhaps because they were bigger – better lens – and had less pixels). I also considered the Canon ELF series. My wife has one, which I really like, but, again, it didn’t have enough manual features. I took a look at nikon, but didn’t see anything that really got to me. And then I stumbled on the G9. I decided to try something bigger this time around in hopes that it would give me better pictures. So far, it has been fantastic.

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