My on-going struggles with the Nikon CoolPix 5700 continue. Apparently, back in the early days of digital photography, this camera was designed as some sort of experiment. I guess it was developed about the time the camera companies were just cottoning on to the fact that digital wasn’t just a fad and maybe, just maybe, professionals and pro-sumers might want a high-end, multifeature digital camera that was beyond the simple bonehead point-and-shoot model. However, they didn’t really think the whole thing through very carefully as to where in the market a high-end digital camera would fit. What they got was a Frankenstein’s Monster. Not one thing or the other, but cobbled together from many parts.

So the camera has enough features and is complicated enough, that the logical user is someone who has taken some serious photography classes and is now stepping up from a point-and-shoot. Or an accomplished photographer who is stepping down from a traditional SLR camera. But definitely someone who knows his or her way around apeture, F-stops and shutter priority mode. Yet they made those features so difficult to access that you have to stop and scroll through several menus to change most of the settings.

Then, in a completely boneheaded move, they left out some classic features — stuff that users of the most basic SLR cameras would expect. Like the ability to add filters. Remember when you bought an SLR, the one add-on you always bought was the UV filter. If nothing else, it protected your lens. It was such a must-buy, I always wondered why it wasn’t included.

Well, the CoolPix 5700 doesn’t have the interface to allow filters. Any filters. Except if you buy a kludgy add-on adapter. Then and only then can you buy filters. Problem is, Nikon is not supporting these old DSLR Stegasauruses. So no more adapters are being made. Luckily I snagged one of the few available on eBay. (God Bless you, eBay.)

But problem NOT solved. Apparently the adapter only “sort of” fits the telescoping lens. If you have a filter on, then you want to shoot in telephoto mode, well, Sorry, the lens now hits the filter and you get a “lens error” message. And why would I want to use a polarizing filter with a telephoto lens mode? Oh, I don’t know. Maybe for a sunset or a landscape? As in: everytime I’d want to use a Polarizing filter, I’d probably also want to use the telephoto option.

I found a not very satisfactory workaround by switching to telephoto mode then quickly pulling back the focus just before it hits the filter. (And you have to do this quickly, otherwise you have to turn the camera off to get out of telephoto mode and try again.)


So why don’t I get rid of this thing and go for something newer? Well, it’s a New England thing. I sort of feel I don’t deserve a new camera until I master this and make it bow down and do my bidding.

Then again, because I dislike this camera so much, I find myself unafraid to take it to areas where I wouldn’t take a newer, better camera. Like the edge of cliffs or the middle of streams. Or out on the London streets at 5:50 in the morning. Muggers? Who cares? Take the damn thing. Which means, by the Law of the Contrariness of the Universe, I will probably never lose or destroy this camera. But if I were ever to buy a newer, better one, I’d lose it immediately (as I have two mini point-and-shoots.) Or I’d drop it in Lake Charles. Or a Mountain Lion in Sonoma would crush it in its jaws.

Andy wants me to use his super-duper new top-of-the-line camera. NO way. I’m not tempting fate that way.