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Chicago TARDIS 2013


  03:25:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1420 words  
Categories: Digital Photography, Travel, TV, Doctor Who

Chicago TARDIS 2013

Link: http://tardisi.com/chicago-tardis-2013/

Chicago TARDIS 2013

I went to Chicago TARDIS 2013 this year, after having missed going to Chicago TARDIS 2012. This being the weekend after the 50th Anniversary, I was determined to make this convention.

This year things were interesting, in that I flew out of Manhattan at 7:05am, arriving in Chicago around 9am. Fortunately, I didn't have any trouble being able to check in right away when I arrived at the hotel. It was kind of strange being picked up and riding alone in a stretched limo. But, I guess its what was available when I showed up, and nobody else was making a similar trip around that time. I had booked shared ride service from Windy City Limos, like I had the previous two Chicago TARDISes. Return trip was in black sedan. I had also booked Black Car in Manhattan for the ride to and from the airport.

While getting settled in the hotel room, before heading down to see about lunch....I discovered to my horror that I the charger for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 was not among my luggage. I did have a couple of what should be fully charged battery packs, but they would not last the weekend.

I later spent some time researching local options on what to do....I settled on the possibility of experiencing Target on Black Friday, where they were featuring the Nikon Coolpix L320 for $99.99 or the Nikon Coolpix L820 for $199.99. I was leaning towards the L320, since this wasn't likely to become one of my regular cameras, so price was a big factor. Alternatively was to see if they carried extra chargers for my camera, since they carried the Panasonic FZ70K....though I later found out that it wasn't the same battery. They had this camera on sale for $299.99, IIRC. Also the Coolpix L320 or L820 had the advantage to me that they took AA batteries (4).

I knew Target was going to be one of the stores opening Thursday night for Black Friday....though I wasn't sure when I would make the dash to try to salvage my trip.

Later on Thursday night, after getting my badge and then checking out the reception (when I saw other people heading the same way, but continue out across to Target.) After getting some food and drink, making a loop around the space, I decided that I would make a dash over to Target and see what's what.

It was chaos in Target, the electronics/cameras counter was pretty much inaccessible since everybody there was after iPad's of various models and sizes. I wandered around a bit to see if things might settle down as they started reporting certain iPads were now out of stock. Occurred to me that I should see about some cheaper water for use in the hotel room, but they didn't have any small packs of still purified or spring water available, so I got a 6 pack of flavored water. Guess I could do that instead of mixing Crystal Light to go with my medication.... As I walked back, I noticed that one of the end of aisle displays was full over Nikon Coolpix L320's. Since that was the most likely candidate if I was going to buy a camera for salvage the trip....its what I got.

It then took forever to snake out from one opposite corner of store to the other to check out. I had intentionally brought my Target Red card this trip, which I otherwise usually leave at home when I travel. Plus I hadn't shopped at Target for a while, in anticipation of this possibility I would later make another trip, to get refill pages for the album that I keep the purchased photos and such I get at Chicago TARDIS, and a bottle of shampoo as the hotel shampoo was bothering my scalp.....

I knew I had an 8 pack of Lithium Photo AA's in my luggage. I went back to my hotel room and unpacked the new camera and spent sometime getting familiar with it (using the included AA batteries.) Since I had owned Nikon Coolpix cameras before...namely the Coolpix S80 (Much earlier on there was a Coolpix 5500, but I don't recall what it was like anymore), I found the menus and such largely familiar, so I tweaked up some settings to fit the kind of shooting I was going to do this weekend. And, set up to give it a test.

The reception was still going on, so I went back in and shot some pictures around the room to get a feel for its controls and behavior. And, downed some more snackage before calling it a night.

I started out Friday, using my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 with one of the charged battery packs. Where I actually made it the whole day with it, including lobbycon (where I was introduced to the dice version of Catan), where it got used to capture that I was there. I continued using it on Saturday until it ran down. I then switched to the Coolpix L320 and Lithium AA's. for the rest of the evening, including the masquerade. I wanted to save the other Panasonic battery pack for closing ceremonies, especially since the opening was so short this year. So, I started Sunday with the Coolpix L320 and switched to the Panasonic where the battery pack barely made the end.

I had set up wireless in the room, and was having the eye-fi cards in my coolpix upload as much as possible, I was holding off to see if I would have any charge left on the Panasonic. Eventually I used up all the power in one set of Lithium AA's on uploads and then switched to using the remainder of the bundled Alkaline batteries.

I later used the other set of Lithium's when I got home and I have used the camera for a bit here and there since.

Earlier this month, I finally got around to going through my images for upload to The Dreamer's Time and Space Museum, when I reached the end and felt I was missing a chunk of photos. I apparently forgot to check that the Panasonic had finished transferring the images during its first run down. Otherwise I was worried that I had messed up by reusing the eye-fi card from my Coolpix S80 (with old pictures on from up to a year ago) in the L320, where both cameras have same file naming...and it seemed to continue from where I had left off, though I never looked to confirm. Plus during the convention, I had deleted a bunch of old pictures to make room, and wondered if there was any worry that this would confuse the camera on sequencing.

Then it occurred to me that I still hadn't heard anything about the download area for the pictures I had professionally taken during the convention. I realized that I hadn't been checking the site since I got back, so I did. Saw that it was announced on January 6th that emails would start rolling out and I should have one by the end of the week (10th). It was Sunday (12th) I checked my email, nothing. So, I filled out the form requesting the password. Which I got later that day, but didn't check my mail again until the next day.

I went through and downloaded my pictures, while the thumbnails were hard to discern who the fan in the photo was....it wasn't too hard to guess which one was mine, given how I was dressed during the convention.

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