Like any tourist standing outside the main entrance of the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities in Cairo, AC and I were taking pictures with our cameras. A Chinese girl standing beside me then asked me in Mandarin, “Excuse me, can you help us take a picture?” “Sure!” I said and tried to put my wrist through the lanyard of my camera (which I should have done right from the start but didn’t) but it slipped through my hands. Ooopps.
I was standing right beside the pond and the camera fell right in! BIGGER OOOPPPSS!!
During the whole process, it felt like time slowed down and everything went into slow motion. I thought I thought I saw the camera dropping slowly, touched the water and sank (so did my heart!). The point when the camera touched the water, I also thought I hear a loud gasp from the people around me, especially the group of Chinese tourists who asked me to take their picture. I kid you not, everything felt like what you would see in movies like when Keanu Reeves bend his back to almost 90 degrees to avoid the bullets in The Matrix…. Ok you get what I mean.
After the camera was fished out from the pond, I quickly removed the memory card and prayed that the photos I’ve taken in the last few days were intact. Luckily, as I found out a day after leaving the card to dry and checking it on AC’s camera later, they were. Phew!
Obviously after the swim, the camera couldn’t work and I was left with my iPhone 3GS, the only other device that allowed me to take pictures for my remaining trip. So, I fully utilized my phone and took pictures of everything like I would with my camera. At the end of the trip, I was surprised and happy with the quality of the photos when I checked them on the computer.
The iPhone 3GS, with a 3.2 mega-pixel sensor, produced photos with reasonable colours, pretty clear and sharp images when taken in sufficient light (there was aplenty in Egypt at the outdoors). The images are usually more than 1 MB, which is good for 6×4 inch photo albums or even for your computer screens although they are not suitable for larger prints.
However, as many of you will know, the quality of photos taken by the iPhone pales in comparison when it comes to dimmer conditions, like the indoors or after the sun has set; in these conditions, they usually come with a lot of noise (i.e. grainy).
But, beggars can’t be choosers and I was (still am) grateful for the camera-phone technology; otherwise, I may live in regret for not being able to capture the beautiful monuments and history of a country that so many people still haven’t had a chance to visit.
**Note: All photos in this post were taken using the iPhone with no editing done.