I bought the Fujifilm F30 afterall. I’m gonna come out and say it’s the best digital camera I’ve ever owned (out of 6). It’s slightly bigger than my old Canon IXUS 400, which prior to the Sony T30 I would not have found acceptable at all, but the photos it takes are spectacular. Noise reduction hardware aside, it just kills at color reproduction. Where most consumer digital cameras over-warmify or cool, the F30 seems to never need more than the auto white balance, keeping everything neutral. Every shot I’ve taken this weekend hasn’t needed more post-processing than a little exposure bump. Most shots are ready to use straight out of the camera, which is a first in my experience.
Anyway, I found the money to buy it by giving up smoking until at least Christmas’ Eve. It will be paid off by then. My other friend could afford to buy a Macbook in 6 months if she gave it up too, but she won’t. There’s seldom a real tangible reward for someone to quit, health reasons aside because we never really think about it that way, but I think this could do it for me. After Christmas, I’ll buy myself some other enjoyable gadget (one suspects it may be another camera), and postpone smoking by another few months. Everybody wins.