My camera died last December. The last place I used it was the train show, and after that it stopped focusing. All I could see was a blur, and then nothing.
I try to use my daughter's camera every once in a while, but I'm impatient with it. It feels like I'm using someone else's glasses. I can't "see" anything the way I could with mine. It has no manual focus, and possibly no sport setting either. I used the sport setting on my camera to photograph bugs. Of course, I haven't seen a bug since winter set in, with our frigid temperatures, but I like to be prepared. It was also good for fast moving birds. I watch them, longing to capture their image.
To have a camera is to focus on one thing at a time. To see my subject as I might not if I look at the full scene. To see that one detail that makes me gasp when I open the photo files: the stretched wing of a bird, the delicate scales on our small lizards, the light and shadows playing across the cat's fur, the concentration in a child's face. To focus is to learn, to appreciate, to wonder, to love. My camera deepened my understanding of these things as much as sketching did.
I miss my camera. It served me well for (almost? over?) ten years and survived several drops from various heights over those years. It is likely it lived on borrowed time. My husband wants to replace it eventually, possibly with something "better," something different. I'm trying to come to terms with that. Anything different means relearning how to use a camera. I know I'm going to be unforgiving and compare it to my old one, but I will try to focus on the positive.