My beloved camera, a Canon SD-630, broke the morning I left London. Given that I really do love this camera, and carry it with me everywhere, not getting it fixed was not an option.

So when I got home, I started checking into repairs. Turns out most camera stores don’t actually repair digital cameras: rather, they send them on to the company repair center. But Canon has a reasonably easy-to-navigate repair site, so I walked through it, set up a repair request, and mailed the camera to them (in Elk Grove Village, outside Chicago).

I was a bit hesitant about it, since essentially I was putting my camera in the mail, with no real ability to deal with it not arriving or meeting with some other mishap; and I also still have bad memories of my attempts to get my cell phone fixed.

But it turns out, the system works. Between the Post Office Web and Canon Web sites, I had a good sense of where the camera was, so I could tell when it finally got delivered.

And the good news is, the camera’s still under warranty, so they’ve fixed it for free. Now it looks like it’ll come back some time next week. Not a moment too soon.

This is good, because the old Samsung I’ve been using feels huge (even though I remember marveling at how tiny it was when I bought it), while the screen (which at the time was a miracle) seems really small.

It’s a reminder of how with intimate electronics– not just “personal” electronics, but things that you carry around or wear, like iPods or cell phones or digital cameras– a few tenths of an ounce, a little difference in size, or a small increase in screen size or brightness can make a huge difference in the user experience.

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