Sorry to say THIS is what will be our first real gear post, but here it goes.
How does one end up with not one, not two, but THREE cameras on one trip? Well, therein lies a tale. Doesn’t everything with us? Hah!
Finding the perfect camera for the trip was a decision that some of us (Aaron) belabored. Somehow, a week before we were to leave the US, we still had to get a camera. I voted for a “tough” camera, i.e. one I can drop in water and it’s like, no big deal. Aaron was all about the zoom. He spent hours on the internet and drove me crazy. I spent hours on the internet and drove myself crazy. At one point I suggested we get two, but money being a real issue, I acquiesced and let Aaron pick the camera: the Sony DSC-WX350 with the 20x zoom. Twenty Times!!! Smallest camera with the biggest zoom that easily fit in a pocket.
His research paid off. And after our new friend Matthew, a 20-something we befriended in a Costa Rican hostel bar, showed us how to download photos we were in business. Pretty much every photo you’ve seen on Facebook, Instagram or this blog has come from it. Everyone wants our camera after seeing it’s size after seeing the quality of photos we get from it. Honestly, unless you’re a professional photographer, this camera is probably all you need. Awesome photos, fits in a pocket, easy to use…and more or less kind of durable. I dropped it once. We held our breath. It continued to work for another ten months. In short, if we had a child we might name him Sony, that’s how much we love our camera.
Completely unrelated to the drop, and more related to the sand from Africa, our beloved WX350 started it’s descent into problems-land. The lens was getting jerky as it zoomed in and out and there was dirt inside the lens which showed up on some of the photos. No good! In Cape Town they could have cleaned it for about $100 in a week. Unfortunately, we were about to leave for Mongolia so that wasn’t an option. What to do? Call out to the internet to save us, of course!
We ordered the exact same camera off of Amazon, had it shipped overnight to our friend Lisa who met us in Cape Town about 24 hours before we left for Mongolia. We could use the same charger, battery and memory card – perfect! Unleeesssss Amazon accidentally sent the wrong camera. Aargh!!! Lisa brought us a Sony – just a much simpler version with only an itty-bitty 5x zoom and no wifi to download photos. Such a bummer!
Without much to do about it, we called Amazon who refunded the balance from this camera versus the cost of the one we ordered. (THANK YOU, Amazon! We are definitely Amazon fans, and not just because I want to work for Jay Carney when we get home.) At least we would have a back-up camera while in the wilds of Mongolia and we figure we can re-sell it when we get home.
Turns out our magical WX350 stayed alive and all those amazing Mongolia photos? Taken with a half-broken camera. That’s how good it is! And the low end camera? Perfect for all our underwater shots as we didn’t care if it broke!
Fast forward through Bali, England, Ireland – and all those amazing photos – into Spain and, yesterday, death’s rattle (literally a rattle) overtook our amazing little camera. No longer would it focus. Today we took it to the camera repair store and the man looked at it for about 10 seconds and said, “lens is broken…take it home”. With a little more than two months left on the trip, what to do? In theory we should be able to use our not-as-good back-up Amazon Camera, but once you’ve had a big zoom it’s hard to let that sort of thing get away.
A quick look at the shelves and we saw that our EXACT camera, the awesome Sony DSC-WX350 with 20X zoom was in stock AND on sale. Unlike most big purchases, we discussed this one for about five seconds, “Should we get it?” “Hell ya”.
That my friends, is how you end up with three, count ’em, THREE cameras for two people on one trip. Anyone need a camera?