I’ve gotten a few camera questions from various folks, most recently from Josh, so I thought I’d post. The questions are usually about the unused Cannon camera I purchased in December before heading to Kenya.
Past: I love my trusty little digital I take everywhere with me, and like most of my other digital cameras before it, has a proprietary battery and charger. However, since the house here didn’t have electricity as of December, I decided I needed a new digital camera that could take regular batteries. Seemed like a good, logical idea at the time. So I searched till I found a new camera, with a much larger zoom, and more features, with the same kind of memory cards (SD card), that took batteries, etc. So I bought the Cannon, stocked up on rechargeable batteries (it requires 4 AAs), and bought both a regular charger and a solar charger.
Present: The house was fitted with electricity the week before we came. And the Cannon apparently needs more power than the rechargeables offer. It won’t turn on. It won’t turn on when given freshly charged batteries that work in flashlights or alarm clocks. It won’t even turn on when I’ve bought regular Kenyan batteries from a kiosk here in town. So now I only buy AA batteries on special occasions, but they’re really not ideal for day to day stuff… the camera sucks them dry super quickly, they’re expensive, the brand name more powerful Energizer-type batteries that do work can only be purchased when I make trips to larger towns, they’re bad for the environment, they can’t be burned with the trash, etc. So, I’ve got a lovely paperweight reserved for special occasions. On the bright side, when I used it in Nakuru National Park, I’m proud to say the zoom and image stabilizer definitely kicked butt and let me get way better pictures than Cindy or Elwin’s cameras.
Future: I plan buy lots of batteries and use it on my upcoming trip to the Masai Mara National Reserve/the Serengeti, but after that I’m at a loss for what to do. One part of me wants to send it home with my parents when they leave in September. Another part of me would love to have it while I travel around Africa, but it’ll take up valuable space, add weight to my pack, and cost money for batteries. It’s a lovely camera when it’ll turn on, but I suspect it could stay safely in Austin till I’m back and can use it or resell it. As always, feel free to share your insights.