Monday, April 15, 2013


I feel like every entry is going to start with "before my mission...", but that's okay.  Before my mission, I wasn't sure about a camera.  The one I'd had during high school and college had just died.  I didn't really want to spend money on one.  There were other things to consider - did it rain a lot in the mission?  So, should I buy a cheap one, in case it got ruined?

If you're having any of these thoughts, this entry is for you!

If you need to buy a new camera for your mission, consider buying one with a rechargeable battery.  Some countries (such as Guyana, Barbados, and Grenada) have American-style plugs.  On other islands (such as St. Lucia), they have converters and/or adapters, so you'll always have a way to charge it and you won't have to worry about buying batteries.

If you want a high quality point-and-shoot, I suggest buying a Canon or a Nikon.  I don't know much about Nikon - however, I do know just a little about Canon!  If you're going to get a Canon, I highly recommend getting a Powershot SD with ELPH (I don't know any technical camera terms, so I apologize if I'm butchering this).  They seem to be more consistent in their picture quality, and they're not terribly expensive ($100 - 150).  One of the sisters I served around had an SX model (it might be this one, but I'm not sure), and it had great image quality.

Most cameras will take quality pictures in good lighting; however, you may want to think about a camera that works well in low-lighting situations (such as your missionary apartment, evening time church activities, etc).

But what if my camera breaks?
From what I gathered, most of the islands have brands such as Sony, Panasonic, Casio, and Olympus, which all work well (I knew several people who had Casio cameras, and the cameras performed well).  If you want to get a Nikon or a Canon, they sell them in Barbados at Cave Shepherd.  They probably also have them in Trinidad.  You can occasionally find them in Grenada (at The Grenada Computer Store in Grand Anse) or St. Lucia (at Courts or The Cell), but they're not stocked frequently.  However, keep in mind that cameras are sometimes more expensive there than they are in the US.  Additionally, check if the camera you're getting has the features you want (for example, one model of the Panasonic Lumix does not have video).

Some missionaries (and senior couples) I knew had water/shock proof cameras.  Personally, I didn't see much of a difference in functionality between them and a regular camera, as long as you're careful.  I knew someone that had one like this and it had high picture quality).

Please note that the Missionary Handbook states, "Do not use cameras while you are proselyting. Be careful never to look like a tourist" (26).  This rule will help you not have your camera get soaked when a passing cloud comes, and it will help increase the life of your mission camera.  Don't forget a camera case.

Hope that helps!

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