Do You Need A Dedicated Camera In Ecuador

The short answer is – If you have a good smartphone (iPhone, Nexus 5, Galaxy 5) you probably don’t need the extra weight or expense of a digital camera. Now before I get everyone’s shorts in an uproar. A high end Nikon or Canon will definitely get better results. I have a good Canon and over the last several months I have only used it once. Why? Because I always carry my Nexus 5 and I always have it handy.

The first two shots are taken with my Nexus 5. The shot of the keyboard could not be duplicated with my Canon unless I put the camera on a tripod.

Shot number 3 shows how you can have selective focus with the Canon. Shot number 4 is the same subject taken with the Nexus and you can clearly see the superiority of the Canon camera.

The last picture was taken with the Nexus 5 and photo edited with the Android Photo Editing software.

Bottom line if you if you want to take good photos and video and don’t have the budget or the need to carry a dedicated camera then a good smartphone is all you need.


IMG_0515 nexus5 keyboard IMG_0520 Nexus 5 overall focus


Nexus 5 Parque de Madre

What Electronics Should You Bring To Ecuador (Part Two)

Working on the assumption that you have room in your suitcases and that electronics are 30-40% higher I would bring the following:

Camera: Digital cameras are super cheap in the United States.  I have two cameras in Cuenca.  I have a Samsung ultra compact that I purchased in Costco for $130 two years ago . I take 80% of my photos with that camera. Why?  Good to Very good results and it doesn’t draw attention in the middle of a busy street.  The other camera is a Nikon D80 (looks expensive) DSLR.  I only use this camera when I am with another person or I am on a trip with a lot of other people.  I just think it’s good street smarts not to draw attention to yourself and your vunerable when changing lenses.  The Samsung also takes fair to good videos.

Camcorder: Of course this recommendation is for people who want to take videos.  I just purchased a Canon  HF R20 HD Camcorder that fits in the palm of my hand. Very inexpensive. Great videos recorded on a very inexpensive SD chip and again it does not bring attention from outsiders.

Router: Internet service is our lifeline to our children, grandchildren and friends. I have two Internet services. Total monthly charge $42. One service came with a router and the other didn’t.  If you have a good router. Bring it.

Hard Drives.  A year ago I would have said bring them down.  Now with all the free Cloud services( File storage)  around I would say “save the space”. I have a very small 500 gb Seagate Drive.  It works great.

T.V’s Blu-Ray DVD Players etc.  Again this is a storage conern. I purchased a Samsung 40 inch LED HDTV for about $150 more than in the US. It helps to be fluent in Spanish or have an assertive translator to get the best deal. I purchased a great LG Blu-Ray player for just $15 more than in the U.S.

Miscellaneous: Cables, SD Cards, Surge Protectors etc. Bring them . A 4 ft HDMI cable (connection from your device to a HDTV) cost $18 compared to about $6 in the U.S.  The same is true of of memory cards and surge protectors.

I look forward to discussion and questions on other electronic items to bring with you on your trip to Cuenca.