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Yeah, it happens. You dropped your camera, it swam in a river, you forgot it was outside and it rained, or it simply stopped working. And now you're stuck with a broken camera in another country. What to do.

First, leave it out in the sun (IN A SAFE PLACE UNDER YOUR WATCHFUL EYE) for a few hours. That might get offending moisture out and your camera might start to work again by itself. Remember humidity here is anywhere from 50-100%, if you're going in and out of air conditioned places with your camera, it's going to start to moisten up after a while and that might make it stop working.

If not, have a look at your camera. Is it a small, $100-$200 model? Or one of the more elaborate $350 models but with a couple of years on it? Then you probably want to replace it. Photo repair shops here have a minimum rate of around $150, so if you're looking at a $300 camera that's a couple of years old, the repair is probably worth more than the camera itself. Sorry, toss it. 

In general, if what the repair shop is going to charge you is more than 50% of the cost of getting a new camera, get a new camera.

Where to get a new one? Most of the bigger Malls (Mall San Pedro, Multiplaza) will have stores that sell small cameras. You can also check Wal Mart, Pricesmart , and Play, they have small to medium-size models. Intelec also has some basic models, and good prices.

If you want something bigger and more elaborate, you might check the local photo stores:

You could also get a PO Box in Miami , and buy off Amazon or your favorite internet photo store. 

If you figure out it's a better option to repair, DIMA and Equifoto have repair services. You can also contact Tecfot for repair services. Or you can ask in Fotografos Ticos for recommendations on independent techs, who are trusted and known to do a good job.

Whatever you do, don't just take your camera to any neighborhood electronics repair shop. You're probably familiar with the story: they tell you sure we can fix it, and it never works again from then on.

Data recoveryEdit

Many times it's possible to get photos off a trashed memory card. But it's not as simple as you might think. You'll need to go over it with recovery software, and in the worst case you might even need to open it up and bridge the electronics so they start working again.

If your memory card goes haywire, the best you can probably do is take it out of the camera, put it in a safe place, and wait until you're back home to find a recovery center. Don't just keep using it, you'll mess up the data even more and kill your chances of recovering anything.

There's places that offer data recovery in Costa Rica, but what they do is ship your cards to a US center. So you might as well do it yourself.

Memory cards can be purchased at any old electronics store in Costa Rica, so it's no big deal to take your failing card out of service while you can recover it.