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Thread: Big cameras safe?

  1. #1

    Default Big cameras safe?

    Been reading all the articles about pickpockets in Europe.

    I will be going to Rome/Paris/Florence end of this month together with my wife and child.

    I hope to make my trip as safe as possible.

    The biggest problem is my gear. I have D700 with 14-24mm and 70-200mm VR2 lens. They look expensive from a mile. I am wondering is it safe to shoot using these lens in Europe? I would expect most tourist to have smaller/cheaper lens/DSLR. I have even heard of people cutting your camera strap and running of with your camera.

    I also don't know how to store the camera and lens. Usually I just put it in my camera backpack but that looks a little unsafe. This trip is getting quite problematic.

    I really hope Europe is worth the trouble. Expensive lodging, long flight, pick pockets, rail strikes, protests, soo many minus points. Feel xian even before the trip.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by alantkh View Post
    Been reading all the articles about pickpockets in Europe.

    I will be going to Rome/Paris/Florence end of this month together with my wife and child.

    I hope to make my trip as safe as possible.

    The biggest problem is my gear. I have D700 with 14-24mm and 70-200mm VR2 lens. They look expensive from a mile. I am wondering is it safe to shoot using these lens in Europe? I would expect most tourist to have smaller/cheaper lens/DSLR. I have even heard of people cutting your camera strap and running of with your camera.

    I also don't know how to store the camera and lens. Usually I just put it in my camera backpack but that looks a little unsafe. This trip is getting quite problematic.

    I really hope Europe is worth the trouble. Expensive lodging, long flight, pick pockets, rail strikes, protests, soo many minus points. Feel xian even before the trip.
    I do hear about the place that you mention.There is no said about is that place is it safe to travel.Only be advise 'just be extra careful'.Same to those who like to travel malaysia.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    The places you are going to are unfortunately prime areas for petty crime. Personally Eastern Europe for me is much safer but maybe I was lucky.

    The main thing to look out for are gypsy kids or would be thieves doing the "distraction ploy" eg. someone grabs u by the shoulder and an accomplice takes yr stuff and sneak away. It happened to me but I got my gear back but that's a long story.
    Another thing is never leave your bag unattended even if it's just right next to you on the seat or floor. Make sure u wrap the strap around your legs or hands to be sure or place them on your lap,etc. Many of my friends have lost their stuff in Spain and particularly Italy.
    Many tourists will be carrying their DSLRs and U will not be alone but just be mindful of your surroundings n U should be fine.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    -Watch out for them "drop coins on the floor" modus operandi.
    -Watch out for those kids and more importantly your kid.
    -Say no to anyone who approach you and sells stuff, folks who are too friendly, they'll rip you off.
    -Many tourists brings bigger dslrs on that place I think you'll blend in but try to just bring one lens/body for the whole duration of the trip.
    -Travel light.
    -Buy money belts, bring one credit card and use cash as much as possible.
    -Know where your embassy is at least their local number.
    -Know their emergency numbers, i think you can get this from those free maps.
    -Always keep an eye where they swipe or bring your credit card.
    -Keep at least 4-5 euro's of coins.
    -Keep it low profile, jewelries stays at home

  5. #5
    Member hongjone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Exercise caution, and should be fine. I would leave the 70-200 at home. Too big and heavy. Travel light and enjoy the trip.
    Maybe I was lucky too.

  6. #6
    Senior Member edutilos-'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    You just have to be alert.

    Europe is not that bad, though I agree the lodging is expensive. You can save by choosing hostels, some of them are really quite decent, you still get a ensuite room and the atmosphere is great. Naturally if you go the hotel route you will burn your wallet, and it can't be avoided.

    I have been around Europe a little, gone off the beaten track even (e.g. hitching rides from old couples in their car, get dropped at the wrong location and end up walking 2 hours on an empty road back ), and nothing has ever happened. But of course I don't really stay out a lot beyond twilight, and I kept away from dark alleys, and whenever I was in a crowd I would hold on to my camera (if it was out), and place my bag in front, while placing the wallet in my front pockets.

    Do a little research beforehand, and if you go exploring you'd have a rough idea at least of what areas to keep out of.

    I won't worry too much about it, really. Just enjoy your holiday, but don't zone out when walking around, that is when crime will strike you. Cheers.

  7. #7
    Member chooz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by garbled View Post
    -Watch out for them "drop coins on the floor" modus operandi.
    -Watch out for those kids and more importantly your kid.
    -Say no to anyone who approach you and sells stuff, folks who are too friendly, they'll rip you off.
    -Many tourists brings bigger dslrs on that place I think you'll blend in but try to just bring one lens/body for the whole duration of the trip.
    -Travel light.
    -Buy money belts, bring one credit card and use cash as much as possible.
    -Know where your embassy is at least their local number.
    -Know their emergency numbers, i think you can get this from those free maps.
    -Always keep an eye where they swipe or bring your credit card.
    -Keep at least 4-5 euro's of coins.
    -Keep it low profile, jewelries stays at home
    Very well said!!

    My encounters were more with old gypsy women. Whenever I stopped walking, one will approach until very close to me, grab my hand and asked for something. Couldn't make out what they say. I would just walk away quickly.

    This gypsy encounter, whether with kids or old women, seem very common. Everyone that I know of traveling to southern & western europe will have a story or two to tell.

    That is just the fact of life over there. Don't let it frighten you. Just be alert to your surroundings. At least you have your wife to look out for you when you are taking photos.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    also watch out for pickpockets.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    how abt USA? gg LA and Las Vegas, with D700, Sb900 and maybe 24-70mm.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by eleveninth View Post
    also watch out for pickpockets.
    WOW. But i doubt he can do that if it were the 70-200, the decrease in weight would be wayyyy to obvious not to know.

    But then again, you might just be so distracted that you dont realise.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by ehwhatthe View Post
    WOW. But i doubt he can do that if it were the 70-200, the decrease in weight would be wayyyy to obvious not to know.

    But then again, you might just be so distracted that you dont realise.
    It's all about distraction and body language. If it didn't happen to you then you wouldn't think it's possible. Watch this (just for fun)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1_BpNAeeX0&NR=1

  12. #12

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    I believe you need not worry too much about your gears being a magnet for crime. DSLRs are so common now and you will find lotsa people carrying expensive gears around. With or without the expensive gears, one needs to be vigilant when overseas. I visited Europe several times but I haven't met any pickpockets but I met lotsa con-men. It's easier to guard against pickpockets, simply by not giving them any chance to act. Con-men are more tricky. It's not easy to tell if this person is being helpful or if he has other motives. A general rule of thumb is that there is no free lunch in this world.

    Nonetheless you shall not be worrying too much about the trip as it is meant to be a holiday for your family, a moment for you guys to enjoy good family time. Sometimes small hiccups here and there may spice up your trip. That's what we call experience.
    D200

  13. #13

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    thanks for all the advice. I guess a long lens like 70-200mm will not attract too much attention.

    Hopefully I can get some nice travel photos on this trip.... and everything turns out well. Still, I never thought Europe to be so expensive. It is like twice as expensive as Japan.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Saw that you plan to bring 14-24 and 70-200 with D700. My recommendation is to bring at least 24-70. I tried 14-24 with D3 with Fujifilm X100 in Switzerland last month and found it very limited use.

    I will also be going to Paris/Florence/Tuscany in Oct. This time I will bringing the main arsenal 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 16FE. My worry is more on the weight than safety.
    D3 D800 RX-1 X100 E-M5 My flickr

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Umeiko View Post
    Saw that you plan to bring 14-24 and 70-200 with D700. My recommendation is to bring at least 24-70. I tried 14-24 with D3 with Fujifilm X100 in Switzerland last month and found it very limited use.

    I will also be going to Paris/Florence/Tuscany in Oct. This time I will bringing the main arsenal 14-24, 24-70, 70-200, 16FE. My worry is more on the weight than safety.
    i went Italy, Switzerland and Paris with tour group last Dec bringing along my D700, 16-35, 24-70, 70-200, 50 and 15FE, include a netbook it weight 9.5kg.. i would suggest a backpack instead a sling bag to avoid damage to your shoulder which i did.

    Maybe i was with tour group, it was quite safe. i just made sure the zippers are zipped towards my front and secure with a spring hook.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by David Lee View Post
    i went Italy, Switzerland and Paris with tour group last Dec bringing along my D700, 16-35, 24-70, 70-200, 50 and 15FE, include a netbook it weight 9.5kg.. i would suggest a backpack instead a sling bag to avoid damage to your shoulder which i did.

    Maybe i was with tour group, it was quite safe. i just made sure the zippers are zipped towards my front and secure with a spring hook.
    Thanks for the great advice.
    D3 D800 RX-1 X100 E-M5 My flickr

  17. #17

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    I just came back from my 2weeks in Europe.

    Europe really feel MUCH safer since the last time I went 6 years back on my honeymoon. I did not see any "gypsies" crowding tourists at all. Also the black African peddlers looks much less forceful and not many of them either. Instead I see a heavy police presence on ALL major stations and tourist sites.

    I did not even encounter a single pickpocket attempt. Except maybe for a train in Italy whereby a a group of three girls exited the jammed train suddenly without warning at the last minute. But I did not lose anything so maybe they just got on the wrong train.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    My wife and I were in Paris for 5 days last month free and easy, we really enjoyed ourselves. Paris is expensive compared to SEA and even some Asian countries, and 1 thing you cannot save if you are travelling free and easy and that is the hotel. We paid more for the hotel but it was worth it as it was in a upscale area which means those undesirable people will not be hanging around at night on the streets. Anyway, the stores close early, latest 8pm and then 8-10pm will see the eating places full as it is their dinner time.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    It depends on how alert you are in any part of the world..
    When I was in Prague Sept 2011, in the tourist spot, about 6 out of 10 who hold a camera, were holding DSLRs.
    Of course this doesn't mean we are safe.

    From what I know, usually pickpocket are really "pick from your pocket". Big stuff, are less targeted.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Big cameras safe?

    was in spain last dec and there were times when it felt quite intimidating with my camera (sometimes a D200+grip+80-200). do enjoy your trip and have fun taking photos but I think all you need to do is be vigilant. generally, tourist areas are much safer as the police presence is quite evident (even saw a pair of policemen stopping a group of gypsies near Casa Batllo in Barcelona, so they know what they're doing). plus, there are tons of people with big DSLRs in paid attractions too.

    the main worries would probably be streets (especially when quiet/at night) and crowded places like trains, where there are really quite a number of cases of pickpocketing. the best bet would be to keep your valuables in inner pockets of our jacket or in your jeans/pants pockets. as for the camera, I used a lowepro flipside (so the opening was against my back). you might want to add a carabiner (with screw/lock) to make it harder for thieves to open your zipped pockets.

    heard stories of tourists having their camera bags stolen from under their seats in restaurants and bags being cut open (think some of these were from clubsnap members) so yeah just be careful
    Last edited by 2.8photography; 19th November 2011 at 11:05 PM.

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