Parisian Pickpockets

Old Jun 12th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #141  
 
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Susan, I do realize how heavy and cumbersome good camera gear and bag can be... I had a friend come with me once to Paris, it was her first trip to Europe , and she had packed reasonably light with a 24 inch bag, but she also had a backpack type camera bag( one of those one shoulder type that can be swung to front ) and fully loaded with her gear it was heavy! I had made a small comment about it just before out trip, and she poo pooed me , having taken it to places like Hawaii, LA and Caribbean before, but within a few days into our Paris trip she finally understood how much walking, how many stairs, and how heavier that bag seemed to be getting.lol

She did however get some lovely photos.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 08:46 AM
  #142  
 
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I heft my checked bag onto trains all the time. It's never been an issue.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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"I had made a small comment about it just before out trip, and she poo pooed me , having taken it to places like Hawaii, LA and Caribbean before, but within a few days into our Paris trip she finally understood how much walking, how many stairs, and how heavier that bag seemed to be getting.lol"

Canon now makes a compact that generates almost the same quality as a DSLR (same size sensor). The performance is sluggish, but I'm not going to be shooting action. Perfect travel camera.
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Old Jun 12th, 2013, 02:41 PM
  #144  
 
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sparkchaser, I am thinking you are a male weighing in at least 150 lbs or more and that is hardly comparable to what a 115-125 lbs woman can "heft" since we are at a disadvantage anyways with upper body strength pound to pound with a male .
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 05:48 AM
  #145  
 
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Susan001,

I used to carry a Nikon D700 and a collection of massive lenses in a backpack on my trips to Europe. I've since switched to the micro four thirds system cameras from Panasonic and Olympus. The difference in weight and size is huge. I have the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and it's tiny compared to the D700. One great thing is that you are less noticed when carrying a small micro four thirds camera versus a massive DSLR.

Here's a comparison of my current gear.

http://j.mp/18GcHXv

Even with a "consumer" Nikon DSLR, the Olympus is much smaller
http://camerasize.com/compare/#393,289

The image quality of the micro four thirds system comes very close to a DSLR and in some cases surpasses it. Another plus is that you don't need a backpack. I use a messenger style camera bag.
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 07:48 AM
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Now if only this came in a wallet or cell phone version for pickpockets with slippery fingers :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43wWXcn-OQk
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 01:54 PM
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RunningRabbit77: Thank you for the helpful post. I've considered micro 4/3s; my brother has one (an Olympus Pen) with several lenses. But I wanted something even more portable than that. I went with the Canon G1 X, and the image quality is every bit as good as most APS-C models, because the sensor is nearly as big (bigger sensor than 4/3 models). With a sharp retractable lens, it's very compact. I'm actually amazed at the images it produces, though performance is sluggish.
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 05:08 PM
  #148  
 
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I want a micro 4/3rds for exactly the travel reason! They are about the 2nd generation of them - and prices are still pretty high. I'm waiting for a few more generations and prices to come down. The other thing is that I'm spoiled with a great all-purpose lens (28-280) and the micro 4/3 don't have anything comparable yet - I would be swapping lenses a lot.
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 06:19 PM
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Have not been pick-pocked in Paris. On one occasion I saw a fellow following my wife, stepped in between them and looked into his eyes. He casually walked away. Also a couple years ago someone tried the ring scam on us. I had read about it many times, but never seen it before. Unfortunately(for him) I couldn't help it - I started laughing. He walked away. I have leg Pouches with Velcro straps that go around your calves. credit/debit cards and passports are stashed there.
The main thing is to just be aware of what is going on around you.
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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Leg pouches that go around your calves ??? Oy vey !

I think I'd rather stay home and watch over my belongings than wear something like that. But that's maybe just me. I'm assuming that if you have to use a card that's stashed in there while you're out and about, that you'd have to bend over and roll up a trouser leg to retrieve it ? In a shop or a restaurant ?

I hope there are no pick-pocketers here reading all this (but if there're smart, they will be) or the next thing you know, they'll be attacking bulky looking calves outside Bastille metro or around the Eiffel tower. No one will be safe anymore.
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Old Jun 14th, 2013, 08:47 PM
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surfmom, Panasonic just introduced the G6 (first was G1), so we've seen 6 generations of those. Sadly, the image quality is still not quite where it should be. Olympus Pen is now on it's 5th generation. If I went with one of these, I would get the Olympus, body only and get the Panasonic lenses (a lot of people are doing this). But for travel, the 4/3 zooms still protrude quite a bit (I'm thinking smaller camera case), so I have found the retractable lens (high end enthusiast models like the Canon G1X or Sony RX100) more to my liking for this purpose.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 02:52 AM
  #152  
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OP here. I'm happy to report that we had no problems at all. Very glad I packed my PacSafe bag because my gorgeous camera bag is HEAVY! Never saw the ring scam, but did have a couple of ladies ask us at the Eiffel Tower "do you speak English?" Kids left their iPhones in the apartment. Easy Peasy. Thanks everyone... for your suggestions.
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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Amy -- so glad you had no problems. I used my PacSafe bag for the first time yesterday (just testing out its features). It works okay for intended purpose, but I'm certainly not going to gain favor of the fashion police. It just gives peace of mind knowing pickpockets can get in and that's worth something.
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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"I'm assuming that if you have to use a card that's stashed in there (leg pouch) while you're out and about, that you'd have to bend over and roll up a trouser leg to retrieve it ? In a shop or a restaurant ?"

No - you use it just like you would a money belt - keep stuff in there that you don't need to access in public. You put your walking around money and a card in your pocket. I can see how this would be preferable to a money belt for some people.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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We've been using the 'leg stash' type security pouches for a few years... only useful if you travel in cooler weather (wearing long pants). Very comfortable to wear, and yes, you only store excess cash, extra cards, passport if you want to carry it - - you hold out the day's cash and one card for use while sightseeing. If you do need to retrieve something from the pouch, you do so in the W.C. or privately, and you don't have to partially undress to get to it (compared to waist kind).
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #156  
 
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Today (sat) is our 3rd full day in Paris for the first time. All the warnings on this forum have been put to use as good precautions. Until today we had been approached just twice with a petition and had seen nothing else untoward.

Today, was approached at least 5x with the ring scam. The 2nd time was while walking along the Seine just west of the pont Alexander bridge. My daughter was walking with her head down and saw the woman drop the ring out of her long sleeve. I saw her as we walked past and just kept walking. None of the time DH and I were approached were very 'hard sell'. DH did see a youngish man in the metro tunnel do an about face and seem to follow an older woman with a rolling bag though she was going in the opposite direction so we could not keep an eye on her. We also saw 3 youngish men go running down rue de rivoli soon followed by 3 police on rollerblades.

All in all, an interesting day. Now to finish my wine and head to Notre Dame to attempt the stairs...
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #157  
 
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I have a pair of black travel pants with a zippered inside front pocket where I keep credit card and cash. I think I got them at LLBean.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 06:32 PM
  #158  
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Susan: Agreed; the PacSafe could use a fashion makeover. I got mine in khaki (what was I thinking?) but I used it for the rest of our three week trip... it was much lighter than my "fashionable" camera bag, held more, is so well organized... just wish it looked better.
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:58 AM
  #159  
 
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Gypsies and pickpockets are yesterday's news.

This is the new terror for Parisian tourists: FERAL CAT GANGS!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...eral-cats.html
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Old Jul 26th, 2013, 07:59 AM
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And when I say "Parisian", I man Belfortian.
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