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SLR Camera - Travel Tips?

Old Aug 24th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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SLR Camera - Travel Tips?

We'll be in Italy for about 10 days. We love photography and are looking forward to taking lots of great pictures on this trip. I'll have my little Canon digital camera but we're also thinking about bringing my husband's SLR. He has taken it to Asia and the South Pacific but not to Europe.

We won't be traveling with huge suitcases but I'm wondering if the camera and lenses will be too much to lug around on buses and trains or if if they'll make us easy targets for thieves.

Does anyone have experience/tips for traveling with an SLR? I'm sure he's not concerned but I figure I would ask anyway. It seems everyone has a camera of some sort these days.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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I have been carrying SLR's to Europe since 1972 including Italy. In fact there are days I will carry multiple bodies and lenses.

I have a carry bag, that doubles as my bag for all other things.

No one can assure the safety of another, but if you do not leave it unattended, chances are you will not have a problem.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 03:20 PM
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A small extract from my Venice trip report.

Cameras are big here – really big. Digital SLR cameras seem the weapon of choice, resembling a shoulder launched anti tank missile in both size and sophistication of electronics. Lock on and fire! I’m a bit of a Luddite here – I think I’m the last man standing in Venezia that is still using film and a hand held light meter. The people at the photo shop treat me as if I am from the past, a visitor from the nineteenth century – they speak slowly and gently to me when I buy film. Lou is doing water colour paintings, so not worrying in the slightest about apertures, shutter speeds or film ASA ratings.

I’m shooting black and white.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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I have carried an SLR on many trips to Europe and have really appreciated the options it offers. Have moved up to a digital SLR, and debating about whether I take it on my next trip to Europe--not because of worries of safety, etc. but because I am getting a bit old to be lugging the heavy thing around and am too poor to hire a packman just to carry the gear. Am seriously considering taking my small pocketable digital so that I will always have a camera at hand for the unexpected pictures that pop up.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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I had given up my SLR twenty years ago because I was tired of carrying it around. Finally moved to digital two years ago and purchased a digital SLR because I was frustrated with the digital point-and-shoot cameras I had tried.

Now I wouldn't think of taking a major trip without it. It makes my trips infinitely more satisfying. I throw it into my purse, which is big enough to carry it. I do not take extra lenses unless I am traveling by car so it is easier to take my whole camera bag.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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I moved on from film SLR to digital SLR last year. Daytimes I have it on the strap around my neck. I use a zoom lens so there are no "lenses" and no camera bag any more. At night I rely on my digital point and shoot with zoom, which I keep handy in my pocket at all times. Both cameras take some book learning and plenty of practice to use effectively.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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My apologies. I meant to say DSLR. It would be a shame to go all the way to Italy and not have it so we'll have the little digital point-and-shoot as well as the DSLR. TBD on the lenses, but thanks for the tips! We'll be in Rome, Sorrento/Capri/Amalfi Coast, and Florence.
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Old Aug 24th, 2009, 09:48 PM
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A very useful camera bag to have is a Lowepro "Slingshot" AW 200 or 300 model. Apart from being able to carry a DSLR fitted with a medium lens you can carry an extra zoom and flash as well. The 300 model help distribute the weight quite nicely with the waistband/harness.

http://products.lowepro.com/product/...%20AW,2036.htm
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 12:46 AM
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I can't imagine travelling without my DSLR. It goes everywhere with me. Always as carry-on of course, which means I can't do carry-on only.

Make sure whatever bag you choose for it is carry-on legal, and pay attention to the weight too - some airlines do weigh carry-on and camera gear gets heavy very quickly.

I don't know what lenses you were thinking of bringing but if you are only visiting cities then a wide angle (18mm or less) to say 50mm, or 70mm will be great, plus maybe a longer lens up to about 200mm, depending on how much detail you are likely to want to photograph. Super zooms - 18-250mm are useful travel lenses but the picture quality is not great if you want to print large photos, and they are also very slow at the long end, which is not so good in poor light, but I am sure you husband knows all this already .
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 04:56 AM
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Hi N,

Aside from the size and weight, you should have no trouble if you take the usual precautions.

Enjoy your visit.

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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 08:45 AM
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Nomadic,

Sometimes you want/need the wider angle capabilities that most pocket digital cameras just don't offer.
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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My husband carries his gear in a Slingshot bag too - he loves it. He used to have a backpack type bag, but with the slingshot he can wear the bag while he gets this gear in and out of the bag. He can carry it across his back when we are hiking or biking, and also bring it around front for security in crowded situations. He takes 1 camera body, 2 lenses, some filters, and a battery grip. There is still room in the bag, so we put a few other things in there too - cel phone charger, mp3 player, and that sort of thing. The bag is his personal carryon on planes.
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Hit post too soon - we also take a small digital point and shoot on trips for when we don't want to haul the gear around or for taking candid shots of people and short videos.
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Old Aug 25th, 2009, 09:54 AM
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I always take a camera bag with my SLR and lenses to Italy. I can show you numerous pictures from my trips that would have been impossible without an SLR and a tripod (e.g. night shots). But photography is one of my main interests in even going to Europe. I bring a point-and-shoot with me, too. Depends what I'm shooting. Point-and-shoot cameras are great for walking-around daytime snapshots. Just make sure yours has a decent wide angle lens - most point-and-shoot cameras don't (My Canon SD880 P&S does have a wider-than-normal lens.)

Whatever you do, make sure you bring lots of memory cards and at least one spare battery per camera! This stuff is cheap and very worth having with you.
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