Camera safety


Sep 12th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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Camera safety

I have a Canon S3IS digital camera which is midway in size between my SLR with 28-200 zoom lens and my compact digital camera. I carried it all over Italy and had no problems with thieves.

Now I am on my way to France and I keep hearing horror stories about thievery and am wondering if I was just lucky. I usually carry it around my waist with my hand on the pouch in front in crowded situations.

Does anyone have any advice about ensuring I come home with it?


Maureen_QC is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2008, 05:17 PM
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From my experience, you're doing things right. Using a beltpack with the pouch in the front gives you the best protection when you're not using the camera.

A few additional basic measures:

Don't take the beltpack off your person in public. Keep it on during meals, on public transportation, etc. If it's on your person, it won't be subject to grab and run.

Don't hand it off to strangers to take your picture in front of things.

Don't set it on a table or bench, etc., even for just a moment. It's too easy to forget or for someone to slip past you.

Check museums, etc. before you go to see if they have any bans against camera equipment. If so, you might want to leave the camera locked up in the hotel safe while you visit that museum. Also be careful of "coat checks" at museums - some are simply an unmonitored room that anyone can wander into.

Look at camera straps and find one that you will actually use. If you don't like the neck strap, then look at a wrist strap (or visa versa). Then USE it. When the camera is out of the bag, make sure the strap is around your neck or wrist.

Don't walk around like your camera is a big deal. Be careful and conscientious, but don't draw more attention to it by being overly dramatic.

Most thefts are "non-confrontational". Usually, the thief waits for your attention to be elsewhere and then quietly grabs the item. Keeping the camera in your hand and or in the beltpack (in the front) is going to reduce the chance that they will find an opportunity to take the camera. Setting it down, even for a second, is going to make taking it that much more easier.

The last suggestion is don't let the possibility of theft cause you not to take photos. Coming home with photos but no camera is better than coming home with a camera but no photos. When you fill up a memory card, put it in your purse rather than in the camera pouch. That way you WILL have your photos if something happens.
toedtoes is offline  
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Sep 13th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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We walked all over Paris with a large canon camera. My DH had it around his neck or in a camera bag. We had no problems. No one came close to trying to get it. I would go with the plan you have and enjoy.
I agree to take out your memory card when full and put somewhere else.
girlonthego is offline  
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Sep 14th, 2008, 12:55 PM
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France is safer than Italy in my humble opinion.

Just use your common sense. Take your camera out of the pouch (if you have one) whenever you need to use it, if not, just leave it in. Use a sling bag or waist bag if you can, I have found them to be more secure. Also only ask other 'tourists' to take photos for you.

Enjoy France!

swagman is offline  
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Sep 14th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Great idea to have more than one memory card.

We were bringing our laptop computer anyway. We took the cords and loaded the pictures onto the laptop as a backup.

5alive is offline  
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Sep 18th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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I stopped carrying my SLR camera and equipment after a trip with friends, my pictures were great but theirs were just as good and they only carried a pocket size Canon.

Now I carry a pocket size digital. I replaced the wrist strap with a neck strap that came with a thumb drive and keep it around my neck. When I'm not actively taking pictures, it's tucked inside my shirt or jacket.
bdjtbenson is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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I have a very small digital I carry in a pack on my belt.

The belt loop used to close via velcro. I went to a shoe repair and had it stitched closed.

I try to wear my shirt out of my trousers and covering the camera pouch.

I ALWAYS use the wrist strap, mostly so that I do not drop the camera but also for security. It is irritating but not as much as damaging or the entire loss of the camera.

I am thinking about carrying the extra battery out of the pouch, also my extra memory chips.


georgewoodie is offline  
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Sep 20th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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To me, the photos already taken are the precious items. When I carried a small camera and pouch, I kept the filled cards in a more secure location than a pouch I was constantly getting into.

Now that I have a buttload of camera gear, I keep it all together, but it is much harder for someone to do a grab and run with my large wheelie bag and it's too big to forget I'm dragging around.
toedtoes is offline  
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Oct 13th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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It's the pictures that have value IMHO - the camera can be replaced
Tempusfugit is offline  
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Oct 30th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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We've been to France 7 times in the last decade with no problems. And we have a lot of gear (still camera, video camera, laptop.) Certainly the camera -- and the MEC jackets, day pack, water bottle etc. --clearly mark me as a tourist so we get lots of come ons on the street in Paris. I just keep a firm grip on the cameras, keep walking and say 'non, merci!' We download still photos to the laptop regularly. It and finished video footage are locked up with the passports. We take the same approach in any large city, European or North American. It seems to work. Have a grand holiday!
tansay is offline  
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Nov 24th, 2008, 01:50 AM
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I've learned so much from these posts, especially the tip about removing the full memory card AND carrying an extra memory card. I leave for a six-day trip in two days, so these tips were right on time for me. ... Hey, Maureen_QC, thanks for posting your question. I had my own frightening experience with nomadic children on the streets of Paris (specifically, in le Jardin de Tuileries). Have a great trip! If you're back already, I hope you had a fantastic time in France. Hmmm ... to which provinces, which cities did you travel?
gogoboots99 is offline  
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Dec 9th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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For gogoboots 99: We're back from France now and had a lovely trip. No safety problems with the camera. But I did learn a valuable lesson——not to edit (delete) pictures before returning home and seeing them on a computer screen. I lost all the shots I took during a 2˝ hour trip down the Canal St-Martin and didn't realize it until I got home.

We (2 related couples) stayed one week in an apartment in the Marais in Paris and would do it again. Then we stayed one week in a gîte in Cabannes, Provence and used it as a base for exploring the many small picturesque villages. Then 2 nights in Nice on the Riviera.

I could go on and on about how we enjoyed the trip, although my husband and I agree that we still prefer Italy even though we are French Canadians and obviously speak French, and hope to make a second trip there soon.

When my brother-in-law was asked what impressed him the most about the trip thinking he would mention the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Casino in Monte Carlo or something else along those lines, surprisingly he said the gîte in Provence and the apartment in Paris. I don't know what his expectations were——he is used to 3-4 star accommodation on package tours.

Hope your trip was a success.

Maureen_QC is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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I do edit on the fly but only to pick the best one or two of the four or five pictures I might take of a subject. A larger viewing screen really improves your ability to show and edit your pictures during your trip.

Isn't digital grand? I no longer have to budget my film, carry a bag of spent film or develop it all before I can decide which photos are good or bad. With the size of memory chips, I can carry 1000 pictures in about the space of a stick or two of gum.
bdjtbenson is offline  
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Dec 19th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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Hah! Well our camera was stolen last March from between our 'bottoms' in the middle of a mass in a church in Rome where we sat in a pew! Simply do not put it down. Upload every 50-100 pictures along the way. While the camera was not at all valuable, the first half of our trip's pictures were all gone, and after that didnt have the heart to buy a camera, just sketches and postcards. We have been to France 5 times and only noticed a pickpocket trying to get to our daughter's (very open large) purse in a turnstile in the Paris Metro. We stopped him cold, and she wised up fast.
aliced is offline  
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Dec 19th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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Aliced - I know so many people who have had that happen. The camera is right next to them and then it's gone.

That's why I never set my camera down - if it's not in my hand or around my neck, it's in the bag and attached to me (if it's the beltpack) or in my large wheeled bag (I have a lot of gear) with the strap attached to me. With the wheeled bag being a 19" carry-on size, I can hold the handstrap, slip my leg in the shoulder strap, or put my feet on it or legs over it while it's against a solid object.
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