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Author Topic: Keeping Your Camera Safe  (Read 3112 times)

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Offline Paolo_Igama

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Keeping Your Camera Safe
« on: April 15, 2012, 09:49:27 PM »
Hello everyone!

I'm starting this thread to ask for tips from fellow forumers on how to keep your camera's safe from thieves, robbers or any other evil doers when you're out and shooting.  I occasionally travel around and like any traveller, I love to take pictures of my trips.  But carrying a camera around, especially in a place you've never been in before is almost a sure attraction for thieves.  Keeping your camera in the bag is a great solution to keep it safe, but it's very counterproductive to bringing a camera in the first place.

I'd like to invite everyone to share tips/insights to avoid these situations but still keep shooting.  Also, if you have stories about this (theft/robbery of your camera gear), please feel free to share them so we could all learn from it so it can be avoided in the future.  Thanks you!

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Keeping Your Camera Safe
« on: April 15, 2012, 09:49:27 PM »

Offline big blue cheese

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2012, 10:12:57 PM »
welcome to pipho, sir paulo!

my basic rule in keeping my gear safe? NEVER KEEP IT OUT OF SIGHT! i know it sounds simple and somewhat paranoid but i have never lost an item from this principle.

for sort of dangerous places, it helps a lot if you can have a companion around and really know the location. if not, i would rather travel some place else.

also, i would rather keep it in a camera bag than just slinging it over my shoulder.

the places around the philippines i have been to, most of the people are very nice and just sort of curious when you shoot around with a dslr attached to a tripod. they would go behind or beside you and just look and some would smile and want their picture taken, which i feel honored to give in to their request, but never have i felt my gear were about to be snatched from me.

HOWEVER....when in manila, not only would i sling my camera bag over my shoulder, i would reverse my bag so the zipper isn't facing outwardly, plus my hand would be gripping the bag strap ;D

so my advice, just never let it out of your sight. do not leave it under a table, do not leave it unattended, and just be vigilant.

hope this helps  ;)
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Offline junaquino

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2012, 10:40:12 PM »
I know this might sound kenkoy but then here, goes. Kung pamilyar ka dun sa panic alarm it will be great kung meron kang ganyan connected sa bag mo and one which you can activate remotely. As in tawag pansin talaga. Pag may nag snatch ng bag mo activate mo lang para maka tawag pansin somehow mawalan ng gana ang snatcher, kung na agaw man niya sa iyo eh tumatakbo siyang naka on ang panic alarm ahehhehehe

Offline gonzales.mcm

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 10:56:19 PM »
i think ok sir jun ung panic alarm,. talagang agaw pansin ung magnanakaw na me alarm. hahaha
for me i always put a handstrap on my camera, para if ever nagshoshoot e naka intact sa kamay ko..
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Offline creationz

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 12:57:59 PM »
- my own instinct. just scan the place and know if the potential for theft is high or low. If i find the place "shady" then don't shoot....unless you are shooting with a group.
- I don't leave my gear inside my car, i don't leave my gear off my body.
- I try to dress up blending in with the crowd

Think out of the box.

Offline meekerz

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 01:32:49 PM »
I always keep my camera bag loosely strapped to my waist or my belt loop- either using the bag's waist belt or using some other piece of belt/attachment.   I am always vigilant with my things, but there always comes a time when I would have to put my bags down and I get distracted.  Lessens the chances of it getting snatched.

I avoid are especially are situations where I can be held up, photog gear or not  (especially as a girl).  So research ahead!!  I avoid shady places and 'poor' areas that seem dangerous.  I avoid going out late by myself.  I think general common sense should prevail, and follow your instincts! 

Offline meekerz

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 01:49:32 PM »
Also!  In cases wherein I want to be in the picture too, I always look for someone who 1.) also looks like a tourist; and 2.) is holding a dSLR/camera similar to mine or nicer than mine  ;D    That way, chances of them running off with my camera is slimmer, plus they know how to use my gear- which makes for a nicer shot  ;D .    I also return the favor and ask if they want me to take their photo, which usually they're very thankful for too.

I've heard stories about tourists who ask someone to take their picture, only to have that someone run off with their camera.   

Offline micoraven

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 03:58:32 PM »
Act and dress discreetly and try putting your camera in a bag that is not like a laptop or camera bag marami namang ganyan na ngayon ang design. Have the zippers face you or where you can see it...definitely not a fan of backpacks. Tapos when "photowalking" or shooting on the fly always use a bag you can easily remove and store your camera in para pwedeng itago kung di kailangan at ilabas kung kelan kailangan. You may also try using m4/3 kasi hindi agaw tingin kasi mukhang point and shoot lang, kahit sa security guards hindi rin mainit sa mata yung m4/3 :D
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Offline Daizzy

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Re: Keeping Your Camera Safe
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2012, 09:35:41 PM »
This is also one of the primary reasons why I picked up a micro 4/3 camera. I have a Nikon D5000, and I generally use it for tech events like product launches and such. I have a very non-camera bag bag for it, but its starting to look very ugly from all the wear and tear so I recently bought a Lowepro Event Messenger 150, which is small-ish bag which fits my kits easily as I never bring a lot with me (one lens, one flash, no tripod, one point & shoot) BTW, I'll be doing a review video of the Event Messenger soon, as it is a very new line of camera bags from Lowepro that is a little more discreet but great for urban shooters.

Since I have a m4/3 camera, this is what I carry when doing street photography, or even during events when I need to commute or I know there are limitations like no tables, chairs, etc. I've detailed my carry system for this when I do street shooting, which is basically it is slung on my shoulder or neck - the body and camera only - and I cover it with a padded pouch that I can put in my pocket. This enables me to not bring any bag at all and have my hands completely free. The minimalist carry system is great since a.) you don't have a camera bag, b.) m4/3 is often ignored and discreet, c.) easy to remove the pouch, take a shot, put the pouch back in with nobody seeing it for a long period of time. I wrote about this carry system in an article here:

Camera Carry System For Minimalistic Street Photographers–Best For Rangefinders & ILCs

My general tips for the safety of our camera gear is this:

1.) Always be discreet - no branded straps, no obvious camera bags, no obvious photographer clothing, no obvious photographer mannerisms
2.) Be minimalistic - don't bring more than you'll ever need, and if possible bring less.
3.) Figure out a carry system where you'll never have to put it aside (large bags), leave it to go to the bathroom, or will need to put it under the table. (salisi gang) I understand that's hard to accomplish for professionals like you guys, but if you're just shooting as a hobby, you really don't need everything.
4.) Don't look like you're new to the place - thieves can smell your fear
5.) Always act like you're alert and don't get too engrossed in conversation, shooting, sightseeing or other activities
6.) Larger lenses attract more attention - if you have primes or short zooms, find the right mix and go with those
7.) When commuting, bring an ugly bag, wear uglier clothes, and change clothes when you reach your venue. - I do this with my D5000 before I got my Olympus Pen. =)

Hope that helps guys!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 09:37:39 PM by Daizzy »


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