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18 replies
To bring my New DSLR camera or not to bring??
bengy465
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I had a question about bringing my new camera to europe.
I just got a new Sony Alpha 380 slr camera for christmas ive always wanted one and now i am trying to figure out if i should take it. and the best way to travel with it if i do decie to bring it! Im scared someone will steal it or break it or idk. anyone have any ideas or safe ways to pack my camera. and ways to carry it and my daypack without being too overpacked during the day trips?>Smile

I need help thanks
also what are some good picture taking spots you like?

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annapalooza
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I have a sony alpha 100 that I brought for a week to london with my family. Now, I love this camera, it’s my baby. But to be honest, I’m not really a pro photographer. I dabble.

It was kind of a hassle to bring it along. It’s a lot of weight, and it was a pricy present that i got, so it was always kind of at the back of my mind about it getting damaged or stolen. The real issue was lugging it around though, and for a week, it was okay, but that was with transportation more than walking.

For my next trip I got a cheaper (200$) range, small digital camera that wouldn’t really be a burden to carry and that I wouldn’t really be concerned about losing just so long as i had my photos backed up. I think this is going to work better for longer travel and for ease of mind.

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New Years resolution! Pack light!

finnegan
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Leave the expensive camera at home…a good $200 camera (7 megapixels or more) is more than adequate for taking holiday snaps and you won’t cry (too much) if it gets lost or stolen

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

oldlady
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I’m torn. A) I love to take photos, so why not take my best camera? B) Back in the film days I toted an SLR and multiple lens. The first trip was great — sunny weather, great pictures, worth the weight and hassle. The second trip was cloudy and raining — not so great pictures and the weight and hassle got really old. After that, I reduced the weight and volume of camera gear each time I traveled.

Try toting your DSLR around 24/7 on your daily routine for a week. If you find the weight and the worry factor too big a deal, then leave it home. If you’re comfortable carrying it around, then I’d take it.

luv_the_beach
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Personally, for me, not taking my Canon DSLR (and lenses and tripod) for a major trip defeats the purpose of having one, but it all depends on how serious you are about photography (or at least how serious you are about photographing subjects such as landscapes, architecture, neighborhoods, urban scenes, or local people). But if you’re only going to be taking casual snapshots of the places you’ve been to, then I totally agree with the others, just leave the DSLR at home. (Also, as oldlady mentions, if you think the weight will be unbearable, take that into consideration. It will be a bit weighty, I’m not gonna lie, but my DSLR + 2 lenses are not a big problem for me).

While such a device could certainly get stolen, honestly, I think the chances are very slim if you just exercize regular precautions:

  • Always have your camera bag on you.
  • When sitting down at a restaurant: never leave it on the chair next to you or hanging from the back of your chair. Have it on your lap at all times.
  • Before your trip, look for hostels that have individual lockers inside rooms, or stay at hostels, hotels, or pensions that provide private rooms.
  • At your hostel, at the airport (particularly before and at the security check area), at the train station, or on public transportation, or any other place that’s either crowded or where you’ll be stationary for a long period of time, never open your camera bag in front of strangers so that they can see what’s in that bag (and you can buy a camera bag that doesn’t look like a camera bag, more on this later)
  • Never leave your camera bag unattended, unless it’s locked in a safe location. Always have it on you, even when going to the bathroom, or leave it with your travel partner.
  • Never leave your camera bag in a rented car, even if it’s out of sight in the trunk

You can buy a camera bag that’s a backpack. I know for sure Lowepro makes all kinds of camera bags, including different sizes camera backpack (I have one myself). To a perfect stranger, it’s just an unsuspecting backpack; it won’t draw attention. An additional benefit is that a camera backpack is easier to carry than something that hangs or straps around your shoulder. There’s different sizes camera backpacks; there’s relatively small ones, or larger ones that are the size of a regular backpack and you can fit more things in there, doubling it as a day pack.

Also, you can buy inexpensive travel insurance that will insure personal belongings. One insurer is www.worldnomads.com but of course there’s many others as well. Make sure you have your camera receipt to prove ownership, and if it does get stolen, you’ll need to file a report with the local police.

As for where to take good pictures…everywhere. There’s interesting subjects everywhere and it all depends on what subjects you like to photograph. Personally, I love the following subjects: historic neighborhoods, traditional architecture, quaint towns, amazing landscapes (mountains, coastlines, interesting farmlands, etc), urban night scenes, and floodlit monuments (the latter two require tripod). Also, if this is your first DSLR, practice your camera before your trip. In sunny weather, you can effortlessly take amazing pictures (although you may still want to use a polarizer filter), but for cloudy days, you’ll want to be familiar with the DSLR’s white balance function, and you may even want a graduated neutral density filter.


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swill
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I took my DSLR and I enjoyed it. I also took a tripod, but leave that at home (maybe take a gorillapod if you want to take a tripod).

I have this camera bag (or close to it) and I used it as my day pack as well as my camera bag. My camera never left my side. My bag has a little pocket in the back that I had my passport and maps and such in it. When I was traveling with my backpack, I would use the waist strap from my backpack and put the camera bag on the waist strap using the belt loop holes on the camera bag. This configuration worked out great for me because I always had my camera at my finger tips the entire trip.

My only other suggestion would be to make sure to take your wide angle lens. You will realize when you get there that you will often want to get the entire scene rather than a specific deal. If you have a telephoto lens, take it too because sometimes you want to zoom in on interesting details.

Let me know if you want more suggestions…

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bengy465
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thanks i think i am going to take it. now i just need to find a good bag to get for it.. i dont want one thats tp large to carry or hard to carry around or one that looks like one.. but i want it to be protected too. I dont have a wide angle lense yetFrown

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luv_the_beach
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After many years of using my old Minolta film SLR, I finally bought my Canon DSLR in the summer of 2008, but it was another year until I bought my telephoto zoom and wide angle zoom lenses, because I wanted to save Best Buy points, and I also waited for deals in the mail. I have the Best Buy Reward Zone mastercard, and I get these 10% and 12% coupons occasionally in the mail, which can knock $70-$100 off the price of a lens. (And, yeah I know you can sometimes find lenses on Amazon at great prices, but the prices at Best Buy come out the same [if not cheaper] with the Best Buy deals, and I don’t like to order big-ticket items online).

But that’s your call if you want to go out and buy your lenses right now. There’s lots of great shots you can take with just a standard kit lens; but there’s also going to be a few instances when you wished you had a wide-angle or a telephoto, as swill mentioned. As far as telephoto is concerned, I’ve actually come across more instances in North America than in Europe, where I would need a telephoto lens: like shooting wildlife in Alaska, or shooting in New York (the depth-distortion illlusion that you can do with telephoto is really cool if, say, you want to shoot some beaux-arts buildings in the foreground, and the Chrysler building in the background without it coming out tiny and distant). I find European cities and towns very photogenic with just the standard kit lens, and even Chicago and Toronto. But in New York, I find telephoto essential.

If it helps, I have this exact camera bag. It’s basically a backpack for cameras, but smaller than a normal day packpack:

http://products.lowe…

It basically fits the camera + two lenses (with one of the two lenses attached to the camera). And there’s extra pockets, of course, to carry filters, batteries, memory cards, and small personal items. Swill’s bag looks like it fits much more, so it depends how much you need to carry with you. For me, I only need two lenses: my telephoto and wide angle lenses. My telephoto has an 18-200mm range, so I always have it attached to my camera and use it as my primary lens, and the extra lens that I’ll fit into my bag is my wide-angle lens (10-22mm). I just leave my kit lens (18-55mm) at home, since I don’t need it, and a 3rd lens won’t fit in my bag.


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swill
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That is a pretty good bag that LTB mentioned. A friend of mine has this bag (very similar) and he loves it. He shoots a lot while skiing, so the sling thing works out great for him. It works as a backpack till he wants to shoot, then he can wipe it around in front without taking it off and pull out his camera and shoot and then put the camera away and ski on…

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luv_the_beach
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All this talk of photography has got by travel bug biting now… That slingshot bag looks really nice, I like it better than mine. And the gorrillapod looks really cool! Very travel-friendly tripod, I would say, as opposed to traditional tripods. Kinda expensive though, but I’ll see if I can find a gorillapod on ebay.


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swill
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@LTB: The Gorillapod is the ‘brand name’ version. There are a couple knockoffs that are a similar concept, but you may want to check reviews for them first to make sure they are not just a POS. Great for traveling though because of the small size and great utility.
My friend is very happy with his slingshot bag. I was skeptical at first that it would be comfortable and stay on my back, but it is surprising how well it fits. I thought it would feel like it was sloshing around back there, but it is quite snug. They have a clever second strap that makes it feel a bit like a backpack, but can be easily unclipped so the bag will swing around front.

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bengy465
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awesome thank you, yes i checked on the gorillapods they are a bit pricey.. i dont think im gonna take a tripod.. idk i might change my mind but i dont know if iwill feel like dragging it around europe and if i will even use it.. i guess well see. lol

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oldlady
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I would not haul a regular tripod. A mini-one is handy and I think you can probably find something cheaper.

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Well, my regular tripod wasn’t expensive…you can find well-priced tripods. But I’m gonna look for those gorillapod knock-offs that swill suggested. If it helps you decide: I never carry my tripod during the daytime (although there are some instances where you might need it in daytime, if you wanna get creative, but it wont be necessary)…for nighttime it’s essential. It’s not a huge deal to carry a regular tripod around at night, but it does get tiresome sometimes. I think that mini-tripods have their limitations; there may instances where you may not have something high to place your mini-tripod on.


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All good advice above.

I OFTEN regret NOT traveling with a DSLR because I love taking pictures, but can’t be bothered with the size, weight, attachments, and accessories that go with bringing one. I do think that in the future, for shorter trips when I am carrying less crap, I will commit to one.

With that said, I DO always bring a WIDE ANGLE compact digi camera. Yes, they DO exist. Canon and Panasonic make excellent ones but they do get pricey ($400+). Wide angle is everything to me in a camera because I am into landscape and architecture shots. Compact is essential too because I am a pack rat.

HEre is some advice that I BEG you to take seriously:

Cameras DO get lost and stolen, now, cameras are replaceable but PICTURES ARE NOT. What you should do on a DAILY basis is upload your picts to whatever internet photo storage you use (I just throw them on Facebook). I would also say burn them onto discs but sometimes it is more of a hassle. I purchased for a SD memory card reader that goes right into the USB port. It was like 10 bucks and it made uploading picts a snap. And, memory cards DO get corrupted, lost, damaged, etc, so don’t rely on just one. I carry extras. I also don’t delete any pictures until I have backed them up in like 5 places. I know, I am psycho about pictures. Here is short and painful story: LAst April my cousin and I did a short trip to the Netherlands and Belgium. We both bought cameras with us. WE got tired of taking the same pictures, so we decided to switch off and she would be the paparazzi one day, me the next. We purposely went there that time of year for the tulip season and to go to the Keukenhof. So, as you can imagine, MASSIVE amounts of photo ops, plus we had fantastic weather, and many crazy nights, so we were snap snap snapping away. One black-out drunken night, she lost or someone stole her camera. And there went about 5 days/nights worth of memories or things we had forgotten already but were looking forward to reminiscing about. So, she was DEVASTATED. I mean, seriously distraught, and I was freaked too because she had AWESOME picts. She did not get over this. Still is not over this. What made it worse is that it was a camera she borrowed from a friend (she did have her own one as a backup but she liked her friend’s features more), so she had to shell out a few hundred bucks to replace it. Anyway, all the picts forever gone. And we couldn’t go back and recreate the moments. WE did go back to the Keukenhof to try to recapture the flower pictures, but that weather got crappy and the flowers were closed, and all sorts of issues. OK, so I am ranting, but the point is, I do think losing pictures is by far worse than losing anything of material value. So BACK YOUR STUFF UP DAILY no matter what camera you decide to take!!

That is just my 2 cents. OH, and I purchased a Gorillapod this past summer for my Eurotrip and I wound up not using it at all… not sure why, I guess I couldn’t be bothered setting it up and finding a place to hang it from/place it on. I plan on using it my next trip so I will report about that.

Oh wait, more camera drama: GET INSURANCE on your camera. I usually get a new camera every 2 years or so, and never purchased insurance because I have always been careful and didn’t want to pay the extra money. Well, lesson #2 learned this summer in Croatia when some drunken dude went to take a group shot for me and he dropped it upon returning it to me, on concrete stairs. Yes, this camera I was on a waiting list for, I was in love with it, and I should have cherished it and protected it, but alcohol was involved with many of my decisions and whoops. Crash. Destruction. ANd, the camera did not have a viewfinder so it solely relied on the LCD. Well, when the LCD shatters it is IMPOSSIBLE to know what you are taking a picture of. So, it was like my 2nd week into a summer excursion and I had to basically guestimate what I was taking pictures of as it got progressively more difficult to see anything through it. By trip’s end, I could see about 1/4 of what I was photographing. I was not a happy camper. The camera was WEEKS old, and there was nothing I could do except wait to go home, return it to the company, and PAY out of pocket for repairs that cost more than half the cost of the camera. YAY. Luckily I wrote an impressive letter, more so of complaint about he integrity of the product, and I got a replacement one.

ANYWAY, that is some camera advice. Sorry for the ramblings. Apparently there are still some unresolved issues regarding my photo mishaps in 2009.

Happy travels!

TooSlick2k
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Whats the best company to use for insurance protection for a DSLR? World Nomads only covers up to $500 and most DSLRs are $1500 or more.

Thanks

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Anybody know?

I am leaving from Orlando MCO with $6500 for 59 days
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I am leaving from Croatia with $6500 for 53 days
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oldlady
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Since you didn’t get any other answers, I’d start with your homeowners or renters policy at home. It may cover your camera when you travel and/or your agent may have a rider available that will cover the full cost of your camera when you travel.

This would also be the case if you’re a student with your stuff covered by your parents homeowners policy.

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bring your camera you bought it take pics not hide it