Traveling to Italy--To Bring or Not To Bring Equipment?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Felix 222, May 20, 2010.

  1. Felix 222

    Felix 222 TPF Noob!

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    I'll be traveling to Florence, Rome and Venice by train. I've heard of people having bad experiences because of thieves in both trains and cities. The last thing I want is to come home without my D300, lenses, etc... I've never let my camera's leave my hand while traveling through Europe in past, and have had no problems. The tourist cities in Italy worry me though.

    Should I risk bringing my equipment with me?
     
  2. PerfectlyFlawed

    PerfectlyFlawed TPF Noob!

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    Yes! Youll miss out on all of the good photo opportunities. However, i would look into camera insurance and on all of your equipment.
     
  3. JillH

    JillH TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely take your photography equipment. Venice and Florence, especially, are a dream to wander around and photograph! Depending on what you like to shoot, you may only want to lug a couple of lenses though, if only to minimize the weight and maximize mobility.

    I lived and traveled around Europe for a couple of years and never had a problem with thieves or pick pockets. You need to be aware of your surroundings and be smart about how you transport your stuff - avoid backpacks because they are invitations to thieves. Use a messenger-type bag that you can sling in front of you when you are in a crowd or on public transportation. Don't put your wallet, passport or other valuables in your back pants pocket. Try to avoid looking like a clueless tourist, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk to consult your maps. Have a plan, familiarize yourself with where you are going and walk around like you you know exactly where you are going, even if you are lost. Avoid Hawaiian print shirts, bermuda shorts, white socks and sandals :lol:.

    And if you need someone to carry your equipment and luggage, I'd be happy to help out for the price of transportation to and from your destinations!
     
  4. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I've been wondering a lot about this one myself. It's not so much the pick pockets I'd be worried about as what can happen at the airport security points. They make you put everything in those bins and then you can't even stick with them in case something goes wrong!

    So potentially while you are being scanned your camera is out of sight. I almost lost my Fuji that way a few years back that way, but if you ask them to physically hand you your gear they don't like to do it. You can't keep it in the case sometimes either. Used to be able to, for cameras if not laptops, but last time I went they had me upend it all into a bin.

    My camera was completely at risk and I came through just in time to catch some guy clearly looking it over to see if anyone was looking and it was worth the grab. I saw it and quickly took it up, but I think if I had been only 5 seconds later my gear would likely have been gone.

    I just don't know if I'd take something like a DSLR over even though it would not be nearly as nice to use something else. Not unless I was completely insured in some way to cover the loss. I couldn't afford to save up like mad for both then take the trip of a lifetime only to lose my best camera. Artistically I'd hate not to take it, I mean it's EUROPE, big sigh, but then again I'd hate to lose it too.
     
  5. Carly.O

    Carly.O TPF Noob!

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    After talking to my Italian professor about this (I'm going on this same trip) she said that we should not be too worried about pickpockets in Italy, mainly because of the weight of the cameras. She said that no pick-pocket would be dumb enough to take the heavy camera because we would notice right away and that they would also have to be pretty daring to try to take it directly from our hands (which is where we will be carrying our cameras most of the time).

    She said the only places we should be worried (or the only place that she had her camera stolen) was on the trains...

    any thoughts, anyone?
     
  6. leftypony

    leftypony TPF Noob!

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    as far as the trains ... if you're alone it's best not to sleep on the train. Take turns with a buddy if you can.
     
  7. Live_free

    Live_free TPF Noob!

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    Get a camera backpack, always keep in on and securely tightened on. If not on keep the bag touching you and really close or have your hand on a strap. I doubt it is that bad though.
     
  8. scorpion_tyr

    scorpion_tyr No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Get a larger sized backpack style camera bag and throw all of your equipment in it. Theives aren't going to try to lift anything larger or heavier than a purse. Most will only be going after your wallets. Watch out for the kids in Europe, while one is trying to sell you a pack of gum or something his buddy is lifting your wallet.
     
  9. David99

    David99 TPF Noob!

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    Thought I would share a few ideas that may help you with the subject of pickpockets in Italy...As you may have read, they are a problem that you should be aware of, especially in the big cities such as Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice, and related. Few travelers take the time to learn how these slick thieves operate so they are very successful in targeting tourists - many with cameras.

    Take a little time to learn about the methods pickpockets use and watch a few videos of these folks in action.

    Here is a website that has many pages devoted to pickpocket education - but you may even find it more of interest in that they have a specific section on pickpockets in Italy - broken down by specific cities. You will find several video in many of the other pickpocket sections.

    Here are two additional websites that outline a variety of camera security gear that you may want to learn about:

    Camera Security Bags
    Camera Security Straps

    Hope these ideas help!
     
  10. Judd

    Judd TPF Noob!

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    If you have a partner, have them go through first, once through, send all your goodies through and they can retrieve them.

    If solo, I guess a quick eye, and close attention is necessary.

    But to get on the other side of security, you have to have a ticket, so that seems like it would be unlikely for a common thief to be hanging around.

    My only experience is domestic travel and with a laptop, keys etc. I always held my bin till right before i walked through the machine, then watched my stuff come out the machine.
     

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