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Should I take a nice Camera to SA?

Trying to decide on cheap camera or a nice camera to take for traveling.
13 years ago, September 9th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #48250  
I recently bought a nice Sony Alpha A200 camera to take with me to South America. However, having talked with people going there, I have reservations about taking such a nice camera in case it makes me a target for thieves.

Should I shelve my nice camera at home and take a simple point and shoot? I love photography, however, and really want to take good pictures while I am there. I just don't want to stand out among the crowd as a "rich American."

When I went to Europe two years ago I covered my lens cap and Nikon logos with duct tape. It really made my camera look like a piece of crap...maybe that would work in SA as well?

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13 years ago, September 9th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #48254  
hi melanie ive just come back from south america peru and bolivia and santiago i took a very nice came with big add on lenses and everything because going to a place like south america you wont do to often so it pays to get great pics um as far as security went i wasnt targeted or didnt get anything stolen was there for 4 weeks although i am from new zealand at the border between peru and bolivia i got held upfor 4 hours as a guy i met over there was american and they dont really take kindly to americans for some reason so they searched him and his camera ( political id suspect) so i can only give you what i encountered hope this helps
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13 years ago, September 10th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #48321  
B Posts: 5
I faced the same dilemma before traveling to Peru and Bolivia last month, and I'm glad I decided on taking my good camera with me. Just be cautious, use mini-locks on your backpack, don't leave things unattended, etc. Our Peruvian guide warned us especially about La Paz and its high crime rate with the tourists getting robed and harassed all the time, so I was hesitant about taking the camera with me on the streets, but ultimately had no problems - I left my large camera bag at home (not to draw the attention) and carried it instead in one of those small over-the-shoulder travel bags (but apparently, large enough for my big camera to fit in), also wearing a jacket over it. Just exercise common sense and you'll be fine. I took some pictures on my trip, which I could have never captured with my small camera. Reply to this

13 years ago, September 10th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #48366  
take it, take it, take it!

if not you'll be kicking yourself every minute of the trip, as there's so many amazing things to photograph.

I travelled around Latin America for 10 months with a Canon EOS40D which weighs a bloody tonne (metric), but it was well worth it. obviously you have to be discreet about when you take it out etc, and it can make you a bit paranoid at times, but as long as you're a bit cautious it'll be worth it.

obviously it also pays to know where the receipt is and to have decent insurance...

have a cracking trip!
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13 years ago, September 11th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #48516  
Thanks guys--I just received my camera in the mail this morning and am now impatiently waiting for the memory cards to arrive!

I think I'll take the camera and just cover it up with duct tape. Good pictures are worth the risk. 😊 Reply to this

13 years ago, October 20th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #52129  
B Posts: 171
i love fotography... but for me it was best to leave a bigger camera at home and bring the best small camera i could find (canon sd 750). its tiny! and the fotos are A ok! (for me)
the best advantage is i can carry it at all times and thereby take more fotos of strange people and places when the opportunity arises.
but i guess this depends on what kind of fotos interest you the most.

if your big into wildlife and mountains etc.. the bigger the camera the better. . but dont be walking around cities with it loosely in your hand it may be snached.
i know a girl this happened to in quito.

and as insurance for (if and when) this happens... back the fotos up on the net. the worst is losing the fotos.

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13 years ago, October 25th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #52530  
B Posts: 7
Having just arrived back from Chile after 5 weeks in SA, I would say take the big camera. I took my one which is a fuji and successfully brought it back although I was very conscious of it = I might have an advantage as I am a 6 foot male and "big boned". More than I can say for my gps which was lifted while taking a photo, while at the police station a women was there reporting the theft of a necklace which was ripped from her neck.

When I go on holiday again, I intend to take the big camera again, but I will be looking for options of carrying it securely, PACSAFE.com has some interesting options.
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13 years ago, October 25th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #52540  
hey mel, i've been away travelling a year in NZ and now am haeding into south america. personally i use two cameras ( i know a bit much) but i would recomend ur good one and the point and shoot. a small one can fit in your pocket for nights out and other venues. where as if ur seeing sights and want the better shots, you can have the etter one, just make sure u have straps for it and hold onto it! if u have the room, take them both 😊

ian Reply to this

13 years ago, October 31st 2008 No: 9 Msg: #53091  
I thought about two, but I didn´t want to have to worry about them both. I even left my ipod behind because of the extra weight (on both my body and mind).

I arrived in Peru almost two weeks ago and my Sony SLR is working great for me! I am pretty afraid to take it out on the street for shots, so I am conscious of not drawing more attention to myself (difficult when everyone on the street is staring at me anyways :P). I just came across one problem today, however. Both of my batteries are almost dead and I miscalculated my American adaptability with wall outlits in SA! I am off to one of the most beautiful hiking places in SA and I don´t have a camera that works...😞

Any ideas for a place to get an adapter in Araquipa or Cusco would be great..preferably the former rather than the latter... Reply to this

13 years ago, October 31st 2008 No: 10 Msg: #53102  
B Posts: 171
i would be surprised if your battery charger does not work on both 110v and 240v, most cameras & portable devices do. not sure if you know that. its probably written on it.

the plug should fit.. but as i have not been in arequipa or cusco yet i cant recommend anywhere to get an adaptor.. only to say that lots of shops and market stalls around the towns of peru have stuff like that.

alternativly you may have to do as i am doing and get a small point & shoot and rely on calendars and books for the best quality pics of maccu picchu etc... hehe
but i wouldnt worry too much about a small point & shoot cam..... who cares if someone steels it... the fotos are worth more than the camera.

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13 years ago, October 31st 2008 No: 11 Msg: #53103  
My camera has a seperate battery charger for the batter, so if I blow it, I´m screwed since it´s pretty select for the camera. I think I´ll wait and try the markets in Araquipa...then try to plug it into extension pieces since they may be bigger. Lol, my brother said that I could try and file down the edges of my prongs to make them fit...

So true, I already forumlated a plan where if someone tried to take my camera, I would quickly pop out the memory card with my pics!

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13 years ago, October 31st 2008 No: 12 Msg: #53112  
B Posts: 171
as long as your charger takes 240v you wont blow it , but its wierd that the prongs dont fit... as far as i have seen , the Peru Sockets take both flat pin US plugs and round pin European style plugs.
i must be missing something..
heres a pic of my one. i thaught my charger was a US style plug.. is it not?

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13 years ago, November 1st 2008 No: 13 Msg: #53152  
Nope, my US plugs flair a bit at the tips--ensuring that they ALMOST fit, but not quite. I think that a lot of US prongs look like that (have more of a straight edge), but some are also flaired at the edges for some reason. But our slits are really wide where they plug into the wall so they fit any flat pronged plug in.

I just arrived in Arequipa and my hostel had some extra adapters that people had left--I am so happy everything worked out so easily! I was beginning to panic about having photo-less travel blogs. 😊

Thanks a ton for the help! Reply to this

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