Camera Safety In India

#1 Apr 10th, 2005, 12:37
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  • Seeker710 is offline
#1
I'm an amateur photographer with pretty nice stuff (Canon Digital Rebel w/some pricey lenses and flash equipment). I'd like some of your expert commentary regarding theft problems/advice when it comes to camera equipment.

Can I expect to have to hold on to my camera for dear life and sweat it the whole time I'm there or what? I take the normal precautions - I guess what I'm asking is "How brazen/brave/rough are the thieves (in general) there." I live in Spain and the "bump and run" where you are bumped into while someone lifts something out of your wife's purse etc. is about as rough as it gets here. Basically they just look for you to leave the flap of your purse/backpack open and they figure you are too stupid/rich to NOT steal from. Otherwise you're okay for the most part. In comparison to that type of environment - what can I expect in India?

Thanks!

Best Regards,
Phillip

"I am a firm believer that EVERY person, every once in a while, needs a good ass kicking."

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#2 Apr 10th, 2005, 13:23
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#2
If you give a thief an opportunity anywhere in the world he's going to take it,,,,,,,
India is no better or worse,,,,,,,,,,
#3 Apr 10th, 2005, 13:30
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#3
My experience in this part of India is that you can expect someone to run after you to give it back if you forget it somewhere.

Having said that, my camcorder doesn't get much use 'cos it is one of the most expensive things I own and I get paranoid about taking it on the street. Which defeats the object of owning it

There are thieves everywhere in the world, and there are also poor people who may just be tempted beyound resistance. I do read in the paper about gold chains being snatched from around womens' necks and bags being grabbed out of auto[rickshaw]s, but my experience is that the personal honesty quotent here in India is very high.
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#4 Apr 10th, 2005, 13:30
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#4
I dont think India is as cunning. I know that is a huge generalization. On one instance whilst holidaying with my family in Italy, two guys on a motorcycle sped past us and grabbed my father's videocamera bag which he was carrying on his shoulder.

lols in most places, India is probably too crowded for them to get away

On a serious note, if you take the normal precautions, you will be fine. My camera was and I'm quite the reckless one (I did lose my mobile, but it was fault!)
#5 Apr 10th, 2005, 13:45
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#5
Most potential thieving opportunities outside your room in India don't materialise. As the thief knows, and especially so if it's a tourist that he's being looked at stared at and scrutinised most of the time giving little chance to steal without being seen..........
#6 Apr 10th, 2005, 13:54
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#6
the biggest thieves gangs in India are monkeys (much smarter and agile than their human counterparts). Many state/municipal admins have declared a war against urbane monkeys!! Delhi is thinking of bringing a legislation on this
#7 Apr 10th, 2005, 14:39
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#7
I've usually got a pretty expensive camera on me when I'm in India and I've had no problems.

My tip:

When you arrive, buy yourself a nice locally-made shoulder-bag and keep your camera in that. I got a nice Rajasthani/Gujarati-style one with mirrors for about Rs. 150. Loads of Westerners are carrying them and, quite apart from being a nice souvenir to take home, they don't advertise the fact that they contain a camera. An obvious camera-bag or handbag looks a bit more nickable.

If you do that and take the usual precautions that you mention, you should be fine.
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#8 Apr 10th, 2005, 14:47
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#8
your biggest issues are going to be - doing something stupid (letting down your guard and putting the gear down and leaving it in your room.

not likely someone will thief it off you -esp aggressively and especially if you are a big person (not that indians are small).

my biggest worry constantly is my room -that said, ive never had anything stolen anywhere-15 yrs in/out of asia

but my camera is a bigworry even though its only a sony digital. as ive posted prior - i dont view my pics often and there are so many good photographers -im thinking why bother.
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#9 Apr 10th, 2005, 15:20
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by beach ... ... ...Many state/municipal admins have declared a war against urbane monkeys!!... ... ...
That'll be the ones with posh accents and expensive clothes I suppose?

Thanks Beach Lovely typo. Lovely mental picture
#10 Apr 10th, 2005, 15:28
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#10
Hi Philip

I am a peofesional photographer and unless I am working I never take my professional equitment with me.
I have a midrange digital SLR camera and a small sony digital video camera and I use these when I am traveling. Unless your hoping to sell some of your pictures leave the good equitment behind. Remember there are lot of proffessional photographers in India shooting quality pictures all the time.
#11 Apr 10th, 2005, 15:31
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#11

Talking

ha ha ha!!!!
#12 Apr 10th, 2005, 22:42
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#12
The likelihood of someone mugging you for your camera in India is exceedingly small. You can wander around looking up at the sky, with a thousands of dollars of gear around your neck, and it is highly unlikely that someone would bump and run as you described. They do have digital cameras in India. Yours isn't so appealing.
#13 Apr 11th, 2005, 00:14
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#13
I always took the best I could afford and over 20 years never had a problem. The usual caution applies like keep your eyes open, don't leave your bag around like a dimwit, and don't show the equipment where you are shooting. A piece of advice given to me is to carry a modest small camera for the ordinary portraiture (so you don't have to show the expensive stuff). Take loads of batteries and film/cards. My bag would crack you up. I wrap the camera in foam/bubble wrap inside a plastic grocery sack with some silica packets. Dump this in any cheap carry sack that can be closed (dubbed my banniya bag by my better half). This doesn't advertise much and I can get into it quickly for that mometary shot. Learn to cope with high sunlight (a blessing) by using polarizers where necessary. The only hard and fast rule I can give you is TAKE YOUR CAMERA. India is the photographer's wonderland. Unless you are just going there to smoke a chillum cheap take pictures. I never regretted my equipment except when I didn't take it along..
#14 Apr 11th, 2005, 12:33
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#14
And while you're packing that camera bag...

I fill up all the space in mine with those small, dense things like power adapters for everything else (eg minidisc, mp3, cd player). It adds up to an appreciable amount of weight that the airlines don't notice!
#15 Apr 15th, 2005, 16:41
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  • lifemagic is offline
#15

A Little Chain?

I've been in India since December and had my Nikon Coolpix with me constantly, and always OK.

But I've chained it to me, kind of. You know those things which are like an extendable plastic coil. You clip one part to your trouser loop, and at the other end you put your keys. So it means you can never lose your keys, but can use them without undoing the clip because the coil expands.

Well, the coil I have isn't quite long enough, so I put a little chain on the end, then the camera. So... the camera's always out of sight in my pocket, unless I'm using it, in which case it's still clipped to me.

Of course, this isn't foolproof. A razor would cut through the plastic in seconds. But I think most of the snatch artists don't carry tools.

Also, it sounds like yours is a bigger camera. So, you wouldn't be able to conceal it. But a chain would still have some kind of deterrant effect?

I just hope they never snatch my trousers!
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