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Expensive Camera in Athens and Istanbul

Going to Athens and Istanbul. Concerned about walking around with expensive camera and lens. Do I bring that or less expensive setup?

Posted by
3696 posts

Will you regret not having your good camera? I would not buy an expensive camera and then leave it home for one of the most incredible places you will ever photograph. Just don't put it in a backpack and hang it over the back of your chair. Choose one lens and leave it on your camera and keep it around your neck.... I do it all the time.

Posted by
9110 posts

If you really know how to use its features, take it. Otherwise it's just weight, so take something smaller.

Posted by
7 posts

I was in Istanbul 1.5 years ago. Had absolutely no problems with any type of petty crimes. We both had very expensive cameras and felt very safe wiht them and in every other way. I can't tell you about Athens yet, but I am going there in June and plan to take my camera.
We were in Barcelona 2 years ago and someone opened my husban's camera backpack and literally lifted his camera out and he never felt a thing! Fortunately I looked over and caught the guys as they tried to make off with it. I tell you this because you are right to be concerned. This stuff does go on in certain places. Of course be careful and aware.

Posted by
4535 posts

You have to take precautions with it like all your other valuables. But there is no specific reason not to take it. Keep it slung cross body and if stored in a bag, keep that bag locked so no one can slip it out. And never set it on a tabletop or sling it over a chair. And this is all valid for just about anywhere in Europe, not just Greece and Turkey. And for any type of camera.

Posted by
6 posts

thank you all for your advise. having thought about this for a while I have decided to bring my "good" camera and a more versatile kit lens. I think it will be less cumbersome and I won't have to change lenses.

Posted by
31506 posts

steven,

It's great to hear that you've decided to take your Camera. I wanted to add that I had no problems at all with my large and expensive DSLR in Athens and other parts of Greece. As long as you're reasonably vigilant and don't leave it sitting within "grabbing distance" at an outdoor cafe patio or whatever, you shouldn't have any problems. I also carried two of my best Lenses with me everywhere and again no problems. I always take a "backup" P&S as well, as it's great for taking quick snapshots of things that don't have much "artistic merit", and I sometimes leave the DSLR in the hotel room when going out for dinner or touring in the evening.

Happy travels!

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Ken. I'm no longer worried about the safety of the equipment. I'm trying to decide if I should bring my Nikon D7000 with the 24-70 2.8 lens (which I usually have on the camera) an 11-16 2.8 wide and a 70-300 zoom. Or just the 16-105 kit lens. The kit lens would be easier to carry. We're going to Corinth, Delphi, Meteora, Athens, Santorini, and Istanbul. Alot of travel. having been there, what do you think

Posted by
31506 posts

steven,

I'd suggest taking the two or three Lenses that you get the best results with. I find that that about 99% of the time, I use a 24-105 zoom along with a 10-22 wide angle when I'm out touring, as that provides a total range from 10-105. However since one of the Lenses is an EF-S and the other is an EF, the actual range will be slightly different on a crop Camera.

Those seem to cover the majority of shooting situations. I usually pack along a 70-300 zoom, but it sits in my kit in the hotel room most of the time. I'll use it occasionally for some situations, but it's not especially "fast" (4.5-5.6) so that tends to limit the use to some extent.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Ken- My instinct is to go with the 3 lenses and a flash. The 70-300 would be just for the Bosporus Cruise. As long as we're talking, trying to decide on taking 2 64gb cards or 4 32gb cards. My camera has 2 card slots. Am also thinking of a portable backup system. I am also going to get a pacsafe travel strap that can't be cut. I'm also going to pack my old D40X with a kit lens in case the D7000 or 24-70 should crap out

Posted by
31506 posts

steven,

The memory cards are small and light, why not take all of them? If I'm going to leave the Camera in the hotel room while going out for dinner, I usually pull the memory cards and store them in my Money Belt. The camera may get stolen, but they won't get my pictures!

The reviews for the Pacsafe Camera Strap seem to be a bit "mixed" on some websites. I've looked at those in the past, but just use a normal Camera strap and so far no problems with that. If I'm walking on the outside edge of a sidewalk, I always try to make sure that the Camera is on my "inside" shoulder, as that makes it a bit harder for someone on a Scooter to grab the Camera.

Having a backup Camera body is a good idea. I found that out last year when my DSLR quit working. Fortunately I had a backup P&S so it wasn't a total loss.

Posted by
6 posts

The memory card issue is one of failure. Although I've never had a card fail, I am debating using bigger cards (64gb) vs smaller cards (32gb). If the larger card fails you stand to lose everything. Using smaller cards would spread the risk

Posted by
2891 posts

As a point & shoot amateur I have no opinion on expensive gear, but I appreciate the sensible advice given here. However, steven, while still advocating your wise prudence about anti-theft precautions -- and acknowledging that Athens has had pickpocketing rings in recent years (usually shown to be illegal-immigrant gangs)… the sort of daylight "snatch" you mention is almost unheard of in Greece. I've heard/read of tourists in italy having straps cut and purses/cameras snatched by scooter robbers, but never in Greece. Yes, take your usual precautions, but don't be fearful.

Posted by
2788 posts

I take several smaller "brain cards" for my camera as I figure that if anything "goes south" I loose fewer photos on a small one rather than if I was storing my photos on a 64. And as Ken said, I do take the cards out of my camera and put them into their little container and keep them in my money pouch around my neck. aloha

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you for your help. Feel better. Not going until October, so any tips you have please contact me

Posted by
31506 posts

steven,

I've only had one memory card fail, which is probably a rare occurrence. I'd probably be more comfortable using no more than 32 GB cards and "spreading the risk". Those are large enough that it won't be necessary to change them often. Also, the cost is a bit more reasonable. My camera uses CF cards so those are getting to be more of a "specialty item".

One other point to mention is that memory cards do have a finite life span in terms of the number of read/write cycles, so they will have to be replaced at some point. That's one reason I'd be reluctant to buy a Laptop with only SSD memory.