Discouraging Theft

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by trwtrw, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. trwtrw

    trwtrw Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 16, 2013
    I have a new EM-5 and we are going to Cambodia and Vietnam for two weeks; I've heard people talk about taping up their camera to make it look old. Most of the suggestion seem to be to tape over the name-plate, but it seems like this would just look like a guy taped over his name-plate. Any other suggestions that won't do permanent damage. I have the silver body, which looks pretty retro, and I actually thought that maybe I could get some of those old film canister carriers that attach to the strap; who would steal a film camera? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Get good insurance, nondescript bag and strap, practice common sense, and just shoot. The E-M5 gets mistaken for a film camera even without silly looking decoy film canister.
  3. I would do the same things that you do to avoid having your camera stolen in your own country.
    • Like Like x 5
  4. JamieW

    JamieW Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 25, 2013
    Ditto on the insurance. Also, try painting Sigma on it in big letters.
    • Like Like x 4
  5. Dewi

    Dewi Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2014
    Lancashire, England
    I'd take my oldest, most battered point and shoot I'm afraid. Cameras are disposable, if anyone "mugs" you for it just give it to them and count the cost later (but take the media card out first) :smile: Unfortunately, with the world economy as it is, normal law abiding peope are turning to crime in most countries, so travel is not without risk where ever you go.

    I always make it an issue to try not to look like a tourist, I never wear nice shorts and obvious new clothes like shirts etc, it's usually an old pair of jeans, worn out T and a hoodie, and my camera bag is a battered old plain black rucksack. I also try to steer clear of major cities and towns - but as it happens I prefer "off the beaten track" to crowded places so it's not a problem. Most major tourist spots are photographed to death now anyway so there's little point in adding to it. It's worked for me so far but one day my luck will run out I suppose.
  6. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    Trying to not look like a tourist when you are is, IMHO, a loosing strategy. Locals generally aren't walking around taking pictures of stuff. I can spot the tourists in NYC at a glance even if they're wearing jeans and dirty sneakers. Embrace who you are, use common sense, and remember it's only a camera. You can always get another (especially if it's insured, which none of mine are). And - most of the people in the world are honest and aren't looking to rob you.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. magkelly

    magkelly Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 11, 2012
    I have the silver E-PL1. I totally blinged mine out with removable craft baubles to discourage theft. Slap some stickers or craft gems on it. Put it in a regular bag with a camera insert, and et voila. No one will take your camera at all seriously. My DSLR everyone notices. But not my Oly. Thieves they all think it's a $10 junk kid's camera apparently. The less your bag screams "camera" the more stickered up or or blinged up it is the less valuable it will appear.
  8. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Covering labels on cameras is pointless. If it looks like you can be robbed relatively anonymously they'll take whatever they feel they can grab and run with. It's better to just carry anything on you in a beat-up sack of some sort. Make partitions out of clean towels

    I remember Karl Grobl gave an interesting piece of advice... If you feel like some people are following you or watching you, take your camera, put it up to your eye and take a shot in their general direction. Sometimes, just the fact that they see YOU see them is enough of a deterrent. Also, make friends and smile at workers in markets. That alone saved me in Crete from a couple of kids who were going around with knives trying to cut neck-straps from unsuspecting camera-carriers. A local restaurant worker I befriended earlier caught it happening and actually stopped the kid from running off with my camera - and then I had breakfast!

    Unfortunately, that didn't stop me from being called an "Ugly American" more than a dozen times, even though I'm Canadian... ;-)
  9. trwtrw

    trwtrw Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 16, 2013
    Thanks for all the advice. We've done a bit of traveling and Just being aware of your surroundings seems to be the most important thing. Besides, being a Caucasian American it won't make it easy to blend in in South-East Asia.

    I'm glad everyone seems to agree that the tape idea is kind of pointless.

    I always laugh when American friends express fear of the danger in foreign countries; I tell them that about the worst that will happen is you may get pick-pocketed or on rare occasion mugged or roughed up, but as a tourist; if you want to get killed, come to America.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. atom

    atom Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I wouldn't worry about all the camo stuff, other than carrying a non-descript camera bag. It's generally super safe, although I did have friends (usually girls) get robbed by a drive-by scooter (usually at night).
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Walk on the *INSIDE* of sidewalks. (Seriously...it makes you less of a target for scoot-by thefts).
    • Like Like x 1
  12. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Get it engraved nice and deep. At least if it gets nicked there won't be any question about who the real owner is as it gets handed down from generation to generation.

    Maybe a cheap backup camera (PowerShot S90 or Panasonic LX3) ?

    I've had friends travel to Cambodia & Vietnam without problem, but most of their pictures were on low-key point & shoots or phones.

    Good luck. Remember, people are friendlier than you think. Plan for the worst but expect the best.

    Look forward to seeing the pics too :)
  13. Gusnyc

    Gusnyc Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    New York
    Some people mentioned insurance. What are the companies that you would suggest to insure the camera? What kind of policy?

    Thanks for your answers.
  14. daum

    daum Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2011
    I've took my silver E-P5 to a company outing and a co-worker thought it was an old film camera (tech company).

    So when I was planning my trip to Cambodia, it made me feel somewhat better knowing that if I fooled someone here I can fool people in Cambodia into thinking it's an old camera.

    Glad to report I made it back with my beloved E-P5 :2thumbs:
  15. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    This I don't get - you're traveling in exciting, beautiful new places, and you don't take the best photographic gear you have (that's not too much of a hassle to drag around)? For me, as a non-pro who doesn't earn cash with the gear at home, documenting and photographing that beautiful new destination is the entire point of having camera gear. If I'm not taking it on holiday due to fear of theft, I'm either underinsured, or I should take a long hard look at whether it's worth owning the gear.
    • Like Like x 4
  16. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    Some odd responses here. The function of a camera is to take photos and create memories. The function of getting a better camera is to take better photos. Why on earth would you leave it at home? It's like buying a sportscar but never driving it. A camera has no value if it is not used - it's just an ornament.

    The people of Cambodia are some of the nicest people I've met. Vietnam you may want to have you wits about you.

    Tip 1, Get good insurance. Proper travel insurance, not the type of insurance you get free with your bank. Make sure the camera and associated lenses are itemised at their true value.

    Tip 2, Don't wear a standard neck strap, get a strap you can wear across your body. It's unlikely you will get mugged at knifepoint or similar, but there are definitely organised motorcycle gangs who are very adept at speeding past you and removing your camera from your neck before you even realise its gone. Put it away when you're not using it, in a non-descript camera bag, that you can wear frontwards.

    Tip 3, Most of all, have fun - you are going to love it.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. zulfur666

    zulfur666 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    I've traveled around over there in SE Asia... don't worry so much, there are TONS of people with HUGE DSLR cameras. Unless you leave your camera sitting on a dinner table nobody will bother ripping it from your neck.
    I overpaint my logo usually but that has other reasons as well as I just don't like screaming out the advertisement nor am I being paid to advertise for Olympus. So while the engraved Olympus is still there it matches the actual camera color. I also use a different strap usually a leather or plain black one without advertisement.
    Hope that helps. Ease up... enjoy your travels.

  18. Have to agree. The basis for most of my photographic purchase decisions is whether they are portable enough and more to the point whether they are good enough to use for travel photography.
  19. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    Gotta agree with LuckyPenguin and hrsy.
    What do you buy gear for if not for using it?
    Almost always it's money that makes people act like that. They are afraid of losing, breaking, being robbed of their precious phones, laptops, tablets, cameras, and whatnot. Those are just tools, and as harsh as that may sound, if you cannot swallow the financial loss of one of those tools, means you actually couldn't afford it in the first place.
    Could I buy a Leica with a nice Lux? Yes. Could I afford to replace it? No. Since this would put me in an uneasy mindset using the thing, I revert to something I can replace within my means: my E-M5 with a few nice primes. Materialism is a shackle I don't wanna be trapped in.
  20. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Well, yes, but our cameras are quite a bit smaller than what many people carry around now. It's all perspective. The large DSLR user may wish they had a smaller camera while travelling. It's possible that the smaller-camera user may wish they had a SMALLER camera while travelling.

    Most of my travelling was done with a D100 with the first-generation 24-120 VR lens it was not a small ensemble - and this was before everyone had DSLRs with them. I didn't really feel like I was being singled out in public although I had a few "chaser" tourists who watched what I was photographing and then sidled up with their point and shoots to try and take the same photo themselves - THAT was funny.
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