How do you make your camera more discreet?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by zensu, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. derelict

    derelict Mu-43 Regular

    146
    May 5, 2015
    I still shoot film and to be honest, I get WAY more attention when I use my Pentax MX or Canonet GIII than when I use my EM10. I usually am carrying the EM10 and a film body and carrying them in a regular looking Lowepro Flipside. No outward labels and I use nothing (like the neck strap) that has a brand name attached to it.

    If my stuff get stolen, I just buy new stuff. I will be pissed but it is life. For everything that I have, I have documented the serial numbers and taken photos of the equipment. I have updated my insurance so I can replace what I need to.
     
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  2. Anything is better, but imagine being physically abused just for an hour first thing in the morning instead of throughout the day. Would you stand for that or would you say NO! if you had a say so?
    Good to hear that you are sensitive. Best way to save your buns.
     
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  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    FWIW, when we travel I carry a bunch of cards, currently eight. They are numbered. Every night I take the card out of my camera and exchange it for the next one in numbered sequence. At the end of the trip I have about 1/8 of my shots on each card and loss of a camera or failure of a card can only cost me that much. The cards never go into checked luggage and ideally are carried split between me and my wife, though I have gotten sloppy about that lately.

    I have posted this CraigsList advert here before but I think it is worth re-posting:

    "I just want you to understand what you took from me.

    "You stole a purple backpack out of my pannier (saddlebag) off my bicycle around 6pm on friday, in front of Calhouns Cycles on Hennepin in South Minneapolis. Inside the backpack was my camera and ipod. Please, keep the camera, ipod and backpack. All I ask for is the memory card. I just want the pictures back.

    "The pictures on that memory card are from a three-month bicycle trip that I am currently on. I have ridden almost three thousand miles across the country, and that camera has been through the entire thing. Thats right, 3000 miles, and you just stole every single picture.

    "Please, just give me the memory card back."
     
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  4. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I thought my E-P5 with the 12-40 pro on it would not stand out in the crowd, but on my recent trip to Vietnam in both Hanoi & Saigon tour operators commented on how good the camera looked. They thought it looked much nicer than their Canon or Nikon cameras that they told me were the most common. They had not seen much Mu43 gear.

    So just being different to the normal where you are can cause interest. My E-P5 has a grip which they also liked, so it may have been the grip that initially made the camera stand out. Locals who see a lot of tourists probable notice anything different to the normal and price/cost may not come into that.
     
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  5. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    857
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    Bobby:

    I share your experience of getting older, and therefore less able to withstand a physical attack. However, the evidence is pretty clear that the world is a safer place now than ever before. Here in the US, homicides finally ticked up this year a bit after decades of declining rates. Areas in my home city, New York, which I avoided as a young man, I happily visit as a senior citizen.

    What has changed, as others have indicated, is we have the 24 hours news cycle blasting us with every misfortune which has befallen any poor sole anywhere in the country or in the world. So we see many more disasters.

    My advice is that a camera is just a thing, and things can be replaced. Insurance for this stuff is cheap for a reason - there aren't that many losses. Even the images are not worth stressing out over. If a thief wants my camera, they can have it and all of my travel pictures! Just leave me alone.
     
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  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    A lot of what's been mentioned here about news is true: the media is laser focused on reporting doom and gloom and it shows in the battered attitudes of many people these days. It's quite frustrating.

    I've found most situations in the US, excepting known bad areas of course, are usually fairly safe. If I feel that ESPN feeling that things might be iffy, I usually don't have the camera out and accessible to a thief. Common sense is usually enough to keep one out of trouble.
     
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  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    What I've been doing with memory cards is taking a couple of USB sticks with me...each night when I get back to the hostel, I quickly upload the photos from my memory card to the USB. The USB and memory card are rarely in the same place together. Once a week or so, I mail a USB home. I know that I run the risk of losing it in the mail, but since it's a redundancy/contingency plan, it's not critical if I do lose it in the mail...which I never have! :)
     
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  8. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    I'll often dress like a tourist... I think it helps with the discreet part, but it probably does make you a bigger target for thieves.

    BTW, Last year, i was targeted for my phone twice while traveling in Europe... First time it was sticking out of my shirt pocket in Paris and a group of deaf girls with petitions tried to snag it while shoving clipboards in my face.
    Second was on a Eurorail and I had it on my table...a guy came over and started taking to us and tried to grab it while blocking my view with a newspaper.
    Both times, my wife noticed and they gave up. My phone was a 1.5 year old Note 3, although they may have thought it was a newer Note.
     
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  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Try this:
    CameraCamoCoverInAction-3.
    No one will see you:laugh1:
     
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  10. AllanG

    AllanG Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Aug 26, 2014
    Brisbane, Australia
    Allan
    I've used different approaches to street photography as well as being an O/S tourist and never had a problem with getting the image I want. Either I ask or just take the shot calmly, but somehow I have a feeling if the moment is not right and I don't take the shot but don't worry as I know there is always another around the corner. If I do see the shot I want and I know it would be intrusive, I can recommend using touch focus with the Olympus screen or by using my phone and the IO share app. Nobody ever worries about an old fart messing with his smart phone, looking like a tourist (with camera around their neck) trying to find out where they are. Taken some great images this way and also just putting on a 12mm lens and shooting blind from the hip.
    I never take a shot by whipping my eye to the EVF and shooting. It's that overt movement that makes people unsettled or suspicious. Take the image and linger with camera to the eye and no-one would have a clue what the subject is if you slowly pan around. Smiling also helps a lot.
    While O/S and I ask to take someone's photo, I ask the guide to get their address and offer to send a copy to them. It's amazed me the number that like to see the screen image and then want a real photo, as a print is NOT the norm these days. They really do appreciate it and it makes me feel good as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2016
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  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Pickpockets and petty thieves work tourist areas because it's a target-rich environment. Get off the beaten path and very often the risk is reduced and the photographic opportunities more interesting.
     
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  12. Try standing in proximity with someone shooting with a FF Nikon or Canon... you should be less conspicuous. I just downsized from a FF Nikon D700 brick to the Oly EM-5 Mii and and pretty sure given I left both out on a table the first to go would be the Nikon brick with the honkin big "looking" glass. There were times a coupe of years ago in Europe that I wasn't wearing enough clothing to tuck my D700 inside to hide it. The same garb would have easily and discreetly sheltered my new Oly. Be sensible though when choosing which lens to use in a particular locale. It's easier to take a few steps forward or backwards with a smaller prime than it is to haul out your larger more conspicuous Pro tele-zoom.
     
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  13. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Bobby
    Beg to differ, everyone will see me but nobody will mess with me especially when I make clicking sounds under that outfit!
     
  14. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Bobby
    It's always easy to make sure I look working class because I am working class. In addition to looking the part I also try to act the part. As others have already posted, I try to have a relaxed looking attitude and if people make eye contact I smile and if I'm wearing a cap or hat I often tip my cap for people as a sort of polite acknowledgment. I think the attitude I project has a lot to do with how people react to me. Always look at my subjects with respect and I think people pick up on that and can have a tremendous impact on how you are received. I appreciate all the great suggestions you have all made and have gotten several very good comments on how to be more discreet with a camera on the street.
    Thanks to all!
    PS, may you all have a wonderful Holiday!
     
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  15. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    964
    Feb 2, 2012
    I have felt threatened only once when climbing the stairs in a dark parking garage. A man stared back at us while my wife and I were ascending the stairways carting Canon gear with tripods up the stairs. He thought better of it,turned and left. I do not think he was interested in the equipment. I feel pretty safe with other people around.
    You are more likely to have someone try to break into your car if they see stuff,even a tripod in your car.It happened to me while in a restaurant,but the door lock on the car proved too much.
     
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  16. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    The thing is, they're just cameras, and in my case, insured. I wouldn't/don't worry too much about my gear.
     
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  17. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Bobby
    You are correct. I guess I should have clarified that I'm much more worried about someone harming me in order to get my gear. I'd much rather someone steal my gear than hurt me in order to get my gear.
     
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  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Yup...and always do your research before you head out. I've been to the pickpocket capital of the world, (as well as some other places high on the list of worst places for pickpockets) and have never lost anything to thieves. But I've seen people do some truly dumb things in high-theft areas.

    Oh...and the absolute #1 thing that makes you a target for pickpockets: Being drunk or high. Most of the stories of theft I've heard while travelling included the line "well, I was pretty drunk..." at some point. ;)
     
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  19. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Since we travel a lot one thing I do is this:

    I make my own glide/sling straps and neck straps and have several where I have threaded stainless steel fishing line through them, the theory being that they cannot be cut by a thief with a knife or razor blade. I use American Fishing Wire's Surfstrand 80# test and their JO3B-B sleeves. I did buy their crimping pliers but I don't think that is absolutely necessary.

    I have also threaded my wife's travel purse strap with the same stainless wire. This took a bit of ingenuity as everything was already sewn together but it did end up being pretty unobtrusive.

    Are we any more secure? I have no idea, but we do feel more secure.
     
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  20. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    The issue with this is that (and this does happen quite often) is that often thieves try to do a drive-by theft...if you get tangled up in your strap, you could get dragged, etc...people do get hurt that way fairly frequently.

    My trick is to always cross my body with the strap,which means I can keep my hand on my bag/camera and there isn't enough slack for someone to easily grab it. (Or, if it's a particularly bad area, I simply put my camera in my beat up bag).
     
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