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Only ONE camera to Mexico?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by RoadTraveler, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Next month my wife and I are flying to Mexico for a resort vacation on the Caribbean side. We've never been to Mexico before, but tonight she told me she read on the state.gov site that visitors can take only one camera with them. I'm looking for the exact page and verbiage but have yet to find it.

    I'd been contemplating how many bodies (at least 2) and lenses I would take, but this really simplifies my decision. I understand that if I was shooting professionally I'd likely be allowed to take more gear. In this case it's just a tourist vacation, though one seems quite restrictive!

    Anyone have experience with this?
     
  2. I think it might have said two on the customs form. I was carrying four.
     
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  3. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    One camera just seems so restrictive. Heck, even if I only took one GX1 I thought I'd take a P&S too.

    I'd been debating what I might take for weeks, lately thinking the big three sounded good—Panasonic 7-14, 12-35, and 35-100. I'd also thought just the 7-14 and 14-140, lots of coverage with no gaps and just two bodies and lenses.

    Now I'm thinking of only taking the 14-140, it certainly would simplify what to carry and what to shoot with.
     
  4. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I've still not found it on our Dept. of State's website, but I've read on a couple different sites: 1 still camera and 1 video camera.

    If I take two identical GX1s with different lenses maybe I could claim one is a stills and one is a video maker. :wink:
    Or maybe one black and one silver body to make them slightly different? :smile:
     
  5. That might have been it. I had to fly into Mexico twice from the U.S. and Cuba and neither time were they interested in cameras (all bags were scanned the second time).
     
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  6. Your Funny Uncle

    Your Funny Uncle Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Dec 12, 2013
    York, UK.
    Rob
    Is your wife a photographer too? If not, you could just put one of your camera bodies in her carry-on luggage for the trip. One each! My wife's Mexican so I've flown there nine times now. I've never taken more than one camera body but I've also never had my bag so thoroughly searched that they'd know for sure how many bodies I had with me...

    As to lenses, I've taken multiple lenses ever since I started shooting with a DSLR, so 2007 onwards. Six trips and no issues.
     
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  7. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Veteran

    498
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    How necessary to people feel a 2nd body is? I've only ever traveled with one, but I've been looking a getting a gm1 as a backup/pocket camera to go with my gx7 on a three week trip to Cambodia and China. Just not sure it's worth the investment or space, but I know I'd be really out of sorts if something happened to my gx7 on the trip. Thankfully I've never had issues while traveling since I got into photography.
    I think I've spent too much time as a backpacker, cutting off labels to save weight and removing anything that's redundant is the norm for me, so taking a backup camera feels wasteful.
     
  8. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What does a smart phone count as? ;)
     
  9. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    I'd only take one body, but having a P&S along as well would be nice. Either something really small that can slip in a pocket, or a rugged waterproof camera. Especially for a trip where you might be in the water.
     
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  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    That would be my plan as well. We always end up with more keepers on my wife's waterproof P&S than my "good" camera, because it goes everywhere with us. And because ultimate image quality is not top priority on vacation.
     
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  11. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I'd just take one (been there 3 times and loved it). That said, they aren't going to hassle you if you have 2. Customs is pretty lax and I don't think it's anything to worry about. They just don't want people bringing stuff in to sell (or back).
     
  12. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    Its a beautiful area, bring a couple of cameras! I think they don't want people bringing cameras in and selling them. I had two with me last time I went and zero hassles. TSA/US customs could learn a lot from how respectful the Mexican customs service is.
     
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  13. graemesmith

    graemesmith New to Mu-43

    4
    Jan 14, 2014
    Yep, afraid so. Also only one music player, one laptop and one phone. If you have a large smartphone it wipes out the lot!

    Totally ridicules restrictions. I don't know where it is officially stated but colleagues in my Airline travel there every day and if they happen to have the company iPad as well as there own , one has to be left with customs until you leave the country - usually we opt for the company one! They do enforce the rules for airline crew but I don't know how strict they are with tourists.
     
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  14. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Theft is a rampant problem anywhere tourism exists on more than just an incidental level; where the localized economy may invariably depend on it at some significant magnitude to sustain the accommodations for those visiting. My south-of-the border friends and business contacts tell me to bring what you can afford to lose regarding photographic equipment.

    I have used a Canon S90 and another Canon P&S for this purpose. When returning to the hotel, I separate the SD card from the camera in the event the camera is stolen.
     
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  15. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012

    Yes, everything I'm reading just says "camera", not lenses, so I guess taking one body and a few lenses would be fine. Though I prefer to have a couple lenses mounted, but I can adjust.



    You know, there appears to be separate clauses that address ONE smartphone, ONE tablet/iPad, etc.



    A rugged/waterproof is a nice idea, I've considered one in recent years, but never owned one and would need to buy one. Valid points about being near/in water (and sand).


    Yes, having it with is critical, another argument in favor of simply taking just one lens for my GX1… This is likely a perfect application for the use 14-140 I bought from a member here months ago.
     
  16. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yep, I understand the restrictions... Mexicans don't want me taking stuff to sell there and the Americans don't want me bringing back too much either :smile:
     
  17. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Wow, that is a pretty crazy rule. Way to discourage tourism .
    If it is a special / expensive / interesting trip, I think it would be irresponsible to not bring a back up can. So many things could go wrong.
     
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  18. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I almost always shoot with two or more bodies, but that's when I'm working. I like to have two bodies while shooting for personal projects too if I don't mind carrying them, but m4/3 makes this much less of a burden.

    I'm heavily invested in GX1 bodies, most of which cost me very little. So loosing (or damaging) one or two would not be fun, but it would not be a personal crisis for me. Loss or damage of lenses would hurt more, and likely would occur at the same time something happened to a body.
     
  19. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Nice to have the first and secondhand input from a frequent travelers.
     
  20. marcsitkin

    marcsitkin Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Jan 24, 2013
    Harwich, MA USA
    Marc Sitkin
    Last month my wife and I flew into Mexico City enroute to Oaxaca. I had three cameras and 6 lenses, and my wife had one. We were randomly flagged at customs for a baggage search, and there was no issue at all with the cameras.

    People in Mexico were very friendly, happy to pose for photos, and very hospitable. You can photograph in most museums without a flash. Have a great time and enjoy yourself.
     
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