Travel with expensive camera in South East Asia?

#1

Is there anyone here that have been traveling through South East Asia with expensive cameras and gear?

If so, do you guys have any tips or recommendations to not get robbed or lose your valuable camera. I really would like to use my camera while visiting South East Asia, but I am afraid that it will get stolen or something like that.

#2

I do have expensive gear and I see hundreds of people running around with expensive gear daily. I have had zero thefts. I also have insurance in case I get stupid.

How do you walk around at home without losing your camera or getting it stolen? Try to do more than that. Theft usually only happens when people are stupid and leave things lying around and out of sight. SEA isn’t a place where people rob you at knifepoint (usually). You’d probably have a higher chance of that happening in some parts of the States. Thieves in SEA just take advantage of human stupidity.

If you’re paranoid, just always have the camera in your hand or attached to you with straps. If you have a camera bag, don’t have it so someone can just reach in it. If you have interchangable lenses, don’t have the camera hanging off to your side as people can pop off the lens. Don’t leave the camera on the table when going to the loo. Don’t get drunk/high with gear in your possession. All of this is common sense stuff that should apply at home as well.

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#3

I don’t know exactly what ‘expensive’ means, but I consider my Mark II pretty expensive for myself and I was traveling around SE asia with it with no problem. As Grum said just use common sense. You will see many people like yourself traveling with similar equipment.

#4

Not sure where you are from but your gear is probably a lot safer once you get to SE Asia than where you are currently.

#5

I don’t know anything about SEA, but I’ve been travelling around Mexico and El Salvador with this pacsafe camera bag:

It has some extra clips for the zippers and it is easy to sling it around to the front (when you’re getting on a busy metro, for instance) It is also easy to bury things down inside it to make things a little more difficult for would-be pick-pockets.

I haven’t had any close calls (to my knowledge) so maybe it is just piece of mind, but I’ve been very happy with it.

It isn’t very big, though, so it depends on what equipment you have. I’m carrying a mirrorless Sony A7 Mark II with three lenses total (though it is a mirrorless camera so they’re all pretty small), a Canon flash, hard drive, and a Surface Pro 3, with all of the chargers, extra battery, SD cards, etc… and everything fits quite comfortably.

I also have a shoulder sling to hold my camera which I love for shooting, but also means it’d take a little extra effort for someone to snatch it out of my hands and run with it.

That said, the Sony isn’t a very big body. If you’ve got a full-frame SLR or something - or you’re travelling with a laptop much bigger than a Surface or a macbook air, that pacsafe bag may not work for you.

#6

Just don’t be dumb. Watch your stuff like you would in Penn Station, the grandaddy of stealing everything. Singapore is easy, but the rest of asia, specifically Malaysia, Indo, Thailand is really not a place you want to be leaving stuff laying around. Be safe. Be Smart.