How you can defend your digital camera gear from theft

This text was initially featured on Common Images.

A brand new report by ABC 7 Information in San Francisco has revealed the place lots of stolen electronics—together with cameras—are offered. It’s a superb reminder that costly digital camera gear could be very straightforward for thieves to promote, which makes it such a tempting goal. You’ll be able to try the total video to see all of it in motion, however extra importantly we’ve gathered up our greatest recommendation for safeguarding your package. 

What’s happening in San Francisco?

Whether or not it’s right down to giant quantities of media protection or real underlying social points, San Francisco appears to have an outsized digital camera theft drawback. It’s not that photographers aren’t in danger all over the place, however in San Francisco they appear to be focused extra intentionally. 

Right here at PopPhoto, we coated a photographer being adopted dwelling from the Golden Gate Bridge and robbed at gunpoint just some months in the past. Our colleagues at Petapixel have paid much more consideration to the problem, overlaying the Canadian digital camera crew that bought robbed at gunpoint final month, a San Francisco Chronicle photographer getting robbed (additionally at gunpoint) whereas on task, and a girl who bought shot after refusing to surrender her digital camera gear—all within the final yr. One Petapixel contributor even had his digital camera stolen whereas it was rolling.

The report from ABC 7 provides an vital little bit of context to all this. It exhibits how straightforward it’s for thieves to promote stolen cameras, laptops, and different costly electronics in conjunction with the street—generally inside an hour of the theft going down. Sadly, it additionally exhibits how little the police are capable of do about it. It’s no marvel that photographers, who can simply be carrying hundreds of {dollars} value of apparatus, are such profitable potential targets.

See also  Save $200 whenever you reserve the most recent gen of Samsung Galaxy gear

Your gear is just not value your life

No quantity of pictures gear is value shedding your life over. As a European, one of many issues I discover most regarding about all of the reviews of digital camera theft from San Francisco is that many contain a gun. Simply within the information tales linked above, one individual was shot and one other had their relations shot at. It’s exhausting to disclaim that—notably within the US—there’s a very actual threat of getting harm in a digital camera gear theft. If somebody does threaten you, hand over your gear and stroll away.

Equally, only a few pictures are value risking your life—or your gear—for. The purpose of this text isn’t to say “nobody ought to take pictures in San Francisco,” however it’s fairly clear that well-liked pictures spots, just like the parks overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, are riskier environments, and so it is best to weigh up your choices when planning your pictures. If one thing doesn’t really feel proper, stroll away.

How you can defend your digital camera gear 

Whether or not you’re in San Francisco or some other metropolis, there are some easy, wise steps you’ll be able to take to decrease the chance of getting robbed. I’ve traveled the US, Mexico, Europe, and Southeast Asia with my digital camera gear with out ever having something stolen.

Be discreet. Don’t promote you’re a photographer. When you’re in a busy or doubtlessly dangerous atmosphere, don’t maintain your digital camera out. You would possibly miss a number of photographs, however you decrease your probabilities of being robbed. 

See also  Gear to assist us (and also you) maintain these New Yr’s resolutions

Conceal valuables. Don’t use an apparent digital camera bag and, the place doable, disguise different gear like tripods. A standard wanting messenger bag—I take advantage of the Peak Design On a regular basis Messenger—simply suits in higher in most locations. Once I’m bringing a tripod, I usually wrap it in a sweatshirt. 

Disguise branding. When you shoot with notably invaluable gear—say a Leica or Hasselblad—cowl the logos with tape. It gained’t cease a theft, however it should make it appear to be you’re carrying lots of or hundreds of {dollars} value of apparatus, not doubtlessly tens of hundreds of {dollars} value. 

Carry selectively. Don’t deliver all of your gear all over the place. If you already know you in all probability gained’t want a sure lens or your flashes, depart them at dwelling. Not less than then in the event you do get robbed, you gained’t lose the whole lot. 

Downgrade your package. Carry an previous digital camera as a journey digital camera. I nonetheless shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III however once I improve to an EOS R, I’ll maintain it as a beater digital camera for riskier conditions.

Take note of your environment. It’s straightforward to get caught up working a picture, so be sure that to maintain checking your atmosphere. If somebody seems to be paying you undue consideration, stroll away.

Don’t shoot alone. Go together with your companion, a buddy, or one other photographer. You’ll be much less of a goal and somebody is there to assist out if issues do go mistaken.

Insure your gear. You would possibly want specialised digital camera insurance coverage to cowl the whole lot, however in the event you {photograph} so much, it may be value it. Not less than that approach, if a catastrophe occurs, you’ll be able to recuperate.

See also  Right here’s the house recording studio gear each venture wants

And it doesn’t matter what, don’t take foolish dangers, don’t attempt to defend your digital camera gear, and if somebody holds a gun in your face, hand them your digital camera and stroll away.