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Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

Ottawa, Canada
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Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

I and my wife will be visiting Buenos Aires as a part of our South America trip. Since I am a keen amateur photographer taking photos will be very important aspect of our trip.

I just wonder how safe it would be to take photos with a fairly big DSLR camera with 15 centimeters long lens around the city during a daytime and perhaps around and a bit after sunset.

I am not afraid too much from common pickpockets, but concerned more about mugging under a knife or a gun point. The camera would be kept in a regular backpack, but still I would need to take it out while shooting photos.

In case this is not a good idea I can think of two possible options to reduce the chances of getting mugged:

1. Take the double decked hop-on hop-off tourist bus and shoot from the top deck without getting off the bus at all.

2. Hire a private guide for tours around BA, I would assume that it will be safer to take photos with a DSLR with a local guide.

We will be staying right in the center of the city on 9 de Julio Avenue, opposite the obelisk.

Thank you in advance for your opinions, any thoughts and ideas would be greatly appreciated!

San Clemente...
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for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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1. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

You wouldn't have a problem shooting photos from the bus. I would be cautious with the camera in a backpack and walking in some areas of the city which you are not familiar with.

I use a small digital camera so it doesn't create a lot of interest since most people have the small cameras.

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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2. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

I am not being mean but I liken walking around with a big DSLR around your neck as the same as wearing a sign that says Rob Me.

You will definitely get attention ... mostly good because everyone appreciates a good camera . . but there are some who appreciate the resale value of a good camera .. There is a black market for cameras, iPhones etc that is thriving .. you don't want to be a part of that.

My camera went with me everywhere everyday. In my pocket, in my purse, which I wore across my chest, not off my shoulder .. I also had a large dog that most people were not that anxious to find out if he was friendly or not if they came too close to me.

I took a gazillion photos of BA, every day .. and I still have my little trusty camera.

ps ... ask ricardo, I took photos of his apartment :)

Edited: 4:40 pm, October 19, 2013
Buenos Aires...
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3. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

If you use common sense, even if you have a big and expensive looking camera you will be fine. I think the above post overstates the "dangers". Be aware of your surroundings and you should be fine.

Buenos Aires...
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4. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

"Overstates the dangers " ?

Having read these forums for years and all the lamenting over the theft of cameras, after living in BA for almost 7 years and seeing people who have had their cameras grabbed out of their hands as they were using them, I don't think I am "overstating".

Just like wearing expensive watches and jewelry, carrying a large expensive camera is risky.

No one wants to have to worry about theft on their holiday. I had a friend visiting BA .. he used a little camera, nothing big and fancy, he was standing on the sidewalk on Callao and a moto thief zoomed past and grabbed his camera right out of his hand.

Not overstating at all.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

me and a friend are travellng around Argentina and Chile for the past one month. We spent about six days in BA. We walked a lot, take the subte a lot too. My friend is carrying a DSLR camera and taking photos all the time even in the subte, sometimes just casually holding the camera in her hand until on the last day there when a tourist came up to her and asked her to be careful. Saw many tourists with DSLRs too. I carried a compact mirrorless camera (which cost as much as DSLR) but it is less obstrusive and most ppl think it is a cheap camera.. which is great. BA looks safe to us. Saw lots of locals using iPhones in the crowded subte too.

Walnut Creek, CA
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6. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

I spent five days in BA a month ago. I was there as part of a longer South American trip. I had a Nikon DSLR with me along with a good Canon point and shoot. I primarily used the point and shoot in BA, but the day I went to Recoleta Cemetary, I did take the Nikon. I kept it in my bag most of the time but took in out to shoot the cemetery and misc buildings and parks in Recoleta. I had no problems but would not have felt comfortable using it most of my time in BA. I did get some pretty good shots with the Canon though; I just would have been too nervous on the subway, etc with the Nikon.

Ottawa, Canada
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7. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

Thank you all for your replies!

I still have time to think about this issue, but my idea at the moment is to take two cameras (like Aurora100) - to leave my best DSLR body and lenses at home and take an older DSLR with a kit lens plus a pocket size point and shoot camera and use one or the other depending on the situation.

Any other opinions will be appreciated!

8. Re: Walking around Buenos Aires with a DSLR photo camera?

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