To DSLR in Brazil or NOT to...

fraggle101

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#1
Ok, iv been to Rio before, iv dated Brazilian women and know a fair few Brazilians.. but, when i mention taking my camera gear to Rio i get very mixed opinions! they ALL say be very careful, i know this already.. but some say yes, if im a little careful, and others just say no!!..

I was wondering if any of you guys have taken your equipment to Brazil and used it in public? or, do you live in Brazil and have an opinion??

Im currently looking to get a decent point and shoot as an alternative at the moment, but would love to take my full framed goodies!!!

Thanks in advance..

ps, hello gang.. iv not been here for a while!!
 
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Kell
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#2
I only know two people that have been to Rio and they've both been mugged.

One had his watch taken and the other had her engagement ring stolen.

ETA: Two unrelated people, two different trips.

Make of that what you will.
 
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#5
I can't speak from personal experience but I don't think I would take your fancy kit.
Friends who've been to Rio have all been mugged and their rooms burgled despite being with local friends who knew the area.

I'd certainly insure whatever you take. Perhaps pick up something older and more battered that still works OK and follow all the tips for uglyfing the camera with tape to make it look knackered and unattactive. Get a theft resistant strap and non branded bag. Change cards often and don't keep them with your valuables so if you are robbed then you don't lose all your images.

I imagine like a lot a street criminals - phones, cash and cards are the main targets but a few $$$ of camera gear hanging around your neck might single you out as the best target in a crowd.

Have fun anyway.
 
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#6
My son married a Brazilian girl and I have been out there several times. As for taking a camera first I would make sure it was well insured, as for anything else my advise would be take a small compact camera not a huge DSLR you could present yourself as a target for theft. Keep it out of sight until you want to use it or make sure you are with others not on your own. even when in a pocket keep your hand on it, also get a wrist strap so if someone tries to snatch it you at least have a safety backup. It is a country where what is mine is theirs and not safe anywhere.
If I were you I would get a cheaper decent camcorder small enough to hide when not using it. Then you can do video and stills. Anyway that is what I take, my camcorder only ,which fits into my trouser pocket
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGDDxsMKbCs


iguassu falls brazil on the Brazil/Argintina border, well worth seeing , get out on the pier to get soaked with sprey and close up on the platform for the power of the falls

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yi4eYwpL0A



 
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fraggle101

fraggle101

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#8
Thanks for the replies guys, i went there last year as i saw seeing a girl there, we didnt do too much but the places i went i saw plenty of people with cameras, i did think to myself they were taking a massive risk, but i never felt threatened at all while i was there. i know plenty of people that have been and not been robbed, but i also know of some that have..
I dont think i will risk taking it, i was keen on taking some nice start shots as there are some extremely dark skies there.. but ill mostly be in Rio, not so dark.. and often raining! lol..
Iv been looking at point and shoots, the RX100 was high on my list, as was the G7x.. but im not sold on either yet..
 
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#9
Took mine, was fine. Had a tour round a favella by a local, people posed for shots, was pretty cool, did sugar loaf at sunset etc , no issues,


Dave Noton got mugged out there I think...


Horses for courses I guess... get insurance, and take your camera...
 
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fraggle101

fraggle101

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#10
Thanks Keety, this is what i mean, so many conflicting suggestions.. lol.. if i take it ill want to take a tripod and different lenses too.. id want to do everything with it..
i think ill look for a decent point and shoot, one that will shoot manually etc..
 
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#11
My friend is married to a Brazilian from Rio and goes there twice a year. He tells me when he goes out he carries nothing, no watches, no phones, just t-shirt, shorts and visibility he has nothing on him to steal.

So no, I would not take anything out, you will stand out and you are very likely to be mugged.
 
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#12
we;; it sounds a great place to visit,dont think i will bother despite all the scenery,I had a brazilian girlfriend who wanted me to go visit her when she left UK,glad i didnt go now,plus I dont like flying,makes my arms ache lol
 
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#13
I only know one person who's been and he lost everything he had with him. All he had left was the clothes he was wearing. I didn't know thefts were so common though.

I had the chance to go a few years ago but didn't and have always regretted it but after reading this thread... maybe not any more :D
 
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#14
Rio is an amazing place.. I was only there for 4 days but utterly loved it... but yeah it is a bit dodgy... just walking round you get a certain vibe... I guess it's a case of don't do anything stupid or obvious... so yes I had my tripod and DSLR, but I only used that up Sugarloaf where there is loads of security... I didn't bother trying to take any shots on the beach with it and just used my gopro.. there are certain parts of the beaches that are dodgier than others (typically those near a favela), you can normally find the post marking for the dodgy ones online....

I'd love to go back but it's not somewhere i'd feel comfortable taking the family...
 
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fraggle101

fraggle101

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#15
Thanks for the replies guys.. i went there in November and didnt feel very insecure, but i was dating a local and we didnt really go anywhere off the beaten track.. this time i want to explore more, but i think ill just take a small camera.. just trying to decide which one! lol..
 
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#16
When you get there buy a Glock 26, they are a good size to conceal and a Swiss Army knife.

If someone try’s to rob you, put 10 rounds in their head.

Use the Swiss Army knife to sever what is left of the head.

Tie the head to your back pack to put off other prospective muggers.
 
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GC
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#17
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Mark
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#22
I believe the police filmed it.

I’ve been to Buenos Aires and 100% of people in the city walk around with backpacks on their front. Except for me and my (ex) wife. I’m not saying people wouldn’t try anything on with me, because I’m certain they would. I just didn’t want to walk about with a bag on my front. You pays your money [...]. I guess we were lucky in that nothing happened to us.

We got sick to death of ‘friendly’ advice telling us to hide our cameras though, and that was only after 3 days! Again, we chose not to heed advice, but it got boring. I know people meant well, it just got on our tits.

Brazil looks rougher than Argentina though, I must say.
 
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#24
I've travelled around Argentina and Brazil. Only had one sketchy moment and that wasn't in Rio.

As long as you're sensible then you should be fine. I wouldn't take a full bag of stuff but I would be happy taking a body and decent walk about lens. Just keep it in an unbranded bag and only use it when you want to take the shot.

I took an RX100 II with me and it was great. Didn't have the DSLR at the time though.
 
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#26
I covered the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. Never been anywhere with such a high amount of theft. Happily I was never a victim but it was close on numerous occasions (on the beach, at matches, in the media centre, in shopping centres). When out & about I carried my small cameras (RX100 and Olympus EM5) in a scruffy carrier bag, taking them out only to take a picture quickly. I also never took a backpack, wore a crappy watch, and had a throwaway wallet and old phone

When carrying my £25k of sports photography gear in a Peli case, I usually had a mate with me and we watched each others' backs, buddied up getting taxis, and kept an eye on everything. We were acutely aware of scams like your taxi "puncturing" and everything being nicked from the boot (happened to some French photographers).

Other photographers had entire gear nicked at airport hire car queues, one had a 400 2.8 and body nicked from between his legs while shooting a practice session in a controlled area, others had gear nicked inside the controlled media centres. I saw a mate have his X100 nearly snatched from his hand blatently on Ipanema beach.

So my view is that you should go expecting to lose stuff, and be happily surprised if you don't.
 
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#27
I had someone try and pull my camera from around my neck and without thinking I punched him (not been in fight since the age of thirteen), he turned around and legged it.
Believe it or not this was in Florence in 2008.
I've visted many countries and stood out like a sore with a white Canon L lens and never had any concern in any of them apart from that one incident.
 

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#28
I spent 5 weeks in Brazil some years back and I understand the dangers present in cities like Rio. You can be relieved of you camera in any one of a hundred or more cities around the world but I think that you're less likely to walk away unscathed in Rio....that would be my real concern.
 
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fraggle101

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#30
So, i went, i had an amazing time, i DIDNT take my DSLR but i took my gopro instead and used my phone for snaps, i only saw a handful of people with big cameras the whole time i was there, i had no trouble other than a transexual hooker trying to pickpocket me.. they got a bigger surprise though.. and i got touched up. not entirely unpleasant! lol..

I survived, i had an amazing time, and i would recommend anyone to go, just be careful.. its a beautiful place, vibrant and exciting..
 
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#31
So, i went, i had an amazing time, i DIDNT take my DSLR but i took my gopro instead and used my phone for snaps, i only saw a handful of people with big cameras the whole time i was there, i had no trouble other than a transexual hooker trying to pickpocket me.. they got a bigger surprise though.. and i got touched up. not entirely unpleasant! lol..

I survived, i had an amazing time, and i would recommend anyone to go, just be careful.. its a beautiful place, vibrant and exciting..
So pleased you enjoyed it! Experiences gained through travel (especially outside of your comfort zone) really are something special. You've now got a new interesting story to tell the grand kids (maybe you'll leave some details out!).
 
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