expensive camera – to bring or not | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

I have a Canon SLR and I’m debating if I want to have the hassle of keeping it safe. I also have a cheap Sony digital that can perform half of the functions that the Canon can do. Should I bring my Canon camera to Cuba and take the most fabulous pictures? Has anyone else ever brought an expensive camera to Cuba?

Not to mention the Canon is heavy!

If you don’t feel comfortable about taking your SLR, you probably shouldn’t.Something with a sharp lens and some reasonable, wide angle capability with an AVI movie feature for the nightly entertainment will do.I haven’t lost a camera in years but, that fine sand is another matter.

Where are you going?

My sweetie has one of those Nikon digital SLR’s with all the bells and whistles but he has given up on bringing it south. Says for the amount of pictures he ends up taking, it’s just easier / less worry to use my little point & shoot digital.

I have traveled with my DSLR gear in the past and I don’t consider Cuba to be a risk, however I spend alot of time on the beach and I feel much better about leaving a $200 compact digital under a towel or shirt when I take a dip. I found that my gear spent most of the time in my room except for excursions. Also not that the safe in your room won’t hold alot of gear.

martian Guest It’s a question only you can answer.

1.) If you’re a serious photographer and taking photos is one of the main reasons for the trip then of course bring the SLR. What other choice is there?

2.) If you’re a casual photographer and only looking to snap vacation shots, then why bother?… Go with the Point & Shoot.If you are a serious shooter and you want to spend time in the larger cities then I’d suggest a guide, at least for the first day and anytime you want to get off the beaten path away from the usual tourist centres.

The guide can watch your back so you can concentrate on the shots, and he can act as an interpreter, etc. to introduce you into situations that you couldn’t negotiate or discover on your own.

Bring it. Get insurance, just in case. (Insurance guarantees nothing bad will happen, whereas no insurance guarantees it will!). And bring your point and shoot for backup. You can never take too many pics in Cuba!

What is the price of insurance for $1000 or so worth of camera equipment, with no deductible.I checked last year and it wasn’t worth it. Even the rider on my home package had a $500 deductible and I had to pay extra for the itemized equipment.I don’t think I’d want to waste my precious vacation time by worrying about my camera.

Now, if I were a working pro, that’d be different.

As Martin says, "If you’re a serious photographer and taking photos is one of the main reasons for the trip then of course bring the SLR. What other choice is there?". You’ll probably be sorry if you leave the Canon at home.Be sure your equipment is insured.Don’t use a fancy Canon camera bag. Get a cheap non-descript bag that won’t attract unwanted interest.The fine Cuban sand is a killer for zoom lenses. Be very careful at the beach. I’d bring a cheapy for fun type beach and pool pics.Don’t leave your camera unattended and keep it in the safe, locked in your luggage or at least out of sight in your room.
Mine goes with me. Funny I don’t take my wedding rings – I get a cheap $10.oo one for travel, but my Canon SLR and all 4 lens go with me. The only thang that would reduce their vacation time would be due to weight restrictions. Then I would leave a couple of lenses at home.
Take both… I do.I spend most of my time in Havana so the big gun is with me during the day.In the evening the Cyber-shot is in my pocket.As suggested by Cubavisitor …I carry by gear in a nondescript canvas bag during the day.

No bag at night.

I take both and have never had a problem–in fact last month at the Barcelo we lent the SLR for the day to the manager to take pictures and he had a great time–he took 689 pictures.

I think the answer is quite simple.If you’re serious enough about photography, and more importantly about capturing quality shots of memories, then what better use do you have for your DSLR than a trip to Cuba?I think this is a no-brainer. More important than the value of the camera itself or any insurance you might be worried about is the stuff you shoot.

I think it’d be silly to spend a grand on a DSLR and then leave it at home when it matters most. In the long run, the photos you take are infinately more valuable than any of your gear.

martian Guest Clinton, it goes without saying that your camera is safe on a resort.

The OPer will be in Havana traveling independently, so additional precautions should be taken, especially when venturing outside the tourist centres…

Leave my cameras at home and take along a cheapy…not this traveller! Part of the joy of my vacations is photography. To protect the camera on the beach, we bought an underwater housing for it. For use outside the resort, my hubby fashioned an anti theft device for both the camera and my new camcorder. This device attaches the camera(s) to your belt to prevent snatch and go….if they take the camera, they have to take you ;). Plus you don’t have to worry about putting it down and forgetting it. Another great idea picked up from this forum and we’ve been using it for a number of years now.

I agree with martian’s comments- Are you a serious photographer that will spend a great deal of time taking pictures or do you just want to capture all your happy vacation memories for future reference? My first few trips I brought my Nikon SLR and spent a lot of time and energy to get the perfect picture and had to be very careful to not get it damaged or stolen, the last few trips I just brought my Canon pocket digital camera and still got some great shots. It was so light and a lot less worry about getting damaged or stolen because it wouldn’t cost much to replace. I’d worry most about losing the pictures I took. In my opinion a good photographer can take good pictures with any camera.

What ever you do have fun!

IMO, it also depends on if you’re planning to see some once-in-a-lifetime places and things that you want to capture in spectacular detail, or if you’re pretty much sticking to the resort, which is more or less just like every other resort you’ve ever visited or will ever visit in future…

I guess I should have stated that I also have had no worries taking the SLR off the resort. Pictures you capture in Havana can be once of a lifetime and when we visited an old Arab restaurant outside of Jibacoa–well that was somewhere I am sure we will never visit again–and I was glad that day that I decided to lug my big camera with me–so yes I would say take your good camera.

I suppose it could be a lot of effort to use your DSLR if you’re somewhat new to photography. Or if you’re one of those people that leaves the camera in Auto mode all the time anyway. Sometimes a good point and shoot will snap better pictures for a person that’s not semi-experienced with his or her DSLR.I know there’s a big learning curve for lots of people when they move from point-and-shoot to DSLR. Lots of people post notes in forums and actually go so far as to return their new cameras, convinced they’re not working properly. "My point-and-shoot takes better pictures!"But if you know the basics and you’re not opposed to carrying it around, I say "take it." You can lighten your load on excursions by leaving all the unnecessary gear behind. Maybe have a smaller bag to use and just pick one lens to take with you, depending on where you’re going or what you’re doing.

Personally, I take more than one camera with me on trips like that. I’d use my DSLR whenever possible, but I’ve also got a "prosumer" super-zoom camera (between point-and-shoot and DSLR) that takes amazing pictures and it’s a really handy take-along when renting scooters, etc.

Whether or not you take it, NEVER set it down. .After going to a beisbol game, I had my bag stolen last week in Havana. I set it on the ground between my feet and less than 2 seconds later a guy was running down the street and gone.

Crime of opportunity. I should have known better. The cops were friendly.

martian Guest "… I set it on the ground between my feet and less than 2 seconds later a guy was running down the street and gone…"Bummer. Unfortunately that’s very common now in some neighbourhoods…
I had my bag stolen last week in Havana. I set it on the ground between my feet and less than 2 seconds later a guy was running down the street and gone. Brutal. Too bad you’re not a spinter. How nice would it have been to take that guy down and give him the beating of his life? Of course, I’m neglecting to consider his plight…I recall a safety contraption that previous member Steve YYZ posted here… I think it’s gone now…Sorry BigJohn, that really sucks.
I had that safety contraption on my camera. The back pack only contained things that were replaceable, beer, rum, a souvenier baseball, blank SD cards, a few pesos etc. My mistake. We did chase the guy, but he was a world class sprinter and my replacement knees don’t work as good as they did when they were originals. Live and learn. Hope he enjoyed the rum.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *