Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Taking a DSLR

Posted by Nicnak on 14/7/2012 at 21:08

Ive done a heap of traveling around Europe/Eastern Europe and Asia and consider myself pretty travel smart. But, Im wondering if it will be worth the hassle to take my DSLR on this trip, my first to Vietnam.
More the hassle of it attracting unwanted eyes or it being stolen from me somewhere or my room than the hassle of carrying it about. Im traveling with my partner who is 6"2 who i was planning of getting to carry the camera as I dont think they would try and steal it from him!

......... or should I just buy a small compact camera that I can keep in my pocket.

What are other peoples experiences with large cameras in Vietnam or elsewhere and if its worth the hassle (Im by far no pro photographer, but nice photos would be good)


#1 Nicnak has been a member since 14/7/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by NYTim on 15/7/2012 at 08:36

I have been to South East Asia many times with my DSLR and encountered no problems. Like any where else just take precautions. I have always felt quite safe with my camera equipment in tow.


#2 NYTim has been a member since 11/9/2009. Posts: 106

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by daawgon on 15/7/2012 at 13:54

My advice is to avoid Saigon with your DSLR - this is where the majority of drive by thefts are happening, and Nha Trang, the city with the second highest number.

#3 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,152
 Send daawgon a private message 

Posted by goonistik on 15/7/2012 at 21:46

There are thieves and pickpockets in Europe too. :-)

Like Daawgon mentions, there are motor-cycle riding snatchers so one has to be aware of that risk and take precautions.

I prefer to use a backpack to carry my photo gear as I feel it is more secure than a shoulder slung bag.

#4 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563
 Send goonistik a private message   Where has goonistik been? 

Posted by Vietnam720 on 16/7/2012 at 18:25

Posted from within Vietnam.

If you can live with pocket camera, then do so. But DSLR generally allow you to take better pictures :)

#5 Vietnam720 has been a member since 26/8/2009. Location: Singapore. Posts: 46
 Send Vietnam720 a private message   Website   Twitter 

Posted by shaydan_01 on 17/7/2012 at 04:10

I'd bet a camera would much more easily be stolen from your pocket than around your neck. I carried an SLR around SE Asia and India for nine months with no problem, but I'm sure many have alternative stories. In saying that, I know way more people who have been robbed in European countries than in SE Asia.

Just be sure to back up your photos as often as possible, and have your travel insurance cover your camera. If you're an avid photographer, you'll miss your SLR when you see how photogenic this region is.. I would take it, personally. :)

#6 shaydan_01 has been a member since 16/11/2009. Location: Australia. Posts: 80
 Send shaydan_01 a private message 

Posted by Nicnak on 17/7/2012 at 05:59

thanks everyone!
this will be the first time i would have travelled with a DSLR. ive always had a compact camera. think im going to take it! :)

#7 Nicnak has been a member since 14/7/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by Benno on 19/7/2012 at 07:56

Just got back from Vietnam and have also spent a lot of time in Cambidia, Malaysia, Sabah, Thailand etc etc with my trusty DLSR attached to my neck. On the recent Vietnam trek I carried my D80 with a 18-200mm lens attached to a tripod and all combined looks large. I mainly got expressions of interest in it and what I was shooting. One or two locals would stand around and then ask to see the back screen to see what I was shooting so it was more curiosity than anything else. The reactions were priceless. I also have a D40 converted to shoot IR and at times had 2 wrapped around my neck and never had an issue.

In my opinion, take the DSLR, you will (potentially) obtain better quality images compared to a P&S. If it is less that $4000 value, travel insurance will cover it at no extra charge and you wont need to specify it (depending on policy). Just take a photo/scan of the serial # so if the unfortunate does happen, you are covered.

#8 Benno has been a member since 18/1/2012. Posts: 36

Posted by bhoffman on 7/8/2012 at 23:57

I always travel with both a DSLR and a good quality compact, then depending on the situation take what is appropriate, if I am going somewhere to take photos or I know there will be a good photo opportunity I will take my DSLR for that outing. If I just want to take it easy at a cafe restaurant or beach then I take the compact.

As far as DSLR cameras goes I have never had any problems with any being stolen, and I have been living in Vietnam off and on for the past 10 years. However I do know more than a few people that have had cameras stolen. I think what it comes down to is how how safety concious you are.

#9 bhoffman has been a member since 6/8/2012. Location: Global Village. Posts: 5
 Send bhoffman a private message   Twitter 

Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.