As I mentioned here, Gabriel and I are going to South America over the winter holidays. We're planning on Argentina and Uruguay, and have also added Brazil into our itinerary. My excitement is mounting, and any free moment I have is spent scouring the web for interesting villas and resorts to stay at.
One question, though, that keeps popping into my mind, is whether or not to bring my DSLR camera with me on our trip. As a budding photographer, I love any opportunity to spend a day photographing a new country. That's half the enjoyment of the trip for me! However, I've also heard that bringing a large, flashy camera with me to South America may not be in my best interest. Perhaps I'm better off using a smaller, pocket-sized digital camera.
In NYC, I asked Gabriel's family what they thought of my dilemma of whether or not to bring a DSLR camera. Without a moment's hesitation, they all exclaimed in unison, "No!!!!!"
They proceeded to tell me horror stories of people getting their earrings ripped from their ears on the streets of Buenos Aires, gold necklaces snatched in the city center, and the need for a money pouch 24/7.
I have to admit, I was a little deflated, and a little apprehensive about our upcoming travels. I know that Buenos Aires is a busy city, and, like all cities, necessary precautions must be taken. However, I do get the impression that perhaps it's not as safe as others. A few nights ago I checked out some travel photographer's forums to see what people were saying about bringing large, expensive, cameras to Buenos Aires. The general consensus seemed to be: bring it, but use extreme caution, don't carry it in a traditional camera case, and never let it out of your grip.
On the one hand, I feel like the whole purpose of a camera is to use it, so I may as well just bring it! On the other hand, if I lost it (and my photos) I would probably be devastated...but isn't that what back-up memory cards and insurance are for?!
What do you guys think? To bring or not to bring...