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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 1st, 2005, 09:43 AM   #1
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Travelling alone with XL2 - Any advice?

Hi there

I will be leaving to travel through Europe by car for the duration of just under a month starting next week and would like to take my XL2 with me to get the best possible footage. I am a little concerned over security as I will be travelling alone.

Does anybody have any suggestions to keep it and myself safe from theft and damage when travelling?

I have a Pelican hard case to transport it in.

Countries I will be visiting will not include any Eastern countries, I will be travelling a little in scandinavia then central Europe down as far as Italy.

While we are on the subject does anybody have any other advice as to what I should be taking in the way of camera accessories?

Thanks in advance
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Old August 1st, 2005, 10:03 AM   #2
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On the route E6 between Oslo, Norway and Malmų, Sweden there is a general advice by the police in both Norway and Sweden to be careful when stopping along the road. There have been several occations when tourists have been robbed when they stop to rest. Especially motor home owners should think about where they park during the night.
Be extra careful if people come to you and "need" your help.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 10:05 AM   #3
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On a recent trip I made a cable lock from a piece of 1/8" plastic coated aircraft cable with a loop on each end. In the hotel I ran the cable inside the case and through the handle on my Z1, then threaded the other end around a radiator pipe and put a combination lock through the loops. You can buy something like this ready-made, but all the ones I looked at seemed a little too heavy duty (like a bicycle chain or cable lock).

Nothing is going to be completely secure if someone wants to rob you and if they have tools, but this system made me feel a little better. But more important for peace of mind, talk to your insurance agent to get a policy that covers all your equipment for your trip. I did this and it was actually very inexpensive.

Another thought... a Pelican case is going to advertise to the world that you have an expensive camera. You might consider something more discrete. There's some discussion of cases in this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=48404

Have a great trip!
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Old August 1st, 2005, 03:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice folks.

I can see how the Pelican might scream expensive camera but i don't really intend on advertising the fact i have it as the case will spend most of the time in the boot of the car. I suppose I could pad out a normal holdall style bag though instead. If it is to be in the boot of the car the majority of time it shouldn't be a problem and it won't be thrown around by any airport luggage handlers. Still gonna have a big tripod bag slung over my shoulder though.

I think the best advice given so far is get some comprehensive insurance for it.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 04:36 PM   #5
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This is just my opinion, but a car is the worst place to leave camera equipment, the boot, the trunk as we say in Amerika, or anywhere else. I can't tell you how many times I've heard of people having all of their camera equipment stolen out of their cars, and me included. I never leave my equipment in the car unless I'm right there watching the vehicle.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 05:22 PM   #6
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So you think sticking it in an inconspicuous holdall and sleeping with it is the best bet?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 06:31 PM   #7
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I guess it really depends on where you're travelling... I put all kinds of stuff in my trunk (or boot as you guys say :-) and never think twice about it. But if I'm in a city I park in a secured garage, not out on the street which is another thing entirely.

I think the real key is getting adequate insurance. I was surprised how affordable this is. Of course I have no idea what rates are like in the UK, but in case anyone in the US is interested here's what I learned. I have State Farm and my agent spent awhile researching this. Since I use my gear for business they were not sure if it would be covered under my homeowner's policy (which also has a $5,000 cap). So they wrote me an "Inland Marine Policy" to cover $8,600 worth of gear which I itemized for them.

This policy covered everything I was taking out of the country. The annual premium was $210. The agent said I could simply cancel the policy at the end of my trip and get a refund for the balance, so for a month's coverage that would cost me less than $20! However, I've decided to keep the policy and raise its limit to cover all my computer and video gear at home and anywhere else I go.

For me it's a real plus to know that I'm covered in a worst-case scenario. Now of course it might be tough to replace the footage you shoot, so perhaps you should think about storing your tapes separately. Seems unlikely that they would be of much interest for a theif.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 11:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
I guess it really depends on where you're travelling... I put all kinds of stuff in my trunk (or boot as you guys say :-) and never think twice about it. But if I'm in a city I park in a secured garage, not out on the street which is another thing entirely.

I think the real key is getting adequate insurance. I was surprised how affordable this is. Of course I have no idea what rates are like in the UK, but in case anyone in the US is interested here's what I learned. I have State Farm and my agent spent awhile researching this. Since I use my gear for business they were not sure if it would be covered under my homeowner's policy (which also has a $5,000 cap). So they wrote me an "Inland Marine Policy" to cover $8,600 worth of gear which I itemized for them.

This policy covered everything I was taking out of the country. The annual premium was $210. The agent said I could simply cancel the policy at the end of my trip and get a refund for the balance, so for a month's coverage that would cost me less than $20! However, I've decided to keep the policy and raise its limit to cover all my computer and video gear at home and anywhere else I go.

For me it's a real plus to know that I'm covered in a worst-case scenario. Now of course it might be tough to replace the footage you shoot, so perhaps you should think about storing your tapes separately. Seems unlikely that they would be of much interest for a theif.

Hello,

I also have State Farm insurance, but my agent suggested a Personal Articles policy. His assistant made 5 calls to the underwriter to make sure my equipment, which is used for business, would be covered. I can go anywhere in the world and even rent out the gear and it is completely covered for full replacement value if something gets damaged.
$5,900 coverage for $116 a year in CA! Of course, the fact that I have had a car policy with them for 20 years and a homeowners for almost 4 years had a positive affect on the rate I received.

The point is to just have insurance for your gear. Very important! I also have never left the camera in the car even for lunch much less overnight in a motel parking lot.

Boyd is also very correct in suggesting that you send your shot tapes in a separate case or box. At CNN, we were told to never include recorded tapes in your gear bags for fear that not only the gear but the tapes might be stolen. Always secure them up in an inconspicuous box before putting them on an airplane.

Also tapes may degrade if left for any time in the heat of your "boot"/trunk when your not shooting.

Hope this helps in some small way,

Steph
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:23 AM   #9
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Although James may well be on his way right now, I think the best advice is to remain ever aware. The money belt is a very safe place for the shot tapes (the REAL valuable bits), and as others have said, keep the kit with you and don't leave it in the car at all. Think security, and you'll be fine.

As to accessories, I'd definately want a tripod, a wide-angle converter, a small movie light and a radio microphone.

tom.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 07:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Wilson
I also have State Farm insurance, but my agent suggested a Personal Articles policy.
I also have had several State Farm policies for many years. I simply gave my experience as an example. I don't know anything about insurance... that's why I have an agent! The point is that you should also have one which you trust.

Explain what you're trying to accomplish clearly to them and make sure they understand everything about your personal situation and expectations for the policy. They'll recommend the product which suits you best, and if you have to file a claim they'll stand behind their decisions, even if they were wrong (they have something called "errors and ommissions" insurance themselves which covers any mistakes they might make). That's why you need to have a relationship with an insurance agent.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 08:27 AM   #11
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Thats some great insurance advice guys, I've done some research and to insure the items will cost me £150 annual premium which I will be taking up shortly.

I leave on Monday so i'm busy conducting all my last minute preperations for what will hopefully turn out to be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.

I will try and post pics and maybe even some video shorts as i travel for you folks to look at.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 06:08 PM   #12
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A little more good news regarding my trip. I now have a travel companion joining me a short while into my journey so i will only be travelling a few days alone now.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 07:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Millne
A little more good news regarding my trip. I now have a travel companion joining me a short while into my journey so i will only be travelling a few days alone now.

Excellent James!

Happy shooting and please have a safe journey. Can't wait to view the pics when you return.

Best to you,

Stephanie
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