Every once in a while I come across a mention or a discussion of taping over your camera’s logo to cover and hide where it says Canon or Nikon above the lens. A lot of the people who do it say that it is for security reasons, so that a potential thief doesn’t see that they have an expensive name brand camera. To be honest, I think its pretty ridiculous. I hate to tell you, but a strip of black tape does not put an invisibility shield around the giant black dSLR camera and large lens in your hands! (For that matter, it doesn’t put an invisibility shield around the fact that you probably stick out like a tourist sore thumb anyway.) I highly doubt that any street thief has a quota of Nikons, Canon and Sonys that they must acquire every month, and that you may luck out when they can’t figure out which one you have. And for the most part, a thief has no idea if you have a $2500 5D Mk II or an $800 Rebel T3i (whether you tape over that part or not). They just know you have an expensive looking camera, tape or no tape.
Aha, that gringo’s got a Canon! Lucky for him I need to steal a Pentax today.
The solution (in addition to general travel safety precautions)? Insure your camera gear. Check with your homeowners or renters insurance to see if it is covered. You may nead a rider or so other type of special arrangements. If you are using your gear for professional purposes, homeowners and renters is not going to cover its loss, so you are going to need specific insurance for your equipment. You can get this for a discount through many of the professional societies such as NPPA and NAPP. Many of these policies will also cover business liability, which you may or may not need.
I use a policy I get through NANPA. Even though I am not a nature photographer, I joined specifically for the insurance because I found it to have the best rates (even with the NANPA membership dues), best deductibles, and did not include liability which I did not need. In addition to covering any and all of my photography related equipment, including my computers, hard drives, bags and cases, etc., it also covers new equipment that is purchased but not yet added to my list for a specific time frame, and covers rental equipment up to a specified amount that I choose.
If you decide to join NANPA to get this insurance, be sure to mention me as a referrer, and I will get a discount on my next renewal!
Now back to the tape over the logo. Others say that they do it because they don’t want to give free advertising for the camera company. This I can agree with. I do think it is pretty obnoxious how large the logo is. Once I was taking photos of some kids in Guatemala and one girl looked at the camera staring her in the face, read the name, and said “Canon.” I found it kind of disturbing for some reason, and put some black duct tape over the logo that night. The tape has fallen off at this point, but I probably will put it back on before the next trip. And I’ll feel
protected stupid with it on there.