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Hello, I've never been on a cruise. I'm a big wildlife photographer and was curious if it's safe to carry around my DSLR with Canon 100-400 ii lens to get wildlife shots or would that be bringing to much attention to myself? I don't want to miss any great shots but I also don't want to put anyone in danger. I will be going to Cozumel, Costa Maya, Roatan. Thank you for your replies. Sorry if this is a stupid question.

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Absolutely, bring all the camera gear!  On board a ship now with four lenses for my full frame mirrorless camera.

Just be aware that humidity in the Caribbean isn't your friend.  Camera gear in your nice air conditioned cabin overnight will, when exposed to the humidity of the Caribbean instantly form a layer of moisture or condensation on your gear.  Give your gear plenty of time to acclimate before attempting to use outdoors.  When I have a balcony I will often place my gear out there for 10 - 15 minutes before heading out to shoot.  When I don't have a balcony I go hang out on an outer deck for a while before taking pictures.

Full frame lenses have more glass in them and that extra glass takes even longer to acclimate to the temperature and humidity changes.

I made the mistake of changing lenses too quickly once.  The sensor within my camera body formed a layer of condensation that resulted in small watermarks in all my pictures.  They appear as small dark spots.  I had to get my sensor cleaned.  Since then I've figured out how to clean my own sensor and bring sensor swabs with me.  

Now I typically pick a lens to use before leaving my cabin.  I have a small pocket sized travel camera with a 24-200mm zoom lens I use for some shots and my mirrorless with my chosen lens for the day on my full frame body.   

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Ok, let me get the puns done first.

If YOU are a big wildlife photographer then I guess any camera setup will be small compared to you and your body.  
 

Or

if you are a BIG WILDLIFE photographer a cruise may be disappointing as it will likely only have smaller animals.

Ok yea, those were dumb.  Really just wanted to ask, particularly Twangster, if there is really enough wildlife to view?  Our experiences have been that cruises in the Caribbean have had less wildlife than others.  Alaska obviously had the most. Surprisingly, we also saw quite a bit of sea life along the Pacific side of Mexico  heading down to the Panama Canal.  Even our 2 European cruises - Norway, Iceland, UK had more than all the Caribbean cruises.  It seems the most likely animal to encounter on a Caribbean Cruise is the Party Animal.  (Sorry just had to put that last one in there.)

I don’t know much about cameras and agree that any setup will be fine.  But the OP may not find as many subjects to shoot.  Therefore if it matter to his setup, landscape and scenery shots would be plentiful.   

 

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2 hours ago, twangster said:

Absolutely, bring all the camera gear!  On board a ship now with four lenses for my full frame mirrorless camera.

Just be aware that humidity in the Caribbean isn't your friend.  Camera gear in your nice air conditioned cabin overnight will, when exposed to the humidity of the Caribbean instantly form a layer of moisture or condensation on your gear.  Give your gear plenty of time to acclimate before attempting to use outdoors.  When I have a balcony I will often place my gear out there for 10 - 15 minutes before heading out to shoot.  When I don't have a balcony I go hang out on an outer deck for a while before taking pictures.

Full frame lenses have more glass in them and that extra glass takes even longer to acclimate to the temperature and humidity changes.

I made the mistake of changing lenses too quickly once.  The sensor within my camera body formed a layer of condensation that resulted in small watermarks in all my pictures.  They appear as small dark spots.  I had to get my sensor cleaned.  Since then I've figured out how to clean my own sensor and bring sensor swabs with me.  

Now I typically pick a lens to use before leaving my cabin.  I have a small pocket sized travel camera with a 24-200mm zoom lens I use for some shots and my mirrorless with my chosen lens for the day on my full frame body.   

Thank you for the reply. Is it over kill to bring the 100-400 or should I use a smaller zoom? I'll definitely get the lenses acclimated before going out. As I've never been to the Caribbean how much worse is the humidity compared to mid Florida in the swamp lands? Thank you so much!

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1 hour ago, ScooterScott22 said:

Ok, let me get the puns done first.

If YOU are a big wildlife photographer then I guess any camera setup will be small compared to you and your body.  
 

Or

if you are a BIG WILDLIFE photographer a cruise may be disappointing as it will likely only have smaller animals.

Ok yea, those were dumb.  Really just wanted to ask, particularly Twangster, if there is really enough wildlife to view?  Our experiences have been that cruises in the Caribbean have had less wildlife than others.  Alaska obviously had the most. Surprisingly, we also saw quite a bit of sea life along the Pacific side of Mexico  heading down to the Panama Canal.  Even our 2 European cruises - Norway, Iceland, UK had more than all the Caribbean cruises.  It seems the most likely animal to encounter on a Caribbean Cruise is the Party Animal.  (Sorry just had to put that last one in there.)

I don’t know much about cameras and agree that any setup will be fine.  But the OP may not find as many subjects to shoot.  Therefore if it matter to his setup, landscape and scenery shots would be plentiful.   

 

All those puns were good lol. 

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36 minutes ago, twangster said:

Big wildlife like whales are more commonly spotted in other regions.

However the Caribbean has an abundance of wildlife in small form factors.  Birds, iguanas, sometimes monkeys, various fauna of the region. 

Add Sea Turtles to the list. I saw a Loggerhead in the channel going into Nassau.

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Please post a picture of your surprise face once you realize Cozumel, Roatan, and Playa Maya were not the dangerous third world countries full of thieves you thought they were.

And maybe another pic when you realize each port is unique and wonderful and can begin to see why people cruise to these places time and time again. 

 

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56 minutes ago, bobroo said:

Please post a picture of your surprise face once you realize Cozumel, Roatan, and Playa Maya were not the dangerous third world countries full of thieves you thought they were.

And maybe another pic when you realize each port is unique and wonderful and can begin to see why people cruise to these places time and time again. 

 

I never said they were. There's places in my small City I wouldn't walk around with with my camera setup. That's why I asked the question. I've never been there so I don't know what's safe or not. I asked the same question about Vegas, New York, etc when I travel there.

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29 minutes ago, Jacobwlynn said:

I never said they were. There's places in my small City I wouldn't walk around with with my camera setup. That's why I asked the question. I've never been there so I don't know what's safe or not. I asked the same question about Vegas, New York, etc when I travel there.

I understand.  One reason I have a $1,300 pocket camera that shoots RAW is to be inconspicuous in unknown areas.   

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