Free Online Camera Equipment Registry

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She was in Italy, her first time abroad, and she was pleased to find everyone in and around her 3 star hotel was glowingly friendly, providing a naive sense of security for this new international traveler. On the second night, she left her camera in her hotel room to spend the evening enjoying the local cuisine, only to return to discover her new DSLR was gone...

The sad tale above was recently shared by a friend who otherwise had a wonderful time abroad, but the mistake still haunts her, and she regularly interjected throughout her travel stories about feeling "really dumb" about making such a mistake. Not dumb, the false sense of security within a hotel is an understandably common mistake for young (and older) travelers to popular tourist destinations with active petty theft and pick-pocket scenes. Lesson learned. Tough stuff.

If your camera equipment has been stolen, there's a good chance it will find its way to the black market for resale. That's where registering photography equipment – DSLR bodies and lenses – with a site like Lenstag can prove a smart pre-travel precaution.

Register cameras and lenses with Lenstag and if they ever get stolen, upon reporting, the site will help take steps in preventing resale and also provide some tips for (hopefully) regaining your stolen equipment. As you can see here, reported camera equipment is more common than one would hope.

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The price is nice (free), and registering equipment is easy: 1) list each item, 2) add the item's unique serial number, 3) verify ownership by mobile text message or uploading a proof of ownership image of your gear (it can take up to 7 days to the Lenstag team to verify ownership, so plan accordingly before traveling).

Both camera equipment rental agencies, LensRentals and BorrowLenses, are also working with Lenstag for theft recovery, so whether it's your own gear or you're renting, it's good to have this extra layer of travel security when near or abroad.

(Images: Lenstag; Gregory Han)

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