Paddling w/ DSLR? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Calgary, AB, .
Posts: 52
Default Paddling w/ DSLR?

I've searched through the forum and on the web, but I haven't found too much useful info on this, so hopefully some CT'ers can help:

I'm going to be paddling in the Broken Islands off Vancouver Island in a couple weeks and I want to bring my DSLR with me.

I'm already planning on buying a pelican case so that I can safely bring it with me on the kayak to use on shore (and maybe on the kayak in really calm waters if I get brave), but I'm wondering if there's anywhere in Calgary/Vancouver/Nanaimo/Port Alberni to rent a waterproof housing for the camera (way too expensive to buy for just one trip)?

Alternatively, is there anywhere to rent a waterproof point & shoot camera that I can use on the kayak or am I stuck with those little disposable cameras? My parents rented a Nikon Coolpix w/ waterproof case in Hawaii for about $50/week to use for snorkeling and the pics turned out way better than those little disposable waterproof cameras, so that's where the idea's coming from.

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 12:51 PM
High on the Mountain Top
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Interest: Mountain biking, hiking, nature photography, astronomy, music...
Posts: 1,581

Contact Leo's Camera Supply in Vancouver.
They rent lots of camera's and other photo/video gear.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 01:06 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Interest: adventure racing, hiking, backpacking, climbing/bouldering, mountain biking, falling over as i learn to downhill and cross-country ski, photography
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I did a week paddling trip with my 7D and looked into a pelican case for it. But to get something big enough to fit it in with a canon 24-70mm L lens was A. very expensive, and B. resulted in a case so big I would barely be able to see over it to paddle if it was strapped on the deck! Waterproof housings to actually shoot with also looked expensive and bulky/hassle.

I decided on just a dry bag for it strapped to my deck. And then I was just careful not to flip while taking photos from the boat. Over time there was definitely a build up of water in the dry bag (from taking the camera out with wet hands, and then putting it back in) but with reasonable weather sealing on the 7D it certainly survived the experience.

Did my system work? Yes.
Was it cheap? Yes.
Was it sensible or did I just get lucky? I don't know!

Dicapac make some not very expensive DSLR underwater housings ($100 ish). available online lots of places. They are probably a pain to use though. But if you did get one....then you wouldn't need to get the suitcase-sized pelican casing. I would just leave the camera in the waterproof case on the front of my boat (probably secure with a leash though).
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 01:24 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: , , Canada.
Posts: 956

When travelling, I use a pelican case strapped to the rear deck of my kayak (I have a big case) When I am taking photos, I use the dry bag method with my cam between my knees. I have been doing this for years and haven't lost a camera yet.

I do also have a Canon D10 waterproof camera, which is about $300. I love it for kayak trips but it is a point and shoot with it's associated quality and lack of flexibility. Perfect for the kayak, though!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 01:28 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 263

I've only used a hard waterproof case for a point and shoot before and it was bulky and awkward. The solid cases are designed to be model-specific as they have to have waterproof buttons that line up with the actual buttons on the camera. As such I never really considered one for a dslr before. Searching around I see these which are like a waterproof soft case so you can access all the controls and aren't model-specific. Looks pretty cool for $140.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 03:13 PM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Posts: 140

I also take my DSLR paddling. I keep it in a drybag between my knees and take it out to take photos. I've never had a problem, but I do only do this in good conditions, and I took the decision a long time ago that if I was going to get the pictures I wanted, I had to stop babying my camera and accept some risks. If conditions get a bit choppy, I do up the drybag tightly and put my spraydeck back on. I also carry a point and shoot in a waterproof housing, which I use if it's really choppy (if I can take my hands off my paddle for long enough) or to take underwater shots (or those cool over/under shots that I can never get right because the lens is tiny). I think the problem you may have for renting is that every camera model requires a specific waterproof case. The buttons need to all line up. It might also be worth checking dive shops for rental of a waterproof camera.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 03:37 PM
Summit Master
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Bucket with screwtop lid. You can get them at Western Canoe in Abby.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 981

If you're not going snorkeling, a simple garbage bag should do you just fine. You can even double bag it if you wish.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 07:10 PM
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quote:Originally posted by exscape

Bucket with screwtop lid. You can get them at Western Canoe in Abby.
This like the best of the simple solutions.

I have taken my old Kodak once on a Kayak, its carrying case go wet from river water. But it survived... as I had the camera and case hanging around my neck for the Widgeon Creek Crossing.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 10:40 AM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada.
Posts: 971

I'm with Booewen, I bought a Dicapac for snorkelling and it worked reasonably well (hard to see the LED but then it's only 1.5", so it's the camera's fault!), and I just keep a dry bag on deck for the photo ops. Worked great on my last kayak trip (Gulf Islands and Telegraph Cove areas), and my wife and I regularly handed it back and forth for the obligatory "I was here" shots. Buying a waterproof camera was too expensive and a hardcase was not available.

Oh, I don't have a DSLR it's a Pany FZ35 ultrazoom, but I packed a film SLR around for years. Never got it wet.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 02:18 PM
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Victoria, , .
Posts: 13

I'm with Sammysamsam - no point having it and not using it. Yes, they are expensive, but they are completely worthless if you don't have them with you when you need them!

I started off with a dry bag, but got increasingly frustrated with rolling and unrolling, especially when I wanted to get the camera out quickly. I realised that in rough seas, it was taking a bit of a hammering bouncing off the bottom of the hull too!

I now use a Rubbermaid box, lined with really thin foam. I can get the camera with a 80 - 200mm lens and my binoculars inside. I've got a buckle tie wrapped to the box with the other end of the buckle on a piece of webbing attached to my seat. It's quick and easy to get in and out and should I make a wet exit, the box is still attached to the boat.

Hubby uses a waterproof/shockproof Olympus 1030SW. Absolutely bombproof, been dropped in rivers, knocked against rocks, covered in scratches and generally abused, but takes great snap shots when it's too bad for anything else and it just ties to his PFD with a bit of cord.

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