What's the best camera for the river? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-19-2004   #1
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
What's the best camera for the river?

I just got off a neat trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon. We didn't get that many pictures on the river because the waterproof disposalable cameras took lousy pictures and we unpacked the digital camera only at camp.

Is there a reasonably priced waterproof camera that takes good pictures?

I would prefer a digital, but could live with an analog waterproof camera as long as it took good pictures.

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Old 06-20-2004   #2
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Snowmass, Colorado
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I use a Canon Powershot A80 with the dive case. Works great, but not all that affordable. About 350-400 for the camera, then another 170 for the case. SeaLife (?) makes a digital waterproof camera for about 200, but I don't know how the quality is. What camera do you already have? There may be a dive case available for it. I've found cases for the Canon Powershot, Pentax Optio, Nikon Coolpix, Minolta and some other series. A good place to look is bhphotovideo.com.
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Old 06-20-2004   #3
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i purchased an Olympus C750 - awesome camera, takes phenonimal (sp?)pics. you can purchase an underwater housing for it, but i use my 1150 peli box so i can carry towel, extra batts, etc...

4 megapixel, 10x optical zoom, you can also purchase a wide angle and tele lens. i highly suggest getting an adapter ring and UV filter to protect the lens.

hope this helps...
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Old 06-21-2004   #4
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I use an Olympus D-40 digital camera with a dedicated underwater housing for almost all the stills and video images in the Savage Snow "Learning to Kayak" online journal. The latest version of my camera on the market is the D-60/C-60, but I am not sure if an underwater housing has been made yet for the newer model. There are several small digitals with dedicated housings available now. I find this site to be a great starting point for all my digital camera purchase research...

Having the camera mounted in my boat so it is always available without needing to unpack it from a case makes all the difference in the world for me. The camera is in front of me where the water bottle normally goes. [Incidentally, I also use another (now discontinued) Salamander Bag up on my beam to hold a water bottle.]

At the bottom of this page...
...you can see how I rigged a Salamader Beam Bag to hold the camera.
(Note: I did reinforce the elastic cords that come with the beam bag to provide a more secure attachment method.)
I also have an extra modified Salamander Beam Bag with me at all times in case I paddle a boat other than my trusted G-Ride.

I have found that if you place the camera face down in the beam bag, the underwater case lens area of my setup has a lip that protects the glass, and this position also keeps water from getting on the glass, even when flipping or in rapids that cause serious leaking around the edges of my skirt.
The Beam Bag can get lots of water in it, but if I remove the camera carefully from the bag, the lens will always be clear of water for quick shots.

The hardest thing about getting good shots once you have a good camera setup is... being committed to the process.
You have to be willing to put the fun on "pause." That is hard to do sometimes.
I have to slow people down and ask them to let me setup, or worse yet... ask them to get out of their boats after they run something, so they can shoot me too.

But what works well for me is to be very eager to share the images. Now my boating partners know they will get a CD with pictures and videos of themselves and their adventures on the water with me.

These are just a few thoughts that popped in my head on the subject of kayaking and cameras. I would be happy to answer any specific questions about how I do what I do for the Savage Snow Kayaking Journal. Please feel free to email me directly, or...
ask out here if it you think it might be of interest to others.
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