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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a pretty discerning photographer and have been shooting since my first Nikon F & Nikonos way back when. I live in a world of DSLRs but have come realize that rafting is not the best environment do lugging that much metal and glass around. I don't want to have something that big bouncing around even if it's in a pelican.

So - what do people recommend? I've been looking at many mirrorless solutions. I know I want something much more responsive and sensitive than a P&S but was wondering if people have experience with a certain body/camera and what their casing solution was.

Again - I know there are a ton of P&S weather resistant cameras out there - of the 7 I've used I've been unimpressed with their lag time, low light image quality and ability to operate outside of an "auto" setting.

I'll be shooting video with a GoPro but I still want something that can take quality images in available/low light situations.
 

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I love my Sony NEX-5N. It has a full size DSLR sensor, and there are starting to be a great selection of lenses available. It's also very affordable when compared with DSLRs. I think it performs as well as basic to mid range DSLRs for my purposes. Plus it is smaller and easy to take in a kayak/rafting situation. For the price/size I would give it consideration.

Check out the reviews section of Darin Mcquiod's blog for a professional kayak photographer's take on the various NEX models and other cameras/lenses. Darin McQuoid Photography
 

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Pentax all the way

Check out the Pentax K-50 or the K-3 with either the 18-135mm WR or the 55-300mm WR lenses. Very weather/water resistant. I have kayaked with my K-5 just tucked in my vest on class 2-3 and it was soaked. It kept on shooting great! The K-5, K-5II, and K-3 all have magnesium bodies and are much more weather proof, and cost much less than any comparable DSLR.
 

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I'm coming off of a Nikon D3 which was great for sports but way too big for boating. The 4/3 mirrorless cameras are looking good to me right now, especially the Olympus OMD EM-1. Perfect size, really fits well in my hand unlike the slightly smaller EM-5. Very good glass.

Like Osseous I also like the latest version of the Canon G, I think mine is a G10. It is perfect for easy carrying on dirt bike and dual sport rides. The autofocus is a little slow for some action shots, esp sports, but should be fine for river shots.

I was at Mike's Cameras the other day and heard of a new Sony A7 mirrorless which is coming out any day which will be full frame, so that might be worth a look.
 

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Edit: It looks like both the A7 and the A7R are now available at B&H and Amazon among others.

I just read a few reviews of both by google search. Sounds interesting except for two comments about very poor battery life and awkward shutter release position, so I would like to hold it and see how the battery issue plays out before buying.
 

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Another vote for the Sony NEX-5 series. I have the NEX-5r and I've found it to be a great river camera for taking quality pictures. Compact, light, excellent photo quality, and lots of lens options. Also they can be found with a kit lens for around 500 or so now, which is a bargain considering high end point and shoots run that much. The only thing I don't like about the camera is that it doesn't have as many manual controls on the body as a DSLR or high end compact. Some things require scrolling through the LCD menu to change. Other than that it's great, and takes up barely any more room in my Watershed than my old Lumix LX5.
 

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Another Vote for the G10. Can be picked up used for around $200. You could get a "rugged" camera for use on the boat and still pick up a G10 for use when you want better shots.
 

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Personally, if I am going to be taking photos I'm bringing the big guns and on a raft why not? It's very easy to tie down a pelican case. My trip on the GC last year I brought one body, three lenses and all the accessories in a pelican case and when I was hiking I would pack my Watershed bag with a smaller combination of what I thought I would need. There is nothing worse than getting home and finding the shot you wanted was missed due to inferior products. I also brought a P&S to use from my kayak.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Personally, if I am going to be taking photos I'm bringing the big guns and on a raft why not? It's very easy to tie down a pelican case. My trip on the GC last year I brought one body, three lenses and all the accessories in a pelican case and when I was hiking I would pack my Watershed bag with a smaller combination of what I thought I would need. There is nothing worse than getting home and finding the shot you wanted was missed due to inferior products. I also brought a P&S to use from my kayak.
I would imagine that there will be times that I'm on the water that I won't want to drag out my DSLR. Hiking is a different story but on the river I would imagine I wouldn't hesitate to pull the G10, NEX or A7 out. The quote goes "the best camera you can have is the one you have with you". I know I would hesitate to pull out my D800 and associated glass at many points.
 

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If you want the best shots then bring what the pro's bring. All the pro's who change for their shots bring their standard land cameras but pack them in a pelican AND either put them in their drybox or have them in drybag for the rapids. Yes it is a bit bulky and a pain to lug it around but when your on a 22 day trip you will want to take a hell of a lot of shots and I know you want the best quality. You will be happy you brought it when you are taking awesome shots of me going through the big ones. Good luck with your decision. I know that either way I will have great pictures.
 
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