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does anyone use a dSLR?

May 9, 2006
I basically have two cameras. The premium kit is a Nikon D50 w/ 16-85 VR lens. My other camera is a Canon SD100. The SD100 has been a fantastic camera but it is long in the tooth primarily because of its 2.1MP. However, since it is old and not favoured I was able to get a solid Canon waterproof case for it, for only $25.

Anyways, I'm wondering if people take their dSLR with them in their kayak/canoe and if they have it accessible while paddling. I know of the pelican cases for wet travel but it doesn't allow much flexibility for shooting while in the boat.

I used to carry my SLR in a seal line bag (Baja 5) resting on the bottom between my knees in the cockpit. I usually had a large ziploc around the camera too.

The camera will take some jarring. I carried it for years in my backpack over routes that did everything but involve technical climbs.

Since taking pictures involved opening the skirt and exposing the camera to dangers of salt spray and potential for droppng into the ocean I didn't take too many pictures on the water. Usually the whale or the eagle was long gone before I got my camera out.

So yes I have taken my SLR and had it kinda sorta accessible. With lots of limitations though. As a result most of my pictures with the SLR were taken on the beach.
I purchased a box from Underwater Kinetics (Edmonton) much like that which Dan uses for my Panasonic extended zoom. Perhaps I purchased a larger box than I needed (5510) but it has room for my sound recorder, cell phone, car remote and GPS. Epoxy some tabs onto the sides and it clips to the deck bungees nicely. Right now Underwater is selling a range of sizes of those boxes in red for 1/2 price... email them for details.


Having said that, right now retailers (Future Shop, McBains) are getting rid of the Olympus 550 and 1050 models on deep discount and I know that The Source is selling the tough 6000 for $300 on sale. Giving that one some consideration because the speed of access, one-hand shooting, and underwater capability outweighs the advantages of the superior lense on the bigger units. (except when up on the beach and dry when the larger camera is superior).
I use my DSLR and keep it in a Pelican case strapped on the deck in front of me. To access, I just pop the lid and the camera is immediately ready to use. So I don't find access to be a problem, in fact I keep various little things in the case just because access is so easy.

But I'm not convinced a DSLR is the way to go. Mainly because they are not waterproof and by design require lens change for many applications. Also it isn't just a direct hit from water but the continued exposure to salty sea spray, fog or moisture that eventually does them in (and maybe the lens too!). So you end up using them a lot less on the water than you would a P&S.

Good P&S cameras can take pretty decent pictures these days. A good waterproof one is so much safer, cheaper and easier to use that the quality increase for a DSLR is probably not worth it. The main difference will be in low light or high action photography where DSLRs shine compared to P&S cameras.