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06-20-2010, 07:05 PM   #1
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bringing k-7 on canoe trip

What advice do you guys have for bringing my k-7 along on a canoe trip? I have the wr lens, but I've never even used it because I always use either my 50mm or sigma 28-70. The trip is only a couple days away so I don't have time to order a special bag. Should I just settle for my point and shoot? That would make me sad, but not as sad as a ruined k-7.


06-20-2010, 07:09 PM   #2

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i would expect it to be fully submerged at some point. hit a log, hit a rock and the current will pretty much instantly roll the craft if strong enough.
06-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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Deb, I don't want to scare you but every small watercraft excursion I've ever been on, I've wound up in the water. The craft has never completely capsized and once it was even my own fault. Put the WR lens on your camera and enjoy the trip. If you haven't done so, take out an insurance policy specifically for your camera equipment (most companies offer them and they are relatively dirt cheap). That way if you and your camera get wet, pop the card out, hope for the best. Worse case then, your insurance company will replace the camera.

06-20-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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Deb, WerT and Jeff are right to caution you about the perils of carrying optics aboard a small boat. I do it for a living -- shoot pictures from boats, that is -- and writing about such topics is my job. I've taken my camera gear in some terrible whitewater and on tidal reaches in the wind, and always ship some water, even if capsizing isn't always in the cards. The key is to keep your optics dry, of course, and also be sure to secure the box into your boat underway. My preference has always been a military surplus ammo can padded to take my gear. Wrote about it in "Refitting an Ammo Can as a Camera Box."

If there's a military surplus outlet near you, you have time to get an ammo box/can (they're usually cheap) and be sure it's waterproof by testing it. There are commercial waterproof boxes and bags, though I don't fully trust soft bags. Check a paddlesports shop if you have any near you. If you cannot get a waterproof box before your trip, don't risk your good optics. Take your Optio, and for insurance, tuck it in a heavy duty ziplock bag. Make sure it's lashed to you or the boat, too. Just in case.

If you can't get a waterproof box/bag for this trip, look around after you return and get one so you're ready for the next trip.

06-20-2010, 07:48 PM   #5
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I've canoed hundreds of miles. I've ruined a camera (cheap Kodak). You will get wet and so will the camera. I would not take any non-waterproof camera.

At my local Fry's, I've seen waterproof digital Pentax and Vivitar cameras. I bought a W80 for my wife. Nice camera for the money. You can order and have items shipped overnight from B&H or Adorama. Failing that, there are many places you can buy waterproof one use Kodak cameras!

Enjoy you trip!
06-20-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Forget the DSLR. Pentax has a dedicated camera for such active outdoor situations where there is risk of water immersion, yet small enough to shoot one handed (if you need to balance yourself) yet tough enough to take knocks. The Optio W90 is waterproof (to 6m) and shock proof too.

06-20-2010, 11:37 PM   #7
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I have brought several times some cameras to canoe, surfing and kayack trips before. But I always had a waterpoof contained in hard plastic, with air inside to keep our valuables. In case of overturning, the platic container floats and you do not loose your valuable.

If you do not have such a waterproof container, do not take your K-7 as other posts alerted you. A cheap waterproof non-reusuable camera is a good option. Cheap, waterproof and you do not have to worry.
06-20-2010, 11:52 PM   #8
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Cheap waterproof container...

Coleman 16 Quart Blue Excursion Cooler with Comfort Handle - Personal Coolers

Probably floats pretty well too.

06-21-2010, 12:01 AM   #9

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i went kayaking last week - decided not to take the kx, took the w60 instead. kayak flipped 3 times and it was a calm and nice day.

each time it was a log i could not see catching the bottom, craft would be pushed side on then rolls within seconds. nothing you can do about it but get wet
06-21-2010, 06:01 AM   #10
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Man if your area has received half the rainfall mine has in the last two weeks this would be an exciting time to be on a river. Our creeks and tributaries nearly have many of our rivers out of their banks. We should be making time to go floating ourselves.
I would outfit a cooler to be fairly waterproof and put the K-7 in a ziploc and put that on a ziploc. Use it in the calm, wide parts of the river when you can relax a bit and float slowly with the current and with less chance of contact from other watercraft. During the float when you beach for lunch or a romp in the cornfield; taking time to enjoy the scenery a little more, then you can use the K-7 again.
But when you are in a mix of other canoes in a narrow part of the river, facing some manuvers or when your raft, canoe or swollen tractor inner tube is increasingly unbalanced, I would use a point and shoot that would only cost $100 to replace (or not).

And happy camping.
06-21-2010, 06:32 AM   #11
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I wouldn't take it for a different reason:

You can wind up hurting yourself thinking about protecting the CAMERA in the event of a mishap, instead of protecting YOURSELF.

Rowing on a calm lake is one thing, but down a river? Too risky.
06-21-2010, 08:24 AM   #12
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I have kayaked with my pentax DSLRs for the past 6 years, including with my *istD, which got totally soaked when my kayak got pinned sideways against a rock and the current swept water over the top and into my open dry bag.

Although the camera sent completely beserk while wet, it fortunately dried out over the course of 4-5 hours in the sun with all covers open and the battery removed, and has worked flawlessly since without ever being in for service.

What have I learned.

- Get a drybag for your equipment, or perhaps a pellican case, anything that can completely enclose your gear when not in use.
- only open the bag or case, when you are in a lengthy stretch of calm and close the case/bag immediately after you are done doing what ever it was that caused you to open it, no matter how calm it is.
- only shoot when it is calm, and it's KO to paddle a little with the camera in your lap, but again only in relitive calm conditions.
- carry a zip loc bag of silica gell to keep the humidity in the case/dry bag under control.
- make sure that the bag/case you have floats when loaded, or tie it to the boat. Having a waterproof bag is useless if it drops to the bottom of a 100foot lake.

If your camera gets wet and starts mis-behaving, pull the batteries immediately. Put it in your dry bag with battery door and memory door open, along with the silica gell, until you get to your site, and then let it sit out in the open to dry, with lens off as well. Sunlight is questionable, I did it, others think it is bad, but you need some heat to dry it out.

Do not wash the camera, especially with soap. Soap has reduced surface tension (that's how it works), and can get into things water can't on it's own.

I am not sure if you dunk it in salt water whether you should rince with clear water or not, in terms of getting the salt out. salt water will short circuit things so again pull the batteries immediately.

Overall, as long as you think about protecting your gear, you should be OK. I have done it for years. I went rafting this year, and the rafting operator had a guy race ahead in a kayak (camera in dry bag) to take shots of us when we fell out of the raft. he even did rolls with the kayak to play around (with the camera in the bag of course)
06-21-2010, 09:39 AM   #13
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Although everyone has advised against it, if you do end up taking your DSLR and it get's soaked bring some uncooked rice in a ziplock bag big enough for the camera body.

If you get it wet, take out the batteries, (leave the body cap on) and put it in the ziplock bag with the rice. The rice will soak up the moisture and aid in it drying quicker.
06-21-2010, 10:16 AM   #14
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I go rafting for a week every year and I always take my camera gear. Sometimes I'm more cautious than others, but I've only lost one disposable camera, so far.

I use my DSLR, but I'm extra careful with it. I want the pictures from the trip, so the camera comes along.
06-21-2010, 04:31 PM   #15
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Seeing as how I have almost no canoe experience and I'll be sharing my canoe with one of my teenage sons, it sounds like I should definitely plan on ending up wet. I went to a local outdoors outfitters shop and purchased a seal line baja bag. It looks like it will do the trick and I'll only take out my camera when we're on the river bank. Thanks for all the advice.


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