Is my camera too advanced for me?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ejchem101, Nov 21, 2010.

  1. So here's the question,
    I have a canon 5D, and love it to death. The problem is, for many of the places I want to shoot I might love it too much. Meaning:
    There are places that I shoot that would be very "dangerous" for the camera, however, by leaving it behind, I feel like I am really missing out on some great pictures. For example:
    Duck hunting is one of the things I love to do. However, that means constantly being surrounded by water (not in a boat, standing in water just above my knee). I am not sure it is worth the risk of having a $1k and a $500 lens taking the plunge into the water (as this is for recreation).
    I've thought of a couple of options:
    #1 take my film EOS A2 and a 50 1.8 (in which case I miss out on the benefits of digital, but still get great photos and not so much of a risk to equipment)
    #2 Sell my 5D and go backwards to something I wouldn't mind dunking in the water so much (like a 1DII that might be able to handle a quick dunk without too much dmg)
    #3 Take the 5D and just take the risks of dunking it in the water.
    Part of me wants to say what use is a camera if I'm not willing to take it with me? While another part says I should use the 5D when I can, and realize that this is just something I'm not willing to take it on.
  2. What about #4: get a waterproof housing for the 5D "just in case"
  3. Yep, a cheap plastic housing -- that one-size-fits-all SLR case from DiCAPac is quite decent for taking casual photos.
  4. For the price of a waterproof housing you could buy a new or used crop body. That is actually what I would do. Buy a used 10D to 40D for a couple/few hundred bucks to go with your 5D and be done with it. Use your 50/1.8 or buy something like a used 70-210/3.4-4.5 USM or 100-300/4.5-5.6 USM for about $100 USD.

    Don't think about dropping a 1D series in the water either, sealing is meant for rain, not swimming, and I believe it depends on what lens is mounted too.

    It is not a good idea to sell your 5D and replace it with a less capable camera just for this one photographic use.
    P.S. Do you trust a "cheap" housing?
  5. Wow franklin, I guess this is why we have these forums! DUH why not just protect the camera and take it along. The ones from DiCAPac do look pretty promising. Anyone have experience using them? Like I said I wouldn't plan on using it for underwater photos, but for a just incase type of thing, I think that would probably do the trick.
    You never know when you might take a plunge yourself (has happened to me a few times out there) so having a camera along has been pretty risky.
    If the camera were to take the plunge it would probably be for <10seconds, I would hope a cheap housing would at least last for that long.
  6. So this is less about being too advanced in features as being too expensive to take the risk. The questions I would ask: For the type of pictures that you are taking, would a waterproof point-and-shoot be sufficient in image quality and lens reach? You could get one in addition to your DSLR outfit for just these occasions for probably less money than what you would loose in selling your 5D. If you do need DSLR quality, for about the same amount of $, you could get an Ewa-Marine housing.
  7. I'm with Peter - pick up a Canon D10 (12mp, underwater point and shoot) for under $300, leave the 5D at home and enjoy. If it gets dirty just rinse it off, you can dunk it - to 33 feet! - and it's pretty shock proof too.
    I have used underwater housings - in scuba situations - and a DSLR in a housing is the last thing you want to be dealing with on a duck hunting trip. They are bulky, inconvenient, expensive and have relatively awkward viewing. I'd keep it simple and get an inexpensive underwater camera you can put in your pocket and forget about while you're actually hunting.
  8. I asked about the DiCaPac's some time ago, and remember Josh Root telling me that he had used one and found it to be somewhat cumbersome but effective - however, that was in reference to using it for the LX3, but I imagine the quality of the product would be the same regardless of model. JR
  9. I have a waterproof P&S for similar things (in my case, kayaking). It is a huge step down from my DSLR, but it can provide nice shots when you are not too picky, and it beats drowning the good stuff. Another option: carry a P&S the 5D in a waterproof case (would a Pelican do?) and only take the 5D out when it is not risky.
  10. Yes, why not get a waterproof P&S, tie a line to it so if you drop it, it doesn't get lost? No worry.Free from equipment risk, you can actually get in where you wouldn't otherwise go, take more chances to get the shot you want.
    Many of these cameras provide good quality images and are often cheaper than a waterproof housing, and easier to use besides.
  11. Ditto on a "waterproof" compact camera with a lanyard. The camera could cost almost as much as the cheapest and newest Canon EOS Digital Rebel. But, you need to expand to your collection of cameras for each situation.
    Off topic: I have read your profile and admire your commitment to "charity-type of photography for people / organizations that are not able to pay for a professional."
  12. The ones from DiCAPac do look pretty promising. Anyone have experience using them?​
    I have one and used it for snorkeling. It is indeed pretty bulky and cumbersome to use -- I think it works best with non-extending primes. Changing camera settings takes a bit of practise. For best image quality you need to push the front glass against the lens. You need to look through the viewfinder while taking pictures. This is a little arkward, as John said. But your camera will be fully water-proof and you will be able to get shots that were not possible before without riskting you expensive camera!
  13. I'm on board with the idea of a waterproof P&S for those 'dangerous' circumstances. For your serious work, I can't imagine that you'd be satisfied taking a step backwards from your 5D.
  14. I take my DSLR with me on float trips and fishing trips all the time. I usually carry three of four lenses, extra batteries and a flash in there as well. Sometimes the float trip might be a week. I strap it to the boat so it won't fall off. The case is padded so it protects if from shock as well. I also try to keep a waterproof PNS on my person as it isn't always convenient to extract the DSLR from the case if I am rowing or otherwise occupied.
    Not sure how you get to the place you hunt. If it is in a boat, then the Pelican is great. You can buy a small one for one camera and one lens. If you have to walk in, that might be a different story as the Pelican would be a pain to carry by the handle. Below is something I have considered. It turns your Pelican into a backpack.
    If you just want to carry your camera and one lens, this is what a buddy of mine uses. You can wear it as a fanny pack or like a sling. He even has it on him while he wades. Might be a good solution for small kit if you are walking in.
    A Lowepro waterproof backpack is another option though I find them difficult to get in and out of compared to the above options. However, for long hikes with lots of photo gear, I don't know if there is a better method.
    Outdoor activities is the main reason I bought a good camera. It is always worth the hassle of carrying it and protecting it to me. Just about anywhere I go to fish or float is a beautiful place. I wouldn't dream of not taking the best camera I have.
  15. get insurance, it pretty much covers everything, even "a strap breaking" and the camera falling into a lake. Now you can take it anywhere worry free.
  16. "#2 Sell my 5D and go backwards to something I wouldn't mind dunking in the water so much (like a 1DII that might be able to handle a quick dunk without too much dmg)"
    A used Canon EOS 3(film) has the same weather sealing as the 1DII for half the price.
  17. Erik-
    I'm actually going to go the other way with my suggestion. If the size isn't an issue (and my experience shotgunning tells me it's only cumbersome if you're trying to carry that AND two ducks, which would be a good problem), then I would recommend an EVF camera like Sony's NEX. The quality is more in line with your 5D, and it's light enough that you might be able to strap it to yourself with a heavy-duty zipline, or whatever they call those strings that pull out and return like a tape measure.
    More importantly, it's useful outside of hunting because it offers a compact and unintrusive size your 5D does not, and it's still large enough that you can operate with with gloves on.
    Failing that, I'd recommend a Canon G11/G12 if you're not worried about it being waterproof (same reason - you'd use it outside of hunting), and the Sony TX5 if you are. As far as I can tell the G11 and G12 are almost identical, except that the G12 has more ISO settings (not higher - more stops in between), and a front control dial that aids in manual operation. The G11 is going to be discounted though, and takes the same photos. Canon claims that the G12 has the 'HS' anti-shake system, but since both cameras have the same sensor and processor I suspect that's just marketing hullabaloo.
    Also worth noting: I have a small Billingham 'side pocket' that I use for my shells when I only need to carry 25 or so, and my G11 fits in there perfectly, with just enough room left over for a handfull of spent shells underneath the camera. The EVF cameras fit in there too, but only with the fixed wide-angle lenses attached.
  18. Check out Gary Luhm Photography for information and tips on using digital cameras in a water filled environment.
    Specifically, look under info => FAQ
  19. Chris, Thank you so much for pointing me towards gary's website. Absolutely perfect for what I'm looking at.
    For all of you suggesting a pelican case, also thank you. I think a pelican case, along with a dry-bag is what I need. If I can keep the pelican case in the boat, and take a drybag out to the blind with me, the most dangerous parts have been covered (travelling to the blind, and walking in the water).
    I think my needs were very well said by gary in his FAQ when he says
    "The 35mm SLR and dSLR are so versatile nothing else holds up comparatively. The digital point-and-shoots don't have the picture quality or focal length range, and continue to be plagued by shutter lag. My dSLR system has a focal length range from 17mm to 700mm, no shutter lag, and the ability to shoot at far higher ISO’s and produce sharp, noise-free images."
    While I don't have a range up to 700mm yet, the reason I have a DSLR is for the quality of photo that it produces, the ability to control DoF, and no shutter lag is huge!
    I think from this post what I am getting is either:
    Do everything you can to keep the camera dry, get insurance, and have fun.
    or else get a waterproof PnS.
  20. Are we talking about "hunting" as in shooting with your camera, or are we talking shooting duck a la shotgun, and taking photos in between flights of ducks?
  21. Shotgun most of the time. I would also like to get some action shots in some ducks last moments of life. I feel that this would be a unique photo topic.
    Here are some previous examples (taken with a canon D60 a few years ago).
  22. One More
  23. With all respect, what was true of P&S cameras, becomes out-of-date information when applied to the best of the current crop, even the waterproof ones. Most especially the bit about image quality is less and less true. Try some and see for yourself.
    I don't think that the information given in Gary's FAQ (February of 2010) was very up-to-date when it was posted -- more of a rationalization by someone who clearly knows what he thinks he knows.
  24. Looking at the pictures above they could have been taken with a Powershot A1100, quick response and excellent quality, under $200. I would not take my DSLR on a rafting trip!
  25. get a waterproof ruggedized P&S from Canon, Panasonic, Olympus or several other manufactures. The pix will be just fine in good light and it will be very light to carry. This is your best option. If you must bring your 5D (not my choice), get a waterproof equipment bag (REI, etc.) and leave your camera in it when you are moving from place to place. It will be protected. I think these even float. Last option would be to bring a film camera along. You could even put it in a waterproof bag as well.
  26. I have a similar situation when I go fly fishing. The answer to your question depends upon what your real concern about taking the 5D is. If you find carrying that big of a body/lens combination to be inconvenient or awkward (that is definitely true when I am wade fishing) then the solution is to bring a small high quality point and shoot instead. You can get a waterproof point and shoot if you wish, though there are few that offer much photographic control or RAW files. I now carry a Canon S95 for this purpose. It is not waterproof, so if I do drop it in the river it will be a lost cause, but it costs much less than a 5D, it easily fits in a secure pocket within a baggie, it shoots RAW files and has a great deal of photographic control. So the risk of damaging the camera is low and the cost of losing it is not terrible.
    However, if you don't mind the size of the 5D and your main fear is that one day you may slip and fall into the water with the camera--I would suggest that you take the 5D and acquire two things: 1. A good water proof photo pack such as those made by LowePro, and 2. Insurance. I am surprised that no one has mentioned insurance yet. If you are not a professional photographer, you can get a rider on your homeowner's (or renter's) insurance called "inland marine" coverage for a very nominal fee that will cover the actual replacement cost of your camera equipment no matter what happens to it. I once accidentally dropped a Canon 300mm/f4 L lens halfway down Yellowstone Canyon, and it was replaced under my policy. Ask your insurance agent about it.
  27. When I go sailing I usually take a 35mm and a 28-105mm lens + CP. However the protective housing thing sounds good. Seems like when your Duck Hunting you should concentrate on hunting and safety and forget the camera until the gun has been put away. I have never been Duck Hunting so I do not how that all goes but it seems like a camera would just get in the way.
  28. The question then, it's really this one: do you use the 5D because you take advantage of all its features and image quality? If so, there is only one solution: get a waterproof housing. doesn't have to be a super-expensive, scuba-diving deal, just something that will protect the camera from water splash and/or if it fell in the the water.
    Getting a different camera is NOT a solution, unless you answer NO to the question above.
  29. A couple of years ago I bought one of those inexpensive ($20 or so) DiCAPac clear bag / cases for my wife's P&S (a Canon Powershot A570 IS). It has worked fine in a pool, at the beach, for parasailing, etc. Operating the controls through the plastic is a little tricky, and the lens extension part of the bag blocks part of the optical viewfinder. Optical quality is usually only a small compromise unless you have water droplets in front of the lens. So it's not perfect, but for the money it's been great.
    But the camera is now over three years old, and the DiCAPac bag maybe two years old. Today maybe a waterproof P&S would make more sense.
  30. [Edit: Sorry, it doubled up on my post.]
  31. Last option would be to bring a film camera along. You could even put it in a waterproof bag as well.​
    Well a film camera is not as expensive as your 5D, it is just as suseptable to water damage. Both have batteries and electronics and water can enter either by way of the lens mount, buttons, or battery.
    I have taken a couple river rafting trips and gone up the zion narrows several times. In the Zion narrows you are staning in the river. In the grand Canyon we would go from dry soaking wet when you hit a rapid. In the grand canyon I only had a film camera. I kept it in a REI clear plast bag with welded seams. When sealed the bag would keep the camera dry even if the raft was full of water and the bag was under water. I have also used the same camera bag in the zion narrows with my 5D and it has kept the camera dry when I had to swim across deap areas in the river. My film and digital cameras never got wet.
  32. I fish on the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean and hunt deer here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where I live. I drive my truck through woods scratching the heck of it. I put my boat in saltwater and expose all my fishing gear to the salt. I sit in rain with a 500 dollar gun and nice optics wearing expensive cammo.... you bet I take my 7D and a couple of lenses with me! (my friends make fun of me for having my gear in climbing tree stand.) I try to be careful but I'm way past the worrying about every little speck of dust. I've had to wipe fish scales and blood off my camera...They can take a lot more abuse then we think.
  33. Why don't you get a nice P&S camera for the times you don't want to place your 5D in danger.
  34. Richard, you make a good point. If I were to buy a SBE II (awesome duck gun) for $1500 I wouldn't think twice about dropping it in the water, or having it in the rain. Along with scratching and banging up my truck...
    I agree that it is just time to get past worrying about gear and have fun with it.
  35. About the DiCAPac, I just recently wrote a mini-review on another thread about my experience using it for over a month. Here it is:

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