Carrying Waterproof Digital Cameras?

No longer able to resist the new Canon Powershot D10, I’ve got one on the way. I may not have gotten the right thing though - read on.

I gave my Powershot SD1100is with Canon waterproof housing a fair shake, and as other posters suggested - yes, I’ve struggled with water spots and salt splashes on the lens.

Still, for beach camping, the housing reigns supreme! Everyone of my friends had sand issues on our last trip. Except me. Super fine Tybee sand is like sugar.

Anyway, for whitewater, having a big housing strapped to the boat is not a consideration. The housing is 5" long, 3.3" tall and at it’s fattest point, 2.8" thick.

A lot of my friends have the small Olympus cameras and they carry them in their PFDs. They shoot movies and stills which are not only fun but useful in checking one’s form.

I like and know the Canon interface though (I’ve got 3 other Canon digi cams), so I’ve been waiting until the Powershot D10 hit the market.

The Canon camera is a little bigger than the Olympus camera, 4.1"W x 1.9"D x 2.6"H inches compared to 2.5"H x 0.9"D x 3.8"W, but the Olympus is flat and the Canon kind of bulgy.

So I’m not sure about putting it in a PFD pocket. Is that the best?

What other ways are ok to carry a camera doing whitewater. I still fall out : )

Thether It…
…or risk losing it.

Our Pentax WP’s don’t float - so I rig a float on a lengthened neckstrap, then wear it around my neck - it tucks into the PFD pocket neatly when not in use. Make sure you can adjust the neck loop so it doesn’t slip off over your head. Not sure how this’d work for whitewater - we strictly flatwater yakkers…

Neoprene case
We have a neoprene case that attaches easily to a PFD or decklines by a velcro loop. It also provides enough bouyancy to float our pentax optio. This has worked great for us for a couple of years now…

I have the Canon case for our Canon
SD 800 IS. It is a little bulky, but I can stuff it between my PFD and my hollow chest. One problem is that the lens cover tends to fog when kept there.

I’m mainly an open boater these days, so I have more options. If I were to carry my camera while ww kayaking, I would try to rig what used to be called a “cuban hitch” to hold the camera against the center of my chest. These cuban hitches were once marketed for Nikonos cameras. You might try googling or checking the B&H website.

I have kept my Pentax Optio in a pocket during paddles for a couple of years now. No problems, except when I kept in continuously in a pocket for over a week. Some moisture worked its way in and the lens got foggy on the inside - I then opened it and left it out in the sun for a half hour or more, and all was good again.

I do keep it tethered. They definitely don’t float.

I use a neoprene case
that velcros to my PFD and I tether the camera to my PFD with a couple of feet of small 1/8" bungie cord.

The case is up high on my left shoulder strap for easy access and when running a rapid, I can flip the flap shut to secure the camera. Once though, I can open the flap, pull the camera and turn it on in a couple of seconds to take shots of those coming down.

I have the 1050SW and really enjoy it. Compared to the nice digitals and SLRs, they are slow and fairly low quality regardless of the # of megapixels, but they are tough and easy to have ready quickly.

If you are in a club or know people who have them, see if you can test a couple to see if they are acceptable.

My amateur 1050SW pictures are online:


Olympus 1030 around my neck
I keep mine in my pfd pocket and on a short (18") lanyard around my neck. I have to remember to take off my helmet or I can’t get the lanyard over my head.


must have floaty
must have floaty or does not go on the water.

That’s what I have been doing for some time now after I witnessed a nice w/p camera that was usually tethered but used occasionally without leash (passing to somebody else to take the picture).

You guessed it: it got donated to Neptune :slight_smile: (about 50 ft below the surface).

All of my cameras have this:

Lots of good ideas and photos too.

Little camera did not arrive today, so I’m off without (what did we do when we couldn’t take cameras paddling?) so I’ll experiment with PFD pockets or other options.

Not forgetting some sort of lanyard!

Float strap
When I purchased my Olympus 1030SW, I also purchased a “float strap” and it works. I personally don’t want it to end up in “Davey’s locker”. It will fit around a wrist or slip under a deck bungie. It attaches to your camera like a regular strap will but has a quick release. Check it out on the Olympus site.

Love my little 1030SW but I’m still not ready to give up my manual 35mm’s.

Float Strap
I keep mine on a lanyard threaded through a short piece of pool noodle for flotation with a 1/2" section of PVC to prevent the lanyard from tearing the noodle. I can wear it around my neck or stick it under the deck bungies. The section of noodle acts as a stopper under the bungie in case of a capsize or if the camera gets dropped.