Photog gear afloat

What’s the best, safest way to canoe with expensive camera gear–camera, lenses, filters, chips, etc.? Do you all go to any special means to strap down and/or protect your photography equipment against getting soaked or dumped? If so, how do you access it for those wonderful, impromptu snapshots afloat?

I’d suggest forgetting…
the impromptu shots with the expensive stuff.

I keep my big guns (DSLRs), in a Hardigg case strapped down in a hatch or lashed to a thwart. Only comes out when I put out. This gear is for ‘real’ photography, not the snaps.

You could use an underwater case but that seriously limits your application if you’re using multiple lenses/filters, etc. If you’re using a digicam then the case might be the answer.

I keep a Pentax Optio WPi in my vest for the snaps. Shoot everything at the largest size available and crop/edit from there with a pro software program. With practice, you’d be surprised at the IQ you can get with these little digicams.

Good luck to ya.


I carry my kodak 5.0 mp 10x zoom in a snaplock tupperware type box from wallyworld that was less than 5 bucks. The box has snap down locks on each of the four sides and is quick to open or close.

I can get the camera out and take the shot, and get the camera back in really quickly. I have managed to take some pretty nice pictures this way.


Pelican box
Not sure the model number but it is the one that clamps to the thwart in front of you. Dry and sturdy and will hold the camera, assorted filters and spare batteries plus wallet, keys etc.

Found mine on ebay for about 40 bucks.

Waterproof container
I believe Jim may be talking about an item sold under the name “LOCK & LOCK”. I don’t know about on the water but they work well for home applications. They’ve also been mentioned on here before as working well for camera storage. There are numerous sizes.

Want to feel secure?
Want to not have a niggling wonder if your storage case is REALLY waterproof?

Get a Pelican box. For canoes, the one previously mentioned will work well. Or one of the myriad other sizes. They have a great reputation as being bombproof.


Why the expensive gear?
What does the expensive stuff do that the point-n-shoot doesn’t WHILE ON THE MOVE???

Depending on the answer, you have the following options:

I purposely purchased a waterproof point-n-shoot for just those impromtus shots while on the move. With the boat moving up and down and sideways on teh water, the shots will not be crystal clear. But it’ll be adequate to just capture the moment.

If I expect getting serious photos done while camping or hiking AFTER landing, I pack the SLR in the dry bag and put them in the hatches. For canoe, I think it’s easy enough to just tie the dry bag to the boat so it won’t sink if you dump.

If you really want to get great shots and don’t mind the EXPENSIVE part, get the diving housing, which is totally waterproof and can be operated WITH the housing.

Sounds like you’re talking about a canoe - I keep my DSLR and lenses buried in the hatches of my sea kayak while paddling, and use an Olympus 720SW while out on the water.

Pelican boxes are great, but one thing to think about. When the box is open, all that equipment isn’t protected anymore. When you’re shooting, chances are your concentration isn’t on the boat. If you go this route, take out the equipment you need and be sure to close the box even if you only plan to use it for a minute.

Which is why
I too have a Stylus 720. Non-waterproof gear comes out when I set foot on land. I hate having a box open while on the water - Makes me a nervous nellie.


Hi - about Wally World :slight_smile:
This is the second time I hear of this place… Do you have the exact link to it?

When I enter in google I get ALL KINDS of sites, beginning with a porno site! yes… and then… camping… and so on. Is this a boats place?

Wally World Warning: Explicit adult material. Brought to you by:. Your source for all the Hardest Gay Hardcore! - 14k - Cached - Similar pages

Stylus 720SW
Thats funny, I have that EXACT model bookmarked as I try to find the perfect on the water camera. Now two peeps mention it back to back. Looks like I am headed toward the right purchase. How is the 720SW, any pro’s & con’s come to mind?

Wallyworld is just a slang name for Wal-Mart… lol

Ooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh - Duh! :slight_smile:
One thing you all must be aware of, “foreigners” I guess because we were not born here (of course I am talking about people who come here as adults)… we miss (to understand) a lot of stuff. The toughest kind of Englisf for me is “Street English.” If I hear a “rap” song I will understand NOTHING! :slight_smile:

Well, thank you for clarifying that!

I’m satisfied

– Last Updated: Sep-15-06 3:57 PM EST –

I bought the Olympus instead of the Pentax Optio because..........It was available. I also liked the really large LCD.

I reviewed the camera in the "Product Reviews" section. Twice, actually, because I have a bad memory!

getting older and repeating myself
getting older and repeating myself

EDIT: Out of curiosity I checked the reviews of the Pentax Optio - one reviewer had his die after a drop onto a carpeted floor. Hopefully the 720's shock rating will keep mine safe from bumps and bruises.

Rap music
Not a problem, Rique! I was born and raised in this country and I don’t understand rap music, either! I don’t even know why they call it “music”!

paddling photography
- snapshots and video with a waterproof Pentax Optio WP (replaced by W10) from a kayak or canoe when paddling and/or racing

  • more serious photography from land using DSLR and tripod (sometimes also from a really stable boat like Kruger’s Sea Wind)

    paddling & photography blog:

Non Expert Advice

– Last Updated: Sep-17-06 6:10 PM EST –

MountainWayFarer always has some great pics so I think I would follow his advice.

BeachAvi8tor a few weeks ago posted some great pics with a new waterproof camera; the picture quality looked really good. I bookmarked that discussion for when it's time to buy a new camera but I can't pull it up. Perhaps he will chime in.

I have a small inexpensive Sony water proof Cyber-Shot-U (U60)camera that is a couple of years old, it does not have zoom and it's pretty hard to aim, and does not have a lot of resolution, but it does work for quick action shots. It was a gift, probably not the model I would have bought myself. Some examples...

Last week I was kayak surfing and dropped in on a huge wave starting to form a barrel, to my dismay there was a board surfer in front of me and I had to really carve hard to miss him. I noticed he had a small silver object in his hand and at the time I was afraid it was a gun. When I paddled back out he paddled over to talk to me, ends out this guy is a kayaker and he had never seen a surf kayak up close and wanted to get some pictures. It turns out it was a small digital camera that clips on your wrist with a very heavy duty strap. I think he said it cost $120 dollars. It's sold for board surfers. He promised to send me the shots so I will let you know how good a quality they are.

Pelican reminder.
I have had a couple of pelican cases for many years.

They are waterproof . . . extremely so . . . but not forever.

I used to ride mine down rapids using it as protection from sharp rocks if I fell out of my canoe. It was amazing. However, one must be careful to change the seals every few years.

Mine failed catastrophically recently because I failed to change the seals (they weren’t available locally).

I wrote Pelican, and, as always, their customer service was exceptional. They sent me a couple of seals and now the case seems as good as new (tested by jumping on it in my bathtub full of water)

A quiet ‘indian stroke’ and fast long lens can land you some incredible shots that you’d never see while diddy-boppin through the woods… Let alone having golden lighted water in the foreground.

Build an outrigger.

Not a bad camera. It is pretty slow, and while it’s writing one shot to the card you can’t take another. Still I think it’s the best one out there of it’s type. XD media cards are about the size of a thumbnail (literally) so I got a 1-gig and plan on leaving it inside the camera. Battery life isn’t great but should last a day of paddling. Spares are available but fairly expensive.

There’s a good review on it at - I didn’t do the review but am a moderator on that site.