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How do you manage your camera while canoeing?

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I’m having trouble figuring out a way that works well for me to manage my camera while canoeing. Partly that’s because I’m often paddling a tandem solo with two dogs in the boat. One of them tends to behave well, one of them is… less predictable.

My camera is small (Fuji X-T5 mirrorless) and quite water resistant, but time after time I find myself grabbing my iPhone to take photos instead. Maybe because I can just drop the phone onto my kneeling pad if the going gets exciting? Not sure.

How do you manage your (non-phone) cameras? Any and all advice welcome. Thanks!
 
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For example, and for fun, here’s a shot I took while paddling standing up down through the slot between the Jo-Mary Lakes last week. Neat photo, but very much a phone photo.

IMG_4701.jpeg
 
I've been carrying a Nikon B500 (actually 2 of them last trip) and usually have one within reach on top of something to keep it off of the floor (they're not at all water resistant). My phone camera (Motorola G Power) actually does really well and has wound up being my only camera on several trips. The primary reason I take an actual camera is for the zoom capabilities.

I have to make sure it's in a dry bag at the first sign of rain but, other than that, it's usually right behind me; often on my tackle bag.
 
On my first several canoe trips, I took photos using the original GoPro, a cheap point-and-shoot film camera in a waterproof case that strapped to my wrist. (It’s now long discontinued, but Lomography offers a similar product.) The picture quality was terrible, but it was unbeatable for being fast and easy to use, and I loved it. I stopped using it when the waterproof cover over the shutter button broke down, although it probably was still protected enough for canoe tripping. I’ve considered pulling it back out of the closet, but the cost of film processing holds me back each time.

Now, when I want to bring a camera canoeing, I carry my DSLR inside a Pelican case, which I stash on the floor of the canoe in front of me so that I can access the camera quickly when I want it. I find that approach works just OK—although it keeps the camera well-protected and reasonably accessible, the camera is not as accessible as my phone, and so I often find myself just taking photos with my phone instead. I keep the phone either inside a ziplock bag in the pocket of my PFD or inside an underwater case on a lanyard, which I loop securely around the thwart in front of me.

I think a better solution for me—and perhaps one that would also work well for you?—would be to keep my DSLR inside an underwater bag or case such as a DiCAPac (or a lookalike off Amazon) so that it can always be ready to go, but protected from moisture (though not impacts, as it is in the Pelican case). However, I have not yet actually bought such a bag and tried it out, so I can’t comment on how well that solution works in practice.
 
I've been using my phone as a camera and keep it in the large zippered pocket in my Astral Sturgeon PFD. I think the Fuji you use would fit in there. It's not waterproof but I can put the phone in a waterproof case if needed. When I needed to keep my camera dry I would keep it in a small roll top dry bag in an accessible spot, but would never take as many photos..
 
the original GoPro, a cheap point-and-shoot film camera
Interesting, I had no idea!

I carry my DSLR inside a Pelican case, which I stash on the floor of the canoe in front of me
Do you close the case every time you put the camera away?

an underwater bag or case such as a DiCAPac
I ordered one of those from B&H last winter, after I broke through the ice on Squam Lake and took my camera for an unexpected swim. It was too bulky for me, so I returned it.
 
I've been using my phone as a camera and keep it in the large zippered pocket in my Astral Sturgeon PFD. I think the Fuji you use would fit in there. It's not waterproof but I can put the phone in a waterproof case if needed. When I needed to keep my camera dry I would keep it in a small roll top dry bag in an accessible spot, but would never take as many photos..
Interesting, I'll take a look!
 
I've been using this ammo can since the early nineties. It is heavy, but it doesn't leak. It works well because it can be opened one handed.

I use it for a DSLR, but I take that less as it doesn't wireless sharing capabilities. On exercise trips and most day trips I just take my phone, which I leave in my pocket.
 

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I bought an Olympus TG6, it's waterproof to 50' and the strap will keep it afloat if I drop it in. I have played with a couple of underwater shots too and I'm going to be trying more of those.
 
I've posted this before.

After I lost my trusty waterproof Pentax camera in Alaska, I wanted a compact camera with SLR-like features, a reasonable optical zoom, and a fast (2.0) lens. I opted to sacrifice waterproofness because I never shot in rain, rapids or when in risk of my canoe dumping. Plus, I also wanted a camera capable of shooting indoor basketball games. So, I got a Nikon COOLPIX P7800.

I changed my whole waterproofness approach to using a small Pelican case, which is leashed to a D-ring in front of me. I keep a microfiber cloth in the box for cleaning and cushioning. I can get the camera in and out of the box fast, and keep it on my body with a pinky ring lanyard.

This system has worked for 10 years and the camera has never gotten wet. I'm sure there are even faster and zoomier compact cameras now, but I'm not up on the models.

pelican-case-jpg.136837


canon-p7800-jpg.136836


I also use my phone camera in an Dry Pak phone case lashed to my PFD pocket.

waterproof-cases-jpg.136911
 
Do you just handhold it with no strap or wrist lanyard or anything?
Yeah, I just pick it up & hold it, take the shot(s) and throw it back on the pfd or tackle bag behind me. There have been times that I've been concerned about dropping it overboard but it hasn't happened yet. I suppose, when it does, I'll grab a float for the next one.
 
a pinky ring lanyard
Another new one for me! That all makes sense, thanks Glenn.

I've long been a fan of the high quality compacts / point-and-shoots as well. I did a review of the options last fall, after realizing that my previous camera didn't really work in the cold anymore. I'm not sure there's faster options than f/2.0, the push has been in the direction of ever higher shutter speeds and totally insane ISOs. I did check out the Coolpix P1000, which has a real glass zoom of 3000mm equivalent. Pretty wild. Not pocket size though.

The X-T5 isn't actually a ton bigger than your Coolpix. Maybe 1.5 times the size? Still plenty small enough to fit in my pants pocket, assuming I have a not-huge lens on it.

IMG_1799.jpeg
 
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a pinky ring lanyard

Another new one for me! That all makes sense, thanks Glenn.

The ring is actually just the bottom part of an inexpensive Amzer neck lanyard. I can also wear the neck part of the lanyard in in the canoe and snap the ring on so the camera dangles on my chest. That way, I don't have to put it back in the Pelican box every time after use. I sometimes find it more convenient just to put my pinky through the ring so I can hold the camera further away from me.

Neck-Pinky-lanyard.jpg
 
Do you close the case every time you put the camera away?
I do! It doesn't help with making the camera fast/easy to use...but I like keeping the camera protected!

I ordered one of those from B&H last winter, after I broke through the ice on Squam Lake and took my camera for an unexpected swim. It was too bulky for me, so I returned it.
Thanks for sharing—those bags do look a bit awkward to use. Something to think on...
 
I keep my Nikon D7200 on the side of me in the Kite, just outboard of the seat pedestal. Haven’t soaked it yet, and previous to that I did the same with a D80 since 2004.
Either of those DSLR’s are bulky with an 18-200 Nikkor lens, so I rarely try to stuff them anywhere.
If the weather is poor, I usually have a goretex rain jacket on, so the camera tucks inside.
 
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