How do you protect cameras & such while fishing?

Discussion in 'Photography / Video' started by Mike T, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Mike T Active Member

    Posts: 849
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    I see all these great photos of trips & fish and I dont think they're all taken with disposable cameras. So how do you protect your cameras, etc when on the rivers? I've seen dry bags at fly shops and wonder if those are a good option or should I get a pelican case. I'd like something light to take my Nikon digital in a boat or along while wading.
  2. TrappedinCO Help! I'm trapped in a landlocked state.

    Posts: 144
    Littleton, CO
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I don't know how big your camera is, but I've been using one of those Simms camera dry bags for fishing and field work and it works great.
  3. Josh Benjamin New Member

    Posts: 985
    duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    My point and shoot nikon digital goes into a pelican case or otter box, one or the other, can't remember the name. got it at rei, they come in various sizes, big to small. works like a champ. the dry bag is an option, but i would not use it for my camera. no protection against dropping, getting stepped on, etc.
    my .02
  4. jackchinook Member

    Posts: 309
    Winthrop, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    Depends on what camera you have and what your intended uses are. I have a digital SLR...the dedicated underwater housings for it cost more than the body (in the neighborhood of $2000), which vastly exceeds what I'm willing to pay or carry (weightwise). I do use a pelican case (1300 case), which fits the camera with lens mounted, plus a few cards, lenscloth, batteries, lens hood inside. That costs about $70 but it's literally bombproof.

    For a smaller point and shoot, dedicated housings are available for some and range from $50-$200 but will allow you 99% worry-free use of the camera above and underwater (think snorkeling, diving, sticking the camera underwater to get exciting underwater release shots with your dangling legs and fins under a float tube!). Most Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, etc. bodies are covered. The cases allow most, if not all functions to work.

    Of course, if you're just looking for storage while not in use Pelican makes a great little drybox for P&S cameras that run under $20. Micro case series, I believe.

    Have fun.
  5. Mike T Active Member

    Posts: 849
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    I have a Nikon D-50 SLR so it looks like I'll be getting a Pelican case. Thanks for the advice I really do appreciate it! Wow, and I thought shooting got expensive with all its required accessories. If only I could be happy playing checkers I'd be a rich man...
  6. East Fork Active Member

    Posts: 1,200
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Another option is a weatherproof or waterproof digital. Olympus makes one for about $250. It fits in a shirt pocket and takes instamatic or better quality pictures.
  7. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,879
    Hiding in your closet
    Ratings: +59 / 0
    I use a Pelican for travel (plane, boat, car) and then transfer my camera, flash, and lenses to a roll-top dry bag inside my pack or boat bag while fishing. Camera insurance isn't prohibitively expensive either.

    For a point & shoot, the underwater housing is a great option too. The SLR housings are for underwater shooting and are way too bulky and expensive to use only for splash protection.
  8. Chris Bailey Member

    Posts: 120
    seattle, wa, USA.
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    If you don't need the hard-core protection of the pelican case, check out this bag from Sundog. It is a mix of a dry bag and a fitted/padded SLR case. I may pick one up myself. I did a quick search to find where to buy one, but didn't have any immediate luck. Sundog is located in Issaquah, and they have contact info on their web site, so they may sell direct.
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,286
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,391 / 0

    When I attended a Nikon photography class many years ago, I was impressed with their many examples of fantastic shots. They stressed that the way to get good photos, among other details of course, is to have an "ever ready camera philosophy." The ever ready camera doesn't have a case. Cased cameras don't take pictures.

    So it comes down to how much insurance you feel you need for your camera. How often do you fall in the river, capsize your boat, drop things - like cameras - overboard, etc. I realized that I left my camera cased and in dry bags so much that I would forget to get it out and take any pictures. For the last two years, I've carried a shirt pocket size digital. It's on a strap around my neck and lives in my shirt pocket while fishing. It could take a swim, but only if I do, and I don't fall in that often.

    Since your camera is an SLR, it's larger and bulkier, but the handier you keep it, the more photos you're going to take. Assess your level of risk and your risk tolerance, and keep that camera as handy as you're comfortable with.

    As a side note, I used to use nice camera cases for storage and water tightness, but after doing the "risk assessment", I now just keep them in zip lock plastic bags when not actually using them. Plenty effective unless they're going to remain immersed for a serious amount of time. And cheap to replace every once in a while.

    Good luck and good shooting.


    Salmo g.
  10. Starman77 Active Member

    Posts: 163
    Kent, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +42 / 0
    After ruining a few good cameras, I finally decided to get a Pentax Optio WPi, which is a waterproof (not just water resistant) camera (the current model is the WP10). This mainly solves the problem you're facing. This camera is very compact and it takes very good photos. You do have to worry about accidentally dropping it into the lake, so you should tether the camera to you somehow or attach a float the the handstrap so that the camera doesn't sink to the bottom of the lake.

  11. Jason Decker Active Member

    Posts: 2,624
    Issaquah, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    costco has the pentax wp in stock
  12. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,879
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +430 / 2
    Here is a review that I wrote about an EWA Marine "soft" UW camera housing:

    A lot of people are sketched out by the Ewa Marine bags, but for some uses, I think they work quite well. I wouldn't carry my dSLR in an otter/pelican box, because I wouldn't want to carry something that large and hard in my backpack. The Ewa (and those like it) doesn't offer much "bonk" protection. But you could easily stick a camera in an Ewa bag and then stick the shooting match in a small soft case. I think you'd still be happier than using a big otter box.

    That having been said, I have a huge pile of cameras, and I never take anything larger than a Canon G6 with me on most outdoor adventures. Usually I take the even smaller Canon SD300. Plenty of quality there for snapshots, small enough that it doesn't burden me down. And a small pelican/otter box is cheap and doesn't take up much room.
  13. gbeeman Active Member

    Posts: 343
    Kennewick WA
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    I have a small Canon that I keep in a Pelican case. This keeps it protected and dry unless I drop it. I also have a Canon Power Shot A-70 that I bought the underwater case for. It set me back about $150 but I can take great underwater pictures to a depth that's well beyond what I need.

  14. ral Rich Layendecker

    Posts: 199
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I agree with Salmo g. the camera has to be readily available and easy to use. I have a Fuji point and shoot that hangs around my neck and drops into a pocket of my vest. It is always available, I can't drop it and I can take it out, turn it on, point and shoot with one hand which leaves the other hand to handle the fish. Using an SLR is great, but then I am on a photography trip not a fishing trip.
  15. fish-on Waters haunt me....

    Posts: 271
    camano island
    Ratings: +29 / 0

    I agree on this one. I got sick and tired of ruining my cameras especially when I take a dunking in the rivers, which I often do. This one's Waterproof, not water resistant!!!

    I ended up buying the Pentax Camera from Costco. Not only is it cheap ($250) but it takes awesome pictures (6mp) and really clear videos. Backed up with Costco lifetime warranty, wherein I can return/exchange/upgrade at any time, it can't be beat.

    Tight lines

  16. Tony Mull Member

    Posts: 832
    Lake Stevens, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    what's the sense in paying as much for a waterproof container as you did for the camera? the camera becomes disposable at that point. a good zip lock while its in the daypack or pontoon pocket and then around my neck whenever its in use. most of the time its inside my waders and handy to use with no danger of dropping. the only one i ever ruined was my wife's (of course) and I forgot it was in a lower jacket pocket and waded in too deep. then i left it in the car overnight and it froze. i don't touch her camera anymore and that was 12 years ago! the vast majority of my fishing is lakes these days. i'd be a little more wary of moving waters due to falling, but i'm getting too old for that kind of thing anyway. i don't wade where i might get dunked anymore.
  17. Wayne Chan Member

    Posts: 60
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Zip lock. I totally agree with Salmo G. and Tony Mull. And yes, years ago, I sent a Canon Sure Shot down the 'nooch by flipping a canoe. That camera I never found, so it didn't matter how well it was protected.
  18. alpinetrout Banned or Parked

    Posts: 3,879
    Hiding in your closet
    Ratings: +59 / 0
    Except you get the advantage of being able to take sweet underwater shots.
  19. Kalama Mojo New Member

    Posts: 14
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I do the same thing, I use my small Sony on the river and just keep it in a zip lock bag in my shirt pocket under my waders. Piece of cake to pull it out and snap a couple pics.
  20. katocaddis Cimex Absolutonis

    Posts: 17
    Cashmere, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I personally use an Olympus Stylus 410. Yes, its only water-resistant but I think it takes great shots (Megapixels ain't everything baby). I have used it while kayaking, rafting and in torrential downpours. It has been slimmed by nice fish more times than I can count. I clip the wrist strap to my vest with a climbing carabineer. It is clipped on at about chest level so its never too far away. I can also unclip and hand to my fishing partner easily. To keep it out of the way I tuck it into a breast pocket on my shirt while its still clipped on. Never dropped it yet, or missed a good shot in the 3 years of owning it.