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Have you ever taken a DSLR camera onto the mountain?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
My point & shoot is broken, but I have a Nikon D50 with several lenses I enjoy taking pictures with. I'd love to take it skiing to get shots of the landscape and my friends, but I cannot think of a way to keep it safe - impact from a fall, the cold, and water are all dangers. Does anybody have any tricks that work for them? Or should I just get a new p&s?
post #2 of 50
I would think carrying in a case, inside of a backpack wrapped in a fleece would work pretty well. Take it out on runs when you want to take pictures.
post #3 of 50
Elistan, the F-Stop bags were recently discussed at TGR. The owner of the store jumped on and offered a 20% discount until January 10. Grant Gunderson offered a review of the F-Stop Satori and Tilopa bags that I though was espcially well done. You can see the F-stop bags on Amazon as a comparison for price. Kind of pricey but if the pros like it, its got to be pretty durable and suitable.

If you want to take advantage of the offer, you'll have to act fast.
post #4 of 50
Elistan:

I carry a Canon Digital Rebel XTI with me a good share of the time while skiing.

I carry it with the strap looped around my neck and the camera tucked into my coat. I have the neck strap adjusted to a length that allows the camera body to sort of ride right underneath my bottom left rib.

I zip the coat up while skiing, but it takes only a moment to stop, unzip, take off the lens cap, and shoot. I have discovered that some kind of light shell jacket that fits fairly tight around the waist really helps on powder days (a powder skirt would too, of course) because if your coat fits somewhat loosely you'll get powder blowing up from the bottom of the coat and getting the camera wet.

My carrying method does two really great things; one is that the camera is basically RIGHT THERE, always ready to take a shot. The second is that keeping the camera close to my chest keeps the battery warm.

The downside, of course, is that if I ever do a big forward fall onto a hard surface, I'm going to break my ribs, the camera, both, or something even more valuable. : So far, I've been lucky in that regard.

I'll add that I carry the camera a great deal when I'm doing ski instruction. It's such an easy matter to take on-the-hill, non-posed photos of people and then email the photos to the skiers. I've even done dozens of still shots in the morning and then hooked up my laptop during lunch to SHOW students the types of things they're doing that we've talked about on the hill. I find it is an incredibly effective teaching tool and the clients love it.
post #5 of 50
I take my D70s skiing all the time. I use a LowePro Runner, a fanny pack swung around front side. I have taken many spills, and got the camera packed with snow a time or two, and it is fine.
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
I carry it with the strap looped around my neck and the camera tucked into my coat. I have the neck strap adjusted to a length that allows the camera body to sort of ride right underneath my bottom left rib.
I've done the same thing with a mini-dv camcorder and it works OK (same pros/cons as those Bob identified). However, last trip out I got condensation and the camera quit on me until I'd cleaned it/allowed it to dry. For a pricey camera and hard skiing, I'd prolly recommend the backpack/padding idea or a dedicated pack like the F-stop or Lowepros.

Keep the camera in the pack if you go inside and/or put it in a baggie to prevent condensation (which can frequently occur when going from cold to warm atmospheres or if you sweat inside your jacket).
post #7 of 50
Keeping a camera in a backpack (that you need to take off to get to it) is the surest way to ensure that you never/rarely take pictures on the mountain.

Like Bondo, I carry my Nikon D40 in a pack that I can swing around from back to front. I've taken spills with snow getting into the pack (including the one where I tore my ACL), but the camera has been fine.

So far, haven't had any problems with condensation.
post #8 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by faisasy View Post
Keeping a camera in a backpack (that you need to take off to get to it) is the surest way to ensure that you never/rarely take pictures on the mountain.
Good point; you have to dedicate some time to it or have it handy. I've had luck with skiing ahead with the video/still camera to get in position (i.e. discuss location on the lift & cameraman goes right away instead of waiting around for boot adjustments etc.).
post #9 of 50
Does the camera has a soft plastic case? If so, that's already some protection from the snow. Not from falls though. So depends on how likely you think you'll fall, you either put it in a padded fanny/back pack or not at all.

I don't find water much of a problem.
post #10 of 50
Haven't bought a dslr yet, but I have a full set of Minolta Maxxum lenses so purchase of a sony a100 or a700 is likely imminent. Waiting for the a200 to come out this month then I will make final choice.

As recent as 10 years ago I ski'd often with a Minolta Maxxum 9000 with motordrive carried as Bob Peters described. The one major diff tho was I put a body cap on it, thus it fit closely under my jacket and I put the 35-105 maxxum zoom in my jacket pocket......It was barely noticeable.....I will do the same with a Sony dslr when I get one....

I guess I am saying I like Bob Peters suggestion, only use a body cap and stick the lenses in your pockets...

for now I stick a Canon A95 5mp digi in the jacket pocket when I am packing.
post #11 of 50
I have been taking a Canon PNS and for rapid fire shots it has been good.
post #12 of 50
I have no fear of those danger to my DSLR. I keep it in a camera backpack which provides 99% protection from any crash, well, if I am to have a big crash, the single thing I care is myself. Cold ? no, if the temperature is constantly cold, you won't get any fog on lens or CCD. I ever tested my DSLR in a very cold day, minus F something, the only thing that temporary failed was its CF card.

However, it's been proven to me that keeping dslr in a typical camera backpack is not efficient. It's really boring to take it out and put it back to the backpack, the swing solution might be an answer.

Another tip is a DSLR equipped with liveview + tilted LCD will make your life a lot easier on the slope.
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elistan View Post
My point & shoot is broken, but I have a Nikon D50 with several lenses I enjoy taking pictures with. I'd love to take it skiing to get shots of the landscape and my friends, but I cannot think of a way to keep it safe - impact from a fall, the cold, and water are all dangers. Does anybody have any tricks that work for them? Or should I just get a new p&s?
I take mine up all the time, I've never had a problem with it.
post #14 of 50
In the "bad old days" of film camera, I've take my SLR up the mountain often enough. I do a "modefied Bob Peter's carry", which is around my neck and over one shoulder, also inside the jacket. I kept the strap a little longer so it dangles around my belly instead of around my ribs. With the jacket zipped up, the camera are restricted in movement so it doesn't really swing widely in any way.

I also carry a body cap and a lens cap in my pocket. If I find myself on a really sketchy run, I would stop and seperate the lens from the body and put the two caps on their respected recepticle, which only takes less than a minute. With the lens detached, the camera is so flat, I think it has a pretty good chance of survival even if I do end up falling ON it.
post #15 of 50
I would suggest the Lowepro slingshot series. They have a lot of padding, a waterproof shell you can pull over them (like a backpack cover) and very quick to use. I have the 200, and its a bit big for my D70s and 2 lenses. If I was to do it again I'd get the 100. Amazon has them for sale http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846
post #16 of 50
Unfortunately, those of us who are not as efficient skiers as Bob may find that our own persperation fogs the optics if we use his method. (I did -- only a P&S though, so no lasting harm).
post #17 of 50

aah the confusion

I've been thinking about this too. I have an upcoming ski trip to austria and was wondering whether to take my Canon EOS 400d (Digital Rebel).

My dilemna is this: I can take my 400d with the shoulder bag I already have, which is not waterproof or that padded, and just use it when i'm walking around the town, and I can buy a smaller point and shoot that I am not so attached to (maybe casio exilim series or canon ixus 70) or I can spend the money that I would have spent on that to buy a good camera bag, one that goes around the waist or a sling shot one.

Sorry if this seems a minor decision, but I just can't seem to decide! I am torn between the fact that I might break my beloved camera or lenses or I might miss shots with having to get it out of a bag (I'm a faller so it would have to be protected :-) ) But then my picture quality might not be as good if i use a point and shoot, but then again I might get more pictures??

Anyway, any advice would be grateful!

Hannah
post #18 of 50
Thread Starter 
Cirquerider, thanks for the info on the F-Stop bags. I already have something similar, in the form of a LowePro MiniTrekker AllWeather. Water resistant, padded, with both a sternum strap and hip strap - it's great for birding hikes. But when skiing, my hydration pack lives on my back, and the camera will need to go in and out of the bag a lot. If I was simply skiing to a destination and planned to take lots of photos from there, it'd be perfect. But my goal is to be able to take a few shots from the top of the run, some from the bottom, a few more here and there spontaneously when I see something interesting, etc. Having to take off the bag and set it down to get to the contents isn't going to work.

Bob Peters - that's an idea I hadn't thought of, thanks. I would have thought that the cold would effect the batteries more than that. (I've had cell phones and radios shut down on me when stored in outside pockets.) However, I think I'm prone to falling too much for that to work. By the way, can you recommend any spots at Jackson Hole for particularly nice views to shoot from? Both of the landscape, and of other skiers. My girlfriend has taken video of me with the p&s prior to it braking, and I agree, photos/video is an excellent teaching tool because it provides rich feedback.

To the others that suggested a fanny pack or shoulder pack - yeah, something like that sounds like it would be extremely workable. Easy to get to the equipment while standing at a run, out of the way while skiing or riding the lift, padded for safety... I have a Nikkor 18-200mm OS lens that'll probably fit in one of those perfectly. Hmm, I'll have to do some research on what's out there, particularly the LowePro Slingshots.

I think my point and shoot died, by the way, when I took it from an A/C environment out into a very muggy Dallas summer day. Everything got all foggy after a few minutes - it didn't fail right then, but soon after that the sensor started cutting out at times. Now, it doesn't work at all. So good advice about not taking the camera out of the bad until it warms up to ambient when I go inside. That should be obvious, but that wouldn't have occurred to me.

hannahstevo, yeah, I'm pretty much in the same situation. I love using by DSLR, but am fearful of damaging it. The point&shoot was decent, and having video capability is a big plus, but it just doesn't have the capability of the SLR...
post #19 of 50

Taking you DSLR

It Really depends on how good of a skiier you are. If you feel pretty comfortable that you can navigate the mountain with out crashing every 40 feet, I wouldn't hesitate to take the camera. I have a Cannon EOS ELAN II SLR that I take skiing all the time. I normally avoid the half pipe and terrain parks when I have the camera, but I have never had a problem skiing with it in order to capture some nice pics. I have a Low Pro - fanny pack/carrying case - its fine for hiking with but it is a pain to ski with. Do yourself a favor throw the camera in a plastic shopping (grocery bag) wrap it up and stick it in a backpack with a turtle fur or beanie hat. It will ride fine, just remember take off your pack before you get on the lifts. It is so much easier to ski with the back pack and the plastic bag protects from moisture enough but allows quicker access so you don't spend the majority of your time and your $78.00/day lift ticket taking your camera in and out of an elaborately padded camera case. I have even taken my camera Heli-Skiing. Just watch out for rotor wash if you choose this option. . I have never had a problem with the cold. Though if it is seriously cold (below 0) I am generally not taking the time to snap many pictures.
post #20 of 50
Like I said earlier I have a D70s and 2 lenses. A 18-70mm and a 70-300 mm. Either lens on the camera body fits in the main compartment of the Lowepro slingshot 200 with ease. Here is a link to a blog that has a picture of the 200 with a camera in it to give you an idea. I've never ski'd with mine b/c I wouldn't feel comfortable at my skill level, and I have a cheap point & shoot that takes darn good pictures. Within reason you can get a $150 camera to shoot as good as a $5000 camera if you set them up right. Just has to be the right point and shoot.

Hope this helps
post #21 of 50
I carried my Canon 20D around Whistler in a LowePro toploader with the chest harness. Most of the time I forgot it was even there. The toploader makes it easy to get at, and no swinging around backpacks or fanny packs, and they have several sizes depending on the length of lens you want to carry.
post #22 of 50
Reading a similar thread recently. Flipping though Cabelas Fly fishing catalogue (Just came! Yay!) and a chest pack (vest section) struck me as a viable piece of camera equipment.
post #23 of 50
Personally, I have never needed more than my padded Back-pack for MY D70 and Lenses, for my mini-DV, I just leave it in my front lower pocket, but I have to admit, I'm not very prone to a forward fall.

If you really need to protect a camera, get a Pelican case and remove the necessary blocks of foam. Keep in mind though that the case will injury your body in a bad fall. Afterall, if it is a high quality DSLR, what costs more, your insurance payment or replacing your camera.

sounds dumb, but its true,

Chris
post #24 of 50
I just received my Think Tank Digital Holster 40. Combined with the digital harness, I'm going to give this a try with my Canon 1D MKIII.
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowpix View Post
I just received my Think Tank Digital Holster 40. Combined with the digital harness, I'm going to give this a try with my Canon 1D MKIII.

Cowpix! You're back!!!
you've been missed!

Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
post #26 of 50
I started carrying a DSLR this year in my fanny pack, in a case. I realize that I am taking far fewer pictures than with my Casio P&S. It's much harder (and do your friends really want to wait around?) to open the fanny pack, take out and open the case, take the pictures, put camera back in case, put case in fanny pack, close fanny pack, swing it around than to take the P&S out of a pocket or front compartment of fanny pack and shoot your pictures. It also takes more time while your hands are getting COLD!

I just bought a new fanny pack which is well padded and opens much wider and will try carrying the DSLR in that without being in a case. Is that dumb? I think it will significantly reduce the time it takes to get ready to shoot. Fanny pack will also contain windshirt, glove lines, face mask, sandwishes, candy - only soft stuff which will provide extra padding. Since I don't normally fall on my back I'm willing to give it a try because I hate coming home from a week trip and only having a dozen pics.
post #27 of 50

Kata sling

This Kata sling/holster looks cool, light and is not expensive (I got one for $25 at adorama.com but it hasn't arrived yet): http://www.kata-bags.com/Item.asp?pi...d=4&ProdLine=4
post #28 of 50
I took my XTi and two lenses out in a Dakine Sequence for a day. Great bag, plenty of room for extra stuff and I felt confident that the camera was protected. I took it out to shoot, then put it back in.
post #29 of 50
Thread Starter 
Well, I picked up one of these yesterday:
Case Logic SLR Zoom Camera Holster


It's essentially a perfect fit for my D50 with 18-200 lens. I have other lenses, but I'm not bringing them on the trip. It's well padded, has weather protection (including rubberized cover for top zipper) and an armored bottom. There's room for spare memory chips and a spare battery, but those will probably live in the hotel room during the day. The shoulder strap works well bandoleer style, and allows me to get to the camera without having to take anything off. Then I can swing it towards my back to keep it out of the way while skiing.

I haven't tested operation while wearing my ski gloves though.

Except for some lens wipes, is there anything else you think I should put in the bag?

I noticed that there will be some races at JH this weekend, so I think I'll try my hand at some shots of that if I can find when/where they'll be running, in addition to the normal vacation photos. Wish me luck.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elistan View Post
Except for some lens wipes, is there anything else you think I should put in the bag?
I keep some of those chemical hand warmer packs in the bag, open up one or two for the cold days to keep the battery warm.
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