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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old December 28th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 22
Grand Canyon River Trip

I recently found out that I get to go on a rafting/kayaking trip on the Grand Canyon section of the Colorado river. Of course I would like to bring my video camera along, but of course 16 or so days in the wilderness presents a few challenges.
My biggest question/concern is about batteries. Is there a solar charger for charging Anton Bauer batteries (dionic 90)? Generators etc. are out of the question and while I understand solar has some limitations that seems to be the only choice. Everything will be put in a raft, so size and weight are at least some concern.
Next is a case. My camera is an HD-100, it seems like a Pelican 1600 or 1650 should do the job nicely, storing camera, tapes, batteries and accessories. I am also curious to know if anyone has used the Ewa-Marine TV-171 camera bag. I asked Ewa-Marine if the HD-100 would fit in it with the Anton Bauer battery attached and they didn't know. Does anyone know, that is to say, has anyone actually tried it?
Finally, am I just dumb to try and take that camera along? I imagine there are lots of things I haven't though of at all; and so far I've managed to kill two other video cameras with water so I'm trying to be more careful this time. I would love to hear from anyone who has done a trip like this before!
Thanks in advance for any help!
Tim Kahn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2007, 08:20 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 426
Tim, I'm so jealous. Myself and other friends have been on the Grand Canyon wait list for ten years and now with the new system we may never get to go.
I've had bad luck with Ewa products on rafting trips. They work great if you're on a sail boat in the rain but will be broken and mangled in first major rapid. They're not meant to take hits and I'm sure Ewa will tell you that. On the other hand, a good housing costs more than the trip.
What I would do is get the pelican. Those things are unbelievable. I always carabiner mine to the duffle pile or a D ring for easy flatwater access. This is especially true in morning and night when the animals are out. No worries about camera in pelican. My pelican fell down in some rapids one time and while it was dangling by the carabiner I rammed it with an eighteen foot oar rig right into a house sized boulder. I'm not saying it didn't leave a mark but the camera and mics were fine and dry. So long as you have a pelican and don't film in rapids your camera will be fine.
One other thing to consider, for the price of that EWA housing you could buy a sony HCR or a canon HV20, a couple batteries and the sony underwater housing. Do a HV20 sony housing search and that's what you want. I got mine for a hundred and change. Hopefully you can nab one on ebay or what have you. The sony underwater housing is bomb proof. Only negative is I have hv20 and can't use any of the controls so when you start recording that's it unless you have an older sony hcr.
I don't know what time of year you're going but there's a number of great rapids to swim on the grand canyon and you can film all the action. Sitting on the back of the duffle pile while filming the people in the front makes for some great footage. I also like holding the camera over the edge as the wave hits. Have fun.
Most if not all people on the trip will want a copy of what you shoot and if you're going on a friends permit there is no better way to thank him or her than making a highlights video of one of the greatest wilderness trips on earth.
Matt Buys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 28th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,011
ah, the trip of a lifetime! did it once on a private trip. unforgettable. there is nothing like it.

seems like a pretty big camera though, for that application...can you go smaller?

i would say that a EWA housing is actually not a bad idea, because it won't just be water that you're battling, but silt, silt, and more silt! even in camp, it's good to have a bag that protects your camera but allows you to pick it up and shoot.
Meryem Ersoz is offline   Reply

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