Protect the camera - kayaking - Sony FS 100 or Canon 5D Mk II at

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Old June 7th, 2013, 05:53 PM   #1
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Protect the camera - kayaking - Sony FS 100 or Canon 5D Mk II

I'll be shooting documentary-style footage in about a week and a half - it's a group of girls kayaking along a river in Northern California. I have two GoPros (a 1 and a 2), and assorted mounts - and I expect to use them pretty extensively. My main camera (typically) is a Sony FS 100 or a Canon 5D Mk II. I am equally comfortable with both. I don't need an "underwater" housing per-se, as I don't intend (heh... intend) for them to get wet. That said, I will shoot from a kayak pretty extensively, and there is the chance of tipping over. I would like some kind of housing that will protect the camera, should it (and I) end up in the water. I really, really need something that can also hold two wireless receivers.

I'd like something I can rent.

Any thoughts?
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Old June 10th, 2013, 11:21 PM   #2
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Re: Protect the camera - kayaking - Sony FS 100 or Canon 5D Mk II

You can use protective bags like Ewa-Marine or similar products. I hade one and drowed one camera during diving, so I don't recommend it for UW work, but as a splash guard it will work. If you choose one with room for a flash, you could build a holder for your recivers.
A more expensive option would be another kayak, it's a few options with expendebles pontoons on the side (made for standing up during fishing).
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Old June 15th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Protect the camera - kayaking - Sony FS 100 or Canon 5D Mk II

An Aqua Tech surf housing, or an SPL Waterhousing, is probably your best bet for kayaking with the MKII, although an Ikelite housing is better for deeper water or when you need more control of the camera settings.
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Old July 16th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Protect the camera - kayaking - Sony FS 100 or Canon 5D Mk II

As a hardcore kayaker and motion media guy, it's a fallacy to consider "splash proofing" a camera if there really is a risk you can capsize.

If you can mitigate your risk to the point where water splashes really are the worst that could happen (utterly calm conditions, on shore near a waterfall, or a VERY calm eddy and you have VERY good boat control and balance skills), put the camera in a dry bag (I love Watershed brand dry duffles, which open wide like doctors' bags) and slap an OpTech rain sleeve over it, and you'll be fine.

If there is ANY chance you could really capsize while the camera is out, you must look at underwater housings. A capsize will find your camera underwater, period, even if for a moment, and splashproofing will be utterly meaningless. Those waterproof bags like Ewa-Marine seem to be popular but I hear many tales of failure...but without seeing how they're being used, it's hard to say what the failure points are.

I just did 3 weeks on Vancouver Island on a kayak expedition, and I used a GoPro, a Canon S100 in a Canon underwater housing, and a 7D with a 16-35mm in an OpTech rainsleeve. The latter never got taken out while on the water, although it could have in really sheltered conditions.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 04:09 AM   #5
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Re: Protect the camera - kayaking - Sony FS 100 or Canon 5D Mk II

The focus should also be on the choice of the type of kayak you will use. There are some touring kayaks that are larger and much more stable than typical river-running boats. If the amount of fast maneuvering you will need to do is minimal, one of these could help you avoid trouble with the camera. If I was shooting this, I'd use my largest and widest sea kayak, which is very stable and has room for a lot of gear. Also, get a pair of drip-guards for the paddle shaft, placed just inside the hand positions, as these will deflect water that might run down into the kayak and onto the camera.

Another idea is to get a double kayak of a large size. Sit in the front seat and have your assistant paddling in the back seat and controlling the boat while you're shooting. Paddling and handling a kayak and a camera at the same time, might result in you doing neither very well. There will be times when you'll be as busy as a one-armed paper-hanger with the itch. It might also be best to do as much of the shooting from the shore as possible. Take advantage of bridges and other high vantage points.
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