Mon - October 2, 2006

Pentax Optio W10 as Kayak Cam on Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon

Kayak Cam in Glenwood Canyon 15Mb and 30Mb

During my trip to Glenwood Canyon a month ago I spent a couple of hours playing with my Pentax Optio W10 in a video mode.

I launched my Sisson Nucleus at the Bair Ranch Rest Area about 11 am and paddled a couple of miles upstream. I spent most of my time paddling upstream and downstream of the rapid above the Bair Ranch. I tried the camera mounted in different ways on a kayak deck with a suction cup (sticky pod) and as a helmet cam.

Shooting movies with the helmet mounted camera was a little bit tricky. I had troubles to keep the camera horizontal, so all my video clips were crooked. Also, pressing a shutter button may be not so trivial when your hands are wet and you are tired after paddling against rapids. I had one or two missed video runs because I didn't start the camera.

I had no problems with the deck mounted camera. I had made several movie clips before using that approach. I didn't have troubles with water drops on my lens since I didn't run any really rough water. For white water or waves some sort of splash cover for the camera may be helpful.

Brad Gwynn makes nice kayak surfing pictures with a Pentax Optio W10 set on autoshoot and strapped to his foredeck as reported in Sea kayaking dot net. I believe he has some splash protection in his home made camera mount.

My 3 minute movie was assembled in Adobe Premiere 6.5 from video clips shot from two camera positions on the deck and the camera mounted on a helmet, as well as from some river shots from a shore. You can download it in one of two versions for Windows Media Player: 700 Kbps (~15Mb) or 1400 Kbps (~30Mb). I didn't add any music. All sounds including underwater were recorded directly by the camera. The sound is much better in the bigger clip.

Please share your experiences if you are shooting paddling movies with a compact digital waterproof camera like Pentax Optio W10/W20/WP, using waterproof camera housing or a bullet video camera. It would be interesting to compare different possible approaches.

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