I always carry one of my waterproof Pentax Optiocameras attached to a life jacket to document my paddling trips and races. The image quality is fine to display pictures on-line, but it may be not sufficient for commercial applications. Pictures shot with compact digital cameras usually show a lot of digital noise when examining at 100% view.
In November 2007 I started to sell my pictures through microstock agencies. It forced me to carry a DSLR camera for paddling trips. It is a little bit tricky in the case of a low volume racing kayak like my Thunderbolt-X. Most often, I just pack a camera with a tripod and shoot from land. However, I am also trying to shoot from a kayak cockpit or from a decked mounted camera.
Now, we can add a tripod head. I am showing here my old 3-way Manfrotto/Bogen head great for shooting video. It provides much smoother controls and more solid mount than a simple knuckle coming with the sticky pod.
Canon EOS 40D camera with EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM lensmounted on a front deck of my Thunderbolt-X kayak. This is my favorite lens for paddling or any shooting restricted to a single lens.
A wing paddle can be really wet… To protect the camera from splashes I am using a rain coat with a front glass from Ewa Marine. I bought it years ago for my camcorder and it fits pretty well my DSLR camera as well. I was not able to use the original lens hood inside this cover without vignetting, so I improvised a temporary paper hood.
Canon TC80N3 Timer Remote Controler attached to the camera also fits under the rain coat. It allows me to shoot pictures automatically with a desired frequency and delay.
This camera setup is pretty heavy and affects stability of the tippy Thunderbolt kayak! It is even more challenging if I move it forward to a narrow kayak bow. I would not leave it alone mounted on an empty kayak.
One of the pictures shot from the camera mounted in the front of the kayak cockpit on the Beaver Pond near Fort Collins. The light and scenery is not so great, but the camera setup work as expected. This picture is available for purchase from Featurepics.
Another shot looking backward from the kayak bow. Of course, this camera setup can be used only on calm water. The rain coat doesn’t protect a camera from waves or splashes coming from below. This picture is available for purchase from Featurepics
I am not really recommending it for use with racing kayaks, but it is not so risky with more stable and drier boats. I used this camera setup even without the rain coat on the front deck of Sea Wind canoe.
Kayak Video Camera Mast – Sticky Pod Combined with Monopod
A New Shooting Angle – Camera Video Mast on Thunderbolt Kayak
Canon EOS 40D, Programmable Selftimer, Sticky Pod and Sea Wind Canoe
How to Make a Simple Camera Mount for a Kayak Deck – Video Mast
Sticky Pod Review – A Suction Cup Camera Mount for Kayak Photography
How to Mount a Camera on a Kayak Deck with Suction Cups from Sticky Pod
A View from a Kayak Cockpit – 3 Paddlers, 3 Cameras, 3 Boats