Articles in cameras
In April of 2005 I bought my first digital waterproof camera – Pentax Optio WP. It was pretty unique little camera at that time which really changed my paddling photography and blogging. Since then, I have upgraded through several models of Pentax Optio as seen …
I just started my 2011/12 cold season of paddling on the South Platte River. On October 14 I took the Thunderbolt kayak for upstream/downstream paddling workout starting at Kersey. I did a little bit more than 3 miles up river just passing the confluence with the Poudre River. It was a beautiful summer weather and the river had a good flow > 700 cfs.
I was testing my new GoPro HD Hero camera. I didn’t shoot video, but I started from my favorite interval mode taking still pictures every 60 seconds. I did a lot of this kind of shooting with my Pentax Optio cameras. GoPro Hero was mounted with a suction cup from Sticky Pod on the front deck of my kayak. A detachable LCD screen makes it much easier to position the camera and play back there results of your shooting. I will be reviewing features of the GoPro camera and different mountain options, especially, the GoPro Hero suction cup mount with my own based on Sticky Pod product.
The pictures turned to be pretty good. Of course, the pictures shot in full sun were in general too contrasty. For this post I choose pictures shot in a partial shadow or after sunset. The initial shot under the bridge, not particularly scenic spot, is quite interesting. The concrete bridge structure acted as a huge reflector. Well, it’s all about light.
A waterproof Pentax Optio W30 camera was mounted on a bow of my Sea Wind canoe with Sticky Pod suction cup and a mini ball head. The camera was set in a lapse time (interval) mode to shoot a picture every 4 minutes …
I just got a fisheye lens for my Canon 5D/II: Sigma 15mm F2.8 EX DG Diagonal Fisheye.
I was looking for a new paddling camera satisfying the following requirements:
- More compact than my Canon DSLRs (D40 and 5D) and easier to carry on my racing boats including Thunderbolt-X kayak.
- Providing a better image quality than Pentax Optio W10 suitable for my stock photography. Pentax is great for paddling and shooting pictures for posting on web, but these pictures are usually too noisy for commercial applications.
- Recording RAW format, if possible, to allow me more flexibility in picture postprocessing.
I have been following the Canon PowerShot G line of cameras. Canon offers waterproof housing for them. I got spoiled by my Pentax Optio W30 and, now, would like to see intervalometer built in every camera. Some time ago I discussed PowerShot G10 as a candidate for a paddling camera.
Finally, I bought the recent G11 model. I am still learning and exploring the new camera and took it for some testing in winter conditions on the South Platte River.
All pictures in this post were shot during my two latest paddle workouts with Thunderbolt kayak. There were shot with G11 (set on ISO=100) on the same sandbar about 2 miles upstream of Kersey.
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.
Panasonic is entering a market for compact waterproof cameras represented by popular Pentax Optio W and Olympus Stylus SW series.
I had been thinking for a longer while about taking a camera for Texas Water Safari, 260 mile non stop race down the San Marcos and Guadelupe Rivers. My first digital camera, Canon PowerShot S40 in its waterproof case was just too heavy to carry it through all portages and logjams of the race. So, I bought Pentax Optio WP, the first waterproof compact digital camera, as soon as it was available.
I am quite happy to paddle and shoot with Pentax Optio “W” cameras as long as producing pictures to be displayed online. They are waterproof, compact, easily accessible in any conditions. The image quality is OK for a blog or website, but usually there is just too much of digital noise for some commercial applications. So, for my stock photography, I am carrying my DSLR camera, Canon EOS 40D. It may be a rather challenging task if I paddle a racing boat like my Thunderbolt-X kayak.
In the search for some alternative solutions I have been watching evolution of Canon PowerShot G series cameras. Canon offers waterproof cases for them.