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#109028 - 01/08/09 10:50 PM How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking.
12Step Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Southwest Ohio
It has been a while since I have posted on here, and I have a question regarding how to carry a DSLR camera when hiking.

I plan on only doing day hikes mostly when bringing my DSLR, (Canon EOS XS). I can't figure out how I'm gonna carry the equipment and still have room for hiking essentials.

Now I know bringing this type of camera equipment is considered insane to the "every once counts" concept, but nature photography is a passionate hobby of mine, and as I said I probably wouldn't bring it on a multi-day hike...probably.

Any ideas, advice or suggestions???


T.
_________________________
"Let's not miss the beauty of the forest by the ugliness of some of its trees." Bill W.

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#109029 - 01/08/09 11:29 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: 12Step]
jpanderson80 Offline
member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Memphis, TN
When my wife hikes she carries a DSLR. We figured out that for $15-$20 she could get a small soft padded case and then we used a web strap to go behind the two backpack shoulder straps (down low) and then in front of her waist and through the back of the case to form something of a fanny pack. (You could just go around your waist, but I'm recalling that the webbing we had was too short.) This gave her instant access to the camera and without too much rigging she never complained about it. She has two lenses. One on the camera and the other fit snugly in the case.

I have the case right here... Quantaray case - black with purple trim... 10.7 oz. (i can't find a picture online)
_________________________
I always forget and make it more complicated than it needs to be...it's just walking.

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#109035 - 01/09/09 07:56 AM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: jpanderson80]
scottmphoto Offline
member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Russellville, Arkansas, USA
When I'm working (I'm a photographer that does a lot of nature and wildlife) I carry my DSLR on a strap, over my shoulder, with a lens attached so that I have easy access (usually one hand on the grip and the shutter release). I carry any other photo gear (lenses, flash, etc.) in the top of my pack and wrapped well for protection. My tripod is strapped on the outside of my pack. If it's wet, I have an Aquatech hood that will be on the camera. I don't have any special cases or anything for my gear because it just doesn't work so well for me. I have several thousands of dollars invested in my equipment (mostly in my f/2.8 lenses) and I am careful with it, but when I'm working (anytime that I'm out with my camera) it's covered by insurance.
_________________________
Scott W. McClure
Photographer -
Scoutmaster Troop 202
Eagle Scout - BSA /
Vigil Honor - Order of the Arrow


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#109067 - 01/09/09 02:51 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: scottmphoto]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
Agree with Scott.

The camera goes over the shoulder with a strap designed for that purpose. The Upstrap works well. If you are using a long lens, place the camera "backward" on your shoulder, this will let the lens hang down against your body instead of sticking out and banging into things.

If you absolutely have to keep it in a case, take a look at the SLR cases from Think Tank Photo. They hold a D-SLR with an attached lens, ready to shoot, attached to your belt or your shoulder harness. The bags come with a waterproof cover.

Carrying your SLR in your backpack means you won't take many photos.

Finally, bring a small tripod, even if it's just a Gorillapod SLR model. You'll be happy you did.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#109068 - 01/09/09 03:03 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: 12Step]
trailblazer Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/02
Posts: 788
Loc: Menlo Park, CA/Sierra Nevada
In the past I carried my camera gear in a front harness. It was homemade (sil-nylon and closed cell foam for padding), but there are some commercially available (google "camera case harness" and you'll find options). Basically, it was a bag that was harnessed up to my chest for easy access. Sometimes I'll stow my gear on the top of my pack (and depending upon what I bring I might choose my larger sized backpack), and sometimes I'll also bring along a small point and shoot on my shoulder strap for snapshots which reduces the number of times I need access my larger camera (if I'm going to really set up a shot, I'll have to remove my pack to get my tripod anyways).
_________________________
Greg
www.naturefocused.com

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#109071 - 01/09/09 05:37 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: scottmphoto]
jpanderson80 Offline
member

Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 292
Loc: Memphis, TN
Do you guys/girls who carry your camera on your shoulder with a strap hike with trekking poles? It seems like you could do one or the other, but not both. But, I've never tried that.
_________________________
I always forget and make it more complicated than it needs to be...it's just walking.

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#109135 - 01/10/09 10:11 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: jpanderson80]
kbennett Offline
member

Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 820
Loc: north carolina
The only times I've ever carried SLR cameras in the backcountry was on a paying job. I had two cameras, one over each shoulder (carrying a pack did interfere with the straps a little), and I did not use trekking poles. I needed my hands free to shoot.

When I'm hiking for recreation, I carry a digital p+s camera in a small waist pack.
_________________________
--Ken B

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#109138 - 01/10/09 10:18 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: 12Step]
4x4Dragon Offline
member

Registered: 04/12/04
Posts: 323
Loc: Lexington, SC
I simply put mine in a standard carry case and run my sternum strap through the back loops of the case. granted this might not be feasible if you are carrying a full frame and/or 2.8 telephoto lens.

i've used this method with a D80 and Sigma 18-50 f2.8(fairly hefty for it's size) with no complaints.

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#109139 - 01/10/09 10:24 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: kbennett]
scottmphoto Offline
member

Registered: 08/18/08
Posts: 31
Loc: Russellville, Arkansas, USA
No poles for me. It's just something that I never could get used to when I was younger. I got myself a nice used and cheap Fuji point-n-shoot for Christmas so that I could just make snap-shot documentation of my Scout troops outdoor activities. When I'm backpacking for relaxation, I hate to have to carry the extra weight of a DSLR and the big lenses. If I find a spot that I want to seriously photograph, I'll make a note of the spot on the map and mark a waypoint on my GPS, then I'll come back to it at a later time.

_________________________
Scott W. McClure
Photographer -
Scoutmaster Troop 202
Eagle Scout - BSA /
Vigil Honor - Order of the Arrow


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#109146 - 01/11/09 09:12 AM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: 12Step]
Wolfeye Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/07
Posts: 413
Loc: Seattle, WA
People have already given tips on how to carry, so here's my tidbit of other advice: keep the spare batteries on your person so they stay warm from body heat, and put them inside a small sack inside your sleeping bag at night. Coldness makes batteries discharge quicker for some reason.

Don't feel like DSLR equipment is too heavy - think of it as "the rest of my gear is light so I can carry the stuff that matters". smile

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#109148 - 01/11/09 09:45 AM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: 12Step]
scottyb Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
I use a OP Tech Bino/Cam Harness with a small Tamarac case for my Canon G9. It would also work for a DSLR if you find the appropriate holster. The harness goes on 1st, under the backpack.

I checked out the Think Tank website suggested earlier. They have a much beefier version of the same thing as well as holsters for DSLR's Think Tank Digital Holster

I think the important thing is to have instant access to you camera.
_________________________
Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.... Pericles (430 B.C)

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#109158 - 01/11/09 01:18 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: scottyb]
bmisf Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/03
Posts: 629
I've got the digital holster 20 for my D300 and it's a fine bag (I use it most often with the crossed shoulder straps so that it rides on my chest). Really well made, but pretty bulky and heavy for us "ultralighters". Takes a few moments to get the camera out and ready to shoot from it, compared to my friend who always just carries her Canon on its shoulder strap and has it at the ready constantly.

The holster keeps it much better protected, so it's a trade-off.

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#109166 - 01/11/09 03:49 PM Re: How to carry a DSLR Camera when hiking. [Re: bmisf]
scottyb Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 278
Loc: Texas Hill Country
Just curious why it takes so long to get the camera out of the holster. With my OP Tech harness and Tamarac case, I can get my G9 out, turn it on, and shoot, all with one hand, in less than 5 seconds. I also use a Lowepro holster for my DSLR with a regular neck strap for things other than hiking, and can do the same with it. I keep it unbuckled when I am using the camera often unless I am doing something more strenuous where I want the camera to be more secure. It becomes almost like a quick draw and your hand goes straight for the grip, switch, and shutter release. The reason I like to have the case or holster is to keep dust and sweat off the camera as much as possible.
_________________________
Just because you don't take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.... Pericles (430 B.C)

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