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Hiking with An SLR camera

Camera equipment and technique for taking photos.
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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby rking007 » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:45 pm

I shoot with a Canon 30d and I just put it that thing right over my neck and shoulder like a bandoleer. When I need to I can rotate it to my side/back and when I see a great shot, swing it right over, take an arm out and shoot away. I love it! I also shoot HD videography and do the same thing with a Canon XH-A1 on a strap which is about four times larger than an SLR. Worked well for me in Beirut and Europe a few summers ago. So far I've climbed two 14ers with both cameras in tow and found myself stowing the HD camera once to negotiate some moves.
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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby DanR » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:53 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:
How do you like that S90? I've heard that the EV is always active via the dial thing on the back and often gets turned when you don't want it to - messing up exposure - in the Program mode. Has that been a problem?


I've heard similar things about the S90, but Canon did come out with the S95 (updated S90) recently and supposedly it has an improved control scheme.

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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby Tory Wells » Sun Sep 26, 2010 9:17 pm

Dancesatmoonrise wrote:How do you like that S90? I've heard that the EV is always active via the dial thing on the back and often gets turned when you don't want it to - messing up exposure - in the Program mode. Has that been a problem?

I couldn't be happier with the S90. I keep it in a small neoprene case and I can run anywhere with it in my hand. I'm running the Maroon Bells Four Pass Loop this week and it will be right there, always ready.

As for the interface issues you are referring to, yes on occasion I have turned the dial or pushed a button when I didn't want to, but any such errors are quickly resolved. It is such a tiny camera with so many features, I guess it kinda makes sense that there's not much room and sometimes you push a button you didn't intend to.
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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby waolsen » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:58 am

I turn the camera upside down and hang the strap over my neck and under one of my arms. The camera rests snuggly against my side and doesn't get in the way or swing all over the place. I hiked a good bit of class 3 this weekend like that and had no issues.
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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby jstouder » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:14 am

On a recent hike up Mt. Princeton I used the Lowepro Rezo 170AW. It's very light, easy to open with a very convenient lens holder in front. The most important feature being the raincover stowed in the bottom of the bag. I sling it over my shoulder after my pack goes on and it sits comfortably at my side. It slides easily to the front if need be.

http://products.lowepro.com/product/Rezo-170-AW,2008,20.htm
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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby Gator » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:58 pm

I hike with a Canon 30D and a 24-105mm L series lens and take lots of photos during a hike, so I like to have it ready at all times. I place the strap over my head, but instead of carrying the weight of the camera on neck I have use a beener to hook the strap to the back of my pack. This method totally negates the weight of a large SLR on your neck and the the camera is now actually a counterbalance to my pack weight. It takes a little creative maneuvering to simultaneously get the pack on your back and camera over your head when they are hooked together as described above, but you get the hang of it after a few outings. I also run a parachute cord from side to side in the front from my shoulder straps and place the cord over the top of the lens, which keeps the camera from bouncing on my chest as I hike, but enables me to quickly slip the cord off for ready access. I have a 70-200mm 1.8L series that weighs about as much as a cinder block that I am going try out on MT Massive next week using the above method. Will let you know how it works out.

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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:25 am

Gator wrote:I hike with a Canon 30D and a 24-105mm L series lens and take lots of photos during a hike, so I like to have it ready at all times. I place the strap over my head, but instead of carrying the weight of the camera on neck I have use a beener to hook the strap to the back of my pack. This method totally negates the weight of a large SLR on your neck and the the camera is now actually a counterbalance to my pack weight. It takes a little creative maneuvering to simultaneously get the pack on your back and camera over your head when they are hooked together as described above, but you get the hang of it after a few outings. I also run a parachute cord from side to side in the front from my shoulder straps and place the cord over the top of the lens, which keeps the camera from bouncing on my chest as I hike, but enables me to quickly slip the cord off for ready access. I have a 70-200mm 1.8L series that weighs about as much as a cinder block that I am going try out on MT Massive next week using the above method. Will let you know how it works out.


That is a gorgeous lens, my friend. I would have one if I could justify the astronomical expense! Yeah, I bet it is heavy as a cinderblock, and about as large. Let us know how that system works with it. If you can carry that package, I should be able to use the XTi with the Tamron 28-75/2.8 with ease. Maybe I'll start bringing it.

I still want to devise a side-holster for an SLR. The lens would face out, the camera would be positioned vertically, grip side up, for rapid draw. Something very minimalist, light, but solid. It probably wouldn't protect well but I could get a metal lens cover.

I suppose you could use tiny biners to clip the upper shoulder straps, left and right, to simulate the neck cord, and have a tiny biner holding the horizontal cord that comes undone to get the pack off. But I think I'd still rather have that weight against my hip than my chest when climbing.

Maybe I'll try the SLR on the upcoming Quandary hike.

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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby rikpics » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:43 pm

I did a lot of hiking over the past year with both a 50D and a 1D (with a 100-300 Zoom!). I carried it to the top of several 14ers, for a week in the Wind Rivers, and on Aconcagua. I always had the camera ready to shoot, and rarely missed a shot. I hook a Lowe top loading camera bag to my pack straps with carabiners. Depending on the pack, I sometimes add adjustable straps so I can raise or lower the bag. Occasionally, I will clip the bottom rings on the bag to the waist strap of back to the shoulder straps (holds it tighter to me in tricky situations). I leave the camera on, set on the most likely needed settings, with no lens cap (I do keep on a UV filter). To take a photo, I can pull open the top of the bag with one hand, grab & shoot, then put it back. Below 20F, I use a handwarmer in the lid pocket to keep the battery warm (this worked like a charm on Aconcagua well below zero). If you'd rather not do all of the work yourself, You can contact me through www.rikpics.com for any trip you are planning.
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Re: Hiking with An SLR camera

Postby Bill Cummings » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:26 pm

I turn the camera upside down and hang the strap over my neck and under one of my arms. The camera rests snuggly against my side and doesn't get in the way or swing all over the place. I hiked a good bit of class 3 this weekend like that and had no issues.


+1 on this technique ('cept I just keep the camera upright).

As a general rule, I would not take any SLR on a hike (especially a mountain climb) that I could not afford to replace. All kinds of things can go wrong. At the very least, make sure you have some sort of waterproof container (perhaps just a plastic shopping bag or two) in case of a surprise shower.
Bill "Blind Willie" Cummings

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