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  1. #1
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    How to protect a DSLR on the trail ?

    Hi Everyone

    I have a high end camera that takes beautiful pics that I would love to take on my bike on the trails, but the idea of killing it in a crash is keeping me from doing that. My budget is tight right now and I couldn't replace it any time soon if i broke it. ( It's the only one I have. )

    If anyone has any budget or DIY solutions that would be great, if not whatever suggestions you have would be appreciated.


    Thanks,

    Ted
    I'd rather be riding than healing, body armor is your friend !

  2. #2
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    I don't know myself, but have you asked in the Video & Helmet Cams section. From looking through that section before, there are some serious photo and video guys that might have some really good tips that may not see this post in the General Discussion. Just a suggestion.

  3. #3
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    Dude !

    I didn't even know there was such a forum.... Thanks
    I'd rather be riding than healing, body armor is your friend !

  4. #4
    Ride'n Dirty
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    If focal length factor is not an issue (with smaller CMOS's) then I would recommended going out and buying a comparable version of it in a cheap body that is disposable.

    For example, I shoot with a EOS 1DmkII. If I was going somewhere where I didnt want to risk it I would buy a EOS Rebel, body only. Loosing $500.00 is A Lot easier than loosing $5000.00.

    Of course you still have to protect your glass, I would look into Pelican Hard cases for those. Pelican Hard cases a lot of them are shock proof, water proof, ballistic cases.
    I HATE WORK, WORK IS BAD, WORK = NO BIKE, NO BIKE = NO GOOD.

  5. #5
    Bro
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    I once took my school newspaper's camera up to the top of the mountain for some good shots. I just slung it across my shoulders and tightened the strap, it didn't move at all. Of course, I would never do that again, it's an expensive camera. I didn't even bring the case, just the camera. Don't tell anyone though.
    I've made some bad decisions like taking the gears off my bike. So here's the warning: Do not as I say, nor as I do.

  6. #6
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    You can get a 12 mega pix point and shoot camera ,with descent zoom capabilities. that is another option

  7. #7
    Five is right out
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    A small foam-padded Pelican case would be a very safe solution, if your pack is big enough and you're willing to sacrifice ease of access.

  8. #8
    Rub it............
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    Leave it in your car, and pick up an inexpensive 10-12 mega pixel point and shoot. You can get one for around $100.

    I use an older camera like this for the trail. Its not like I'm doing portraits.

  9. #9
    saddlemeat
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    I just wonder if anyone has ever damaged a camera on the trail? I have, but in my case it fell out of my jersey pocket onto slickrock when I pulled something else out of the pocket. I still put my camera in my jersey pocket at times, or in my cargo shorts pocket, so that I have quick access to it. I also use a small seatpost bag at times for a P&S, sometimes a dslr in my Camelback. I don't think camera damage is a real big problem unless you drop it on rock, but you could always bolt a Pelican case to a rear rack (jk). Just start taking pictures and don't worry about the camera.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  10. #10
    dru
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    About 15 years ago whe I was new to the sport and photography I flew down the side of an earthen dam with my Nikon FG in a fanny pack. I didn't see a whoop in the trail until I was on it and endoed at around 25 mph. The camera body was busted to hell and bruised the small of my back so badly that I was crawling around on the ground for a good ten minutes before I got up.

    Ouch!
    occasional cyclist

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru
    About 15 years ago whe I was new to the sport and photography I flew down the side of an earthen dam with my Nikon FG in a fanny pack. I didn't see a whoop in the trail until I was on it and endoed at around 25 mph. The camera body was busted to hell and bruised the small of my back so badly that I was crawling around on the ground for a good ten minutes before I got up.

    Ouch!

    Yeah, I hear ya

    I am starting to think about going the cheap point and shoot route route instead.

    Or I may even go really cheap and get one of those keychain video cameras that you can tape to your helmet and then I would have video to watch after the ride
    I'd rather be riding than healing, body armor is your friend !

  12. #12
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    I use a 50D, usually with my Canon 15-85mm lens attached... not a light setup by any means. When I take it riding with me, all I usually do is wrap it in a long-sleeved shirt and put it in my backpack. If I do ever fall (which, knock on wood, I haven't lately), I probably won't land on my back.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I use a 50D, usually with my Canon 15-85mm lens attached...
    You either have a big wallet or a big sack, I have a 40D and I can't even imagine how sick I'd feel if I were to bust it on a mountain, but I bet you get great pics!

  14. #14
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    I have an Olympus SP-565UZ camera


    I carry it with my Clik chest pack


    Here are some Google images
    clik elite - Google Search

    And the official site
    Products | Clik Elite

  15. #15
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    I sold my d300s awhile ago but I had the national geographic NG-5737. Worked great.



    It isn't as big as it looks though. This one isn't cheap, something like 150 when I got it but it really is worth it, padded everything and it looks awesome. You might want to look for a used lowepro on craigslist, I'm sure you can find one with great padding for like $50 or even less.
    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." - John F. Kennedy

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  16. #16
    Cycling for Life
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    Carry a 50D for shooting races myself, I have a Tamrac backpack that is camera specific and holds everything nice and tight, its not very cheap though. I have just recently picked up a slightly used Clik pack that I like better for half the price of the other one. Have also used a large waist pack with a home made foam insert before that worked pretty well.
    Check the larger/older camera stores as most of them will sell used gear or watch Craigslist, some good deals on there.

    Mounting a bag to the bike is never a good idea, the camera has to absorb all the vibration and bumps of the bike, even if itís a hard case. While in a pack on your back your legs and arms absorb all that.

  17. #17
    workin' it Administrator
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    there is a clic bag available with a bladder, not sure what model it is but it is under their adventure line. It holds a standard body and larger lenses, with the camera accessible from an outside pocket.

    I think the best advice I have is to ride carefully. I keep my camera in a camelback hawg in the outside helmet holder but within a Lowe Camera bag. The hawg is reasonably cheap (especially on clear out or chainlove etc) compared to dedicated camera bags and I already have a lowe bag for storage at home. It makes it easily accessible but well restrained. My biggest concern with my camera is not some much the camera itself but impacting the ground such that it breaks my ribs or shoulder blades hence the ride carefully.

    I ride at around 75% when I carry my camera (T1i) instead of 95% like I would normally. I will walk any section that looks like it will cause a stall and slow way down on chop.

    Ultimately nothing will protect you camera in a big enough crash so try to avoid that situation.
    Try this: HTFU

  18. #18
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    Buy a warranty. When I bought my camera I didn't even think about the warranty than the lady said these magic words "accident protection program" I immediately interrupted her and asked what that was. Basically if I drop it and it breaks I get a new one no questions asked. I even sat there for like 20mins reading the fine print so I could make sure that's what is all about, I was sold. Yeah it would suck for it to break but knowing that it would get repaired or replaced eases my mind when I bring it out for filming or pictures.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAntiSpoke View Post
    You either have a big wallet or a big sack, I have a 40D and I can't even imagine how sick I'd feel if I were to bust it on a mountain, but I bet you get great pics!
    Yeah, I don't take it out that frequently, but when I do I'm obviously very careful. I do the same thing when I'm skiing, except I put it into a small top-load bag first before putting that into my backpack.

    I guess I just try not to think about the consequences.

  20. #20
    Huckin' trails
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    You could also get a nice little interchangeable lens contact camera, like the Olympus Pen or the Sony Nex... Great captor size and nice lens get you some awesome pics and even with high contrast of the forest with the low light created by the tree's shadow.

    Otherwise, I have a Nikon D7000 with a 18-105 and 70-300, but when I go fishing, biking or whatever, I bring my trusty Coolpix L18 that got me some of my most awesome aventure shots at 8Mp with 3x optic zoom and and nice 3 inch display and easy to operate... Back in 2008, it costed me $135 but now it's like the L24 can sell for less then $100, but I still prefer the L18 over the new ones (L20, L22, L24). And it's RED ! and chicks love cool guys with red cameras

    But if I could get someone to walk by me all day long to carry my D7000, I would use it crazy... Over super uber nice pics from Nikon, from their sensor too... Lesson is the only expensive thing allow on trails is your damn bike. Else are subject to normal wear and tear from anything the trail could throw at them.

    Happy riding

    David
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  21. #21
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    I'll second this. I bought one when I finally got a real camera. Covers everything as long as the camera is not burned and you still have it (i.e. theft not covered). For a hundred bucks a year its well worth the piece of mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by savagenative View Post
    Buy a warranty. When I bought my camera I didn't even think about the warranty than the lady said these magic words "accident protection program" I immediately interrupted her and asked what that was. Basically if I drop it and it breaks I get a new one no questions asked.

  22. #22
    Huckin' trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagenative View Post
    Buy a warranty. When I bought my camera I didn't even think about the warranty than the lady said these magic words "accident protection program" I immediately interrupted her and asked what that was. Basically if I drop it and it breaks I get a new one no questions asked.
    Is this warranty also available for my bike ?
    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    topless. that's what all mtb girls do. we go ride, get topless, have pillow fights in the woods, scissor, then ride home!

  23. #23
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    You can also get insurance on your gear. This will allow better coverage than a warranty.

    Although Pelican hardcases are great, they can become a PITA to carry on a bike on a trail. I prefer a backpack. I use a Crumpler Karachi Outpost myself, when I go to trails. But it's rather large. If you plan to bring your bike and camera bike on rain or shine, then look for a backpack with a raincover. Depending how much or how big your gear is, I would avoid doing any extreme DH or XC while on your back.
    - Ed

    2012 Trek Madone 6.7 SSL
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    2012 Salsa Mukluk 2

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by savagenative View Post
    Buy a warranty. When I bought my camera I didn't even think about the warranty than the lady said these magic words "accident protection program" I immediately interrupted her and asked what that was. Basically if I drop it and it breaks I get a new one no questions asked. I even sat there for like 20mins reading the fine print so I could make sure that's what is all about, I was sold. Yeah it would suck for it to break but knowing that it would get repaired or replaced eases my mind when I bring it out for filming or pictures.
    Its funny how it never turns out that way when it does happen. I had a friend who insured his new 300mm 2.8, dropped it where it started to make a noise everytime it zoomed in and out and the insurance wouldn't come through. Its a good backup but nothing beats a good sturdy bag and a cautious mentality
    "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." - John F. Kennedy

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  25. #25
    Cycling for Life
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    Here is a good review of the Clik bags-
    Review: Clik Elite Probody and Compact Sport MTB DSLR Photography Hydration Packs | Bike198

    I recently picked up the smaller one and love it. Filling it with a 50D, extra lens plus extras does fill it up though, if you like carrying more gear I would recomend the larger of the two.

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