Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Touring and DSLRs

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Touring and DSLRs

Old 04-05-11, 06:34 AM
  #1  
MKIV987
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Touring and DSLRs

I'd love to take my Nikon D50 out on tour with me but I'm afraid of ruining it/breaking it. Anyone here take nice cameras out on tour? What do you do to shield them from shock extreme heat and cold? Should I just stick with a point and shoot?
MKIV987 is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 06:39 AM
  #2  
ctyler
Badger Biker
 
ctyler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Beloit, Wisconsin
Posts: 974

Bikes: Cannondale Saeco CAD-3, Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I haven't toured with a Nikon D50, but have taken day rides with it in a handlebar bag. I added some padding to the inside of the bag and never had a problem. If I were going to take it on tour, I'd keep it in a waterproof plastic bag on rainy days.
ctyler is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 07:04 AM
  #3  
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
FWIW, I wouldn't take a DSLR on tour, unless fast focus is an absolute necessity. Too bulky, too heavy (and I'm not a weight weenie), too inconvenient.

I'd stick to a high-end P&S like the Olympus XZ-1, Canon S95, or Panasonic LX5. They'll fit in a handlebar bag very easily -- possibly even a Bento bag. For images smaller than 8x10 you will barely notice the difference.

If you absolutely must have a higher quality image, I'd consider a Micro 4/3 camera.

Last edited by Bacciagalupe; 04-05-11 at 07:07 AM.
Bacciagalupe is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 08:16 AM
  #4  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,467
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 269 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 22 Posts
I carried one on the TA. I buy cameras to use them. If you are so protective of them that you don't take them then why have them at all?

I don't think I would ever carry a big DSLR again but for weight reasons only.

I have since decided that it makes more sense, for me at least, to carry something lighter. I used a Nikon CoolPix S550 P&S and that worked out well, but have since gone to a 4:3 camera (Olympus PEN E-PL1) and am very happy with it.

I also recommend the Nikon Coolpix P7000. It is a great compromise between the DSLR and the P&S models feature and size wise. I had a chance to play with the one I bought for my daughter and it is a really nice camera in a moderate sized package. It has no interchangeable lens capability, but the zoom range is excellent as is the image quality. I have been quite impressed by the pictures she has taken with it.
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 08:21 AM
  #5  
aenlaasu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I take my DSLR. I bought a nice, small camera bag with a weather cover. I ride a recumbent trike and it hangs from my seat panniers perfectly. I can even pull it out fast enough to get shots of deer running for cover. I love the greater focus and zoom range of even the standard lens though I take a larger one as well. This was after using a good digital point-n-clilck for 5 years on my rides. I've had the DSLR for about 3 years and never got the motivation to learn to use it. Now, since it goes with me on every ride into new territory, I've got opportunity and interest to figure it out.
aenlaasu is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 08:25 AM
  #6  
aprhockey
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I took my Nikon D60 on a ~500 km tour last summer. I just put it in a lunchbox with two big sponges (1 1/2" thick approx.) and strapped that to my homemade rear rack. I wouldn't recommend doing it, but it worked fine. No damage to the camera. I think DSLRs are more durable than most think. When it rained a bit I put it in a plastic bag inside said lunch box. I was worried that condensation might form inside the bag but it didn't seem to be a problem.

I saved up for a decent amount of time to buy this camera used with a standard kit lens (student here), so even though it's used equipment, I can't just go and replace it. Nor can I go and buy a point and shoot just for touring.

Really, as long as you don't get in a big crash, and there's a bit of padding beneath the camera, it'll be fine. The problem for me was that with my setup I couldn't easily access my camera, so it resulted in me not using it as much as I wanted to.
aprhockey is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 08:58 AM
  #7  
cyccommute 
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 21,584

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, an orange one and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2691 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 144 Posts
Originally Posted by MKIV987 View Post
I'd love to take my Nikon D50 out on tour with me but I'm afraid of ruining it/breaking it. Anyone here take nice cameras out on tour? What do you do to shield them from shock extreme heat and cold? Should I just stick with a point and shoot?
I use a Pentax 100D with a zoom lens on tour. I carry it in an Ortlieb bag with a camera insert. The Ortlieb is waterproof and has a very solid mount. I'd much rather use the Pentax over a point and shoot because I was raised on SLR film cameras. I find trying to use a view screen to be somewhat difficult when trying to frame a shot.

If I am going to do a mountain bike tour, however, I carry a point and shoot since the SLR is much more bulky and mounting a handlebar bag to a mountain bike handlebar is more challenging.
__________________
Stuart Black
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
cyccommute is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 09:17 AM
  #8  
niknak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 724
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 64 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Putting your camera in the handlebar bag is a safe bet as long as you provide water protection. The bag is well protected by drop handlebars in the event of a crash/tip-over.

I tried using a point n shoot for one trip. The weight and size are great, but without a viewfinder, I had trouble composing shots in daylight. The tiny lens and sensor also reduced the picture quality and depth-of-field flexibility you get with a bigger device. I'm back to hauling a D90 and 18-200 in my handlebar bag and loving it.
niknak is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 10:12 AM
  #9  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6936 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 208 Posts
Ortlieb bag on the HB and their camera padded insert should do the job.

I packed my Film camera so well it resulted in less pictures taken,
due to all the waterproof packing and padding..
and extra time needed to deploy the camera, as a result.
fietsbob is online now  
Old 04-05-11, 10:18 AM
  #10  
neil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I use a Pentax 100D with a zoom lens on tour. I carry it in an Ortlieb bag with a camera insert. The Ortlieb is waterproof and has a very solid mount.
+1 I had a couple falls on tour, but the camera and lenses came out fine. On top of the bag's protection from rain and a bit of cushioning for vibration, the handlebars also create a nice crash frame around it.

Get the large bag, though. I've got the medium and it's a very tight fit with the camera and an extra zoom lens.
neil is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 10:21 AM
  #11  
Erick L
Lentement mais sûrement
 
Erick L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Montréal
Posts: 2,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I carried a SLR in a handlebar bar, a photo bag on the rear rack and currently in a photo bag on the front rack with platform. I never had a problem with any camera or lens. I broke one lens when I dropped it on pavement, got it fixed and dropped it again and the VR is acting up but still works. I use a 100 weight fleece or thick socks as padding, any clothing that I would only use in camp in case of unexpected cold spell. Like others said, I bought a camera to use it. I only buy used equipment so I won't lose so much if it breaks. I do carry a waterproof P&S too.

http://www.borealphoto.com/Cycling
Erick L is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 10:47 AM
  #12  
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Posts: 7,579

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
MKIV97, I just pack the camera into a padded aftermarket camera bag and that into the padded top rack bag. Sadly big lenses are left at home.

Brad
bradtx is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 11:34 AM
  #13  
Bike Hermit
ghost on a machine
 
Bike Hermit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 216

Bikes: Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen, Serotta Colorado Legend TG, Rivendell Roadeo, Surly Cross Check, Surly Big Dummy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
http://www.zimbalenorthamerica.com/Z...-fslash-11.htm
http://www.zimbalenorthamerica.com/Z...e_p/cpc-18.htm
Bike Hermit is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 11:56 AM
  #14  
staehpj1 
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 9,467
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 269 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 22 Posts
Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
I find trying to use a view screen to be somewhat difficult when trying to frame a shot.
FWIW: The Nikon Coolpix P7000 that I mentioned has a viewfinder. Additionally it has an especially nice screen that works well in most lighting conditions (much nicer in this regard than my Olympus PEN E-PL1).
__________________
Check out my profile, articles, and trip journals at:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/staehpj1
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 12:40 PM
  #15  
Derailed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: South Bend, IN (U.S.A.)
Posts: 444

Bikes: Surly LHT; Surly CC (as fixed-gear commuter); Hunter CX; Dahon Mu Uno

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
As has been mentioned previously, DSLR's are actually pretty durable. Although just a personal anecdote, I've had multiple issues with my Canon S90 compact, whereas my DSLR has held up much better. I could imagine that the small form factor of the compact cameras leaves less room for sturdy construction. Plus, DSLR's don't need to move their motors as much just to extend and retract the lens.

All that said, to me, the weight and bulk are too much for bike touring. I much prefer the controls of my DSLR, but the S90 is so much lighter, and easier to pack and hide, that it's the one I take.

In terms of photo quality, my DSLR clearly wins if I'm 1) shooting in low light; 2) trying to control depth of field; or 3) wanting fast focus (e.g., for a moving object). That said, almost all of my shooting on tour is in good light and for landscapes for which I want everything to be in focus -- the S90 does quite well. The one exception regarding depth of field is for macro shots, but for such up-close objects, even a compact camera can give nice background blur.
Derailed is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 03:34 PM
  #16  
ScruffyChimp
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 105

Bikes: Fuji Sunfire 1995, modified for touring

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I carry my Canon 400d in my handlebar bag, which has a bit of padding and is water resistant. No problems so far. That bag also holds my passport, wallet and glasses, so it absolutely never leaves my side.

I wouldn't want to carry a whole bunch of camera accessories, but on my upcoming trip I will take a DSLR gorilla pod to try it out because it's pretty small.
ScruffyChimp is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 03:41 PM
  #17  
gdlerner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Ludwigshafen
Posts: 455

Bikes: Pocket Llama

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I always carry my Nikon D300 and a Sigam 24-70mm on my ortlieb handlebar bag and the rest (macbook,bodys ,hd,flash lens) on a rear ortlieb bag
Never have any problem
gdlerner is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 06:16 PM
  #18  
D.B. Cooper
friction baby, friction
 
D.B. Cooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Florida
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MKIV987 View Post
I'd love to take my Nikon D50 out on tour with me but I'm afraid of ruining it/breaking it. Anyone here take nice cameras out on tour? What do you do to shield them from shock extreme heat and cold? Should I just stick with a point and shoot?
If you are really serious about your photograhy, then take the SLR. There is no comparison between an SLR and a point and shoot. I toured cross-country with 2 SLR bodies(film), 3 lenses(including an 80-200 f2.8 zoom), and a tripod. I used a Pelican hard case(waterproof and bomb-proof), and a small camera backpack. It was a lot of extra weight, but it was worth it to me.
D.B. Cooper is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 06:17 PM
  #19  
QueueCT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Redding, CT
Posts: 147

Bikes: 1988 Giordana Capella | 1994 Cannondale T700 | 2007 Co-Motion Periscope

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's usually a simple equation for me. If photography is a core element of the tour then I take the DSLR with me along with a gorilla tripod, multiple lenses, flash unit, etc. It's heavy, bulky and stays in a drybag when rain threatens. It also means that I'll spend a lot of time off the bike composing shots, waiting for the right light, talking to potential subjects, etc.

If, however, I know that I don't have the time or desire on a given trip to do all the above I'll just drop a small point and shoot in the handlebar bag since the quality of shot will be just fine in most instances. More difficult to compose a scene, yes. Lower quality lens, of course. Less control, sometimes, depends on the camera. But I know I won't be spending the time necessary to get high quality shots anyway so why weigh myself down.
QueueCT is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 07:18 PM
  #20  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 6,116

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1396 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 42 Posts
My DSLRs stay home. Heavy and I would be too nervous about damage.



I have a vintage 3 megapixel point and shoot in a water proof housing for camping and bike touring trips that I have dropped a few too many times (focus a bit off on one side of photo) so I recently bought a superzoom to also bring on camping and bike touring trips. The old water proof one will go along for rain and dusty conditions and the new superzoom for when I trust the conditions more.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/q110superzoomgroup/
I got the Pentax X90. Some of the others that were reviewed at this link scored higher but I wanted one cheap enough that if I damaged it I would not get too upset. I have been surprised at how good the image quality is at the long end but at the wide angle end of the range it is no more than average. But, for the money I am quite happy with it.

This photo from the old 3 megapixel this past fall on a canoe trip. Good photo, but I want better resolution, thus the new one.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
IMG_1742.jpg (99.7 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg
IMG_4693.jpg (89.7 KB, 38 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 04-05-11, 11:07 PM
  #21  
parecon89
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 17

Bikes: Surly LHT, Giant Defy 3

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I take my Sony NEX-3 with me on long rides and tours. It doesn't have the lens selection or ergonomics of a DSLR but it has DSLR image quality in a smaller, lighter package. I think a good camera is worth the extra bulk on a tour, but I can see why others are perfectly happy with P&S cameras for their convenience and size.

You can see pics I took with it on my first tour in my CGOAB journal:

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...c_id=7850&v=CV
parecon89 is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 02:31 AM
  #22  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,949
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Extreme heat is probably more damaging than any cold you will experience on a bike.
Cameras work OK in hot conditions but in very extreme direct sunlight they may overheat. It seems that the electronics (eg exposure level) start to misbehave before the lens cement melts. Cooling the camera restores normal activity.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 06:06 AM
  #23  
bradtx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Posts: 7,579

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 305 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had a "photo op" yesterday that afterwards caused me to think about this thread. All I had was my cell's camera available for this pic:


My one year old grand daughter was watching her reflection in the muffler distort as she moved her head back and forth. The cell's camera was good enough to capture the moment. My SLRs go with me when I anticipate an opportunity to compose a photograph. Point and shoot cameras, while less expensive if damaged and less controlable are probably fine for most cycling photo ops.

Brad
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Estella D955i 04052011.jpg (54.5 KB, 39 views)

Last edited by bradtx; 04-06-11 at 06:12 AM.
bradtx is offline  
Old 04-06-11, 06:09 AM
  #24  
X-LinkedRider
Flying Under the Radar
 
X-LinkedRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 4,116

Bikes: 10' SuperiorLite SL Club | 06' Giant FCR3 | 2010 GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I only take waterproof Olympus cameras when touring. Though they are just P&S, and I am no photographer but still manage to get plenty of excellent shots with them.
X-LinkedRider is offline  
Old 04-07-11, 02:20 AM
  #25  
imonabike
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I tour with a micro 4/3 (Olympus PEN EP1) - almost the quality and versatility of a DSLR with much less bulk. I just wrap it in a clean dry t-shirt and the legs of my Gorillapod then stick it in a giant zip-lock bag. In the past, I kept that in a pannier (did about 800 km that way with no problems at all) but this summer I am planning to keep it in a bag on top of my front rack.
imonabike is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.