2021 Raft Trip through the Grand Canyon

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
I’d like to draw upon the vast wisdom of the forum. Next summer, my wife and I are taking a raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. 12 days in a raft and a waterproof bag to protect my stuff. My options are the Fuji XH1 and the Sony A7Riii, both of which are water resistant. Since my lens choices for both are currently some normalish primes and a few short teles, I need to get some lenses. I’m thinking a wide zoom and something else. I have no real feel for this so I would appreciate some suggestions.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
Are we talking about white water rafting here? If so, I'd be looking to buy or borrow a purpose-made waterproof camera for the action shots. Something that can cope with being immersed in water and knocked around a bit, and which has big chunky controls that you can use with one (wet) hand.

I saw a documentary about the Grand Canyon a few months ago. They were recreating the journey made by the original survey team, using replica wooden boats and it got pretty hairy at times. You certainly wouldn't want to be using an expensive camera and lenses in a situation like that, but perhaps your trip will be more civilised!

But maybe keep the 'good' camera inside the waterproof bag and use it when things are calm, and when hiking etc?

-R
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
This is a large motorized raft, which holds 16 people. We will be doing white water because there is no real option since we are going the length of the canyon. Maybe I should just get an Olympus Tough.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
bart
For a camera that can take some spray, the X-H1 should be fine. I havent been inpressed with what I've seen of Sony weather sealing.

The only ILCs that can take a proper heavy splash and most likely survive, as far as I know, are Olympus cameras, and perhaps the pro FF DSLRs (Nikon D5 style) with a choice lens. Maybe a Pentax model with the right lens.

For a great boat bag that has a rolltop (for splashes) and a submersible waterproof closure (for really wild stuff where you and/or the bag might fall into the water), I recommend a Watershed duffel bag with some photo inserts. The Goforth has a waist belt that is comfortable and allows for hands free walking but isn't quite stable enough for really aerobic stuff. The other models are just really good tough boat bags.

Alternatively, bags with a Tizip zipper are properly, sumbersibly waterproof as well. On a boat, where you are seated and can take splashes at any moment, I think the rolltop Watersheds offer more protection against surprise splashes just by letting the top hang down. When walking, the Tizip is quicker to open and close.

If you are confident your bag won't be submerged, a regular rolltop will work just fine as well.
 
Last edited:

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
I may get the 16-80 for the xh1. Another problem is there are no charging stations on the River. I need to bring enough batteries and power packs to last the while trip. No chimping for me.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
Use some of that money to get some 20,000 MaH batteries and some solar panels to charge them. Then get a USB charger for the batteries, unless you can charge directly in camera via USB. And yes, no chimping. And turn off when not in use.
I’m not sure about the schedule and whether or not I would have time to use a solar charger. I suspect we won’t get information until closer to the date. OTOH, the company may have their own stuff.
 
Nov 11, 2011
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
I would be satisfied with an Olympus Tough camera.

My mindset would be to capture images that are "good enough". I wouldn't want to be worrying about my gear on a trip like that. If you decide that you definitely need something "better", I'd get an older Pentax body and the WR 18-135. I imagine your budget for that simple set-up would be under $500....and if you decide you don't need it after the trip, you could flip it for roughly what you paid.

Also, many (or all?) of those older models could still take AA batteries if I recall correctly.
 

Richard

All-Pro
Feb 1, 2013
Marlow, UK
The thing is, you're probably going to produce better images with something like a Tough because you'll have it with you, right there in the moment while you're enjoying the experience as well as recording it, and you won't be worrying that your expensive camera is about to get submerged or bashed by someone's elbow. The best camera is the one you have with you ...

-R
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
I hadn't actually planned to use the camera in the raft. One option is to get a Tough to use in the raft and a really waterproof bag for the ILC . As I think about it, the Tough is almost a given. The company itself provides watertight bags for the raft and I could get something for extra protection. I would then have the ILC for photography on land, since are going on short hikes. Luke's idea might be a good one. There are lots of digital ILC that are dirt cheap right now and the land camera would not need serious WR. Hopefully, we will still be able to go. It's a year from now, but we may still be dealing with this mess even then.
 
Last edited:

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Apr 2, 2018
Finland
How about as a crazy alternative idea, a cheap film camera that you treat as a disposable thing in the raft? If it survives, it survives. If not, that's $30 lost. :)

Would be a bit different. Moreover, not being able to chimp helps you enjoy the experience as it happens.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Jul 13, 2011
Lexington, VA
Steve
How about as a crazy alternative idea, a cheap film camera that you treat as a disposable thing in the raft? If it survives, it survives. If not, that's $30 lost. :)

Would be a bit different. Moreover, not being able to chimp helps you enjoy the experience as it happens.
I suspect given the price of film and developing,a reconditioned Tough is a cheaper option. Especially if I can get one during an Olympus outlet sale.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom