Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

A place to discuss all things involving power and technology (including cameras). Generator tips, alternative energy, lighting your camp/bike/art/self, sound systems and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
kelizabeth
Posts: 145
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:31 am
Location: Oakland, CA

Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

Post by kelizabeth » Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:38 pm

I know this question has been posed twice before in previous years, but I'm wondering if any photographers out there have any new clever tricks for bringing an SLR out on the playa. I brought mine out last year, and thanks to the rain, I was able to take a lot of pictures around my camp safely, but locked it away the rest of the time. This year I am photographing a friend's wedding at the temple, and will be taking it out there for just a couple of hours (the rest of the week I use my little cheap pocket digital camera). Any tips?
"Defiance and resistance are illegal. Therein lies the salvation of man. Everything illegal necessitates integrity, self-reliance, and courage."
Emma Goldman

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5923
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

Post by BBadger » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:24 pm

Good tips in Johnny Photon's post.

Key points:

1) Bring a fixed focus lens so you don't need to suck in air to extend the lens or expose mechanicals to dust.

2) Bring the camera out only when appropriate.

3) Keep it clean when you're back at camp.

You can also buy DSLRs that are completely sealed, but they're the expensive models usually. If I were you I'd bring a fixed focus lens and only use that. The 50mm ones are cheap (by lens standards) at $100. Wide-angle lenses will probably be more fun, but cost more of course.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
SpacemanSpliff
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: NorCal/Providence

Re: Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

Post by SpacemanSpliff » Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:53 pm

I broke down and bought a dust-proof housing from Amazon for my D90. Cost about $70. I'll let eplaya know how it works after this year...
"No, dude, I'm not going to kiss the cat. You people are sick. I'm outta here."

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5923
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

Post by BBadger » Wed Aug 24, 2011 11:07 pm

From the price you cite, it looks like you bought this.

The best camera is the one you'll want to use, and if I had to haul out some monstrosity like that I would probably leave the camera at home. You're covering up the lens, the controls, etc. and for what? A few long-range photos? I hope you're not just a "gear guy" photographer, but will actually get some meaningful use from all that setup.

This year I'll be bringing the same camera I brought last year: a compact Canon S90. The photos I got back were lovely, it was portable, and ultimately survived even being taken out during sandstorms. I could've hauled my DSLR out with its lenses, but it's so bulky, even without any covers, that I'd never want to bring it anywhere. I rarely bring it anywhere as is. Having a single fixed focus lens would probably be the largest setup I'd be willing to carry.

(edit: spelling error)
Last edited by BBadger on Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
johnphoton
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:43 pm

Re: Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

Post by johnphoton » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:18 am

Thanks BBadger for posting a link to my thread. :D I personally think that trying to protect your camera with some sort of housing or cover is silly. It just gets in the way of shooting. If you're conscious of the dust when you're shooting, put the camera away when the dust kicks up and then clean regularly, you should be fine.

Oh... and I agree completely with the S90 being a great little camera. It's the one I use when I'm out at night and don't feel like messing with my SLR. I also use it for video when stuff is burning.

John
I do what I want, but I don't do what I should.

User avatar
phil
Posts: 2936
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 2:10 pm
Location: Codgerville

Re: Digital SLR protection out on the Playa

Post by phil » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:09 am

I've used an Ewa Marine bag on my point and shoot at Burning Man, and it's not very good. It protects from dust, alright, but with all that sun, I couldn't see the LCD screen of the P&S through the clear plastic that was coated with playa powder and smeared with face oil and sunblock from my hands and face.

It's a reasonably priced dust cover for a point and shoot, and it works. I don't know pricing on full-sized DSLRs, but check and see. Be prepared, however, to find it's in the way when you try to see the LCD or look through the viewfinder.

Post Reply

Return to “Power & Electronics”