Cameras

I’m often asked about the camera I use on Estuarian ventures. I have three cameras that often go out with me: the camera in my iPhone, an old Canon D-10 waterproof/underwater camera, and a Canon Powershot SX60HS.

Canon SX60HS

The Canon Powershot SX60HS, pictured above, is the camera I use the most. It’s basically a “point-and-shoot” camera (or so camera buffs tell me). Other photographers, more kindly, refer to it as a “bridge” camera, bridging the gap between DSLRs and point-and-shoot models. This camera has a small sensor, typical of the breed.

But it has many compensating virtues. It has a zoom lens with lots of reach, 65X. I like photographing birds and marine mammals, creatures who don’t like people approaching too near. The zoom lens helps me take their portraits without disturbing them. Powerful zoom lenses mean getting less light that you need in low light situations. Since I mostly take pictures outdoors in bright conditions (estuaries are like that!) the smaller f-stop capacities don’t bother me.

The SX60HS is very easy to use. An intuitive interface helps me use more than its auto mode. For me, ease-of-use is decisive advantage. I cannot allow too much of my attention to be absorbed by the camera as I’ve got a boat to handle.

This camera is not remotely waterproof, splash proof, or even mist proof. That’s its biggest problem for me. I have to be careful and keep it in a dry bag whenever it might accidentally take a swim, like when I’m entering or exiting my boat.

I’m a beginner in photography so I am unqualified to give it an informed review. For more information about this camera, go here.

6 thoughts on “Cameras

  1. I’ve looked as that as a possible alternative to my expensive, high-end Canon cameras which (waterproof, or not) are too expensive for me to risk why kayaking.

    Is it light enough to carry backpacking or, at least, on a long hike?

  2. Hi Loren,
    It would be a good alternative to high-end Canons for hiking. Lillian Stokes raves about the similar SX50HS camera at her blog:

    http://stokesbirdingblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/canon-sx-50-hs-for-bird-photography-i.html

    I’ve taken it along on hikes of 6 miles or so. I’d be willing to take it farther if I was pretty sure I wanted a camera with more capability than my iPhone.

    That said, my iPhone is much more likely to be along with me on my hikes. I don’t like packing extra weight (besides my body fat, which comes along no matter what I try to do about it). Sometimes I wish I had lugged my SX65HS along, but usually not.

  3. I take a fully submersible small camera (point and shoot) with a limited power zoom. This kit is nice and light and I can stow it in a net pocket on the front of my life jacket, but the camera does have its limitations, especially in the area of high powered zooming and in terms of a standard angle lens. There are times when a wide angle lens would be very useful.

  4. Hi Alden. I have a similar camera, the Canon D-10. It’s good for underwater work and also in high wind/wavy conditions. These days, I avoid paddling in hairy conditions, so I don’t use the waterproof model much. The Canon SX60HS works much better for estuarine wildlife photography, and it’s the one I mostly use.

  5. My first real foray into digital was the SX30 (gave it to my son’s gf) and I loved it! It went with me to the beach and was exposed to sand, water, you name it and it never faltered. An amazing camera! I’ve considered adding the SX60 for it’s zoom capabilities. I bought a Pentax K3 when it first came out in 2013 (if I recall) because it’s a tank . . . 92 seals and water resistant lenses. I love my K3 but find that since my husband bought me an iPhone last fall that is what’s most often in my pocket now. The downside to packing a DSLR is weight and bulk. I have a beautiful Tamron 70-200mm lens for the K3 but rarely pack it . . . I’d rather be packing trash ; )

  6. Boy, you know a lot more about cameras than I do. The zoom on the SX60 is probably a little bit overkill for use in a kayak. It’s hard to keep still enough when fully zoomed unless the water is really calm. But overall I like the camera. It’s got a lot of reach and its simple to use. When out on the water a simple camera is good.

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