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  1. #1
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    DSLR hiking essentials

    Hello all! I'm preparing for the hiking season (for us wimps that don't go in the winter) and I want to bring along my new Canon Rebel XS.

    I'll be hiking with my wife, my 5 year old, and my 6 month old (in one of those cool baby hiking backpack things) so the hikes we plan to do are all short, less than 4 miles, and relatively easy. Many of the hikes we are doing are in Franconia Notch, and Crawford Notch which both have wonderful views and great waterfalls, both of which I plan to photograph. I'm also hoping to catch other things along the way, maybe even a little wildlife or something like that. I plan to pack a small lightweight tripod with me for some longer exposures of the waterfalls.

    What are some of the other camera essentials I should be bringing along? Currently I only have my 18-55mm Kit lens, but I'm hoping to get my hands on a decent budget priced telephoto before we do too many hikes. Other than the camera, lens, and tripod, my camera case is empty right now so I'm open for suggestions!!

    Thanks :thumbsup:

    ~Jason
    "If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?"
    -Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR
    -Nikon N80 35mm
    -Nikon Coolpix L20 P&S

  2. #2
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    No suggestions??
    "If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?"
    -Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR
    -Nikon N80 35mm
    -Nikon Coolpix L20 P&S

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner. I saw your post when you made it but I've been buried, hustling out PMA tradeshow videos.

    I wasn't sure if you wanted lens recommendations. If so, I encourage you to look at the Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS lens. I own it and use it constantly. I bought it with pretty low expectations but have been very, very pleased. It came as a kit with the 50D. I sold the 50D but was not at all willing to part with the lens

    One thing that I see missing from what you have is a polarizer. A polarizer is a must-have item for outdoor photography. It deepens the blue in the sky and saturates colors like reads and greens. It gives outdoor photos a lot more pop. Similarly, a lens shade makes a surprising difference in the quality of outdoor photos. It noticably increases contrast and saturation as well as helping decrease sun flare.

    Since it looks like you're just getting started with your DSLR, you might want to take a look at this article I wrote specifically for beginning photographers:

    Essential Camera Gear for Beginners >>

    Let us know if you have more questions or if you're wondering about specific lenses or accessories.
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  4. #4
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    A remote shutter release my come in handy for those long exposure shots. If you don't have one of those, the cameras self timer will work.
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  5. #5
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    Thanks for the suggestions, I was just wondering what I needed in my arsenal to get the most out of my hiking photos (without spending millions of $$) I've been shooting SLR for about 5 years now, and actually have some college credits in photography but I'm new to the DSLR scene.

    I'm going to take a look at that lens, and I'll pick up a polarizer for sure, is linear or circular the way to go?
    "If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?"
    -Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR
    -Nikon N80 35mm
    -Nikon Coolpix L20 P&S

  6. #6
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    Quote Originally Posted by Skydmark1
    I'll pick up a polarizer for sure, is linear or circular the way to go?
    You will want a circular polarizer. Modern cameras can not meter, or auto focus linear polarized light properly.
    Mike

    My website
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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  7. #7
    n8
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    tamrac makes some cool little straps that can attach to the loops on your backpack straps (assuming you have loops or something of the sort on your backpacks straps), that then click into the receiving portion (the part attached to your camera) of your tamrac strap. It's kinda hard to explain, but it basically just attaches your camera to your packs shoulder straps, making for a lot less sway while walking, and you can detach one to shot vertical, while keeping the camera secure.
    mostly Nikon gear

    Feel free to edit my images for critique, just let me know what you did.

  8. #8
    Member Iguanamom's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    agreed about the circ polarizer. It's very useful for bringing up the depth of green in leaves and removing reflections from water as well.

    keeping your camera on you, accessible, but not in an awkward position is a tough one. Finally I have a system I like. I have a D-link attached to my right pack shoulder strap - high up on my collarbone. From it I hang my camera on a 10" wrist strap. I can shoot horizontal and not even take it off the D-ring. When I walk it hangs just above my hip and I keep one hand on it lightly to keep it from swaying. It works great.

    oh and here's what you're missing by avoiding winter. LOL. just have to rub it in a bit.


  9. #9
    Snap Happy CaraRose's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    I've been using an accessory belt for the first time the last few weeks. Other than thinking I may want to get a set of suspenders (which I think might work just as well as the harness they sell for them), I think it works pretty well. I'm thinking of looking for a small holster case that can go on the belt.
    --Cara

    Canon 60D
    Canon XSi
    Canon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 IS
    Canon 24-105mm f/4 L IS
    Canon 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS
    Canon 100mm 2.8L IS Macro
    Canon 300mm F4 L IS
    Canon 50mm F1.8
    Tokina SD 12-24mm F/4 DX

    My stuff on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35592266@N05

    My photo blog: http://adventureswithnaturephotography.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    What type of camera bag are you going to be using? I hate shoulder bags for hiking, and if you're going to have your child on your back, where is your gear?

    I have a Lowepro TLZ AW camera bag that I have used for hiking when I wanted to keep things light, and I already had a backpack to carry. The camera bag has a harness so I can mount it to my chest and have everything right in front of me. It will hold a DSLR w/o battery grip, and 2 small lenses.

    The belt style systems like Cara is talking about would work well too.
    Mike

    My website
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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  11. #11
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    What type of camera bag are you going to be using? I hate shoulder bags for hiking, and if you're going to have your child on your back, where is your gear?
    That's what I have a wife for :thumbsup:
    "If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?"
    -Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR
    -Nikon N80 35mm
    -Nikon Coolpix L20 P&S

  12. #12
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    Iguanamom, great picture! I know I'm missing out but I just don't have the gear for winter hiking or anyone to go with. The wife is happy to join me in the warmer months though. First on my list is a circular polarizer, sounds like a necessity for outdoor shots!
    "If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?"
    -Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR
    -Nikon N80 35mm
    -Nikon Coolpix L20 P&S

  13. #13
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    Re: DSLR hiking essentials

    I always keep my Nikon Coolpix L20 (read full review here: http://nikoncoolpixdigitalcamerasite.com/ )on me for pictures "on the move"....espec. like the gyroscopic stabilizer-function!:thumbsup:

    Still working after some rough hikes...being drop'd in deep snow etc.

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