Jump to content

Looking for tips! Kayaking adventure filmmaking gear


Linus N
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey fellow filmmakers!

In a few weeks I'm heading out on a gig which will be shot during a 3 week kayaking trip. Now, I've never shot in an environment like that where one is surrounded by water, waves, splash, rain and the risk of flipping the kayak over (let's hope not, but still).

I've started to compile a list of things I need, and I'm hoping some of you have done similar jobs where water resistance is key. I'll start off with my gear list and follow it up with what I've thought up so far in terms of items I should purchase prior to flying off to work.

Gear

  • GH5 + a few lenses, mostly Metabones+Canon EF glass
  • Sound Devices MixPre-3 for interview shots, will be packed away dry and safe when kayaking
  • A lav kit + Röde Stereo X Pro or whatever it's called
  • 1-2 more mics for music sessions on the beaches/mountains, will be packed away dry and safe with the MixPre-3
  • DJI Mavic Pro in a HPRC water resistant hardcase, phew!
  • Smaller LED panel(s), looking at picking up a few Aputure M9 just to have something in case I need light
  • 20.000mAh powerbank for MixPre-3 and charging on the go if necessary (we will have electricity at some places)
  • Peak Design Capture Pro to keep the GH5 on my chest at all times (unless it's in the Ewa-Marine bag all the time, see below)

Things being considered etc

  • Ewa-Marine U-AZ underwater housing for the GH5. I already ordered one and figured I'll just keep the GH5 in there most of the time as long as it's not too much in the way when shooting above water
  • Drybags one uses for outdoor adventures to keep batteries, chargers, clothes and everything else dry
  • Tripod/monopod. I have both, but I both want and need to travel light. On the other hand, for interviews they'll be sorely missed

That's about it, and I'm eager to hear what experiences you other forumites have acquired over the years!

Any tips are very much welcome in terms of prep, shooting, practical, (survival)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought immediately of using GoPros as well... just think of all the surfaces and angles. Timelapses! Anything from the kayak bow, POV helmet/chest cam, paddle cam to underwater stuff.

Think Les Stroud/Survivorman has a couple of videos where he's stranded with a kayak.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those big bags of scilica - to remove moisture at the end of the day or while stuff is stored away - so much moisture. I'd go a hand held point and shoot too - like a Sony RX100 - in a very small watertight case. As you'll be seeing stuff at unplanned moments - and you'll want to whip it out. Even in a small dry bag in your pocket. On the water light and atmospherics change second by second and its your ability to get stuff quickly. Ive spent about 10 years kayaking off shore and fishing for reasonbly big fish. And have shot stuff. Also again - a small point n shoot underwater camera might also be considered. It really depends on conditions..... but one salty splash on an unprotected camera could end things quickly. Also teathering camera cases on deck in case you roll....... check the seals daily for sand etc One speck could end things.... I'd go small peli cases in dry bags. For longer stowage trips.

 

P1010060.JPG

P1010019.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Linus N said:
  • Sound Devices MixPre-3 for interview shots, will be packed away dry and safe when kayaking

Go for Zoom F4 or MixPre6 instead, as they're a big leap forward over the MixPre3. 

I'd probably rather pick up a Tascam DR70D for next to nothing, than buy a MixPre3.

http://ironfilm.co.nz/which-sound-recorder-to-buy-a-guide-to-various-indie-priced-sound-recorders-in-2017/

15 hours ago, Linus N said:
  • 20.000mAh powerbank for MixPre-3 and charging on the go if necessary (we will have electricity at some places)


There are powerbanks which have a solar charger integrated into it!

My iPhone for work has a waterproof case with an integrated battery case, that also has a solar charger too! :-D

This is what I have for my iPhone SE:

https://www.snowlizardproducts.com/products/waterproof-iphone-5-slxtreme-rugged-battery-case?variant=749212631

 

15 hours ago, Linus N said:
  • Tripod/monopod. I have both, but I both want and need to travel light. On the other hand, for interviews they'll be sorely missed

I have a lightweight travel tripod which allows one leg to be screwed off to be used as a monopod, two in one combo!

15 hours ago, Linus N said:
  • A lav kit + Röde Stereo X Pro or whatever it's called

Go for Sony UWP-D11

15 hours ago, Linus N said:
  • Smaller LED panel(s), looking at picking up a few Aputure M9 just to have something in case I need light

The power output is not much. While I agree about getting them. I'd also at least grab 1x Aputure LS-mini20 + 1x Aputure LS C120d + 1x Aputure LS1/2w. Plus of course a stack of V mount batteries. 
However that might be blowing up your space/budget?! And depends on your needs, and what you're trying to achieve. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to shoot a promotional spot for a serious off road piece where the water is sometimes up to the driver's necks in the cabin...I want some underwater footage as well as close to river level as the truck goes down an embankment, etc....most filmed in an extremely muddy humid environment in the Ecuadorian jungle.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1335061-REG/olympus_v104190bu000_tg_5_digital_camera_black.html

I opted for this...goes down 70 ft underwater as is...300ft with an additional $299 underwater housing...mud on the lens?...squirt it down with your water bottle and keep shooting....f2.0 at the wide side on a 25-100mm zoom and Image wise blows past both the GoPro or my Inspire 1 camera....in fact, at 250g I'm going to figure out how to attach it below my Inspire camera so I can do things like very high boom shots etc., while using live view on the Inspire camera just to fly the bird...the Inspire can certainly lift the extra weight, albeit at the expense of battery life. In your case I would use it on everything while in the Kayak and the GH5 and Maverick for your "dry" establishing shots from a river bank or some similar safe zone....splash proof would not survive the GH5 going under!...anyway...test footage on PV....I'll have mine in about 10 days.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I found helpful for shooting in water is a small bottle of antifog.  With the heat from the camera inside the housing and the coolness of the water outside the housing, the lenses fog quite easily.  I know you want to pack light so maybe a gorrilapod and a suction mount  could be used in place of multiple other tools such as a tripod, clamps, magic arm etc...if you are in or near salt water and or sand be prepared. For example, a high quality Avenger suction mount I used in the ocean for less than a week was corroded beyond repair 3 months later even after a thorough warm soapy washdown before storage.  For yourself, a light weight wetsuit made for the temps you will encounter, or at the very least a rash guard or two of various thicknesses to keep you comfy and the sun off your skin, which will be important over a 3 week trip.  One last thing to mention is the Ewa marine housing.  I have used one for my 1dc for the past couple years. The 1dc has large well placed buttons with plenty of space between them, and still it was a challenge to change basic settings. I can't imagine the gh5 being any easier.  Which may mean multiple times a day of opening up the housing on the water to change settings, and once open, one splash of the paddle might be all it takes. If it were me, I would recommend a hard case, even if it means using a different camera, especially since you have zero ways to mount that particular housing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2017-08-11 at 1:30 AM, Cinegain said:

I thought immediately of using GoPros as well... just think of all the surfaces and angles. Timelapses! Anything from the kayak bow, POV helmet/chest cam, paddle cam to underwater stuff.

Think Les Stroud/Survivorman has a couple of videos where he's stranded with a kayak.

Hey!

The client organization people on the trip will bring their GoPro's and I'll have them at my disposal. No list of accessories yet but I'm hoping for suction cups, head/chest mounts etc. I will check out Les Stroud, thanks for the tip.

 

On 2017-08-11 at 1:46 AM, Dick Sweeney said:

Those big bags of scilica - to remove moisture at the end of the day or while stuff is stored away - so much moisture. I'd go a hand held point and shoot too - like a Sony RX100 - in a very small watertight case. As you'll be seeing stuff at unplanned moments - and you'll want to whip it out. Even in a small dry bag in your pocket. On the water light and atmospherics change second by second and its your ability to get stuff quickly. Ive spent about 10 years kayaking off shore and fishing for reasonbly big fish. And have shot stuff. Also again - a small point n shoot underwater camera might also be considered. It really depends on conditions..... but one salty splash on an unprotected camera could end things quickly. Also teathering camera cases on deck in case you roll....... check the seals daily for sand etc One speck could end things.... I'd go small peli cases in dry bags. For longer stowage trips.

I'll def look into finding scilica bags in Stockholm, otherwise I'll just bring rice. Good advice!

In terms of broadening the camera park for this particular shoot is not a possibility. The GH5 and Mavic are the only cameras I'll bring, however interesting the Olympus Tough line and i.e RX100 with housing are.

As for peli cases the only one I own atm is the one for the Mavic and no budget to invest in more. I have plenty of drybags from my outdoor adventures on the mountains so I'll double drybag all the camera gear when stowed away.

On 2017-08-11 at 2:13 PM, IronFilm said:

Go for Zoom F4 or MixPre6 instead, as they're a big leap forward over the MixPre3. 

I'd probably rather pick up a Tascam DR70D for next to nothing, than buy a MixPre3.

http://ironfilm.co.nz/which-sound-recorder-to-buy-a-guide-to-various-indie-priced-sound-recorders-in-2017/


There are powerbanks which have a solar charger integrated into it!

My iPhone for work has a waterproof case with an integrated battery case, that also has a solar charger too! :-D

This is what I have for my iPhone SE:

https://www.snowlizardproducts.com/products/waterproof-iphone-5-slxtreme-rugged-battery-case?variant=749212631

 

I have a lightweight travel tripod which allows one leg to be screwed off to be used as a monopod, two in one combo!

Go for Sony UWP-D11

The power output is not much. While I agree about getting them. I'd also at least grab 1x Aputure LS-mini20 + 1x Aputure LS C120d + 1x Aputure LS1/2w. Plus of course a stack of V mount batteries. 
However that might be blowing up your space/budget?! And depends on your needs, and what you're trying to achieve. 

So as stated before, changing the gear is a no-go based on budget. However I'm curious about the criticism towards the MixPre-3, what is you don't like?

For my phone I'll get a waterproof case or one of those hang-around-the-neck waterproof cases just to have it available at all times.

Considering throwing my Manfrotto MVH502 or whatever it's called into my kayak, seeing the interviews being cumbersome without one.

On 2017-08-11 at 3:17 PM, Vurhd said:

A lifejacket

I'll be given one, I hope :)

On 2017-08-11 at 3:19 PM, Fritz Pierre said:

I'm going to shoot a promotional spot for a serious off road piece where the water is sometimes up to the driver's necks in the cabin...I want some underwater footage as well as close to river level as the truck goes down an embankment, etc....most filmed in an extremely muddy humid environment in the Ecuadorian jungle.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1335061-REG/olympus_v104190bu000_tg_5_digital_camera_black.html

I opted for this...goes down 70 ft underwater as is...300ft with an additional $299 underwater housing...mud on the lens?...squirt it down with your water bottle and keep shooting....f2.0 at the wide side on a 25-100mm zoom and Image wise blows past both the GoPro or my Inspire 1 camera....in fact, at 250g I'm going to figure out how to attach it below my Inspire camera so I can do things like very high boom shots etc., while using live view on the Inspire camera just to fly the bird...the Inspire can certainly lift the extra weight, albeit at the expense of battery life. In your case I would use it on everything while in the Kayak and the GH5 and Maverick for your "dry" establishing shots from a river bank or some similar safe zone....splash proof would not survive the GH5 going under!...anyway...test footage on PV....I'll have mine in about 10 days.

As stated before, sadly investing in new equipment is not an option. However, I've been leaning more and more to shooting from the shore while having my subjects paddle or whatever is going on so that I can shoot from a controlled environment with less water etc.. Regardless, I'll def keep my GH5 in the Ewa-Marine housing at all times, just realized after kayaking for the first time in a long time yesterday. One gets wet. Always.

On 2017-08-11 at 10:17 PM, sam said:

One thing I found helpful for shooting in water is a small bottle of antifog.  With the heat from the camera inside the housing and the coolness of the water outside the housing, the lenses fog quite easily.  I know you want to pack light so maybe a gorrilapod and a suction mount  could be used in place of multiple other tools such as a tripod, clamps, magic arm etc...if you are in or near salt water and or sand be prepared. For example, a high quality Avenger suction mount I used in the ocean for less than a week was corroded beyond repair 3 months later even after a thorough warm soapy washdown before storage.  For yourself, a light weight wetsuit made for the temps you will encounter, or at the very least a rash guard or two of various thicknesses to keep you comfy and the sun off your skin, which will be important over a 3 week trip.  One last thing to mention is the Ewa marine housing.  I have used one for my 1dc for the past couple years. The 1dc has large well placed buttons with plenty of space between them, and still it was a challenge to change basic settings. I can't imagine the gh5 being any easier.  Which may mean multiple times a day of opening up the housing on the water to change settings, and once open, one splash of the paddle might be all it takes. If it were me, I would recommend a hard case, even if it means using a different camera, especially since you have zero ways to mount that particular housing.

Anti fog and gorillapod now on the shoplist, thanks for the tips! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...