Digital cameras are a precious commodity, so once summer hits and you’re ready to bring yours with you into the great outdoors, it’s important to invest in a little protection. With the exception of tough cams, the things weren’t built to sustain much of what nature can potentially throw at them, and it’s your job to lovingly make sure they don’t have to. Of course, you don’t want anything to impede your own adventure, so here are a few accessories that will ease your burden and keep your cameras safe.
The camera bag is an obvious necessity for DSLR users, but there are plenty of outdoor instances in which you’d like to defer to the strap. Yet, wearing your camera around your neck isn’t exactly a solution for many outdoor activities, as you’re sure to grow tired of it gently padding against your chest. The Sun Sniper can be worn across your body or around your neck and securely holds your DSLR while also letting you ignore it – until you want it, that is. The Sun Sniper holds your camera in just such a position that immediately upon grabbing it you can take your shot. The strap is also built with a shock absorber so your shoulder won’t grow weary of supporting the camera.
Tough cams have quite a few novelties, but you’re not alone if buying one for the handful of summer activities doesn’t seem quite worth it. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re excluded from underwater shots. DiCAPac makes Waterproof cases for a variety of cameras, including for DSLRs and compacts. The cases will also give your fingers access to the camera’s controls. Of course it’s going to be more of a challenge to get that shot when you are working through polycarbonate silicone, but a little extra time and effort are worth keeping your camera safe–not to mention the $300 you’d spend on a quality tough cam.
The GorillaPod’s usefulness isn’t exclusive to the outdoors: The flexible, bendable, and secure tripods are a hit with photographers, it just so happens that their attributes translate perfectly for nature shots. Finding yourself in the great outdoors without a tripod, you might be tempted to rig some sport of platform with the help of a tree and a rock. Save yourself the heartache of a destroyed digital camera and also give yourself some versatility. Attach point-and-shoots, DSLRs or camcorders to just about any surface, be it tree branch, telephone pole, or bike handlebars.
Depending on how much you paid for your digital camera or what features were important to you, your LCD display may be something of a challenge outside. Even some high end devices give off nothing but glare outdoors, making them virtually useless. If you find yourself looking for shade or squinting at your camera in contempt, invest in a Camshade or LCD Hood. These handy and relatively inexpensive devices attach to your camera and give you a private and clear viewing option in sunlight. It’s best to search for one by your camera type and manufacturer.
There are plenty of camera bags and backpacks out there, but the Tamrac Velocity backpack’s unique shape gives it some added convenience for more adventurous and fast-paced outdoor activities. Half backpack, half messenger bag, its compact size and versatility mean you can keep it on your back or hip and it won’t bounce around with your movement. You also won’t be weighed down by it, whereas some backpacks that feature safe sports for your camera may. The Velocity bags can be slung over your shoulder and won’t impede your movement.
The Twig Pod is perfect for those unstable situations: Think muddy ground, fields of grass, hilly areas. No matter how heavy or secure your tripod, there’s some fear of it toppling over. The Twig Pod is basically a spear you can stick into the ground. It’s made of aluminum and has a ball-head mount so various viewpoints are at your disposal. Also giving it an edge over some more traditional tripods is its convenience: It’s 8-inches when collapse and weights less than half a pound.