Although I have a Sony TX10 waterproof digital camera there are times when it’s not quite up to the job. These situations include occasions when I’m photographing in low light or at longer distances. In these instances a DSLR is really the only way to go.
Carrying a DSLR on/near water poses a number of risks. The risk of water damages or bumps/knocks is pretty high. Water protection case or carrier used must help protection against these dangers. However the case/bag must also be easy to carry, not be too heavy and probably equally important fits easily within my boat. As you can imagine there will be a trade off.
In the past I have used a large Peli Case for my camera, but my new Nikon D5100 has a 18-10mm lens that makes using the Peli a little impractical. So over the last few months I have been using a Watershed Ocoee dry bag with a Watershed padded liner.
Weight: 1 lb 7 oz
Capacity: 900 CU. IN. (15 L)
Dimensions: 9″ x 16″ x 8″
Opening Size: 13″
Closure Type: ZipDry
As a soft bag the Ocoee may not be as robust as a Peli but still offers a good level of protection and is waterproof.
The Ocoee and its padded liner fits the camera well and I don’t find that there is much movement once the bag is fastened up.
I do plan to get hold of some of the dividers that are available so I can create little compartments for different bits and pieces within the bag.
The bag has worked really well, in fact well enough that I have began to use it as my main camera bag.
The best part of the bag is strangely its worst feature. The waterproof closure of the bag is created by two interlocking rubber strips. These strips are pressed together to give a waterproof and air proof seal. This system is really effective but can difficult to get open especially when you have cold hands until you get the hang of it. You also need to be careful to ensure that the seal is fully home when you close the bag up. It’s not difficult but you do need to keep on eye on it to make sure that it is done correctly. It would would be fair to say that this is the same with all systems.
The material the bag is made with feels very solid and appears (subjectively) to be tougher than any other dry bag I have owned. I have read reports of folk using Watershed bags for years without any issue with the material wearing out.
The Ocoee has a good range of robust clips, straps and D-rings to ensure that everything is held in place snuggly and is easy to clip into your kayak.
The cost of the Watershed Ocoee is on the face of it pretty steep. You can find them in the UK for around £60. It will cost you £30 for the liner and another £25 for the dividers. But then again you will probably be placing several hundreds of £ of camera equipment in it. So as a long term investment I think the Watershed Ocoee is a good deal.