How do we prepare
for each trip &
what gear do we carry?
To find out more click on the links below:
Our passion and we definitely spend the money on camera gear. It is the most important aspect of our trip while on the road and gives us the most rewards once at home. A lot of time goes in set up and research.
Mike's SLR - Nikon D300s
Bought December 2009 from Seneal. Cost $1649.00CDN body only
Model: Nikon D300s
Weight: approx. 1.4 kg
Up to December 2009 we used the Nikon D200 for most of our photos. We upgraded to the D300s employs a 12.3 effective megapixel Nikon DX Format CCD image sensor, which captures images with remarkable resolution and clarity. It's sophisticated 1005-pixel RGB Matrix Metering system ensures ideal exposures, and an advanced Nikon image processing engine renders images with superb clarity and smooth color gradations.
The D300s can shoot seven frames per second. Its large, bright viewfinder offers 0.53x magnification and 100% coverage. A 51 point Autofocus sensor keeps the images sharp, and built-in grid lines help me to line up things so that it's all level. The addition of a 720p video mode is handy for those times when you want to shoot a little video, but don't want to carry two cameras.
We are using both the D200 and the D300s SLR's currently.
We carry two 4GB compact flash cards for the D200 and two 8GB compact flash cards for the D300s. This will get us through even a heavy day of shooting.
The main lens that we use is the Nikon 18-200mm AF-S DX VR Zoom lens. The lens is absolutely amazing. It has built in vibration reduction and allows us to shoot in low light situations and long exposure situations for special effects. The combination of this lens and the D300s are perfect for our needs.
We carry an external Nikon SB-800 Speedlight flash to help out in the many varied lighting conditions that we find in our travels. The SB-800 can be used off-camera as a remote flash as well. This is very useful for the field photography that we do.
Other accessories that we carry are a small tri-pod, a wireless remote shutter release, and a special brush, called the Arctic Butterfly made by Visible Dust, to clean the dust off the CCD chip.
Ruby's SLR - Nikon D300s
Bought January 2007 from B&H. Cost $3044.99CDN body and lens
Model: Nikon D200
Weight: approx. 1.4 kg
For more information visit Nikon's website at www.Nikon.com.
Current Point & Shoot Camera (Waterproof):
Bought May 2005. Cost at time of purchase approx. $550.00CDN
Model: Pentax Optio WP
Weight: approx. 135g
Our number two camera is the Pentax Optio WP. The Optio WP is a 5.0 effective megapixel point and shoot digital camera. The best thing about the Optio WP is that it is a waterproof digital camera. The Optio WP allows underwater photography to a depth of 1.5 meters. This waterproof feature is the main reason that we decided on this as our second camera. It allows us to shoot while snorkeling or while standing in major rain storm without worrying about camera damage.
Other features of the Pentax Optio WP are a 2.0 inch LCD low reflection/glare control screen, easy operation mode, and a built in flash. The Pentax Optio WP is also very small and light weight which allows us to take it places that we may not be able to take the big Nikon camera.
For more information visit Pentax's website at www.Pentax.com.
Current Helmet & Video Camera Set-up:
Bought July 2009 from Helmet Camera Central. Cost $649.95US
Model: V.I.O POV 1.5M
Bought December 2009 from Point of View Cameras. Cost $637.95CDN
Model: V.I.O POV 1.5M
The POV.1.5 is a fully integrated point-of-view (POV) video system that's waterproof, dustproof, and shock-resistant. The system includes a mountable camera head, built-in video recorder, wireless remote and software for managing your point-of-view videos.
The POV Power allows you to power a POV unit with your car or motorcycle battery.
POV.1.5 recorder with LCD display, POV Power, Wide Angle camera head 110 degrees, LVDS cable, POV Manager software, Wireless Remote Control, 4GB SDHC Card, USB cable, Analog A/V cable, Quick Start Guide, 4 AA batteries, Carrying Case, Double-Hook and Loop Mount, Star Mount
High-quality wearable video camera records with 720 x 480 resolution at 30fps
Ergonomic user interface design enables single-handed operation and hands-free video capture
Modular mounting system provides camera stability while attached to helmets or other high impact gear
Components are shock-resistant, water-resistant and dustproof for use in the most hazardous environments
The POV.1.5 records in 2 modes, LOOP or CLIP. In LOOP mode, the user TAGs and saves key video segments. In CLIP mode, video is continuously recorded as in traditional video recording. Recording, playback and set-up are controlled by buttons on the POV.1.5 recorder.
Frame rates: 30fps, 25fps, 24fps, 15fps
Resolutions: 720x480, 720x400, 640x480, 360x240
Formats: MPEG4 AVI (DivX Codec) digital, NTSC/PAL analog
Exposure control: Automatic exposure control and white balance
Sensor: Advanced CMOS sensor with electronic global shutter
Dynamic range: 75dB to 110dB
Sensitivity: 5 lux color sensor (Sub 0.1 lux monochrome sensor)
Processor: 32 Bit MIPS processor, 12 Bit image
Sensitivity: F/#2.0, Relative Illumination @full field 90%
Effective focal length: 2.97mm
Field of View: 110 degrees
Mic type: omnidirectional cable-mounted, -40dB sensitivity at 1kHz
Resolution: 16-bit half duplex
Sampling rate: 32kHz
Speaker: Monaural 8ohm mylar, 0.7W Max
Recording capacity: Includes 4GB SD card, 8GB SD card capability
I/O Ports: SD card slot, USB 2.0 high speed (Mini -B), Mic-In, NTSC/PAL Analog TV/Audio Out
Previous Helmet & Video Camera Set-up:
Used in Alaska, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Africa
Bought July 2005 from JonesCamTV. Cost $340US
Model: JonesCam 480EX
Weight: approx. 1.4 kg
Complete Set-up incl. Helmet Cam, Video Cam, Batteries, Microphone and Cabling
(Pen for Scale Reference)
The Helmet Camera that we use is a JonesCam 480EX. The 480EX uses a Sony EX View HAD 480TVL image sensor. This provides a very sharp 480 lines of resolution and most people are surprised with the excellent quality. The image sensor is mounted inside a 21mm x 77mm waterproof alloy tube known as a "lipstick camera". The "lipstick camera" is mounted to the motorcycle helmets with Velcro and duct tape. A video signal/power cable is run from the helmet to the Sony DCR HC-32 mini DV digital video camera stored in the tank bag.
Power from the motorcycle is run through two lithium-ion batteries and then on to the Sony mini DVD camera and the JonesCam helmet camera. A push-button switch mounted on the handlebar allows Ruby to start and stop recording with just a push of the button.
The helmet camera has provided us with many unforgettable and amazing moments of video footage. The small size and discrete nature of the helmet camera means that most people do not know that they are being recorded, and this provides some very candid and very natural looking images that show the people just as we see them.
We are still working to improve the video set-up that we use and we will add more details as we sort out little issues along the way.
For more information visit JonesCam's website at www.JonesCam.TV
From left Nikon D200 (Digital - January 2007), Nikon D100 (Digital) and Nikon F70 (Film)