Aquapac waterproof SLR case no. 455
$130, 9.5 oz.
The dilemma: I was going sea kayaking for five days in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park and needed a way to shoot with my digital SLR without subjecting it to constant sea spray and the risk of an accidental dunking. If I had to constantly pull it out of a dry bag (or two) or a watertight hard case to shoot, I’d inevitably miss many shots. The solution: this flexible SLR case from Aquapac. Several hundred photos later, I’m convinced that—from a photographer’s perspective—my trip would not have been the same without it.
In a nutshell, it’s a completely watertight, flexible plastic bag with a clear, hard window that fits over the end of your camera lens. Its watertight closure uses three tabs that lock tightly with a quarter-turn, preventing accidental opening. I could fairly easily manipulate all camera functions, turn a zoom lens, and look through the viewfinder with my DSLR inside the case. (Tip: By experimenting, I found that allowing a little air inside the sealed case—not squeezing most of the air out, nor sealing the case with a big bubble of air inside—gave me the greatest ease with managing camera controls and zooming a lens.) Photo quality was consistently comparable to the quality I got shooting on land without the case. I took the photo at right of kayakers in front of the Lamplugh Glacier in Glacier Bay from my boat, with the camera in the case. Aquapac says you can shoot underwater, to 15 feet; I didn’t attempt that in Alaska’s freezing waters. As for size: The case fit my Nikon D90 with an 18-200 zoom fully extended.
No, it’s not as easy to shoot as it is without a case; and occasionally the rim of the case’s lens would sneak into the corner of a shot, because I didn’t have the case pushed up snugly against the lens (which you have to monitor). But the case allows you to travel in or on water with your camera constantly ready to shoot (the case comes with an adjustable strap); no dry bag or watertight box offers such convenience. Aquapac’s website provides a sizing guide so you can know whether your camera will fit inside the case. The Aquapac waterproof SLR case will be part of my camera kit on all water trips from now on.