Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

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Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby motioneccentrica » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:25 pm

I just wanted to know, its my first time going and I plan to take some pictures and video, was wondering if you need some kind of special casing for the camera?
I hear that the dust can ruin the camera, now I know that the cameras are dust proof, but I was hoping to know from someone who has actually taken one of these
cameras to BM before?

Thanks!
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby Eric » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:46 pm

These threads aren't specific for your camera, but they'll give you general camera care tips (they're pretty much the same tips for all cameras):

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=40776

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=40664

http://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5639
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby Savannah » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:01 pm

Here's a good page from the main site that discusses carrying and protecting equipment about halfway down the page, as well as other things (like the event-specific etiquette, what the light is like, etc).

http://www.burningman.com/press/photo_guide.html
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby naugasnake » Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:04 am

This year will be my 11th Burn, and with the exception of the first year, I've brought an SLR camera Film in 2002, 10D in 2003, 20D in 2004-2008 and D5 Mark II in 2009-2010. First things first, I never once, not even for a few minutes, walked around with my camera out of my bag unless I was shooting. Now that doesnt mean I didn't keep it out for extended periods of time, but the camera had two places, either in my camera bag, or in my hands or on my tripod. Having said that, I have absolutely no fear what so ever of shooting at Burning Man. I shoot in the heat of the day, in the cold of night, during calm and yes, even during intense dust storms. In fact, I love shooting during dust storms. Some of the best stuff I've done in the last few years has been during intense dust storms.

Also, please note, you asked an question that is important to discuss. You referred to your cameras are "Dust proof". There is no such thing, especially with SLR cameras. Playa dust finds its way into everything! The 5D MKII and 7D are both incredibly well sealed (although I believe the 5d is a little better in this area), so you have that going for you. But the concept of a dust proof camera is along the lines of perpetual motion. Just not possible.

Here is what I do:
1. I carry my lenses, camera and accessories all in one somewhat inexpensive, and Burning Man only, camera bag. I typically get 2 years of life out of said bag, and I never spend more than $30 on it. I like the canon 200EG bag. I wash it in the laundry machine when I return. I am very hard on this bag, and hence, it lasts no more than 2 years out there.
2. I ALWAYS keep a lens cap on my camera unless I'm shooting or composing a shot.
3. I change lenses all the time. I do it quickly, and I try to avoid doing it with dust, but I've changed lenses even during dust storms when I REALLY needed a different lens for a shot. I carry ONLY L series lenses which have better seals and weather protection.
4. My camera stays in camera bag until I'm ready to shoot with it. Yes, taking it in and out of the bag as needed is a hassle, but this is the most important aspect of keeping your camera clean and safe. I cannot stress this strongly enough.
5. When I return from Burning Man, I tear open my bag, and spend hours cleaning everything. Lenses, filters, accessories, EVERYTHING.
6. I shoot with a 5D Mark II, and I don't trust myself to clean the sensor, so I take it to Samy's camera and they clean it for free (because I bought it there). Unless you truly know what you're doing, don't try to clean your sensor yourself.
7. When I bought the camera, I bought the warranty that includes coverage for accidental damage, and I have an additional rider on my renters insurance that covers all of my camera gear, including accidental damage. This is incredibly empowering, and makes me feel safe about bringing the camera out to the event. But even without these layers of protection, I would still do everything the same way. I would not fear using my camera. You bought it to use it, yes?
8. I do put a protective cover over the LCD displays (the top black LCD and the rear preview lcd.). Thats a no brainer and costs only a couple of bucks.
9. UV Filters are put on prior to Burning Man, and never, under any circumstances ever come off out on the playa. Once you scratch a lens, its toast, so I never ever let the face of my lenses touch playa air. Granted the rear elements get exposed when swaping lenses, but thats a risk I'm willing to take.

Here is what I don't do:
1. I don't keep the camera wrapped in plastic, nor in any kind of protective shield that gets in the way of getting a good shot. If you take proper precautions this just isn't necessary for either of your cameras.
2. I don't touch the camera with dirty hands. If you've been before, you likely know the difference between playa clean and clean and I don't touch my camera with playa dirty hands.
3. I do not ever, under any circumstances, put the camera down anywhere unless its in the bag. It never hits the ground (unless its in my hand for a low angle shot), and it never leaves my sight.
4. I never ever hand my camera to people I don't absolutely trust. You don't want to be in a situation where you have to hold somebody accountable for destroying your camera. They may be your best friends out there, but Burning Man tends to lower peoples guards, and you just never know could happen.

I remember something I'll never forget from 2009. I was sitting in center camp, drinking a coffee, and a guy sits next to me holding a brand new Nikon Camera with a pricey lens attached. Easily a $2,000 rig. Now this moron had no camera bag, and this camera was bare. It didnt even have a lens cap on. It dangled from his shoulder, and he even knocked it into the bench when he sat down. Now this guys hands looked like he just rolled his them on the playa. He was flipping through pictures he had shot. Holding the camera with filthy hands, he noticed the thick layer of dust on his uncovered lens, so he licked his thumb (I'm not making this up) and briskly rubbed the front of his lens doing nothing but making mud. I wanted to intervene on his cameras behalf, and yank the thing out of his hands, and care for his camera properly. Alas, this camera already have a lens in the grave. Its likely this jackass didn't have

My point for retelling this story is multiple fold. 1. An idiot will find a way to destroy their camera on the playa. Don't be this douche. 2. Not pretending the ground is camera lava will invariably result in a destroyed camera, and lava hands can be just as hazardous. 3. If you just don't care about the camera, and have that kind of money to throw away, feel free to be brutal to your camera! You'll destroy it in no time. 4. Respect your gear, and it will reward you with years and years of great images.

Please note: I accept no responsibility for what you do to your camera based on my advice! But rest assured, I've spent a decade shooting countless images on the playa, and these simple tips have served me incredibly well. I've not run into a single problem related to gear other than a batter grip that failed in extreme heat. But it turns out there was a recall on that one, so that was Canon's fault.
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby mudpuppy000 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:53 am

I took my 7D out there last year and didn't have any issues. I was somewhat paranoid though, so I kept it in a ziploc bag/camera bag and didn't change lenses. Also I ended up only shooting one evening with low dust vs hauling it around all week through the major dust storms. I use my waterproof point an shoot most of the time there.
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby CapSmashy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:43 am

Savannah wrote:Here's a good page from the main site that discusses carrying and protecting equipment about halfway down the page, as well as other things (like the event-specific etiquette, what the light is like, etc).

http://www.burningman.com/press/photo_guide.html


Excellent link.
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby CapSmashy » Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:56 am

naugasnake wrote: Having said that, I have absolutely no fear what so ever of shooting at Burning Man. I shoot in the heat of the day, in the cold of night, during calm and yes, even during intense dust storms. In fact, I love shooting during dust storms. Some of the best stuff I've done in the last few years has been during intense dust storms.


Oh yes. I love dust storm pictures. It creates an incredibly surreal photo. :)

One of my favorite shooting styles is to hang out near a big flame effect mutant or installation and use the light as my flash and shoot during the fireballs. I have gotten some great candids and portraits on Burn Night this way.

Also, please note, you asked an question that is important to discuss. You referred to your cameras are "Dust proof". There is no such thing, especially with SLR cameras. Playa dust finds its way into everything! The 5D MKII and 7D are both incredibly well sealed (although I believe the 5d is a little better in this area), so you have that going for you. But the concept of a dust proof camera is along the lines of perpetual motion. Just not possible.


Yep. You can take steps to mitigate dust intrusion, like taping up the camera port covers and such, but dust invasion has to be an acceptable risk for the gear. Its why I have insurance and such on my equipment.

Here is what I do:


I still can not bring myself to do a lens swap in the open. :lol:

But everything else, 100% agree.

Here is what I don't do:


Agreed on all points.

I remember something I'll never forget from 2009. I was sitting in center camp, drinking a coffee, and a guy sits next to me holding a brand new Nikon Camera with a pricey lens attached. Easily a $2,000 rig. Now this moron had no camera bag, and this camera was bare. It didnt even have a lens cap on. It dangled from his shoulder, and he even knocked it into the bench when he sat down. Now this guys hands looked like he just rolled his them on the playa. He was flipping through pictures he had shot. Holding the camera with filthy hands, he noticed the thick layer of dust on his uncovered lens, so he licked his thumb (I'm not making this up) and briskly rubbed the front of his lens doing nothing but making mud. I wanted to intervene on his cameras behalf, and yank the thing out of his hands, and care for his camera properly. Alas, this camera already have a lens in the grave. Its likely this jackass didn't have

My point for retelling this story is multiple fold. 1. An idiot will find a way to destroy their camera on the playa. Don't be this douche. 2. Not pretending the ground is camera lava will invariably result in a destroyed camera, and lava hands can be just as hazardous. 3. If you just don't care about the camera, and have that kind of money to throw away, feel free to be brutal to your camera! You'll destroy it in no time. 4. Respect your gear, and it will reward you with years and years of great images.


Wow... I can't imagine treating my gear like that. Even if I did have the money not to care.
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Re: Anyone taken a Canon 7D or 5D mark II to BM before?

Postby Eric » Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:42 pm

naugasnake wrote: 4. I never ever hand my camera to people I don't absolutely trust. You don't want to be in a situation where you have to hold somebody accountable for destroying your camera. They may be your best friends out there, but Burning Man tends to lower peoples guards, and you just never know could happen.


Even if you absolutely trust them, think twice. Are they going to be as cautious as you with the equipment?

Naugasnake's post is full of the reasons I stopped bringing my good DSLR out and now shoot with a crappy Cannon A550 that has a lens cover that needs to be flicked open. I treat it like crap, it still does a great job for me without the stress of my good camera being on-playa:
Image
(after Mondays rain- 2010)

I'm also a club photographer in "Real Life", so having a chance to get away from the camera & experience the event is one of the biggest factors in leaving my Nikon at home (I was crying when reading your douche story- give me the damn camera if you care so little about it!)
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