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Tips for bringing a DSLR/fancy camera to theme parks?


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My friend and I are heading down to King's Dominion next week. I wanted to bring my DSLR (Nikon D3100) along to take some nice pictures. I also found some very old (but nice) lenses lying around but the thing is, it's a lot to carry.

 

The last thing I want to do is leave everything in the car with the insane heat. Right now, I was thinking of bringing a backpack to the park and just throwing it in a locker, but I'm not sure if that will get too hot either. To those of you that do like to bring nice cameras to parks, what do you usually do? Keep in mind, I also don't have anyone to hold the stuff for me while I'm on rides

 

ahhhh, I want to make a mad dash to i305 at opening too since this will be my first time at the park!! The enthusiast and photographer in me are at odds!

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I have a D3000 and I leave it in a bag on all the loading platforms. Obviously I have never had it stolen, but that is still the risk you do take. Kings Dominion has bins in all of the stations if I remember correctly.

 

If you want to get a locker I think that would be fine as well!

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You could get there early and just rent a "secure box" for a day (they're under cover, so they shouldn't get too hot). Then you could run around and do all the rides you like, then take a "photo lap."

 

You can rent one just to the right of the entrance turnstiles.

Edited by cfc
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^ That's the best idea, I've personally done it with no problem. Lugging around an SLR all day is why I eventually bought a point-n-shoot, it got old quick. I never liked the idea of leaving it on the station though, at a certain point, you just have to ask yourself, would you also leave $1000 cash on the dock?

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All of these are some really great suggestions, and it really is up to you how much you do bring and what all you want to do. I love take my 7D to the parks, but usually it comes down to whether or not I want to downsize. When it comes to a park that I rarely get to visit, I'll usually limit my self to my small bag which is big enough to hold my camera and potentially another lens.

 

I usually end up doing what cfc suggested, do what I want, then run around the park for an hour or so just taking photos and videos. Now if it's a park you have the ability to travel to quite often, then I feel bringing the whole collection down is a great opportunity, which is when I'll bring my large bag with all of my lenses. Renting one of the larger "secure box's" is always a great idea, but again...it's all up to you. I also like to locker hop, but that is best for parks that allow free lockers for limited times.

 

Goodluck and I can't wait to see what you bring back!

 

Leaving it in the station is always a risk, but a lot easier.

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Thanks guys. I think I will go with the security box option. The only flaw I can see with the lockers is that I have to go back when the time runs out, and it might be in an inconvenient location. Does anyone have a link to the pricing on the security boxes? I can't find anything on KD's website, only that they have lockers.

 

I'm still debating how many lenses I should bring. I have a 18-55 mm VR lens that came with the camera, an old manual film SLR 105 mm lens, and an old 180 mm lens. The VR is great because it's so versatile, but I love the old manual ones. The only reason I'm considering bringing the 180 mm is because I want to get some shots off of the observation tower

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Thanks guys. I think I will go with the security box option. The only flaw I can see with the fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo is that I have to go back when the time runs out, and it might be in an inconvenient location.

 

No, Chuck is talking about the all-day l.o.c.k.e.r.s at the front of the park. It is one flat rate for the entire day. Not sure about the price though.

 

Edit: Looks like it's $5 for the entire day.

Edited by ernierocker
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Lugging around an SLR all day is why I eventually bought a point-n-shoot, it got old quick.

 

I came to the same conclusion: Modern point-and-shoots are good enough. They don't cost much, the image quality is surprisingly good, they fit into your pocket, and some of them take OK video. The main thing a point-and-shoot can't do well is action shots.

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^Yep--just getting around the word filter.

 

wow, I'm an idiot -_- but yeah, the all-day locker sounds good to me.

 

Also, my friend who is into photography gave me some advice. When she has to leave her camera/lenses in the car for an extended period of time, she puts all of the equipment in the Nikon/Canon/whatever bag then puts it in a cooler with ice packs. She swears by this and nothing has ever happened to her camera. Just wondering if anyone has ever tried this.

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  • 1 month later...

Bringing up an old thread, but this subject has been on my mind lately, too.

 

I've considered buying a pair of pants or shorts with zipper pockets for my coaster outings (mainly so I don't lose my keys). But it would also come in handy for my DSLR. I haven't tried it, but would anyone object to dismantling their DSLR and then putting it in two separate zipper pockets while on a ride?

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er, not sure how small your camera is but that sounds like a pretty bad idea. Between the restraints pushing on your upper pockets and your lower pockets bouncing back and forth on the ride...

 

Anyways, I just bring a small backpack/shoulder strap bag and either put it in a locker or leave it in a cubbie hole if I feel safe with that (depends on the park). Also, pack lightly. Try to only bring one lens since it will not only be annoying to change lenses constantly but it will also help you learn to cut down on lenses

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I've considered buying a pair of pants or shorts with zipper pockets for my coaster outings (mainly so I don't lose my keys). But it would also come in handy for my DSLR. I haven't tried it, but would anyone object to dismantling their DSLR and then putting it in two separate zipper pockets while on a ride?

This is the last thing I'd do. Subjecting an expensive camera body and/or lens to the potential abuse from being in a cargo pocket while on a ride is quite honestly...well...insane.

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I've been debating taking my DSLR this weekend for getting some Haunt photos but I may stick with my 'enhanced' point 'n shoot that has manual controls and a decent zoom (10x) considering the size of the camera...and it takes some great shots. It's small enough that I can stuff it in my pockets and not have to leave it on a bin or planter box (where the ride has no storage areas, like a Top Spin over water). I really don't feel like carrying a backpack all day (and all night) when I go to the park this weekend..maybe in one of the upcoming weekends though I will take it along.

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You've all validated my fears, I won't be trying that any time soon.

 

It's frustrating when you want to take good pictures of you and your friends enjoying the park when the (sometimes mandatory) lockers cost a buck each. Universal was fantastic because I could carry my camera around and put it in a l.ocker while I ride, then pick it up to take more pictures. This scenario just isn't possible at, say, Six Flags. Not without spending $20.

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