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Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

Boston
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Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

Sounds silly, but I am a photographer and so therefore will have a fairly large camera with me. Is it possible to carry it? Have people taken other large cameras with them while doing the zipline?

Thanks!!

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

Even bringing just a small camera can be a real pain. Personally, I definitely wouldn't recommend bringing a large one.

Atlanta
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2. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

A big one would definately be too hard to deal with. We took a small one that would fit in a pocket and that was okay. I would not bring a large one.

Tricia

Wayne, New Jersey
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for Playa Conchal
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3. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

Don't be scared to bring your camera. A solid strap over your neck will be fine. A small backpack will keep it totally out of the way. You won't want too long a lens, so it still be pretty compact. 18-135 would be a good choice.

A good idea is to have the photographer go first, then get pix of everybody else in your party coming toward you.

Boston
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4. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

Thanks for the advice. The reason I'm asking is that for the duration of the trip, it will pretty much be with me wherever I go (for safety concerns), or it'll be in the hotel safe. And the hotel we have in St. Elena is the only hotel where I'm not sure if we have a safe or not. And I definitely don't want to trust leaving it in a car. So I don't really know what else to do with it. . .

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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5. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

You'll be wearing a harness so if you bring a pocket camera it'll have to go in a pocket where access is not impeded by the harness. Since the harness goes under your crotch and is secured tightly to your torso, you best bet would be if you had cargo pants with pocket access lower on your thighs. If you plan to bring one on a strap for easier access, it should be one that doesn't dangle (ie it can be set so that the camera is held close to your body) and is real secure.

Last time I went I brought my digital camera, not nearly as small as many of the digitals you see today since it is an older model, but certainly much smaller than an SLR, with a telephoto lense. I ended taking very few pictures because of the hassles I found with it. If I brought one again, I'd either wear cargo pants with zippered thigh pockets, like I suggested, or only do it with a much smaller camera that I could more easily dig out of my shirt or waist pockets past the various straps. I probably wouldn't want to risk a nice camera on a zipline tour but if I did I'd have a neck strap and secure over my neck and one arm so it wouldn't move far from my body and then rotate the camera around so that it was behind me when I went on the zipline.

Taking pictures on trails between towers or trees is very doable, however once you get up on the platforms it may not be as easy as you might think. There is not a lot of room to move around on most platforms, particularly if the group you're going with is large, which they often are. Also, you'll get some nice views where the cables emerge from the canopy, but you probably won't have the time to really focus on it as you whiz by and focus instead on what to do when you get to the end of the line. Actually snapping any picture while "zipping" would be a real trick. And when you're back on the platform, most of the time your views are limited by the surrounding foliage. So digging out that camera between cable rides, finding a good angle to take a picture from while maneuvering around the other people on the platform and securing that camera again before you take off on your next cable ride, won't be as simple as setting up a shot on the ground.

Of course, for subject material you may not really care about any distant vistas, focusing instead on others in your group as they slide on the cables. You could safely take a picture of them while they slide away, but how interesting is someone's back. Or you could go first and try to take their picture as they are coming towards you, as has been suggested. Be very careful if you decide to try that. As a photgrapher, you should understand that looking through a lense creates a much different sense of distance and depth perception. Even without the lense, the apparent speed of a "Zipliner" SEEMS to rapidly increase as they get closer. Some of that is due to actual acceleration, but it is mostly due to the difference in apparent speed when observed from different distances. Combine that with the looking through a lense and you have the recipe for potential disaster. On my last zip-line trip, I saw a women "taken out" and pretty severely cut up and bruised when her husband came crashing into her after she tried to take a picture of him coming in. I'm not even sure if she got the picture off. If you do decide to try something like that, be prepared to get rapidly out of the way.

BTW, if its just a matter of securing your camera rather than actually using it, even if you don't have a hotel room safe, my guess would be that it would still be much safer to leave it in the keeping of your hotel front desk. They'll have somewhere safe to keep it and aren't about to try and rip off their own guests in so blatant a manner. They would stand to lose a lot more in bad PR than they would gain on any camera.

Boston
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6. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

Prolijo, thanks for the candid advice, I truly appreciate it!! I think I'm going to leave it with the hotel. I was actually worried about bringing it along, but leaving it with them sounds like the best idea.

Many thanks!

pa
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7. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

I took my small digital camera and did wear cargo pants so I was able to put it in the thigh pocket, that worked out great. However, there was a girl in our group that had a sweet big camera just strapped across her shoulder. I was a nervous wreck watcing her zip so fast, 200+ ft up in the air with her nice camera dangling under her.!! She was fine with it and she had no problems.

The Zipline was one of the highlights of my trip and I treasure my pictures, so I would defineltly try to take a camera along.

Calgary
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8. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

We had a large camera with us on the zip line and I am glad we did. We took turns going first and then were able to take photos of the others. The guide also took photos for us. The platforms were large enough on Sky Trek and I didn't feel like the camera got in the way at all. At one point the guide took everyones camera on ahead and took photos of people coming in from an advantage point that would not have been allowed for us.

Pennsylvania
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9. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

We did the skytram/skytrek in Arenal, and had our camera with us. I kept it in a purse-like camera bag that I had slung over my head and shoulder. It didn't cause me any problems, and I'm glad I took it. I was able to take pictures of my family taking off and "coming in for a landing". There was a couple on our tour who had their camcorder along. For one of the zips, the guide took their camcorder and filmed the view as he was zipping along(I didn't try to take pictures while zipping-you really won't be able to do that).

That was our experience. If your camera is really large and you are worried about damaging it, you may want to leave it behind. Perhaps you could take a smaller, less expensive camera along instead.

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Arenal Lodge
Arenal Lodge
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La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Halifax, NS
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10. Re: Can you take a camera on a zipline tour?

We did the Sky Trek/Sky Tram and I did bring my camera. For me, I wanted to bring it to take pictures of us doing the Zippings. While I'm glade we did bring it, I found it to be a pain. I had it wrapped around my wrist and all the time, I was paranoid that the camera would fall down. I think if I would have to do it again, I'd bring a small backpack and bring the camera in the backpack.