Art and Photography

Carrying Camera while Cycling

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  • Aug 23rd, 2020 3:06 pm
[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario

Carrying Camera while Cycling

Any suggestions for DIY/low cost or purchased camera carrying solutions? Preferably for a DSLR, but I'm willing to consider something for my phone - handlebar/waterboss mounts if those exist.

Any tips on how to carry one comfortably? So far all I can dig up is use a backpack, or get a pannier rack with bags (no thanks). Heard of people using handlebar bags or frame pouches, though all the ones I've seen seem a bit pricey.

I want to take my camera out while on my bike rides, missed several picturesque shots just because I had nothing on me. When I go for rides it's on the trails through the countryside here, nothing all-day or super long distance to warrant baggage racks and water bottles. I prefer to travel light when I cycle, even a phone in my pocket is far too cumbersome as it bounces along my leg while riding. I've found hanging a DSLR or having one on a blackrapid strap doesn't work for cycling, the camera swings around far too much. The setup I plan to carry is nothing too crazy, just a beater D5100 and a prime lens.

I do have a smaller point and shoot, but it too has the same issue of can't put it anywhere comfortably.
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14 replies
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May 5, 2010
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How about a fanny pack that you turn the pouch on your back? Too small for DSLR but big enough for a smartphone or point & shoot.

Or a sling bag for your DSLR if you don't like backpack.
Newbie
Jul 19, 2015
37 posts
29 upvotes
Victoria, BC
I suggest you get a modestly priced cycling jersey. Those back pockets can easily carry a smartphone, point and shoot and snacks. mec.ca has examples, maybe even your local bike shop. You don't have to get the super duper aero style you see all the club riders using to get this functionality. OTOH, if you like lycra, go nuts! As well, look at top tube cycling bags, often called cycling "bento boxes". They can have the capacity for a DSLR with a modest lens, or a mirrorless, same re: lens. You want to ensure it can fit your bike without knocking your knees on it every pedal stroke. Too many variables to know if it can work for you; up to you test it out. Good luck.
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Sep 3, 2005
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Vaughan
I use a lowe nova 180 when I go cycling. I wear it on my back. Its an older bag that I own and its destroyed on the outside. I don't carry my camera when cycling though. I put my water bottle, fruits, my phone, and my BT earphone case in there. I keep my wallet in there as well (you never know if you'll need it). I don't think I'd ever carry my camera with me though. I rarely ever take photos when cycling, and if I do, I pop out my phone.

Tbh, if you are determined to take your camera. Get some sort of basket, whether its designed for a bike or not. I rented a bike in Japan, around the areas of Mount Fuji. I rented the bike, because I knew I didn't have enough time to get a good view of Mount Fuji before it got dark outside. The bike had a basket in the front. I put my full sized camera backpack, and tripod (inside tripod bag), both in the basket. I couldn't go as fast as I wanted, because the basket was on the front handle bars, but it worked well enough imo. I had 3 lenses, A7ii, extra batteries, and other miscellaneous items in the bag. Bag wasn't light by any means, but it worked.
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Mar 6, 2003
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I'm all about fanny packs or sling bags these days. I bought myself a Peak Design everyday sling for my gear. It goes cross shoulder and it hangs around my back like you would have if you are a bike messenger

https://www.amazon.ca/Design-Everyday-S ... B076B2NYGC

Comes in various sizes for just a few things or big enough to carry a full size DSLR
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Aug 29, 2006
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Get an insert, turn any bag you have into a camera bag.
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I personally use a pacsafe 325 sling - i can fit a d7200, two lenses, water bottle and wallet in it. the locking zippers are a great feature too

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Sep 23, 2013
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Vancouver, BC
My 2 cents as a cyclist: no way am I carrying a dslr and lenses on my rides. The experience is way more enjoyable with a minimal load. As long as your phone was made in the past couple years, the image quality will be sufficient to work with in post. Get yourself a $20 handlebar phone mount on amazon, a decent phone case if u don't already one, and go and enjoy the outdoors.
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Mar 22, 2004
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RFD
hartzfizzo wrote: My 2 cents as a cyclist: no way am I carrying a dslr and lenses on my rides. The experience is way more enjoyable with a minimal load. As long as your phone was made in the past couple years, the image quality will be sufficient to work with in post. Get yourself a $20 handlebar phone mount on amazon, a decent phone case if u don't already one, and go and enjoy the outdoors.
Gotta agree. DSLRs nowadays are not needed for applications like these, Pixel or an iPhone is plenty enough to capture DSLR like photos on rides. The bulkiness sucks. I've slowly gotten rid of my DSLR and mirrorless and sizing downward to one device, a smartphone with a good camera and it has been a great experience. I don't feel like I'm missing much these days for most shots.
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The only thing I miss about cameras is a telephoto lens, but it seems like phones are starting to wade into that area as well.

These days, for anything that involves going somewhere, I get far more joy out of watching little clips from my GoPro than any photos from a fancy camera.
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Member
Jul 31, 2008
433 posts
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Markham
I am not sure why OP has an aversion to a rack and panniers. It is the most versatile solution, and can be relatively cheap and light weight. It also gets the weight in a manageable place.

I would never have a back pack or fanny pack. It just turns into a sweat layer, and on long rides, one more thing to make you uncomfortable.
I do not like handlebar bags. Weight on the handlebars can change handling, and ruins the view IMHO.

You can get a top tube or frame bag. These are good for accessibility, and there are cheap ones (e.g. MEC has a $15 top tube bag). I have used a frame bag for a small P&S.
Sr. Member
Jul 16, 2009
682 posts
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I sling the camera across my body behind my back, then I take a small dollar store hook strap and connect both ends of the strap under my arm. It ends up being basically the same mechanism a sling bag uses to not rotate.

Note: The only time I ever crashed on my bike, I had the camera on me like this. The camera broke my ribs but survived completely 100% intact Face With Tears Of Joy.
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Feb 12, 2008
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Scarborough
dam about the ribs lol
[OP]
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May 11, 2009
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Debtario
I think I'll just stick with the phone and maybe a tube bag. Panniers are excessive for just a camera IMO, I don't carry enough with me to justify extra hardware, and I don't believe my bike supports them.
jbnc_ wrote: I sling the camera across my body behind my back, then I take a small dollar store hook strap and connect both ends of the strap under my arm. It ends up being basically the same mechanism a sling bag uses to not rotate.

Note: The only time I ever crashed on my bike, I had the camera on me like this. The camera broke my ribs but survived completely 100% intact Face With Tears Of Joy.
I tried this and it worked surprisingly well. Just before this I almost had a serious accident while trying to get the camera to stay put on my back, it began shifting and slid sideways, I was distracted adjusting it that I drifted into oncoming traffic, veered right and then almost wiped out into a tree. All for chasing a sunset...
"I possess a device, in my pocket, capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man. I use it to look at pictures of cats and get in arguments with strangers"

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