What kind of camera should I use for storm chasing?
The right equipment
Many people have asked me what cameras I use and what do I recommend.
I have two main cameras and they are both Canon. I like the Canon as they are a very user-friendly camera and are tough as nails.
The position of the buttons and dials are well placed, while the rear screen is easily viewed for manual settings.
During a storm chase cameras can be knocked around.
Time is essential on a chase so you don't want a camera that needs to be packed away safely every time you jump in the car.
Mine has been dropped, blown over on tripods, drenched in rain and then on Thursday, while I was chasing a cell that developed to the west of Warwick before moving up over Glennie Heights and Freestone, I did a bit of a silly thing.
I had stopped just before Freestone Hall and took some shots. I put the camera down and did a post by phone to Higgins Storm Chasing to get a warning out for the southeast.
The storm was moving very fast and was just about on me.
I jumped into the car and moved up the road to a clear area and got smashed by torrential rain, hail and 70kmh gusting winds.
At one stage the hail was horizontal and my poor old chase Commodore was rocking in the wind.
After it was over, I headed back toward Warwick and stopped to take some shots of the hail.
That's when I realised I had left my Canon 600D laying on the side of the road back at Freestone!
I drove back and found it completely drenched. I was all ready to chase another storm so I put it on the back seat and thought, "Well, I need a new camera!"
I was targeting a cell that developed around Clifton and on the way; I stopped on Willowvale Rd to try for some lightning shots.
I couldn't believe it when I looked at the 600D and realised it was still working! It played up a bit but after I set up I caught a couple of bolts with it.
I then moved on to Clifton and I again used it to capture the back of a monster cell that was moving to the north.
The sun was painting the whole sky blood red. It looked like Armageddon!
I continued on to Picnic Point in Toowoomba and captured more bolts.
When I went to use the camera on Friday it was very ill. The screen was flickering, the lens had fogged up and it wouldn't focus.
I sat it out in the sun for a while and it is now working perfectly, They are one tough camera! I am not writing this to advertise Canon, only to give advice on what I feel is a good, hardy camera for storm chasing.