I have hiked the Narrows Trail in Zion National Park 4 times. The other 3 times were in the Fall when you need a wetsuit. This June was my 4th time and everyone in my group was wearing shorts.
The “trail is the Virgin River, literally. The water is mostly ankle to knee deep but in spots can be up to waist deep.
I took a spill in water that was deeper. I carry my camera high in deeper water but fell forward. My camera and lens were totally, and I do mean totally submerged for however long it took me to raise it out of the water. I will guess 1+ second.
I had an R5 with a circular polarizer adapter, and 24-105 L lens. There are about 24 buttons or dials, a flip screen, battery compartment, flash card compartment, and two side panels for various electronic connections.
So what happens to an EOS R5 when it is totally submerged for a second or two?
That is not a question I cared to find the answer to, but I now have the answer.
What happens? Nothing!
I expected a nasty repair bill but thanks to a metal screw cap that I keep on all my lenses, not even the lens got wet. The only leakage I could see was a single drop of water on the front element. As soon as the camera dried off, I tested the camera and it worked fine. It’s still working weeks later.
Kudos to Canon for a clearly a superior job in taking rain resistance to a much higher level. I had a second lens with me in a backpack that was in the water for 20 seconds or so until someone helped me up. That lens may have been ruined but it was in a dry bag as was my iPhone.
Feature Image Details
- EOS R5 Mirrorless Camera
- Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens
- F16 for 2 seconds ISO 250
Ten Tips and Techniques
- For the best possible images, you need a tripod, and a sturdy one. To get smooth water longer shutter speeds are better.
- Be careful of vibrations. If the water is flowing fast vibrations on the tripod can ruin images.
- On all 4 trips, I went 4 miles in each direction. The first mile is a paved path to the river. Then the river is the trail. You hike upstream on the way in and downstream coming out. Unless the flow is high, it’s not overly strenuous. If the flow is high enough, you are not allowed on the trail.
- A circular polarizer helps greatly to remove unwanted reflections off the water and the canyon walls.
- Reflected light is always the best light in these slot canyons. Shade is a distant, but workable second. Direct sunlight on any portion of the image is nearly guaranteed to ruin that portion of the image.
- The best light in the narrows is generally between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM in the summer, with less leeway in the Winter.
- No matter which direction you are headed (in or out) keep looking behind you. Reflected light is quite often in one direction or the other.
- Get proper shoes and a walking stick. The sturdy wood poles are best. It’s only $29 to rent the proper equipment for summer hiking. You will need better equipment for fall or winter hiking.
- This is a world class hike. Expect a lot of people. Patience is necessary.
- On all of my trips I was on the very first bus at 6:30AM. There’s fewer people. Later in the afternoon, especially late afternoon there are people coming and going and it is harder to get a clear shot.
Additional Images This Trip
Panorama Merge of Five Images
Other Zion National Park Articles
- Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part Three – Inside the Subway
- Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part Two – The Crack
- Zion National Park – Subway Trek Part One – Archangel Falls
- Zion National Park Autumn – Great White Throne
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Lower Emerald Pools Part 1
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Lower Emerald Pools Part 2 (After a Rainfall)
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Middle and Upper Emerald Pools
- Zion National Park – The Watchman – Autumn
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Hiking “The Narrows” Part I
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Hiking “The Narrows” Part II
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Hiking “The Narrows” Part III
- Zion National Park – Autumn – Clear Creek
Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.
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Much more coming including more Narrows images from this last trip: Click to Subscribe by Email.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
2 thoughts on “Zion Narrows Take IV (Just how Waterproof is Canon’s EOS Mirrorless R5?)”
I’m glad to hear your camera survived the fall! These are amazing photos, Mish. And YES, my husband and I did our 6 park road trip in May. We did not hike the narrows. Most of our hikes were pretty easy. We almost had to cancel at the very last minute due to a health issue. Thank goodness we were able to go with only minor issues on the trip. I got no super amazing photos, but I had fun, and I did get a few nice ones. It was amazing exploring the parks!
Thanks LisaOnTheBeach! Glad you had a good time.