Entry-level SLR plunges 3,000 feet--and survives
Who says you need to buy a $5,000 professional camera to get a rugged SLR? One Canon Rebel XT mostly withstood its parachute-free skydiving descent.
Camera makers tout the ruggedness of their higher-end products, but apparently even an entry-level SLR can withstand a 3,000-foot drop under the right circumstances.
So discovered Marius Ivascu, a parachuting instructor in Florida whose Canon Rebel XT detached from his helmet mount and took the fast way back to Earth on a skydiving trip. The camera mount detached when Ivascu deployed his parachute, recounted Calin Leucuta, a photographer and friend of Ivascu who earlier had sold him the camera.
After searching for less than a half hour after he landed, Ivascu found the camera and a video camera that had been mounted next to it.
"The video camera cracked open, dead, done deal. The Rebel took the fall a little better, just a crack in the left side of the plastic body," Leucuta said on his blog. "With a glimmer of hope, Marius presses the playback button: Quelle surprise! The camera turns on, displays the last image taken, like nothing happened."
Leucuta estimated in a Fred Miranda post the camera struck the soft ground at about 100 mph to 110 mph. There's grit in the lens, but Ivascu still uses the camera, Leucuta said.