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.

After a plunge of about 3,000 feet during a parachuting trip, the Canon Rebel XT still worked, if not flawlessly.
Calin Leucuta

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.

The camcorder didn't fare as well as the SLR.
The camcorder didn't fare as well as the SLR. Calin Leucuta

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.

Via Photo District News

The Canon Rebel XT after its plunge.
The Canon Rebel XT after its plunge. Calin Leucuta