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Archive 2012 · Weatherproofness of cameras
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Weatherproofness of cameras

Okay - I imagine I'll get lots of diametrically opposite answers to this one, but...

It seems Canon is a bit vague about weatherproofness of their bodies (aside from the 1 series). While they say things like "improved weather resistance" on just about every new body that comes out, they never come right out and say what's sealed and what isn't. For instance, the 7d, according to Canon has "exclusive dust and weather resistance". Blah, blah. So my questions are (for those who've had experience, good or bad): How weatherproof is weatherproof? Can you shoot in the rain all day with a 7D? And how "unweatherproof" is the lower end? Will a light rain drown a T2i? And will a little water do permanent damage?


Feb 20, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Ben Horne
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Weatherproofness of cameras

For all intensive purposes, they are not weather sealed at all. A look at the CF compartment is all you need to see. They have some simple strips of foam rubber along some of the opening -- hardly a seal. If you look at a 1 series body, there is a solid rubber compression seal, and the compartment locks shut. If the "weather sealing" is that half-assed on the CF compartment, it makes me really wonder what the seals are like where it counts -- the buttons on the top of the camera, and the other important body seams.

One company that does a VERY good job of weather sealing is Pentax. Their K5 has weather sealing much like what you would find in a 1 series camera.

Feb 20, 2012 at 03:27 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Weatherproofness of cameras

I don't know, but I've never pushed it with my cameras. I certainly would not even think of shooting in the rain... even if I had a 1 series body.

Feb 20, 2012 at 04:14 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Weatherproofness of cameras

It mostly about what you're comfortable with exposing your gear too. Like Ben says if you look at battery doors and CF card doors there's not much there in terms of a real seal.

If you have to shoot in poor conditions get a 1 series or a rain cover or both. What I would recommend regardless of what camera you have is to get insurance on it that covers all types of damages. Add it to your home owners or renters if you're not a pro shooter its super cheap, like 8 bucks a month.

All that said I've shot with my old 450D rebel in light rain with no problems. I've shot with my 7D in heavy rain for hours with a non-sealed 10-22 with no problems. I've used it on a canoeing adventure where the humidity was 100% and I was regularly splashed by other boaters during water fights My 7D could probably pass as partially amphibious haha. None of my current lenses are sealed but I've shot with the 10-22, 70-200 2.8 non-is, 50 1.8, 28-135, 120-300 2.8 sigma all in less than favorable conditions and never had a problem. Other than keeping water drops off the front element. I was very impressed with the amount of abuse my old rebel took, for being a non-sealed plastic low end model it just kept going and going. I sold it to a family member its still fine never any issues error messages or anything. I wouldn't do this if I didn't have the insurance coverage but I've never needed to make a claim either.Just my .02

Feb 20, 2012 at 04:21 PM

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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Weatherproofness of cameras

I have shot in rain with 10D, 20D, 40D, 5D, 1DMk2, 1DMk3, and 7D, and never had problems with any of them.

Feb 20, 2012 at 05:24 PM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Weatherproofness of cameras

I just came back from a trip in the winter in Hokkaido, Japan. With certain aspects in mind and due to my personal conditions, I took a 5D Mark II and 7D. Both cameras performed extremely well without any issues the whole day in temperatures well below freezing and I carried them out using a double strap in the open.

There were times that I exposed both cameras to snow fall. At one occasion, I had to use my 5D Mark II under a fairly heavy snow fall while the 7D was left in a warm hotel room. I thought it would be a good idea to find out how far I could push the camera. Both the camera and lens were covered with snow. Although the snow was dry and I could blow that away but since the camera was handled, it melted and somehow after and hour or so, it started to become erratic, not completely out but the back AF button was not working anymore. I took it to a semi dry place under cover, tried to dry everything I could and I took the battery out. It worked normally again and I went back shooting. It lasted for about another hour and the AF button stopped working again. This time around, I could not get the image playback to work either. But I know until the last shot that it was recording because the LED was still lit after the last exposure. I put everything away and we went back to the hotel.

Once at the hotel, I dry everything more thoroughly now and I used a hair dryer at low setting to dry the crevices. To my delight, the full function of the camera was restored and it worked flawlessly for the remaining 10 days of the trip.

To sum it up, your camera gear is probably tougher and can handle more than what you think. Either that or I am a lucky enough to get away unscathed under those conditions. Chances are the first is true . Come to think of it, it was kind of daring for me to try to push the limit of what the 5D Mark II could take at a place far away from home. Although I had the 7D there on the trip but a single camera could have hampered my shooting flow where I needed both without changing lenses at various occasions.

Feb 20, 2012 at 06:08 PM
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Weatherproofness of cameras

Like Imagemaster, I've used my 20D and my 7D in the rain (light rain, in my case). It goes with the territory up here.

In the rare event that I stay out when the rain gets heavy, I carry a couple of OpTech Rain Sleeves in my camera bag at all times.

The 1-series cameras, on the other hand, are really well sealed. Shooting-in-a-downpour/under-a-waterfall/standing-in-the-surf sealed.

None of them are underwater cameras (without a housing, that is), but I wouldn't worry about a little water getting on any of them and a lot of water on some of them.

Edited on Feb 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM · View previous versions

Feb 20, 2012 at 06:27 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Weatherproofness of cameras

For my purposes? Not at all. Pentax and the 1 series are both adequately sealed for light rain.

Feb 20, 2012 at 06:29 PM

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