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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 29 Sep 2011 (Thursday) 03:14
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How important is weather sealing?

 
ConCon
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Sep 29, 2011 03:14 |  #1

How important is it really? For example. would I run the risk of ruining my camera if I took it out in a light rain, like when walking around outside, on vacation. I would like to know really how study an un weather sealed DSLR is compared to a point and shoot, which I have had out in rain before, while on vacation taking pictures, with no ill effects. And even if I had a weather sealed camera, but not a weather sealed lens, then the set up might as well not have any sealing at all right, because of the weak link in the chain being the unsealed lens? I have an Olympus 500 SP UZ right now and want to know if an unsealed DSLR can take what it has.

Thanks!




  
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Staszek
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Sep 29, 2011 03:18 |  #2

If you don't plan on shooting regularly in rough conditions including rain, snow, mud, sand, sweat, and gatorade, then don't worry about weather sealing.


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Bannor
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Sep 29, 2011 05:30 |  #3

Define 'important'. To me, weather sealing is not important. To you... how do you expect us to tell you if it is important to you? One thing is for sure: if a camera is not specifically designated as being 'weather sealed' - it isn't. Use it in bad weather if you want - at your own risk.


Bannor

  
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JeffreyG
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Sep 29, 2011 05:33 |  #4

ConCon wrote in post #13180704 (external link)
I would like to know really how study an un weather sealed DSLR is compared to a point and shoot, which I have had out in rain before, while on vacation taking pictures, with no ill effects.

I can propose a study quite easily if you are volunteering. I just can't fund it.

The study itself is quite simple.....get three non-sealed dSLRs (with lenses), three sealed dSLRs (with sealed lenses) and three P&S. Set all nine cameras out in progressively worsening weather and record when each one starts developing problems or stops working.

I know many people here will be interested in your results. Good luck and thanks!

And even if I had a weather sealed camera, but not a weather sealed lens, then the set up might as well not have any sealing at all right, because of the weak link in the chain being the unsealed lens? I have an Olympus 500 SP UZ right now and want to know if an unsealed DSLR can take what it has.

Thanks!

This would complicate the test, but you could add an additional three sealed cameras with unsealed lenses.

One point of interest - Canon will not service a camera with water damage under warranty even if the camera is 'weather sealed'.

An optimist would think this is because Canon can't tell if your 1D Mark IV was dropped in a lake or not. A cynic might think that Canon has little faith in their own weather sealing and simply recognizes that it is a nice marketing point that costs them nothing (since they do not stand behind it with warranty).


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amfoto1
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Sep 29, 2011 09:39 |  #5

Electronics and water don't mix very well....

Short of using a true underwater case with your camera, no DSLR or lens is actually "weather sealed". At best they are "weather resistant" to help keep out dust and moisture, but there are no guarantees. Some cameras have "enhanced sealing", but are still only rated as "weather resistant".

You would be best advised to use a plastic poncho or plastic bag, at a minimum, to try to keep your gear dry... but you will still be taking a risk. One drop of water in the wrong place at the wrong time can kill your camera. So take precautions to reduce and minimize the risk, but it will still be there.

I've been caught out in a serious rainstorm with a pair of 30Ds, flashes, lenses... Did my best to cover them up with my arms and coat, but the gear and I still got pretty wet. I turned off the power to everything and removed the batteries as soon as I was able to towel off the worst outside. Then I set the gear aside to dry completely for several days, using a hair dryer on low heat to circulate air some of the time... All items came back to life and work fine.

Conversely, at a rainy Super Bowl a few years ago the pro's 1D series were dying left and right. Canon Pro Services was there supporting them... but ran out of loaner cameras. The problem was when swapping memory cards, water was getting inside the cameras.

So, I wouldn't take any more risk than necessary... I'd do whatever I can preventatively (how much does a plastic bag cost?).... And I'd have my equipment insurance up to date.


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Gizmo1137
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Sep 29, 2011 09:42 as a reply to  @ amfoto1's post |  #6

Unless you plan on using the camera in inclement weather frequently I would say not that important. Rather what I would do is to purchase a rain cover or make one yourself, for the few times you might be caught in rain, snow, etc.


Best, Bruce

  
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ktownhero
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Sep 29, 2011 09:44 |  #7

Going out in light rain is not going to ruin a non-weather sealed camera/lens, as long as you responsibly protect it. Weather sealing is more for when you plan on consistently using your equipment under harsh conditions like heavy rain, snow, mud, etc or for when you want/need to leave your camera out in unfavorable weather.

Non Weather Sealing = The guy that doesn't want to miss the rainbow shot in a fine mist, or take shots of his kid playing soccer in a fine rain.

Weather Sealing = The guy that wants to sit on the sidelines of an NFL game in Green Bay during Christmas, or take up a career working for National Geographic.




  
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T2i4me
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Sep 29, 2011 09:59 |  #8

My 550d was soaked by mist from a raging waterfall, and got caught in severe wind driven sand on a beach, I made sure I cleaned it very thoroughly after each event and all is fine. Optech makes a clear plastig bag DSLR cover that you can use for those times when you get caught in the elements. I ended up getting one to have since winter is coming.


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rick_reno
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Sep 29, 2011 10:44 |  #9

Stuff a plastic bag and a rubber band in your pocket, not a baggie but one of those flimsy bags you get at the grocery store. If you're in bad weather and want to shoot, rip a hole in the bag for the lens to see out, rubber band it around the lens and shoot away.
Weather sealing is important to me. I live between the Pacific NW and Hawaii, and both these places can require protection from the weather.




  
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zerovision
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Sep 29, 2011 10:59 |  #10

If you never take your camera out of the house or studio it is not important. I was outside for 8 hours at the zoo and got caught in a torrential downpour as I was leaving. Clothing, trees, nothing available could keep the camera from getting wet. The weather seal on the camera and lens saved the day.

Just a little info for ya.


  
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kf095
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Sep 29, 2011 11:35 |  #11

ConCon wrote in post #13180704 (external link)
....And even if I had a weather sealed camera, but not a weather sealed lens, then the set up might as well not have any sealing at all right, because of the weak link in the chain being the unsealed lens? ....

I prefer to have weather sealed lens, not camera if I can't afford both. In our scenario you are at vacation and here goes the rain. Weather sealed lens and plastic bag on the camera will do the trick for light rain. And you'll get best IQ from this combination.
But you'll have to spend at least $600 for weather sealed lens. Which is about the same for lowest price of used Canon DSLR weather sealed camera.
Cheap solution is to get special case for camera with lens. Some of them are in $100 price range and have special front element.

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IQ wise it is same like taking pictures of aquarium.

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Hogloff
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Sep 29, 2011 12:14 |  #12
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zerovision wrote in post #13182077 (external link)
If you never take your camera out of the house or studio it is not important. I was outside for 8 hours at the zoo and got caught in a torrential downpour as I was leaving. Clothing, trees, nothing available could keep the camera from getting wet. The weather seal on the camera and lens saved the day.

Just a little info for ya.

That and some luck. Cameras are not weather sealed, they are weather resistant. Even the most weather resistant cameras, the 1-series have failed in bad weather.

I always have plastic bags in my bag for instances like yours, being caught off guard.




  
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How important is weather sealing?
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