Survival of the fittest - weatherproof, splashproof, waterproof et al

Survival of the fittest - weatherproof, splashproof, waterproof

We think nothing of driving in torrential rain – why should taking pictures be different? 

If you think keeping water out of a camera is tough then just consider how effective simple door overlaps and rubber strips are on vehicles. Some people bullishly dismiss rugged cameras, confidently proclaiming that a little rain never hurts and that they never worry about it. There's some truth in this - fresh water is quite benign stuff, and light rain droplets don't force their way in on their own. On top of that good cameras aren't made just for good people, they have to work across the world, suffer accidents, and survive spills. Humid latitudes, photographer's perspiration and air conditioning add extra stress to the designers' lot – and that's before we consider the sea – the deep, wet, corrosive sea...

So is your camera 'proofed' against everything or anything? Even if it should be, do you trust it enough to actually test the manufacturer's claims?

No entry?

It helps to start by understanding what it takes to keep water (and other unwanted stuff) out of a camera, and why perfectly sealing it isn't as easy or entirely beneficial as you might think.

An umbrella will keep you dry, it simply stops rain falling on you. Similarly, most cameras can cope with a few light drops of rain. Think about it, it doesn't take much to ensure that small quantities of unpressurised moisture won't fall inside - as simple as including gutters around apertures and avoiding open holes in the top. Upper controls and fittings simply need to overlap any openings through the casing. Card and battery doors just need to overlap and gaps should be small and tight - surface tension just won't let water fall through a hairline crack. 

Professional DSLRs such as Nikon's D3X come with weather-sealing around their major control and access points (marked here in yellow) but interchangeable lens systems are difficult to totally waterproof.

Stopping rain is only the start of the story. Humidity can also be a problem. I takes pretty serious sealing to stop gas, and as a result, airborne humidity is constantly passing in and out of most cameras. It isn't impossible to hermetically seal camera bodies, but it isn't necessarily practical. The volume of cameras can change quite dramatically as their lenses (either built-in or bolted on) are zoomed in and out.

So normal cameras have to cope with everyday environmental stress without being airtight. If you're the kind of person who goes in when the rain starts to get heavy you may be the best friend your camera has.


There are some standard ways to rate environmental protection. The most widely used and understood is the IP (Ingress Protection) rating system - a numbered scale which details protection against solids, liquids and impacts. I won't quote it verbatim but there's a good summary here. The first digit indicates the protection against solids, the second liquids. The top rating IP68, for example, is dust tight and proof against immersion, a garden power outlet for example might be rated to IP56.

The IP scale coincides somewhat with the American NEMA ratings – although they're not exactly the same - and the Japanese JIS ratings correspond to the second digit of the IP system. The table below shows the IP ratings of the cameras we tested in our recent 'Compact Waterproof' Camera Group Test.

 Camera Rating
Sony TX10 IP58
Panasonic DMC-TS3 IP68
Fujifilm XP30 IP68
Pentax WG-1 GPS IP68
Olympus Tough TG-810 IPX8
Ricoh PX IP68

The IP rating system maybe a little technical but it is definitive, unlike the completely misleading depth ratings on watches which flatter only to deceive. Given how comparatively simple it is to make a waterproof watch I'm at a loss to know why else they make such a meal of it...

Wither without weatherproofing?

Of course cameras which don't claim any degree of resistance still shouldn't keel over at the first spot of rain, but their vulnerability is an unknown quantity. Sensible design lets you use them under normal conditions, but what counts as 'normal' is impossible to establish.

If your camera has no specific weatherproofing specification, you have to decide what your own threshold for risk is. Mine increases as the end of a holiday approaches and depends how many cameras I'm carrying. I'd suggest that anything more than light rain should normally be the trigger to cover your equipment up.

Humidity is harder to recognise and deal with, people assume hot air is dry - it isn't. They think cold air is wet - it isn't. Air can hold more water as it gets hotter. Managing the transition from hot/wet to cold/dry air is key. Condensation on the exterior of your camera isn't a big deal, but condensation inside most definitely is. It's best to bag the camera as you move between environments and allow the camera time to warm up, inside the bag. If you need to dry electronics, air conditioning is your friend, because the same air that dries your sinuses will draw moisture out of the tightest cases (as will immersion in dry rice).

Weather window

A lot of cameras out there do include some degree of weatherproofing in their specification, but definitions vary from brand to brand. It is very important to read the documentation that came with your camera (or the specifications, if you're at the purchase research stage) to establish exactly what might be meant by 'waterproof' or even the more vague 'rugged'. 

I think the definition that Olympus offers is a good one; 'weatherproof', meaning protected against water splashed from any direction. That tells you what you can expect, - proofing against moving droplets or falling water but not immersion. Olympus proudly declares that its entry-level Tough-series compact cameras are protected to the IEC standard 529 IPX4 – which if you look up the code does indeed indicate protection against splashes, but the leading 'X' means it isn't tested against solids (such as dust or sand)

Performing seals

Weather sealing is simpler for some camera types than others. Flat, folded optic cameras have a head start since they don't need an external moving lens mechanism. They can be  sealed behind a flat pane - air exchange isn't a problem as the case doesn't change in size. As soon as something external has to move you need 'real' seals. These seals have to be in contact with both surfaces, preventing ingress and wiping away any standing water without interfering with handling. Almost all lenses have some dust sealing but velvet pile doesn't stop water - it soaks it up and spreads it out! Concentric lens seals have to be impermeable and hard wearing - a diver knows to maintain his seals but John Q public is rarely aware of his responsibilities.

O-ring seals on the USB/power compartment of a compact-camera... ...and on a waterproof housing.

These seals are always living on borrowed time, they work while they are clean and tight but use will wear them and they will eventually fail. You can help them by clearing water, dust, debris and unidentifiable crud yourself. Surface seals rely on their softness to conform to mating surfaces.

Splash dance

After weatherproofing the next marketing leap is typically 'Splash proof'. This suggests increased resistance to water, but actually, this loose definition is also covered by the IPX4 'weatherproof' rating. So in fact, the degree of proofing on a camera marked as 'splashproof' is not necessarily and more - or better - than a cheaper, 'weatherproof' model. 

There's another subtle wrinkle here as cameras with interchangeable lenses appear to struggle to conform to formal ratings because changing lenses voids any protection. If you attach a non-weathersealed lens to a weathersealed DSLR for example, and the lens gets wet, water can easily enter the supposedly protected camera, via the lens. 

The upshot is that as far as I am aware, there is no formal rating for any of the big, professional D/SLRs that you might expect to be most upfront about their limits – or lack of them.

Anecdotally, the Pentax K-series vie with Olympus' flagship models as the most resilient. If you've ever been to a trade show where these models are demonstrated, reps for both companies never flinch from dousing them. However, neither pins their flag to an official IP rating.

The big boys are much more coy about their gear although the likes of the Canon EOS 1-D Mark IV/1-Ds Mark III and Nikon D3S/X are workhorses designed to serve in all weathers. Utimately, flagship bodies really should (and do) shrug off downpours but their protection is undermined if you don't look after seals or invest in similarly-sealed lenses.

Beyond wet - waterproof

DSLRs aren't waterproof. They cannot be immersed - at least not for any length of time. A DSLR might survive brief immersion in fresh water if fished out immediately (and thoroughly dried out) but protection against immersion isn't a design feature (and of course, there's no guarantee). The toughest cameras you can buy aren't DSLRs, but compacts. 

There's a breed of waterproof compacts which can laugh in the face of puddles, and even rivers and oceans. If you've browsed the IP rating system you'll have noticed that it stops at immersion beyond 1m (3.25 feet). Immersion moves the goalposts; water surrounds every weakness and as you go deeper it presses in with increasing pressure. One of physics' most beautiful coincidences is that for every 10m (33ft) of depth another atmosphere (1 bar or 14.7psi) of pressure is added to the army of molecules trying to enter your electronic toys. Cameras that are specced to breach the surface of of the sea don't just need seals to direct water away, theirs must resist pressure, as must their controls.

As you'd expect this level of protection is a step up, - four steps up in fact. These models are protected to the IEC standard 529 IPX8, which means that they are rated to survive immersion. All the cameras in our recent 'Compact Waterproof' Camera Group Test come with this rating.

The Pentax WG-1 GPS and Panasonic DMC-TS3 both come with an IP68 rating which does certify them against immersion in water.

Some of the waterproof cameras on the market ask you to limit how long you submerge, but most are truly aquatic. The difference between the seals to achieve ratings of 3, 6 or 10m is minor and, I think, mostly down to market differentiation. In fact after abusing a few of these models quite extensively I know that there's a lot of safety margin, and there needs to be as the instructions on maintaining seals are usually minimal. I've taken new cameras to double their depth ratings without any harm but I'm not sure how long you should expect that level of protection. That margin allows the advertised rating to be viable for a reasonable time. Ratings count for something fresh out of the box but once used they are on borrowed time - extended with care, but reduced by abuse.

Now we've walked through water resistance I think you'll understand how critical every little bit of rubbery gap filling is. I've seen dumb divers swab down the seals on their equipment with fluffy towels and crud covered fingers but to work well seals need to be in complete contact. Hair, grit, dust and salt crystals are all lining up to lift seals and let the neighbourhood in. A quick wipe with a clean finger is often the best solution.

Beyond waterproof - Dive housings

For divers even 'waterproof' isn't enough. Normal recreational divers need protection from water pressures up to 4 atmospheres (about 60psi). The Holy Grail of a waterproof deep sea camera has been abandoned since the famous Nikon Nikonos. The continual churn of digital photography provides much less incentive to invest in the development of compromise cameras when there's a vast choice on land. Today's divers shoot with conventional cameras, but preserve them inside special waterproof housings. 

Dedicated underwater housings, such as this model from Ikelite for the Nikon D7000 can withstand much higher water pressures than even the toughest 'rugged' compact camera

Any seal or o-ring needs to be inspected and cleaned if necessary. There's a dive culture of obsessive cleaning which can be just as dangerous as lack of maintenance - a working seal in good condition doesn't need attention! The danger is that any disturbance will introduce new material. I've been away for 4 weeks and never removed the main seals, just cleaned their exposed surface. These seals are also greased, another point of zealous ritual! The grease is lubricant to allow the seals to move into place so very little is required. People tend to slap it on so liberally that it actually collects debris. This is not a good idea. The last wrinkle divers have to look out for is that the right grease is used... soft coloured silicone seals are not compatible with regular silicone grease and should only be treated with the type of goo that comes with the housing.

Salt of the earth

One good very reason for having a water-resistant camera is that you can wash other nasties off it. Oddly after using a camera quite hard a cold-blooded wash down might seem callous, but if you work near the sea, amongst dust, or take a careless latte over the camera in a Starbucks, being able to hose your baby down is a boon. Seawater is evil stuff, corrosive, abrasive and capable of lifting seals. You do not want to leave it to do its work, freshwater can be your friend!

Pros can laugh off a lot of problems; they change gear often but while they work it hard they also know how to care for it and will miss some of the long term effects. Those tend to bite careful amateurs who hold onto prized gear for longer.

The Bottom Line

There's plenty of talk; words like durable, robust and tough don't mean much on their own. Only if they are backed up by ratings and reassurance can you really expect any real protection. Companies which document the resilience of their products are generally more sympathetic to claims if damage does occur.

It's very confusing, and all the more so as it's the users who really get to test this stuff. Obviously there's a certain amount of reticence to test the limits amongst people with less money than sense and simple lore tells you that pride comes before a fall. The camera that's never taken to sea will never be filled with saltwater when a seal fails. Some of us have to work close to the limits; we need to take pictures at sea, in rain and snow or even underwater and many of us will have suffered casualties.

All the care you can muster will just delay the moment when something will go wrong... but don't dwell on it, use your toys as they were intended – get insurance if you are losing sleep!

IEC Standard publication 529

Rob started SCUBA diving around the birth of practical digital photography with some of the earliest housed compacts. Now he specialises in Great Britain's marine wildlife and helps runs the Marine Conservation Society's Seasearch project in the East coast. He has a technology background, used to working on a range of weird and wonderful things - pictures and video from racing yachts, video analysis and even digital cinema systems. His pictures appear in press and print, are used by wildlife conservation bodies and government agencies and there are even finger puppets based on his favourite seaslug! Visit his website for more.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by or any affiliated companies.


Total comments: 54
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (Jan 22, 2013)

Good text, Rob... congrats! I have been a semi-pro diver photographer for 40+ years and I think I have been exposed to all kinds of gas or liquid sealing problems. One would expect the industry should know better by now...
The third picture down, on the left half shows Canon D10 contact hatch, and it is NOT sealed by an O-ring. Instead, someone put there a flimsy apron rubber thingy which is anything but proper sealing. These supposed user-friendly "solutions" are just plain wrong.
Using O-rings should be an industry standard by now, and it is really not difficult for any user to learn how to properly inspect, maintain and change the O-ring seal. Moreover, it would remove the unnecessary time restriction to pressure exposure.
Until every manufacturer realizes that, we'll continue to be frustrated with near misses in basic things like water sealing, pressure resistance and, to a diver, pretty useless depth ratings of cameras which are now rightly sneered at as being "pool-proof".

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
By giobertelli (Sep 10, 2011)

what ip code does the nikon d200 have? is there any specifications sheet where it is stated?
does someone have any experience in taking photos with that camera in the rain?

By dosdan (Sep 7, 2011)

BTW, I hope the first shot in this article was a staged shot, rather than the actual way the user was taking shots. Depending on how gusty the wind is, a deep lens hood on the front can prevent water drops getting on the front of the lens.

When I shot recently on a drizzly day, not not gusty, the deep hood on the weather-sealed Pentax DA* 60-250/F4 kept the front element dry.

If you shoot in bad weather often, a deep hood will be useful, even if it causes vignetting.

Large rain drops on the front element will drastically reduce picture quality. So will heavy rain between the camera & the subject, but if the drizzle is not heavy, it should be OK. Boosting contrast in PP will help.


Tom Stone
By Tom Stone (Sep 6, 2011)

More so than waterproof is the advantage of having a camera that is more environment-proof. Shooting in a desert, on the prairie, or at the beach is a more likely scenario than standing in pouring rain. Keeping dust, sand, and salt out of delicate mechanical and electronic components is a more real-life benefit.

Tom Stone
By Tom Stone (Sep 6, 2011)

"surface tension just won't let water fall through a hairline crack." You must not have heard of capillary action. A hairline crack will actually draw in water under the right circumstances.

A Raissi
By A Raissi (Sep 6, 2011)

truly awful article

By Albino_BlacMan (Sep 5, 2011)

You don't need to do any tests or to proofread? Wish I had your job...

"I takes pretty serious sealing to..."

By australopithecus (Sep 5, 2011)

An interesting and superbly written article. Thanks Rob. I have learned something useful even though I never take my cameras out in the rain, nor take them too close to salt water, dust storms or change lenses on windy days.

By Ednaz (Sep 5, 2011)

I think people who shoot DSLRs or m4/3 put too much belief in what "weather sealed" means. I've shot consumer-level DSLRs in dust storms and rain, along with top end Nikon DSLRs and lenses that are weather sealed, and with reasonably careful treatment - frequent removal of standing water or dust, keeping the gear out of direct rain or dust impact, and NOT using a blower for anything until out of harms way, have never had a failure in consumer-level gear. I've recently purchased a GH2, though, and it's got an open microphone on the top of the body - dozens of holes for water to get into the top - and I don't know how well it's sealed under that. During some hurricane shooting I put electrician's tape over the mic location on the housing, since I don't shoot videos anyway, but am a bit annoyed at what I think is a failure of common sense by Panasonic's engineers. There's no more vulnerable place to put a mic...

By TANK_JONES (Sep 6, 2011)

I don't recall Panasonic even coming close to saying that the GH2 was splash or weatherproof. In fact, I don't know of ANY m4/3 camera making that claim.

By DaiLon (Sep 6, 2011)

Huh? Using the GH2 and complaining about the mic location...its oriented towards the video market.
Get a D700 or 7D if your just doing photos in the middle of a storm!

By PentaxNick (Sep 5, 2011)

Interesting stuff. I used my Pentax K7 with 16-50mm DA* lens in torrential rain at Lyme Regis earlier this year and it came through with flying colours, getting some greta pictures. That's more than I can say for the waterproof raincoat I was wearing - I too got soaked through!
I'm glad I didn't have to change the SD card or battery though.

Bob from Plymouth
By Bob from Plymouth (Sep 5, 2011)

This is worth reading. I remember having conversations in the Olympus SLR forum about this, originally concerning the E-1 and then the E-3.

There were owners who insisted that dunking the camera was fine and washing it off under a tap was allowable, even though the specification was merely "proof against falling water droplets" which was one of the lowest.

Since those days numerous tough and waterproof cameras have come onto the market and the aptly named Rob Spray gives a good explanation of what's what.

By TANK_JONES (Sep 6, 2011)

Haha... I've given my E-1 a good run under the tap before... and in fact posted a video of me pouring the 2nd of 2 pours from a gallon pitcher of water on my E-3. But, the cameras do withstand the occasional dunk under water as well... but not held submersioni.

By ScottieC (Sep 5, 2011)

From the title, I was expecting something different, more like a test between cameras and lenses... This was somewhat informative for my wife.

By CollBaxter (Sep 4, 2011)

Thanks for the info.

By jefenniejr (Sep 4, 2011)

Excellent article! It is a great overview of the camera sealing design challenge and I learned a lot. I don't think the title mislead me, but obviously some readers just want more. Note to editor: maybe an in depth follow-up is needed.

Thanks for a ever-improving website.

-Ned F.

1 upvote
By SirSeth (Sep 4, 2011)

I'd like to put forward a criticism of the critics of this article. Who hand cuffed you to a metal chair in a dark basement and made you read an article that you dearly wish was something else? Further more, why did these villains make you read every word so you could pine over the fact that it's not a DSLR waterproof showdown? There is a very good reason why it's not that showdown--there are no waterproof DSLRs and the article states as much.

But what did you expect from this article? A submerge of 10 DSLRs from different manufacturers with the last one still clicking being hailed the winner? I'd place bets on my Oly E-1 and E-3, but this would hardly be considered good coverage of the language and standards on which "weather sealing" is based. It sounds to me that the critics wanted a "fear factor" type experiment rather than an article meant to inform. A little comprehension of what the author was intending to write could go a long way. Don't try to make it something different.

khaled xerox
By khaled xerox (Sep 3, 2011)

what about canon cameras ???

Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Sep 3, 2011)

What are the chances that a man called Rob Spray would grow up to be a scuba diver?

Yours sincerely,
Ashley Commentator

1 upvote
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Sep 3, 2011)

Could be worse - he could have grown up to be incontinent...

1 upvote
Rob Spray
By Rob Spray (Sep 4, 2011)

Amen to that.

1 upvote
By tarnish (Sep 3, 2011)

Thanks for providing a reference point to counteract some of the wishful thinking I've been seeing so often in the forums. There's quite a bit of religious faith expressed in "sealed professional lenses" which goes far beyond what you read on the manufacturer's own product descriptions. When you actually look at these products you see rubber skirts on the lenses that are not in compression against the mounting flanges on the bodies. In fact they are often not even in contact at that critical point. The closest analogy is the umbrella. My estimate of the top line DSLR products is that they might earn an IP52 rating at best, based on inspection as well as the manufacturer's descriptions.

1 upvote
By RonHendriks (Sep 3, 2011)

Well I would like to see some rating for DSLR with lenses. I use K-5 and DA* lenses and they are very good. How good? That's the question I would like to have an answer to.

A Schamber
By A Schamber (Sep 3, 2011)

Do it like me... I used my K20 and DA* 16-50 under a fall, to try the sealings.
Flawlessly. Never tried the K-7 while had it, but I suppose it is up to that standard, or even more.

Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (Sep 3, 2011)

Great article.
For now, I dive with an E-PL2 with the Olympus housing.
I want to see a digital Nikonos.

By increments (Sep 3, 2011)

Agree with those who would like to see an article showing how different levels of DSLR, from entry level to pro, fare against rain and water. In the UK this is important information!

By wutsurstyle (Sep 3, 2011)

I'm starting to get a feel that these new articles section do not deal with hands-on reviews at all. The title (and picture) of this article was definitely misleading though. It may vibe well in a magazine, but in a review site like dpreview, it just gets confusing.

Good "article" though.. I did learn a little about IP ratings.

1 upvote
By Kuppenbender (Sep 3, 2011)

Much better than the tripod article. An interesting read.

The difference could possibly have been down to the title. That is to say it wasn't called "Five of the best waterproof cameras under £2000".

By Bjorn_L (Sep 3, 2011)

Very disappointing and misleading article. From the link image to the title image I expected information on seaL DSLRS. Even the link text implied it would be something with DSLRs.

By jeerzz (Sep 3, 2011)

E-5 the best

1 upvote
By noohoggin1 (Sep 3, 2011)

well, that article was a whole lot of words about nothing. I'm not sure if misleading is the word, but I was expecting a head-to-head comparison of DSLRs. >:(

1 upvote
By JesperMP (Sep 3, 2011)

And how do you imagine that such a comparison should be done ?
Confirming a weatherproofing rating is totally different to comparing what is easily quantizisable and measurable (AF-speed, ISO noise etc.).
A brand-new "weather-proof" DSLR will surely resist any quick doucing test. So that would say nothing. Even if one fails, you cannot know if it was due to a statistical fluke.

To really make a serious test, you would have to test at least 10 each, and to let each camera undergo months of rigorous use under identical conditions.

No, the only practical way to "know" if a DSLR holds up to its weather-proof rating is the reputation it has from thousands of users in the industry.
It is not what you want, but that is how it is.

By taintedcamera (Sep 4, 2011)

I believe DPR did their best here with what information they had from the manufactures, and especially from users, field testing the cameras resistance to moisture. Their explanation of the difference between weater-resistant sealing and basic sealing for gaseous moister ingress, should be a good guideline for anyone comparing certain specifications for a future purchase, and not really meant for a 'my brand is better than your brand' comparison. I wouldn't have minded if they didn't even post photo's of any brand's camera.

The article was just meant to be a general guidline form different aspects of possible water-moisture ingress, from a full range of different camera types.


Jon Stock
By Jon Stock (Sep 3, 2011)

I live in northern Canada and I have the Olympus E-3 and E-5. Cold performance has been great. Below -20c blowing snow is very powdery it works it's way into all of the seams. The cameras have never had a problem with cold or moisture. The sensor has shut down in summer due to overheating. Extended live view use on a hot August day can be a problem.

1 upvote
By olyflyer (Sep 3, 2011)

I live in Sweden and I have had the Olympus E-3 and now have the Nikon D300s. Cold performance has been great with both. Even below -20c they both worked fine, in fact even my very old non-sealed E-500 can manage the dry snow. Wet weather around 0c is normally more of a problem for cameras but not the E-3 or the D300s. The cameras I have, or have had never had a problem with cold or moisture but only the E-3 and the D300s has been excessively used in every weather. Extended live view use on a hot day can be a problem with the E-3 but never seen it with the D300s. I have used my cameras in every kind of weather without any problems so far.

By Higuel (Sep 4, 2011)

This is much welcome and usefull info, maybe dpreview could collect such info: that way we would know FOR REAL how cameras endure use and time!

Just an idea

By saralecaire (Sep 3, 2011)

that was misleading, with that splash image I was expecting a head to head comparison of how weather proof DSLR's were but instead get this :|

By Swordfish (Sep 3, 2011)


inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Sep 4, 2011)


inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Sep 4, 2011)


By keeponkeepingon (Sep 3, 2011)

Nice article!

Just some nice basics.

Some sort of table of camears and where they fall in the spectrum would have been nice but OTOH it would be outdated in a few months.

I first learned about water and cameras not mixing when my wife dropped a new $399 P&S in a pool in maui.

It would not turn on for months then one day just started working and worked fine until one of my kids stepped on the LCD. When I opened it to replace the LCD there was so much corrosion on the inside I gave up on fixing it and put the LCD in my EX-Z850 which also had a cracked LCD.

Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 3, 2011)

Just a little add-on: Driving buses in a very humid climate, the only way of getting rid of the condensation on the windscreens is not turning on the heat, but using the AC at full blast, as that dries the air so much that the comdesation disappears instantly. If the bus becomes too cold, you naturally have to add a little heat! Works perfect, so I do the same with my car!

Sadly, not all of our buses have AC ....

By Swordfish (Sep 3, 2011)

So many words to say that the article is useless for DSLR users in the absence of a formal rating system.

Golly, you guys need a competent editor and proofreader. "Humity can also be a problem." Seriously.

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 3, 2011)

A very dry air is the best way of perserving anything that might rust, or grow fungus, in a humid athmosphere - a rating system is only slightly helpful, as we never live in a test condition, do we?!

By Ahender (Sep 3, 2011)

My wife edits for a living. Hire her!

1 upvote
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (Sep 3, 2011)

There have been a waterproof DSLR, an analog Nikonos SLR modified for US military needs! Might have been Lockheed who modified it - don't remember any longer!

My own submersible camera is an old Olympus C-8080, with a very nice underwater housing. Sadly the camera is by now oldfashioned, but the housing is mint, so I hope to re-use it with a Pentax K-5 inside.

For many years I carried a Konica KD-500 in a bag, made of a cut-off cordoroy trousers leg, while out paddling, and that worked a treat, as putting it back down the leg any water got wiped off, and as the leg was non-waterproof it dried quite quickly, thus kept the camera in excellent condition for hours, and hours, at sea. Later I tried waterproof bags - a much worse idea, as the humidity then gets locked in! Even stainless Letherman knives rust in such a situation!

By Higuel (Sep 4, 2011)

Thanks for the info!!! :D

By spoorthy (Sep 3, 2011)

so pentax k-5 is the most weather sealed slr with the oly's? Well thats good news 4 me :)

By rude (Sep 2, 2011)

great article...thx.r

1 upvote
By cyclicredundancy (Sep 2, 2011)

No mention of cold temperature performance?

By dosdan (Sep 5, 2011)

My Pentax K20D has a rated operation temp range of 0C-40C, whereas the K-5 is rated -10C-40C. Both are weathersealed.

I recently used my K20D with a weather-sealed DA*60-250/F4 in the drizzling rain for 70 mins shooting junior soccer. No problems. The water was running off the camera and lens. Ocassionally, I wiped the top or back LCD screens clear to read them.

I would have been worried about doing that with a standard camera & lens.

No plastic bags required.


By NancyP (Sep 7, 2011)

Thanks for the article.
I keep at least two microfiber cloths on hand for taking care of splashes promptly. For those who work in laboratories, Kim Wipes (low-shedding thin paper towel) work well for capillary action extraction. I can't count the number of times that I have Kim Wiped my keyboard from tea drops.

Cleaning of external surfaces of cameras and lens housings can be done well with low-shedding cotton-tipped sticks (aka Qtip) that are moistened just enough to be damp but not enough to have water escape in droplets. I clean the work cameras this way of blood and other bodily fluids from the gloves of pathologist-prosectors who don't change gloves before touching the camera.

By DonTom (Sep 8, 2011)

Good article, and I like that it refers us to do our own research before buying, won't date that way.
One thing not mentioned: remove the battery if your camera is affected by water! Otherwise serious corrosion begins in the circuit boards. Don't replace the battery until you are sure the drying process is complete.
The comment about humidity isn't flippant, I had a small P&S die on a hunting trip. It was in a waterproof jacket pocket, but the jacket was breathable, so I was pumping warm humid air into the pocket on a snowy day. Fried camera, although my son is using it now: it came right after 3 years of being stored!

Total comments: 54