'Weather sealed' - a marketing con?

Started May 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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bobn2
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'Weather sealed' - a marketing con?
May 31, 2012

Tell a photographer that his significant other is ugly, he might agree with you. Tell him his camera isn't truly 'pro' and you risk being punched.

And as more and more 'pro' features find their way onto consumer cameras, the argument turns to whether they are truly pro. You can't argue about whether a 100% VF is more or less 100%, but you can argue about how good is the weather sealing, so people do. Some things to think about:

  1. What does 'weather sealed' actually mean? Proof against drizzle, light rain, torrential rain, hurricane, blizzard? Just how much weather is it sealed against? Does any manufacturer actually specify this?

  2. For how long? Whatever this weather the camera is protected against, for how long can it stand it? A second? A minute? A day? Does any manufacturer actually specify this?

  3. Why not use the standards? There are standards of 'ingress protection' which virtually all professional equipment designed to be used outdoors conforms to. Why do camera manufacturers not comply, if these are 'professional' cameras?

  4. Do materials matter? Is a metal body more 'sealed' than a plastic one? Does it matter what the seals are made of, or even if they are just good glue?

  5. Why more seals? The diagrams manufacturers love to show of all the seals alays show more seals for the more expensive cameras. Does that mean that the cheaper ones leave parts unsealed? If so, what's the point of that (like having a boat with just one hole)? Or are the extra seals on the expensive ones just for show?

  6. How well sealed are unsealed cameras? You get these videos of people hosing down their cameras, but would a cheap plastic camera withstand the same treatment? Or do we only get to see the ones where the expensive camera survived, and they are just a vulnerable?

  7. Why do some people claim their brand or model is best? No-one has done rigorous testing of this. How do we know one brand or model is any better than the others?

  8. If it's so good why are the warranties the same? Your warranty terms are just teh same for a sealed and unsealed camera. If the manufacturer can reject a claim for you Rebel breaking in the rain, they can also reject a claim for your 1D. Why is that?

So, really, is there anything at all to these claims of superior weather sealing, or is it one big con?
--
Bob

Canon EOS-1D
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