Is the E-5 rain proof ?

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Discussions
CollBaxter
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Is the E-5 rain proof ?
Jan 16, 2013

Well yes it is , I had the unplanned opportunity to test it on Monday. I was out in the boon docks staying at a guest house and taking pictures of the harbor at night with the E-5/ 12-60 / Grip on a tripod. I was also struggling to get a internet connection to download my pictures for the Challenge 200 book. Things where not going right. I ran out of data on my 3G card, The vpn to my system , went down , I left the plug converter for the laptop at the site and the battery was flat , I got a very weak slow wifi connection about (It took me 5 min for a 100K file) . I was sitting in the garden trying to get the best signal. I managed to upload something I had shoot that day and then it started to rain. There was no signal inside and I went to bed. OK so what I had a tough day. Maybe good planning improves your luck.

I woke up at 2 AM and it was still raining . I remembering I had left the camera on the tripod outside in the pelting rain and howling wind . Well the good thing was the wind had not blown it over. I also had the flippy screen out as I was using LV. (Ieeeesh  I thought)  Well the camera was very wet and so was everything else. I took it inside ( After tipping the water out the flippy screen. I thought 'hell it must be buggered with the luck I had that day' . Anyway I dried it off with lots of towels and started checking , The camera was still switched on but hibernating , I started off form the top down, No water in the viewfinder , top display , Internal flash (That has always worried me. ) , flippy screen , battery compartment , Ok So far so good , Lens , no water or misting on the front elements , took the lens off and no water in the shutter box. Took of the grip and no water there.

Power the camera on and looked through the viewfinder and very thing was of all the displays working with no water took a few shots , pop the flash up and it was OK checked on preview and all OK all the buttons also worked . I used the camera at a transport museum the next day without any hassles. I Thought to myself hell I are lucky it's no damaged. Then I though well maybe thank you Olympus for building such nice well built kit. I always seem to do my upmost trying to destroy it.

It's not a myth you can leave an E-5 /12-60 / grip in the belting rain for 3 hrs and still use it. I don't think I will try it again.

I should have used my mobile to take pictures of the camera outside but at that time I was in my underwear and the phone would not have survived. Here is a picture of the conditions the next quieter morning.

P.S. the camera and lens are very clean.

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Collin
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carvemeister
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

Well, this topic caught my eye - especially since I just posted something even more remarkable last night about my E-M5:  http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3368281

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CollBaxter
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to carvemeister, Jan 16, 2013

I read your post. Well it looks like the EM-5 is weather proof. . I know the feeling when you switch it on and it all works. Relief and felling very foolish and cross with oneself.

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Collin
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Craig from Nevada
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

The camera is Colin-Proof.

Seriously, this sounds like something I would do.

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JiminDenver
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to carvemeister, Jan 16, 2013

That's great to hear. I knew the E 1 was a tank and my E 3 has been drentch repeatedly. Now I know the E 5 will handle the rain forest here soon too.

It is fun to watch peoples faces as I walk around in a downpour shooting at will.

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Historicity
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

CollBaxter wrote:

Well yes it is , I had the unplanned opportunity to test it on Monday. I was out in the boon docks staying at a guest house and taking pictures of the harbor at night with the E-5/ 12-60 / Grip on a tripod. I was also struggling to get a internet connection to download my pictures for the Challenge 200 book. Things where not going right. I ran out of data on my 3G card, The vpn to my system , went down , I left the plug converter for the laptop at the site and the battery was flat , I got a very weak slow wifi connection about (It took me 5 min for a 100K file) . I was sitting in the garden trying to get the best signal. I managed to upload something I had shoot that day and then it started to rain. There was no signal inside and I went to bed. OK so what I had a tough day. Maybe good planning improves your luck.

I woke up at 2 AM and it was still raining . I remembering I had left the camera on the tripod outside in the pelting rain and howling wind . Well the good thing was the wind had not blown it over. I also had the flippy screen out as I was using LV. (Ieeeesh I thought) Well the camera was very wet and so was everything else. I took it inside ( After tipping the water out the flippy screen. I thought 'hell it must be buggered with the luck I had that day' . Anyway I dried it off with lots of towels and started checking , The camera was still switched on but hibernating , I started off form the top down, No water in the viewfinder , top display , Internal flash (That has always worried me. ) , flippy screen , battery compartment , Ok So far so good , Lens , no water or misting on the front elements , took the lens off and no water in the shutter box. Took of the grip and no water there.

Power the camera on and looked through the viewfinder and very thing was of all the displays working with no water took a few shots , pop the flash up and it was OK checked on preview and all OK all the buttons also worked . I used the camera at a transport museum the next day without any hassles. I Thought to myself hell I are lucky it's no damaged. Then I though well maybe thank you Olympus for building such nice well built kit. I always seem to do my upmost trying to destroy it.

It's not a myth you can leave an E-5 /12-60 / grip in the belting rain for 3 hrs and still use it. I don't think I will try it again.

I should have used my mobile to take pictures of the camera outside but at that time I was in my underwear and the phone would not have survived. Here is a picture of the conditions the next quieter morning.

P.S. the camera and lens are very clean.

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Collin
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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (George Carlin)
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http://www.pbase.com/collinbaxter/image/95297052.jpg

Very interesting!  In the reviews, the reviewers seem to value low-light capability above weatherproofing, but the low-light superiority of Nikon & Canon cameras is only marginally superior to the E-5; whereas the weatherproofing difference would be catastrophic for the Nikon and Canon cameras the reviewers use for comparison.

Once again, it all depends.  If you need weatherproofing in a semi-pro camera, you haven't been able to do better than Olympus since the E-1.  I don't have an E-5 yet but do have the E-1 & E-3 which I've had in fairly bad weather.  I've had them on hikes when it started raining, but whenever it does that I turn back toward the Jeep.  I recall having the E-1 & 14-54II out in a pelting rain but there wasn't anything I could see by that time worth photographing & so, feeling slightly wimpish, put it in my bag.

During a period of excessive angst on this forum (about Oly going belly up), I wondered where I could get such weatherproofing in a DSLR if Olympus quit doing it & so bought a Pentax K-20 & K-7 as they claimed weatherproofing as well.  Maybe they will do the job but they don't look or feel as solidly built as the Olympus E-1, E-3 & I'm sure the E-5 -- but then Oly didn't go belly up; so I haven't put them to the test yet.

Maybe in overall sales statistics weatherproofing doesn't count as high as other features (such as low-light capability), that is, if most photographers shoot in such places where they don't need weatherproofing then why should a camera manufacturer make anything other than their expensive pro cameras weatherproof?  I spoke to a relative loyal to Canon a couple of years ago before he went on a trip where bad weather couldn't be ruled out.  He wasn't worried.  If it started raining he had a rain-bag for his camera.  Hmm.

Lawrence

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dave gaines
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The E-330 goes underwater
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

A lot of you probably don't know that Olympus makes a lot of good DSLR cameras that can be taken underwater. Here's one I shot on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico a couple of years ago. It's a freshwater cave that eventually meets ocean water as the underground river moves through the limestone shelf. Here's the shot taken with the E-330 and 7-14 mm lens. I actually didn't click the lens all the way on the lens mount on this dive but it functioned anyway, with limited aperture and manual focus control.

Cenotes on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico

This is what I look like when I'm diving with the E-330 in an Ikelite underwater housing. This is a friend but my rig looks about the same. From the oil rigs of So Cal. E-330 and 8 mm f/3.5 fish eye lens.

So Cal diving and a mola mola fish

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Harri Fin H5
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

Hi Collin

,,,rain or snow,E5 always works !

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Harri

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19andrew47
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

Very funny story, because everything turned out OK!  I would probably have had a stroke when I came to the realization I had left my camera out in the rain!  Time to buy a  lottery ticket because you are on a roll.

Andrew

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MatijaK
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013
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CollBaxter
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to 19andrew47, Jan 16, 2013
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Collin
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Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (George Carlin)
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erichK
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That is what makes it a bargain!
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

While the Nikon D4 and the top Canon (always find their nomeclature confusing) are likely even more robust and weatherproof, the Olympus E-x and the HG and SHG lenses have always offered a much cheaper alternative, that, time and again, has proved itself able to keep taking pictures even in the most extreme conditions...and more than that, even efter being  subjected to such idiocies as forgetting it on top of a tripod as a sleetstorm started. (In that case, it did need a new, charged battery, when I remembered it, almost a day later!)

It's good to hear the the OM-D, which I often use alongside it and as backup, can also handle the rough stuff, but I will try not to forget it outside.  After all, even Olympus says that it is not one of their "professional" models.

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erichK
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Hans H. Siegrist
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 16, 2013

Yup, the same here. The following photo was taken in a terrible downpour on a Norwegian fjord after several hours' waiting for white-tailed eagles that, obviously, didn't turn up:

A very shaky ride back home

E-5 and the 50-200mm SWD.

Cheers!

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Messier Object
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 17, 2013

Collin,

I'm always happy to hear good news stories like this. Especially when it's someone else who's taken the risk for me 

IMO if solid build and weather resistance were the measure of a pro camera (not ISO, noise, Mp and framers per second) then the E-5 would be the No.1 Pro camera.

I suspect that the weak link for water ingress to the camera body will always be the lens-body interface, and as we know the weather-sealed Zuikos have that thin transparent plastic gasket on the mounting face.

One concern I have is, what happens to that plastic gasket when we leave the lens on the camera for extended periods, particularly in hot conditions. Does the gasket material develop a memory, does it lose elasticity and stay compressed? Over time will the seal become less effective ?   I always remove my lenses from the body when I've finished shooting and putting the gear away for a couple of days or longer.  Only on weekends when I'm home do I have the E-5 ready to shoot with lens attached just in case  there is some bird action in the backyard.

Peter

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aja2
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What a great story!
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 17, 2013

You should send it to Olympus, Collin. They might like it so much that they decide to make us another real dSLR.

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Denjw
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SpongeBob(Col) in underpants! Where was that camera when you needed it?
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 17, 2013

Great story Collin, you sure have some experiences in deepest dark Africa.

Good to hear the E-5 stood up to the test.

Cheers

Dennis

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CollBaxter
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Thanks to all who replied.
In reply to CollBaxter, Jan 17, 2013

I thought I would post some thing positive about Olympus DSLR's for a change. I was really impressed that nothing was wrong. When I woke up the second thing that went through my head was that was all  the  equipment was on all risks insurance. Well fortunately I did not have to phone the insurance company with my tale of negligence.

Will it happen again well , I will try no but if it does at least I know the E-5 will be OK.

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Collin
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Dan
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Re: Is the E-5 rain proof ?
In reply to JiminDenver, Jan 18, 2013

Jim I would get exactly the same looks while shooting soccer while it was raining...folks would come up and say you know your camera is gonna be ruined!

I have a ton of faith in the Oly seals...more so than my Nikon ones.

Dan

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