Hands on with the new A700

Started Sep 6, 2007 | Discussions thread
Henry Richardson Forum Pro • Posts: 19,823
my experience with SLRs/DSLRs and rain

optical_illusion wrote:

Why do I have to? No I won't.

Don't worry, I wouldn't either. If I had a K10D, Canon 1DmkIII, Nikon D3, or whatever I certainly wouldn't be dumping a bucket of water over it. Anyway, I didn't mean for this to be serious, I was just joking around a bit. Even $8000 Canon bodies had serious problems in a drizzle. Of course, environmental seals are better than not having them but, obviously, a camera can still fail.

The only camera I have ever had that had some environmental seals was the Minolta 9xi (Minolta never claimed it to be fully sealed). All the other SLR/DSLR bodies I have owned (something like 10 or more) were not advertised to have any special seals. I shoot in drizzle/sprinkling rain pretty often when I travel and have never had a single problem. I take reasonable care, but my cameras and lenses have often gotten wet on top for minutes or hours.

I just had one problem over the years and that was when I waded out into the surf of a little uninhabited island off the coast of New Guinea with my Minolta 700si. I was trying to get a low to the water, wide angle shot of the island and was timing the waves. Between waves I squated down so that the camera was only about 3 inches above the water and got surprised by a big wave. My 700si and lens were completely submerged in the ocean water for a couple of seconds -- as you can imagine I lifted it above my head as quickly as I could. I was sleeping on the beach and since the island was uninhabited and had nothing there I didn't even have any way to wash it off (saving my drinking water). The next morning the 700si started working again and it still does. This happened in 1995. Here's the island:

And this is me a couple of hours after my 700si temporarily died:

Yes, I know I sure look white. I had just finished 2 weeks trekking in the interior of Irian Jaya and some time on Pulau Yapen and Biak. Mostly wearing a dirty t-shirt.

By the way, I have photos from Irian Jaya, Biak, etc. on my website. Also, a trip report of the amazing experience with more photos is also there.

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Henry Richardson

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