Why weather sealing might be vital for pro SLR

Started Jul 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
sye46 Senior Member • Posts: 1,071
Re: Why weather sealing might be vital for pro SLR

read this if you haven't seen it.... very interesting..



In a summary session on the last day at the Peninsula I asked everyone to report on any equipment failures. Here's the tally.

The top LCD on a 5D MKII spontaneously cracked; Another 5D MKII had a jambed on lens caused by a loose screw, a 1Ds MKIII reported intermittent problems; a 1D MKIII kept reporting Error 99; one Hasselblad reported electronic lens connection problems; two Canon G9's failed (no G10s had any reported problems), and a Nikon 80-400mm lens came apart. No Nikon bodies (mostly D700s) failed in any way.

The largest group of failures through were among the Canon 5D MKIIs. Of the 26 samples of this camera onboard, one quarter (six) failed at one time or another, and while three recovered, the other three never did. In all cases it appeared to be water or humidity damage. Of particular concern were two cameras which stopped working while completely protected within Kata rain covers during a light rain ashore. They came back to life the following day though and were mostly fine for the rest of the trip, but one died permenently just before the end of our voyage.

Several people noted that when returning to the ship after working in light rain 5D MKIIs with vertical battery grips tended to collect water in between the grip and the base – something that may have been the cause of some of the failures.

I should note that the 5D MKII's are not rated as weather resistant, but then neither are the Sony A900's. I deliberately allowed both of my A900 bodies be exposed to the rain for two days ashore to see how they would stand up. There were no operational difficulties. I also have used the Sonys back here in Toronto in snow storms, (unprotected), both before and after the Antarctic trip, with no ill effects. Though also not claimed as weather sealed, they appear to be as well protected as any other camera I've ever used.

As for the failed Canon 5D MKIIs, I hope that expedition members will report back to me with what Canon service has to say about what happened to them. As for the loaner that we had, Canon says that it was a unit that had been in circulation for testing prior to coming my way and it might have suffered some water damage previously.

I don't know what conclusions should be drawn from this high percentage of 5D MKII failures. All I can do is report on the facts of the matter. As for the weather during which most of the failures happened, it was no worse than a drizzly day in winter in New York or Berlin. Nothing Antarctic about it at all.

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