What does "weather sealed" mean?

Started Jan 15, 2014 | Discussions thread
Wally626 Senior Member • Posts: 2,312
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

Jaysun wrote:

I don't expect that it means the camera is waterproof, but under what conditions would it be okay to shoot? A light drizzle? A heavy downpour?

And what does it matter if the camera is weather sealed if the lens isn't? My lenses don't mention anything about being weather sealed, so if the camera can handle rain, that doesn't change the fact that my lens can't. Do people buy lenses that are water resistant? I've never seen that as an option.

I should mention, I'm referring to DSLRs that are supposedly weather sealed, like my D7000

Weather resistant means whatever the company or marketing department thinks it means. Note if your camera gets wet and fails, it is not covered under warrantee.

In general weather sealed/resistant means the camera and lens has been designed so that water will not enter the body under zero differential pressure when it is liquid. So rain, mist, snow would generally fall under this type of water. Once the camera goes under then there is a pressure differential and the water can get past the seals. There are a limited number of cameras with real waterproofing, but even for those if water gets in the camera the maker will blame you for not keeping the seals clean if the camera fails.

If the lens is not weathered sealed then the whole system is not weather sealed. That being said, I have used my weather resistant camera a few times with non sealed lenses in light rain with no issues. Maybe I just got lucky. I am also sure many a non-resistant camera has been used in similar conditions with no problems. I even dropped my camera in Lake Superior once, managed to grab the strap just as the strap started to go under, so the camera was under a few feet by that time. Dried in off in a towel and let it dry on a AC vent for a day or so and it worked fine. Of course that was in the days that the electronics were much more limited in cameras, and lake superior has very clean water.

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