What does "weather sealed" mean?

Started Jan 15, 2014 | Discussions
Jaysun
Jaysun Regular Member • Posts: 332
What does "weather sealed" mean?

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

Nikon D7000
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tonimichelle
tonimichelle Senior Member • Posts: 1,214
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

I've just come into the forum to ask about how to weather proof my camera, and saw your post....Hope you don't mind if I ask my question here...it's in a similar vein...
Is there a cheap way I can protect camera from light rain?  I've got a photo workshop coming up and we are required to have wet weather gear for our cameras..

Cheers..

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Toni

Jaysun
OP Jaysun Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

tonimichelle wrote:

I've just come into the forum to ask about how to weather proof my camera, and saw your post....Hope you don't mind if I ask my question here...it's in a similar vein...
Is there a cheap way I can protect camera from light rain? I've got a photo workshop coming up and we are required to have wet weather gear for our cameras..

Cheers..

Thanks for hijacking my thread, Toni!

I've always used cheap solutions like this. For $5, you can't beat it.

thebustos Veteran Member • Posts: 3,290
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

Simply put, it means that there are seals in place at places where dust and moisture might get in. For instance around the battery compartment, SD card slot, remote ports, etc..

It doesn't mean that moisture and dust can't get into the camera, it just means that they are "resistant" to that happening. If you were to dunk your camera into the pool, you'd probably need a new camera. A sprinkle or light rain you'd probably be fine. For heavier rain, I'd probably get a rain sleeve just to be safe. They make cheap ones that you can use a couple of times and throw away that come in 2 or 3 packs. There are also ones that are more durable, meant for long term use.
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sterretje Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

There are people that demonstrate Pentax cameras taking a shower I'm not sure if they tried to take pictures, zoom etc while doing so. And the cameras (with lens) seem to survive.

I however don't consider WR the holy grail. Common sense is. Keep your camera/lens protected when not using it, wipe your lense and camera dry as often as possible. Zoom lenses can suck in water when zooming, even if they are WR; lenses that don't use internal focusing have the same risk. Plastic backs and lens-coats also help.

How far one goes? I have used my K5 with a (unprotected) non-WR lens in pouring rain without ill effects.

I can't advise which Nikon lenses are WR.

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WimS

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Jaysun
OP Jaysun Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

thebustos wrote:

Simply put, it means that there are seals in place at places where dust and moisture might get in. For instance around the battery compartment, SD card slot, remote ports, etc..

It doesn't mean that moisture and dust can't get into the camera, it just means that they are "resistant" to that happening. If you were to dunk your camera into the pool, you'd probably need a new camera. A sprinkle or light rain you'd probably be fine. For heavier rain, I'd probably get a rain sleeve just to be safe. They make cheap ones that you can use a couple of times and throw away that come in 2 or 3 packs. There are also ones that are more durable, meant for long term use.
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Good luck and happy shooting!

I've got bags.  I've always used them as a precaution in light rain or when shooting paintball tournaments.  I've just always wondered exactly how much basic protection I could expect from a weather sealed camera.   If you're correct, it's kind of disappointing that they would advertise this as a feature.    I would never think that dunking my camera in a pool was okay, but based on the fact that they claim the camera to be weather sealed, it's not outrageous to assume that it's completely protected against rain.

Jaysun
OP Jaysun Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

sterretje wrote:

There are people that demonstrate Pentax cameras taking a shower I'm not sure if they tried to take pictures, zoom etc while doing so. And the cameras (with lens) seem to survive.

I however don't consider WR the holy grail. Common sense is. Keep your camera/lens protected when not using it, wipe your lense and camera dry as often as possible. Zoom lenses can suck in water when zooming, even if they are WR; lenses that don't use internal focusing have the same risk. Plastic backs and lens-coats also help.

How far one goes? I have used my K5 with a (unprotected) non-WR lens in pouring rain without ill effects.

I can't advise which Nikon lenses are WR.

Yes, I understand common sense.   You should keep your gear out of the rain.    I've always done that.

I'm looking for people experienced in shooting in rain using weather sealed cameras.  You said you've shot with yours.  Just once?  How long did you shoot before you got it out of the rain?   Was there any fogging on the lens?    How heavy was the rain?   What lens was it?

peevee1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,247
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?

Depends on a camera. Some are much better than others.

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

Absolutely correct, neither Canon nor Nikon have weather-sealed lenses for their APS-C cameras, so all the talk is basically just a talk.

Jaysun
OP Jaysun Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

So what you're saying is that the D7000 could be completely waterproof to 100ft, but it doesn't matter because they don't even make water resistant lenses?

darklamp Senior Member • Posts: 3,567
Rainsleeves

You can buy cheap rain sleeves for DSLR cameras.  They do work.

It's worth noting that NO manufacturer will make any definitive statement about weather sealing in their cameras.  I'd be surprised if you could make a claim on a warranty basis.  I think anything beyond droplets and they consider you on your own.

That said I have seen people do things like leave K10D's in the rain and operate them remotely.  That said I've also seen people complaining bitterly that rain ruined their weather sealed cameras.

I think it's more sensible to think of weather sealing as being "better" sealed rather than actually representing anything to depend on.  I'd still prefer to have a rain sleeve as well.

If the lens  doesn't have at least a gasket seal at the mount then you may as well not have weather sealing.

thebustos Veteran Member • Posts: 3,290
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

Well I shoot with a Sony A77 and Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 often, both of which are weather sealed. One time, I was shooting in the rain and that combo slipped and fell into a puddle of mud in addition to being soaked. I cleaned off the camera and let it dry overnight without opening it. Everything was fine and I've had zero problems. I can't say without a doubt that that would've been the same deal with a camera without weather sealing, but I'd rather have it than not.
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Jaysun
OP Jaysun Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

thebustos wrote:

Well I shoot with a Sony A77 and Sony 16-50mm f/2.8 often, both of which are weather sealed. One time, I was shooting in the rain and that combo slipped and fell into a puddle of mud in addition to being soaked. I cleaned off the camera and let it dry overnight without opening it. Everything was fine and I've had zero problems. I can't say without a doubt that that would've been the same deal with a camera without weather sealing, but I'd rather have it than not.
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Good luck and happy shooting!

Yeah, but that's not the reply I'm after.  My phone isn't weather sealed, but I've dropped it in a pool, dried it off, and it still worked.   "Oh thank god it still works" isn't the same as "let me purposely use this in the rain with no expectation of failure".

johnierebel Senior Member • Posts: 2,057
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

I can not address Nikon cameras & lenses, Canon has weather sealing in some mid to upper class cameras, but if you read the waranty, there is no guarantee water damage cannot occur. While it is helpful under minimal weather conditions, any claim against Canon would never hold up in court.

tonimichelle
tonimichelle Senior Member • Posts: 1,214
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

Thanks for that....although I can't seem to find a $5 version...at least I know what to look for....
Hijacking?  Nah, piggybacking more like it...lol..;-)

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Toni

TwistedVic Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

@Toni, the link the OP gave you was for a item that cost 4.87 + free shipping.

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thebustos Veteran Member • Posts: 3,290
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

The only ILC that might meet that standard is the Nikon 1 AW1 which is water proof down to 49m. Otherwise there's not really a way to know unless the camera fails.
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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 18,598
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

peevee1 wrote:


Absolutely correct, neither Canon nor Nikon have weather-sealed lenses for their APS-C cameras, so all the talk is basically just a talk.

But you can use weathered sealed FX/EF lenses on APS-C bodies.  Almost all of Canon's "L" lenses are weather sealed.

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Chris R

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Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 18,598
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?
1

Jaysun wrote:

I'm looking for people experienced in shooting in rain using weather sealed cameras. You said you've shot with yours. Just once? How long did you shoot before you got it out of the rain? Was there any fogging on the lens? How heavy was the rain? What lens was it?

The only people who normally shoot in heavy rain are photojournalists, sports photographers and occasionally professional wildlife photographers.  Normally heavy rain = bad light = poor photos unless you absolutely have to get the shot.

Watch a sports event in heavy rain on TV and see how many professional photographers are shooting without a rain jacket.

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Chris R

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sterretje Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

K5 plus FA31Ltd; in the rain, couple of shots, out of the rain for a couple of minutes, repeat for a total of about an hour I think. Quite heavy (a decent south african thunder shower), no fogging.

Next time I will use a bit more common sense but both camera and lens are still fine.

It was a once-off excercise; not too eager to do it again without additional protection.

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WimS

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Maijakarin New Member • Posts: 7
Re: What does "weather sealed" mean?

Hello,

Weather sealing means it isn't only important when directly in rain, etc but in very wet humid environments as well, and when traveling in monsoon season.

Thank you.

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