As part of their Camera of the Year comparison between the Nikon D850 and the Sony a7R III, Imaging Resource decided to test the cameras' weather sealing with their very own "water torture test." And just to spice things up a bit, they threw in the Canon 5D Mark IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II for good measure.

All four cameras were subjected to a "brief, moderately heavy rain shower and misty conditions," and despite what you may think about all top-tier cameras being more alike than different on the weather sealing front, not all four bodies coped well. You can watch the test above or visit Imaging Resource for an in-depth report on their weather sealing tests, but if you want the TL;DR (or DW), it goes something like this:

  • The Canon 5D Mark IV and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II both passed without so much as a stutter. No water getting anywhere it shouldn't have.
  • The Nikon D850 sprung a small leak into the viewfinder unless the Nikon BS-3 hot shoe cover was used. Everything else stayed dry.
  • The Sony a7R III performed the worst by far, leaking a significant amount of water into the battery compartment (seemingly from above), and malfunctioning entirely during IR's 15-minute 'heavy mist' test.

Of course, one should be careful making sweeping generalizations based on testing one copy of each camera, but if this test is indicative of all Sony a7R III's weather sealing, Sony might want to take note of IR's results as they go about designing the Mark IV.

Check out the in-depth review for more details on how each of the four models performed.