How are camera resistant to rain?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Gloor, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Gloor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I just got my first DSLR camera D90 and when I was taking pictures by the sea or in the forest it was a bit rainy and windy so few drops of water landed on the camera. Should I be worried are are they usually built with that in mind? I understand that probably heavy rain is out of the question but those light ones like drips of water should be fine, right?
     
  2. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
    #2
    You should be right if it was just a few drops, remove the battery and let the camera dry for a while if you're worried.

    Salt water is a different story don't get that in your camera :)

    Also you can get splash bags for dSLRs, if you like to shoot in light rain.
     
  3. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #3
    Water resistance varies from none at all (most consumer cameras) to acceptable, but not foolproof (professional cameras intended for photojournalism/nature.) The expensive pro models usually have some water sealing gaskets around entry points like buttons and controls, but it's really no guarantee in a solid rain or if they get dunked at all. Also, unless the lens also comes with a seal/gasket/o-ring for the lens mount, that's a weak spot.

    For overspray, as long as the drops don't gather and run down inside your camera, it should be safe. Carry a microcloth/small towel to absorb any water that gets on your camera, even from condensation. Keep salt water off, or at least clean off any salty residue carefully as soon as you can.

    You can always use plastic bags and rubberbands to seal your camera and lens body if you need to be in the rain/seaspray for any length of time - just take the time to set it up right. I usually cut a small hole for the lens to peek out of, rubber band it, and keep the camera body in the bag with the bag opening towards me to put my hands in - it looks weird, but it works. Just experiment with some kitchen plastic garbage bags and rubber bands.

    Otherwise you can buy rain shields that pretty much do the same thing.

    The thing is with today's largely electronic cameras, they really don't tolerate moisture nearly as well as old mechanical cameras did - once you fry those circuits, your new dSLR's basically junk.
     
  4. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #4
    My D700 got rained on several times in one day when I was at Disneyland last month. Both my camera and the 85/1.4 on it were unharmed. Even my N80 showed no ill effects from the rain that got on it. It was more than a few drops, and rain pretty well covered both cameras more than once.
     
  5. run-kmc macrumors member

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #5
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    you can count on just about any camera in light rain, as long as you don't do anything stupid like expose the lens mount or battery compartment. that will kill any camera.

    beyond that, it's up to you. it isn't that easy to kill your camera, but it's your money and your decision. people have unsealed cameras that have been in heavy rain or blizzards with no ill effects. it's just that no one can guarantee anything.
     
  7. Gloor thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2007
    #7
    oh, ok. Thank you. I thought a light rain should be fine but I just wanted to check so I am not too worried :)
     
  8. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #8
    My camera and the lens in this photo are both weather resistant, so I was able to shoot in a snowstorm :)
    This was one of the reasons I went with Pentax.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #9
    I'd rather shoot in snow than rain... just blow the snow off ;). BTW: gnd I think Pentax did a smart thing with their WR on consumer models. It's a great idea.

    I'm sure most cameras won't just bite the big one the first time they get a little rain on them, but I think it's a mistake to just assume you can do it on a regular basis and not run into problems. Moisture is a very sneaky thing. My expensive Tag Heuer watch (waterproof to several hundred meters) began fogging up under the crystal after I had the battery replaced. The only thing wrong was a very tiny o-ring had been slightly misaligned when the guy put it back together. The watch was electronic, and it wasn't long before the face began deteriorating with the humidity, and shortly after the watch stopped - for good. Luckily for me, the jewelry store that did the battery replacement paid for it.

    The only thing I'm saying is you're taking your chances. You might be lucky, but you might not. I don't know how good the warranties are covering water damage, I'm sure there are things the manufacturer can use as an excuse for not covering it (lens wasn't sealed, etc.) My friend who shoots Canon lost his 40D to rain while covering cyclocross races - Canon replaced the camera with a 50D, but even he admits he was lucky. He's a pro with special Canon service status - most consumer shooters don't get that kind of service.
     
  10. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #10
    [​IMG]
    that's a D90 and it worked after the ice melted on top of a Subaru engine
     
  11. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    Sep 30, 2007
    Location:
    NSW, Australia.
  12. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #13
    OK, I'll play.

    [​IMG]

    Note that I even had the port open on the side for the release cable. I shot like that for well over an hour. I wish I had a photo from the end of the evening, when the camera was almost completely white with frozen-on snow.
     
  13. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #14
    Of course the D700 and the 85/1.4 are basically pro equipment, and have quality weather seals and such - not necessarily the same situation as with the OP's D90.

    Having said that - even consumer cameras are designed with the expectation that small amounts of water and/or dirt will hit them.
     
  14. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #15
    Okay... I give up. You guys (and Phrasiklea) proved your point. :eek: But I'm definitely not buying any of your 'used' gear. ;)

    But clearly it's good to know from first hand experience how much moisture and mud abuse these cameras can take - I feel a bit more secure with mine now.
     
  15. Gloor thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    #16
    It is funny as I was worried about few drops hitting the camera but seeing that I think I can easily relax. :)

    Thanks for the answer guys, really helped :)
     

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