how important is weatherproofing?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by husker4, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. husker4 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    #1
    i'm an avid backpacker and i'm planning on taking a lot of landscape photos. i'm trying to decide between the nikon d90 or d300s. should i spend the extra money on the 300s for the weatherproofing or spend the extra money on glass?
     
  2. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #2
    Can't comment about Nikon, but my Canon 5D isn't weather proof and I've had no issues using it in the rain (though not heavy stuff though). I think to a certain degree all the buttons/access panels are probably going to withstand a bit of rain.

    For me waterproof would be nice (I'd probably be less careful using the camera if I had it!), but not overly important. Chances are though most new kit will have it as a feature anyway (like Live View/Video/Sensor cleaning etc).
     
  3. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #3
    Weatherproofing is only going to be useful to you if you are out shooting in weather. I opted for the D80 vs. the D200 when I bought my DSLR and so far have used it in light weather with no issues. I have not shot in heavy rain so thus far the weatherproofing would have been lost on me.

    Another consideration is weight. The D90 is lighter which might ultimately be a benefit as you intend to take it backpacking.

    Ruahrc
     
  4. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #4
    "i'm an avid backpacker..."

    Yes, it is important with this in mind. If you spend the bulk of your time shooting outdoors, it is essential, IMHO.

    Non-weather-proofed bodies may function in the weather once in a while...however, issues may or may not be immediately apparent. After time, a non-weather sealed body's internal electronics may show negative effects after spending time in rain, sleet, snow, ocean-spray etc. IOW, it may not necessarily be an immediate effect, but rather a long-term moisture building inside detriment.

    If you spend a lot of your time shooting outdoors, the extra money will buy you peace of mind...but, keep in mind, it's not just the body, but your choice of lenses as well...as that is where one of your weakest seal points will be. The more spendy, weather sealed lenses have gasket seals that are made to withstand moisture, sand, snow, salt, etc.

    After shooting for twenty years in Alaska...and I do a lot of backpacking, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor photography...I will not buy another non-sealed body.

    That said, I don't think any of the manufacturers claim to have "water or weather proofed bodies" but rather "Weather or Water resistant." I shoot with a 5d2 like the previous poster and have been caught off guard in weather and it's been fine (for a year)...but if I know it's going to be crappy, I'll put a sleeve or bag on the body and lens. They're cheap:)

    I just got rid of my 1d3 in preparation to purchase a 1d4...and, IMO, if you leave even a 1d series out long enough, it WILL fail! Same with the Pro series Nikons...including the D3.

    Good Luck

    J
     
  5. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    SLC
    #5
    I live in Oregon, and i shoot primarily landscapes and have hiked many a miles in awesome weather, and none of my Canons' or lenses have had ANY problems in the rain. I had the 20/30D and now my XSI. I keep one of those Gitzo air blowers with me, though. I do dry my gear off with those, they are the best $10 you can spend!!!
     
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #6
    it's not that important. it's more for peace of mind than an actual need for a hobbyist photographer.

    unless Nikon's implementation is somehow different than Canon's, you will need weathersealed lenses anyway, and those lenses are expensive. if you must have sealing at an affordable price, you will have to buy Pentax.
     
  7. husker4 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2010
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    Or Olympus.

    @OP
    I'm a photo enthusiast for almost 25 years now and I've spent my share of time at the beach, in drizzle, in rain. None of the cameras I've used had weather sealing. Only one of the lenses I own (which is curiously the one I use the least) has some form of weather sealing.

    I have never had a problem with rain. Only with the very cheap kit lens of my Nikon F50 (F = film ;)) did I have problems with the sealing: sand got in some cracks of the lens and there were disconcerting grinding noises for a little while. But other than that, I have had no problems taking pictures under these conditions. I think weather sealing is important if you constantly work under these conditions. Of course, it's better to have them but not to have them. But I personally wouldn't spend money just for that.
     
  9. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    My entire kit is weather sealed; body, lenses etc. I didn't buy any of it because it is weather sealed since a heavy rain is the last place I'd shoot personally. I bought the gear because the body was top rate, and the lenses were the best available in their focal lengths. Come to think of it, all my digital SLR bodies have been weather sealed, and most of my lenses. It just comes with high end Nikon and Pentax camera equipment these days. Weather sealing is one of those features that you pay extra for that has no chance of improving your image quality (which is the only real reason to shell out more cash in my book), so I wouldn't lose any sleep over whether or not your camera has it. Buy a sturdy body, weather sealed or not it'll be just fine for 99% of the situations you want to shoot it in.

    One other thing, these are SLR's, and the nature of an SLR camera system makes it terrible for being weather, water, dust resistant etc. You take lenses on and off the camera body constantly. Dirt, humidity, polution (in my case), and any number of other things can float in while you're doing your lens changes. So while there are certainly applications for weather sealing, I think it's way overblown.
     
  10. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #10
    Rain covers are cheap, I like the Fotosharp ones, they allow try before you buy.
     
  11. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #11
    Great recommendation. I use FotoSharp covers as well! Also, great points made on switching lenses, etc. This is going to be the most dangerous point for getting dirt, grime, H20, etc into or onto your sensor.

    Again...my opinion still stands...if the bulk of your shooting is done outdoors, especially backpacking when you don't know ahead of time what the weather is going to do...Weather resistance is a "Peace of Mind" expenditure, but it's not foolproof.

    I use sleeves even with weather resistant bodies (1d3 and 7d) in the rain and snow. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but I'm in an area where the weather turns fast and without warning.

    J
     
  12. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    #12
    I like to go to Costa Rica once a year. My family is from there and every time the wife I go, we end up trekking in the rain forest. I’m an Olympus guy and the first camera I used was an E-500 with standard kit lens. I got soaked when we hit a down pour horseback riding. My bag was totally soaked and I thought my camera would not make it out. I got back to the hotel and the camera was wet. Not soaked but still wet. After it dried off (overnight in the hotel) , it worked like a champ. The following year, I invested in some glass and had a newer body (E-520). While we did not get pour on, the humidity made my camera act up and at times not worked at all. We went in winter and the rains are horrible. By this time most of my lenses were weather sealed. The camera worked great once we left Costa Rica. When I got back home, I looked for an E-3. This is the flagship model and weather sealed. I’ve seen videos of people rinsing this thing off under a faucet (I don’t think I’ll try this). Now, I can shoot in the rain. I have to admit, I’ve not had a need for it to be weather sealed just yet. But I’m, sure I’ll be very happy once I head over to the Rain Forest again. Peace of mind, yeah, but I’m sure it will come in handy when I need it


    yaroldb...
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Mostly you do not shoot landscapes in really bad weather. The air is not clear enough. But some times you do want to. But really how long does it take to mmake an exposure, just a fraction of a second so you cover the camera. either in a speacil "rain cover" or a one gallon platic zip lock freezer bag. Yes you CAN use freezer bags while setting up a shot then uncover click and recover.

    For very wet environments I have an under water housing. I use it scuba diving. If you are going to be out in blowing rain all day, nothing short of a full housing will work. Most people just put their camera away what it is full-on storm conditions. For light rain or mist a zip lock bag is enough

    I used to carry a Nikonus 35mm camera. That was great. It servived drops on to rocks and other very rough abuse. and Ifthe lens got dirty I'd just hold it under water and swish it around.
     
  14. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #14
    For even more discussion on similar topics, check out this thread. I guess I'm in the camp that says bring plastic freezer/kitchen bags, cut small opening for front of lens and rubber bands to keep things tight around the front of the lens. It works well for telephoto lenses. Access the camera through the big opening of the kitchen bag (10 gal.) It looks funny, but it does work. I shot a football game in a driving rain with this weird getup, and my camera was not waterproof/resistant at all (older EOS film camera.) I did some ducking under cover when I needed to reload film, but keeping the camera in the "bag" actually worked quite well. It stayed very dry.

    But, in the thread I linked to from just a week or so ago, there are some pictures of cameras in some exposed conditions which seem to still be working... so, I guess you can take your chances on a D90, but I'd get the D300s, or if no video is needed, get a refurb D300 for $1299, or mint used copy for under $1000. Same weathersealing. Pair it with 17-55 f/2.8 which is weather sealed. I just picked on of those up for $709 used, in mint condition - can easily be found for mid-$800 range every day of the week if you shop ebay carefully.
     
  15. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    I did read a guided photo trip services blog a while ago. They blogged after they took a group of photographers to sea to shoot whale photos. Tough conditions and a lot of Canon 5DmkII systems failed due to water damage. No weathersealed bodies failed.

    Those were extreme conditions undoubtedly, but it's data.
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #16
    Note to self: Another forum member to avoid buying used gear from...

    ;)
     
  17. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #17
    A photographer/writer friend of mine who covers bicycle racing lost his 40D when it failed on him after shooting in the rain... it wasn't worth fixing. I'm guessing the 70-200 f/2.8 lens also wasn't sealed at the mount... but I'm not that familiar with Canon gear.
     
  18. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Maine
    #18
    I'd go for some tape.

    TAPE?!?!?!? you may be saying? Yes. When I went backpacking around the world, I knew I was going to be in some pretty impovrished and wet locations. Putting tape on the logos of the camera and the seams had the effect of waterproofing my camera and hiding the make/model of the camera i was using. It doesen't completely prevent theft or water damage, but it helps.

    In the end, though, there probably would have been no problem on the water or theft fronts had i not used tape.
     

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