06-01-2018 05:47 PM
Hello everybody, I'm a new DSLR photographer and I love taking storm photography. I got the Canon EOS Rebel T7i and I'm not sure how to take it out safely in the storms. All the waterproofing houses I see are in th $1500 range which is not possible within my budget, plus I've heard they are tough because not one size fits all. I've seen plenty of rain jackets or coats and even people saying to cut a hole in a Ziploc bag. My concern is that these are inadaquate for keeping enough water out. I've even seen it where people completely expose the lens, is this ok? Isn't the lens susceptable to damage itself?
06-01-2018 06:44 PM
There is no such thing as waterproofing your camera without using a custom fit ienclosure. Your camera body is not well sealed against moisture and dust as other models that sell for just a bit more.
I would advise against giving it a go in a torrential downpour, no matter how many layers of plastic you use. Besides, you also need to worry about “waterproofing” the lens you would be using.
I advise against attempting that without sealed gear, and “sealed” does not mean “proofed”. It means there are gaskets in place within the seams of the shell, which your camera does not have.
06-01-2018 08:28 PM
The Rebel line don't get weather sealing treatment. The mid-range and above bodies (e.g. 80D or above such as a 7D, 5D, or 1D series body) do get weather sealing treatment. Weather sealing typically means o-rings on the dials and gaskets on body seams or buttons. This keeps casual water from getting into the body but they are NOT "waterproof". The degree of weather sealing varies by camera model (they don't all get the same treatment.)
By "casual" amounts of water... I mean water that is not under pressure. If a camera is submerged, that water is under pressure. If the camera were blasted by a hose ... that water hits the camera with some force and is also under pressure.
In a hard driving rain storm... that water might qualify as being under pressure. A weather sealed camera can typically handle moderate rain... being splashed if you're near a pool or fountain, etc. (salt water is very bad. keep electronics away from salt water unless it's in a water tight housing such as a dive housing).
There is ALSO the issue of the lens. Whether or not the camera "body" is weather-sealed... is the lens also weather-sealed? Many (but not all) of Canon's "L" series lenses are weather-sealed. You'll typically know them because they have a silicone gasket that creates a seal against the body when the lens is attached (non weather-sealed lenses don't have this gasket). But you have to read the documenation with the lens becuase even some of those indicate that you need to thread a filter to the front of the lens to "complete" the weather-seal.
Here's a race I covered the weekend before last... I felt sorry for these riders. Of all the races that day, this particular race was the first of the day and it poured on them... in about 38°F temps. They were cold and wet the entire time but they couldn't stop (I later learned that 5 races abandoned the race.)
I shot this with my 5D IV and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II ... both of which are weather-sealed.
However... I also put a rain-sleeve on the camera. I used a ThinkTank Hydrophobia 70-200 rain-sleeve.
I'm REALLY happy to have used a rain-sleeve because it isn't just the camera to think about ... it's your hands. Everyone out in this rain was soaked. And in 38°F temps... they were soaked AND shivering. I wore a rain-coat to protect me... but having the rain-sleeve on the camera means I get to stick my hands INSIDE the rain-sleeve to control the camera. This keeps my hands DRY and WARM (everyone else is shivering... the other photographers were envious and wanted to know what I was using.)
Since the T7i is not a weather sealed camera, you need to protect it from getting wet.
One more thing... whether or not the camera is weather sealed... make sure towel everything dry before putting it away to avoid any possibility of mildew / molds / fungus. Also don't open any doors (battery, memory card) or swap the lens if it's wet.
06-02-2018 02:10 PM
My take on this is probably different than others but a camera is just a tool. A tool that doesn't do what you need is worthless. My cameras do what I want them to. Most amateurs think more of their gear than they do about getting the shot. This is understandable since gear is so expensive. This is simply a difference in our goals. Pros get the shots and amateurs have nice gear! I just got back from a shoot in New York where we had 3 inches of rain. Yes, I got the shots.
In your case the zip lock bag is a good option. There are several ways to do it but they all work more or less. Make a small hole in the side opposite the zip. Stretch it over your lens and secure it with a strong rubber band or perhaps the lens hood. Always use a protecto filter. I have done this many times and it is OK.
Keep in mind water and cameras is usually a bad combination with the water winning most of the time. However, even a Rebel that just gets some drizzle or a splash on it is probably going to survive.
One last thing as with all things use some common sense. If the wind is blowing 50mph and raining perhaps you need to reconsider, that kinda stuff. Good luck.
06-02-2018 02:18 PM
Tim has a good point, "There is ALSO the issue of the lens."
If you have the lens securely inside the zip bag you still have the front element exposed. You should have, no it is mandatory, a protecto filter on it but rain will also get on it. A few drops will not be a problem but a lot of drops will cause soft OOF type photos. A way to wipe the lens clear needs to be considered. I keep several of the soft lens cloths and use them only once.