I bought my first DSLR a year ago and I'd like to try and take advantage of the fog to take pictures of the fields around my house. I have a Canon rebel T7i and I know it doesn't have weather-proof. So I'm wondering, could I seriously damage my camera if I go out there and take pictures for a couple of hours ? I've read people saying it would cause no problems and others asserting that it could ruin the equipment.
What do you guys think ? Would it be too risky ?
Thanks for your help.
Yes, the camera could suffer permanent damage if it gets wet. Protect the camera from moisture. I have a couple of friends who are pro sports photographers, and they tape plastic to their camera bodies, as well as use a rain cover for two levels of protection. And, keep in mind that these guys are using professional gear that has weather sealing against moisture and dust!!! They can be out there shooting in heavy rain storms, so they must go to those lengths.
I have shot in foggy conditions and there are a couple of issues.
1. Keeping the water in the air out when using it outside. I have used plastic bread bags: put the camera in the closed end, and at the open end USE a lens hood to provide a bit more protection from the sucking action of your lens, but more importantly, to allow you to tape the bag to the hood on the outside. Put the bag on inside, before you go out.
2. If it is really cold where you taking the images, leave the bag on inside for some time to let the camera adjust to the warmer ambient temperature. This discourages water from condensing inside the camera and lens itself.
It doesn't hurt to put the camera in a warm (not hot) dry place for a while after it has had time to acclimatize.
A dense fog shouldn't bother your camera and if it did, you would have to seal it in an airtight bag because nothing else would keep moisture laden air from getting to it.
Make sure that the camera is warmer than the outside air before you take it outside. You should also wipe off the camera before use so that any oil/salt from your hands and the environment doesn't make it inside but that is a good idea anyway. Once you are through shooting, take the lens off and battery out and let the entire camera sit in a warm dry setting for a day. If you have desiccant packs, you can use those in a bag with the camera. I do NOT recommend using rice for this, sealing a camera in a bag with anything that may outgas is NOT a good thing and rice is often processed with stuff that may create a bad environment for your camera.
I shoot swim meets using 1 series gear and weather sealed lenses but I regularly see school yearbook staff using older lower end Canon bodies to shoot these meets that have clearly done this for years and they are working fine. I wouldn't shoot in heavy rain with a Rebel without protection and I wouldn't shoot in heavy rain with one of my 5 series bodies but my 1 series have gotten wet plenty of times. I have covers for the bodies and telephoto prime lenses that I use in heavy rain but even a cover like this doesn't prevent high humidity air from getting around a camera body.
Bottom line is a camera is meant to be used and if you grow too concerned about all of the things that MIGHT hurt it, you are never going to get the enjoyment from it that you should.
"What do you guys think ? Would it be too risky ?
Thanks for your help."
I shoot in the fog at least three times a year, sometimes heavy, sometimes light and have been for many years. Here in my part of Florida, humidity is often in the 80-90% range during the summer. I like to shoot the ducks just after daylight and in the winter the lakes cover the area with fog. We also will get fog rolling in late at night, which makes for surreal street shots, amongst other things. I basically do what Rodger suggested, which is wipe down my equipment and leave it out of the case for several hours. Most of my gear is now weather sealed, but not all nor has it always been, particularly the lenses I still use for "fog" shots. I also shoot in swamps and marshlands, generally up to my crotch in water. My gear doesn't get wet, directly, but it's very humid and I'm sure the gear feels it, I know I do 🙂 I don't even think about it and just "get the shot". To quote Rodger, which is something I've always thought:
"Bottom line is a camera is meant to be used and if you grow too concerned about all of the things that MIGHT hurt it, you are never going to get the enjoyment from it that you should."
Now, that's a philosophy that's easy to adopt if you have multiple cameras and having one ruined isn't going to set you back too far, so it's understandable that someone who can't just pop for a replacement might not see that as a philosophy to live by, which is totally understandable.
Good luck and good shooting. Fog can come in many forms. Where I live it tends to be quite heavy. It is usually accompanied by a heavy dew fall. Often times, my clothes can get soaked by just merely standing outside.