WEATHER PROTECTION: HOW GOOD IS IT?
As we probably know, the semi-pro 7 / 5 and pro 1 DX series are sold on their weather sealed properties but how effective is this in “real world” scenarios and does this apply to L series lenses as well. During the initial design process of producing a new model, be it a camera or lens, the equipment is vigorously tested both in the field and in lab conditions. Equipment is tested for weatherproofing, extremes of temperature and durability.
This is all very well and good, but how does this all stack up in the “real world” and when used by pro’s?
Often, I have been on the touchline in freezing conditions, with horizontal rain beating down on my equipment and in fairness using the 1DX models I have rarely experienced or heard of problems. The 1DX series are designed as work horses and are designed to be used in the worst conditions, failures are rare, but not unheard of.
Problems are more prevalent when using the 7D / 5D series in similar conditions. These bodies are designated as being ‘semi-pro’, as opposed to ‘pro’ and as such do not share the same weather proofing capabilities as the 1DX camera. This is also applicable when it comes to dust proofing.
L Series Lenses
L series lenses also have a rubber “O” ring around the rear bayonet, this ensure no water is able to enter the camera body when connected, over time these become worn and lose their effectiveness in providing a weather sealing, check this regularly and if perished / worn this should be replaced.
Canon EOS 7 / 5 D series
Even these models do have a degree of dust/ weather proofing and are environmentally sealed, they are not, however, to the same standards of the 1DX series cameras.
Here at Cameracal’s studios we regularly see examples of Canon’s 7 and 5D series with dust contamination. This dust contamination manifests itself in the top and rear dials, resulting in the dials slipping when activated / turned. The video below shows this occurring, the problem is caused by dust / dirt entering the dials (which are sealed) and settling at the bottom of these micro switches. When either the top or real dial is turned to access aperture / shutter / ISO / exposure compensation or menu control, the camera does not register the change. Depending on how much contamination is present will impact on how many times the dial (s) slip.
Unfortunately, once this problem is apparent, the problem tends only to get worse (the dials tends to “slip” more frequently) and the problem can only be cleared by removal of the top / rear plate and cleaning of the micro switches, which should only be undertaken by an authorised Canon repair centre (H Lehmann).
NOTE – Although we have not yet seen this problem with the R series, it is likely this could also occur as with the 7 / 5D series, as again the degree of weather sealing is not to the same standards, as the 1DX series.
In addition, it is essential to ensure all card slots are kept clean and that water does not enter these, as this can cause problems with image capture, or worse resulting in damage.
In essence, preventive medicine is recommended, if your equipment does get wet, it is best to wipe it down using a cloth, again the same applies for dust, every now and again using a soft brush / toothbrush clean all the switches / dials and underneath the rubber connection flaps. Keeping a microfibre cloth handy is a real boon, as these can clean and also be laid over the camera/lens when not in use, giving a little bit of added protection.
Note screen protectors are relatively in-expensive and give additional benefits other than protection, these include:
- Fingerprint resistance (also repels nose grease too) for smudge free screens.
- Anti-glare for sharper images for playback / viewing purposes (rear LCD screen only).
- Fully compatible with touch screen LCD’s
This cost is considerably less than the replacement cost of £150 + for a replacement LCD screen for Canon/ Nikon models.