How to Protect Your Camera from Rain, Snow, Sand, Dust, and More

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Trust us, we’ve done the tests. When it comes to weather sealing tests on cameras, there’s arguably no better solution than the stuff that we’ve done to various cameras and lenses. We’ve actually gone out and used the cameras and lenses in the worst weather conditions. Our reviewers do this and a whole lot more. We push the gear to the edge because we know that you’ll want to. With all this said, we decided to talk about how to protect your camera. Here are the things we keep in mind before we go out.

What Qualifies Us to Talk?

For a number of years, we’ve really wondered about how durable cameras really are. Reps have told us that if you take a camera into the rain, that they’d be fine. But is that really the case? Some reps still say this. But only some cameras are advertisers as weather resistant. So over the years, we’ve routinely tested various cameras in the rain, snow, sand, etc. Our build quality tests are a major part of our reviews. And we’re committed to making the entire industry create cameras and lenses that can stand up to the elements.

Oh yeah, and we’ve heard Olympus uses this test of our every time they talk about weather sealing. If a brand is alright with it, then we are too! Trust us, we know how to protect your camera.

Is Your Camera Marketed as Weather Resistant?

First off, figure out if your camera is weather resistant. This is a big thing to figure out. Here’s a general guide, there could be more. But these cameras are the most popular.:

Protect Your Camera. Check All the Ports

It’s important to check all the ports on your camera. Make sure that they’re fully sealed. Check the USB ports, the battery ports, the SD card ports, the audio jacks, etc. If the doors are a little loose, don’t risk bringing your camera into the rain. It’s not worth it. Something else to consider looking at is the hot shoe. In the past years, manufacturers have sealed the hot shoe very well. But some cameras, notably Sony, don’t have as much sealing.

Your Lens

If you’re taking your camera out into the rain, you need to ensure the entire package is protected. Lenses are where it gets really, really difficult. Some brands will say their lenses are weather-sealed, but they’re not. Instead, there will be sealing right around the mount and maybe at a spot around the focusing ring. A few lenses are fully completing their weather sealing when you add a front lens filter. Other brands go above and beyond to fully weather seal the lenses. 

Personally speaking, if I’m buying a modern lens, there’s no way I’m not going to buy a lens that isn’t fully weather-sealed. Constantly cleaning a camera sensor is a major annoyance that’s avoided with just a few extra bucks.

Extra Ways to Protect Your Camera

There are a bunch of other options to keep your camera protected. For example, you can cover your camera with a plastic bag and ensure that the entire thing is fully protected. There are also things like camera skins. Alternatively, if you’re outside, an umbrella helps a lot. 

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.