Not Your Everyday Banana

by Bart Arondson

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Canon states that the 7D is weather resistant and built to resist water and dust.

There is even a blog which shows a EOS 7D covered in snow, during a field trip. But reading trough the comments of this blog post, there are many cases of people who are desperate because their 7D broke due to damage by rain or water(even with a class L lens attached).

So, my questions:

  • Are there any experiences regarding the Canon EOS 7D and heavy rain, snow or splash water?
  • Can I be sure that my equipment will survive a photo shoot in the rain or in a very dusty location?
share|improve this question
2  
It would be great if someone can link to a blog post with examples of torture tests, or post here if you have first hand experiences. –  dpollitt Jul 20 '11 at 17:48
2  
I just wanted to add this review of the 7D to this discussion: digitalrev.com/article/canon-7d-hardcore-durability-test/… –  Emiswelt May 16 '12 at 19:15
1  
+1 for the DRTV link. First thing I thought of when I read the question above. Love Kai. Love Lok. Love DRTV. This video shows just how indestructable the 7D is...! I'm not saying I'd subject mine to being encased in ice, fired at with a gun, set on fire etc. but nice to know it can handle it if need be :) –  Mike Jul 23 '12 at 13:59
    
It'd be really nice if Canon (and others) used the IP rating system to describe water/dust resistance, e.g. I would expect about IP45, but as other questions note, there's not that much useful info from the manufacturers. –  drfrogsplat Jan 23 at 5:11
add comment

8 Answers 8

up vote 19 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, very few camera models specify the amount of resistance as anything measurable.

Water and dust resistance, as specified by Canon, means very little. If it said waterproof and dustproof that would be a stronger statement. I also feel lawyers got involved somewhere in the writing of these things. For example, some Nikon manuals say 'resistant to dust and casual humidity'. Again, it has very little meaning.

The 7D falls among those cameras with vaguely specified resistance. Unfortunately, you have to try to find out. The 7D I used was subjected to snow without any problems. Actually, falling snow rarely is a problem even for non-weather-sealed camera as long as you wipe it off before you go into an environment where it would melt. I have no experience with a 7D under rain.

To be sure about your equipment's resistance you have to try it and even there, bring a backup. I used a Pentax K-7 in a shoot during a sand-storm and it worked perfectly. When I got to the hotel, I rinsed it under the tap for a minute or so to clean it. The polarizer I had though took a beating and I could hear sand in it between the rings for weeks after. It probably saved my lens though :) On the other hand, it took less than 15s for a Canon Rebel (not sure which model, probably XSi) to stop working completely in the storm. Canon asked for $150 or so to clean the sand out.

share|improve this answer
    
Thank you very much for sharing your experience. :) –  Emiswelt Jul 20 '11 at 15:00
    
I don't know if you have ever experienced snow like we get in Northern Minnesota :-) –  dpollitt Jul 20 '11 at 17:47
3  
No, but I have experienced snow like we get in Canada :) –  Itai Jul 20 '11 at 18:09
1  
Sad but true: you have to test it on your own and act according suggestions because of the lack of camera resistance reviews with measures in them (like temperature, humidity and the characteristics of the weather the camera is put under). BUT here are some links you would like: 1. Review by DigitalRevTV where they pour water on the camera. 2. Review by Ole Jørgen Liodden in which the 7D is under a lot of snow. –  Diego Jul 20 '11 at 20:20
2  
Anecdotally around the internet, Pentax (like the K-7) seems to have very few 'oh no my weather sealing didn't work' stories compared to others. But its also very hard to compare to how it relates with their market share. –  rfusca Jul 20 '11 at 21:19
show 3 more comments

Some have enquired as to the durability of the 7D, and others have even tested it in various weather

I was shown how a Nikon D3 can handle mud.

The Pentax K5 looks like it could withstand a little punishment.

It really depends what you have in mind. How sadistic do you need to be (to your gear and yourself) to get the shot you want.

share|improve this answer
    
Note that the Nikon/mud link is broken. Perhaps this is a reasonable substitute. –  Caleb Jan 22 at 17:38
add comment

Although I use Nikon I have been several times shooting with friends with 7D (and 5DII also) and my experience tells me it can handle very well, only once I've seen issues and it was raining heavily.

share|improve this answer
3  
Could you describe the "issues" further? –  Emiswelt Jul 20 '11 at 18:55
add comment

this is my actual personal experience using the canon 7D, I sweat a lot and this has water damaged my camera I sent it to Canon Malaysia, and it took canon 1 month plus to repair it. it's fixed. After a year or so my camera starts to show loosening of the rubber grip all over the camera body. After that I use it lightly because it is not a seriuos paying job.. it won't work and showed ERROR 40 on the top LCD panel... I sent it again last monday and tommorrow I am waiting for canon technician to call me about the good or the bad news again!

share|improve this answer
add comment

Do not trust cameras which are not from the top shelf to perform reliably in environments of high humidity and/or temperature changes. Water or condensation can find their way inside and disable vital functions of your camera faster than you think. Fact some users were lucky and their cameras didn't suffer means just that: they were lucky. Use precautions as much as practically possible. Protect not only your camera. Protect your bag as well because it could become high humidity environment itself. It is a good idea to leave your camera turned off after shooting in risky conditions, to remove battery and dry your camera with hair dryer set to low or medium temperature (not too hot). "Weather resistant" does not mean much and does not guarantee anything. It's just an indication of higher protection standards, but does not equal "environmentally sealed" at all.

share|improve this answer
add comment

7D is unstoppable

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCT-YMgjm9k&list=UUuw8B6Uv0cMWtV5vbNpeH_A&index=3&feature=plcp

Hitting it with a car; Dropping it down some steps on a wheelchair; Freezing it, soaking it, and setting fire to it - still works ;)

share|improve this answer
2  
Anecdotally, "unstoppable" is pushing it a bit. See this for example. These cameras aren't made for extreme conditions, and while the tests in the video are funny they're not really representative of hard-core real use. –  mattdm May 26 '12 at 15:07
add comment

I think this article (in Norwegian; the title translates to "How water resistant is your camera?") is relevant regarding weather proofing in general, primarily because the site is run by one of the largest camera stores in Norway:

We regularly have cameras with water damage coming in for repair. The manufacturer will claim that it's not covered by the warranty because it's water damage, while the customer will claim that it's a warranty issue since the camera was supposed to be weather resistant. Then you're stuck, unless you're willing to bring the case to a small-claims court.
Since the camera manufacturers won't specify the degree of resistance, it's hard to pin the blame for the damage on faulty weather proofing.

In practice, they think the professional models (Nikon D4, Canon 1D X, and the like) are well protected, along with a few models from Olympus (E-3, E-5, E-30 and OM-D E-M5; there's no mention of Pentax).

For other cameras, they think that no matter what the manufacturer claims regarding weather resistance, you should be very careful with the camera in damp conditions, e.g. inside a tent on a rainy day. So ignore the claimed weather resistance and use a rain cover or plastic bag to protect the camera anyway.

They do think the weather resistance is fairly effective against dust. (Although keep in mind that this is from the perspective of Norway: We have plenty of rain but very little dust.)

But there are no guarantees in either case - "less resistant than I was led to believe" is not accepted as a warranty issue.

share|improve this answer
add comment

IF you want a truly bomb-proof camera, these are your options:

Canon EOS 1D series Nikon D3s series Olympus E-3 or E-5

Only the Olympus is cost effective.

share|improve this answer
3  
Backing up claims with evidence, even anecdotal, makes for a far more interesting discussion. As for me, I used a 5DMKII for shoots ranging from extreme sport to music festivals, covering multi-day mountaineering treks and gigs in all conditions. The 5D handles mud, sand, short drops into water, aggressive handling and and light rain without a worry. My current body is coming on to a year of intense use and not a single issue. I wouldn't say "bomb proof", but it is certainly reliable for photographers in tough shooting conditions. Or I'm just very lucky. So far ;) –  ddri Jan 13 '12 at 4:52
    
Pentax also has several options here (e.g. 645D, K-5, K-7, K20D, K200D), and their weather-sealed lenses are easiest to distinguish (WR, DA★, AW). –  Imre Jul 23 '12 at 10:56
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.