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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?
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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
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 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 '14 at 5:11

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.

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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
No, but I have experienced snow like we get in Canada :) – Itai Jul 20 '11 at 18:09
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
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

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.

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Could you describe the "issues" further? – Emiswelt Jul 20 '11 at 18:55

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.

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Note that the Nikon/mud link is broken. Perhaps this is a reasonable substitute. – Caleb Jan 22 '14 at 17:38

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
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

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 more than a month to repair it, although at least it was fixed. After a year or so my camera has started to show loosening of the rubber grip all over the camera body. After that I've used it lightly, but it eventually failed again — it won't work and shows ERROR 40 on the top LCD.

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7D is unstoppable


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

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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

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.

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The "tropicalised" (Canon uses this term very lightly it seems) 7D sucks in even moderate rain even with a specific plastic cover (cover lens + body). I had a bad experience with my 7D and a "tropicalised" 16-35mm L IS USM but the lens was not the cause. The lens did not take water, only the body; this was after 30 min in moderate but continuous rain with a plastic rain cover. It started malfunctioning, refused to shoot pictures, shot automatically and then showed the dreaded 'error 20'. I had to let it dry for 2 days with battery removed.

For me the "tropicalised" vocabulary term Canon use is a joke!

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I'm curious — in what country does Canon use the term "tropicalised"? – mattdm Apr 28 at 10:17

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