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I'm a craft design student focusing on pottery and woodworking. Recently I've been thinking of recording my crafting process, hence I will be bringing my camera (Canon g7x) into the studio, maybe put it on a table for a long time for a timelapse.

But I have one concern: will the flying tiny clay dust and tiny wood shavings get into my camera and ruin this expensive device? I mean, inhaled clay dust will settle in your lungs and cause silicosis, so what could happen to my camera?

Should I use a jelly case or buy an underwater case as a protector? Should I just use action cameras?

I've been googling this topic but i couldn't find any result. Thank you so much!

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Yes. This kind of dust is pervasive and will get where you don't want it. The underwater housing is a good idea — or if that's too expensive, a ziplock bag, some tape, and careful checking of all the points which could present a problem.

Source: my father is a woodworker with a professional shop with an incredibly good dust-collection system, and that dust still gets inside everything.

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Dust can wreck a camera, but if you're prepared for it you can probably get the shots you want.

First, protect the front lens element with a UV filter. Better to scratch up that filter than the lens itself.

Second, get some Gaffers tape and cover any seams (battery/card doors, LCD top-panel, maybe even the buttons).

Finally, cover the camera itself with a heavy-duty plastic bag of some kind. A waterproof housing would absolutely work, too, but if you don't already own one they are a bit expensive.

  • Depending on what you mean by "cover the camera with a plastic bag", that might not provide enough protection. If you mean airtight covering (close all openings; tape all penetrations), then that's probably adequate. But just "dust jacketing" the camera doesn't prevent dust from being forcibly "ingested" into the lens when the lens focuses (focusing changes the camera's total volume, thus producing a low pressure inside if the lens extends, and sucking in air and anything suspended in the air). – scottbb Aug 3 '17 at 2:33
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    @scottbb That depends on the lens. Many internal zoom and internal focusing lenses do not change volume when zooming or focusing. – Michael C Aug 3 '17 at 7:16
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    @SHall Underwater bags made to protect down to a few meters below the surface would be sufficient and are much more affordable. One need not use a rigid underwater housing made to go much deeper. Something like this runs about $15: adorama.com/… – Michael C Aug 3 '17 at 7:19
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Dust can absolutely destroy a camera. No matter how 'weatherproof' or 'dustproof' a camera is, dust will eventually get inside. When used in high risk environments additional protection should be used if you want to extend the life of your gear.

All you need to do is look at the pictures from a couple of Roger Cicala's blog articles and you'll be frightened into never again removing your camera from the box it came in! Roger is the founder and chief lens guru at lensrentals.com.

How to Ruin Your (or Our) Gear in 5 Minutes (Without Water)
This is Your (Well Our) Camera at Burning Man

Underwater housings are the most protective way to prevent dust from getting into a camera. But they are also very expensive.

An intermediate solution might be an underwater bag that is waterproof and protects a camera down to about 10 meters (33 feet) or so below the surface. This one costs less than $30 and is listed as a proper fit for the Canon G7X:
enter image description here

  • thanks for the info! but I honestly never thought underwater housing would be THAT expensive.. I found this kind of case (shopee.tw/…) and it seems like it covers most of the camera body. what do you think? – Sherlyn Lavenia Aug 9 '17 at 8:11
  • That won't protect from dust. That is meant to look pretty and prevent scratches. – Michael C Aug 9 '17 at 9:00
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Underwater casings are overkill for your project, but it would be the best protection. If you see a use for the casing in your near future, then get it, otherwise pass on it. You can achieve great protection with a clear plastic bag, one that is thick enough so your grip won't tear it, a filter on your lens and either gaffers tape or a rubber band (or two) at the edge of your lens. Just make sure all this is done before you arrive at your location in order to avoid the static-filled plastic bag from attracting all kinds of dust inside of it and also check that all your buttons, autofocus, zooming, work properly. Good luck.

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