What are weather sealed cameras?

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.

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Electronic devices are susceptible to damage by water, dust, and physical trauma. Water rusts and short-circuits electronic parts, dust covers sensors and wires, causing them to overheat, and physical trauma damages the fragile parts of the clockwork that is a camera.

Important – don’t forget that weather sealing is not the same as water resistance, and it’s absolutely not the same as waterproofness.

Weather sealed camera meaning

Weather sealing protects a camera from rain, snow, humidity, and dust by preventing it from damaging electronics and mechanisms.

How well your camera is sealed depends from model to model and depends on how much effort the manufacturer put into making it weather sealed.

However, it’s not only the camera that needs the weather sealing. Your camera lens is just as fragile as your camera – good weather sealing is especially important for the moving parts of the barrel when you zoom in and out, and the mount between the camera and the lens.

Additional precautions

While having a weather sealed camera takes some pressure off when you photograph in poor weather conditions, it won’t hurt you to take good care of it.

A good rule of thumb of weather sealed cameras is: if you’re getting too wet, so is your camera. Make sure to cover it with a cloth or a sleeve in the rain. Not only will this provide extra protection to your camera, but it will also keep raindrops from the front of the lens – a common nuisance of bad-weather photography.

Don’t let the weather sealing become an excuse to not care about your camera; it should only be a safety net. If you mistakenly dip it into the water, you can expect it to stop working.

How to find if your camera is weather sealed?

Camera manufacturers are very secretive about how much are their cameras weather sealed. That makes sense as it is difficult to set a standard that would be fair and applicable in all weather conditions. So, it’s easier to say “Yes” or “No” to weather sealing.

To find if your camera is weather sealed, you should check the manual of your camera. Alternatively, you can type your camera model + “weather sealing” on Google.

The manual won’t provide anything more than a “yes” or “no”, so how well your camera is weather sealed will remain unknown – unless you test it. ๐Ÿ˜€ Generally, the more expensive the camera, the better weather sealing it has.

How to find the right weather sealed camera?

Some camera models are better weather sealed against water, while others are better protected against dust or physical trauma. To get the right weather sealed camera for yourself, you need to figure out which aspect of the weather sealing it the most important to you? Are you going to use it in hot and sandy Sahara Desert, or are you going to the Amazon Rainforest to photograph wildlife?

To choose the right camera for yourself, you can do some research. Look for a detailed diagram of the camera, where it outlines the location and the type of weather sealing.

Weather sealed cameras list

Full frame weather-sealed cameras

Canon EOS 6D Mark II$1,29926.2 MP
Canon EOS R$1,59930.3 MP
Nikon D850$2,59945.7 MP
Nikon Z7$2.49745.7 MP
Sony a7 III$1.69824.2 MP
Sony a7R IV$3.49861.0 MP
Panasonic S1R$3,69947.3 MP
Pentax K-1 II$1,79736.0 MP

Related reading: Camera brands

Crop sensor weather-sealed cameras

Canon EOS 7D Mark II$1,65020.2 MP
Canon EOS 90D$1,14932.5 MP
Nikon D7500$99920.9 MP
Sony Alpha a6600$1,29824.2 MP
Fujifilm X-T3$99926.1 MP
Panasonic GH5S$1,79710.2 MP

Related reading: Best cameras for beginners

Conclusion | Weather sealed camera

No matter how much you pay for the camera and what kind of weather sealing is promised to you, you should always take good care of it!

Don’t expose it water, dust, sand, heat, cold, or physical trauma.

Treat it well, and it will treat you to amazing photos.

– Matic


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