Advice Wanted Uh-oh, I'm at it again . . . wanted: your recommendation for a camera for "harm's way"

Jock Elliott

Hall of Famer
Location
Troy, NY
Stopped by Peebles Island today on the way to church. This is what we saw:

XP90 Peebles 003.JPG



XP90 Peebles 005.JPG


Thick, dense, moisture-laden fog. So I didn't take my big gun (RX10 Mk4) and instead took the XP90.

I got a few shots, but I'm not really pleased with the technical image quality and the lack of a viewfinder (which made it impossible to frame a couple of shots):

XP90 Peebles 014.JPG


XP90 Peebles 023.JPG


So I'm looking for recommendations for a camera/lens combo (at least 135mm e) that you would feel comfortable using in heavy rain, snow, fog or spray. Used would be fine.

Cheers, Jock
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Olympus E-M5 (or E-M1), any model, or Panasonic G9; as for lenses, the Panasonic 100-300mm II (second model, weather sealed); Olympus 14-150mm II or 12-200mm (caveat: I've never used that lens) if you want a superzoom - or, of course, for best results, the 12-100mm, a lens I'd buy in an instant if it fitted my personal use case for :mu43:.

Other than that, things will get much more expensive - I can recommend the Nikon Z FF bodies and the 24-200mm. The Z 7 has great cropping potential, but I personally prefer the Z 6; the Z 5 does everything you need. I've carried the Z 6 with the 24-70mm f/4 (same level of sealing as the 24-200mm) through driving rain without issue, and the same goes for the E-M5 III with PRO zooms; the smaller weather resistant Olympus zooms are equally well sealed.

What I'd do in your place, though: Panasonic G9, 100-300mm II. Very decent optical quality, still quite portable, Dual I.S. 2 - and the G9 is a beast.

Or you could just follow Steve's advice ...

M.
 

Tilman Paulin

All-Pro
Location
Vancouver B.C.
Real Name
Tilman
Other than a used Panasonic 100-300mm ("Splash and Dustproof Construction") and a used WR m43 body I can't think of any alternative to your RX10 mk4 that wouldn't be even more expensive...

But the RX10 should be the camera for the job... maybe an added raincover for peace of mind might be the way to go...
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
I wouldn't trust the weather sealing on the RX10 much - I got a nasty dust spot on mine after shooting in a... Sahara dust storm, ok, poor example ;-) but still they're markedly less well sealed than most WR ILC's, apart from Sony's equally poorly sealed early a7 efforts.

For top sealing mirrorless, indeed Olympus, Panasonic and Nikon are highly rated. Especially for superzooms, sealing the lens is harder than thebody. Imaging Resource did an article on Olympus weather sealing, their (Pro) lenses really go above and beyond what I am aware of other manufacturers doing, including some goretex-like mesh to let air move in and out while zooming, without water coming along.

For going way beyond normal use, most videos and other anectodal evidence of hosing down camera + lens combo's, having them stand in an inch of standing water, or (accidentally or on purpose) submerging them for a few seconds and coming out without issue, have been Olympus. Maybe it's just because they have the reputation now and people don't try with other brands. But if you're looking for an ILC to go white water rafting with, I'd go Olympus + Olympus Pro lens (the 12-200 is claimed by Olympus to be sealed to the same degree as their Pro lenses). For the heavy rain and snow scenario you propose, I'd be happy trusting non-Pro WR lenses, and Panasonic / Nikon Z with respective weather sealed lenses. Note that Panasonic tends to place the lens mount seal deeper inside the mount (smaller circle) than Olympus, so be careful when removing a Panasonic lens after heavy rain, as there may be water between lens and body.

Fuji is often said to have excellent sealing but I've seen wayyyy too much anecdotal evidence of problems to really trust it in heavy rain scenario's (light rain should be fine). Sony's newer bodies are apparently excellently sealed apart from the bottom, but I have no idea how thoroughly their lenses are sealed.

Finally, Panasonic's FZ300 is weather sealed. I don't remember to which degree, but it might be unusually good for a fixed lens camera. IIRC they claim something along the lines of 'sealed to the same degree as our ILC cameras'. Now if that means GH5 / G9 level, you're good. I have no idea how well the GX8 and other Panasonic weather sealed cameras keep out the rain, but the FZ300 might be worth looking into.
 
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Tilman Paulin

All-Pro
Location
Vancouver B.C.
Real Name
Tilman
For just one or two photos every once in a while, I'd "use" a second person with umbrella (if available/willing ;) )

If it's going to be more photos (but still just occasionally) I'd try and see if a raincover is a workable solution (they're a bit of a hassle in use - so might not be ideal... But there's cheap-ish ones - that you could just stash in the glove-compartment...)

I'd only recommend to buy new camera gear if you know that you're going to take a lot of photos in those conditions...
(Well, that's at least what the non gas-head on my left shoulder would recommend :daz:
 

Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Location
New Mexico
Real Name
Larry
The E-M5 (the still quite serviceable original edition) with the Zuiko 12-40 f2.8 served me well during Lao New Year in Luang Prabang, which is a very wet water festival. But I already had the kit. I honestly don't know what I've have done otherwise -- plastic bags and prayers, probably. The pictures will give you an idea of the wetness of the occasion. The kids were especially happy to drench you.
 

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