With the advent of cameras such as the Panasonic Lumix GH3 and Olympus’ OM-D E-M5 and the new OM-D E-M1, we have finally witnessed the realization of professional level mirrorless camera systems, complete with weather sealing. But as MC Contributor and Hybrid Photography Pioneer Will Crockett (HybridPhoto.PRO) will tell you, “weather resistant” does not mean “weather proof.” In the video above, Coach Crockett explains some easy and inexpensive ways to protect your camera gear, even in the harshest of Polar Vortexes.
The Lumix GH3 is promoted as a “weather sealed” camera and includes a few of the lenses in that claim. How far are you willing to test this and what is “too far”? I have and have used many of these Lumix cameras and lenses, and I’ve never been known to baby my gear. Here’s a few good tips that will allow you to get comfortable with snowy day shoots, as well as how to keep the snow and moisture from ruining the shot – and the camera.
My 2 Cents…
Mirrorless cameras just keep on getting better and better, but even if you don’t have one of the flagship, weather sealed beasties and opt for a mid range model like the Panasonic Lumix G6, Panasonic Lumix GM1, Fuji XM1 or Olympus PEN E-PL5 – or even if you have an older model – Coach Crockett’s tips can save you a bunch of headaches. I’ve personally used the ziplock bag method myself, and it works well in some sticky situations. A word to the wise, though… if you’re going to have your lens exposed to any of the elements, you might want to skew towards using a cheaper, kit lens vs. one of your thousand dollar plus pro zooms.
If you want to step up the level of protection for your gear, you can invest in a weather proof camera cover for less than $20 USD. My good friend and fellow Hybrid Photographer Carol Schlintz used one when she joined me on a recent outing to Niagara Falls, USA (see video below), and believe me, there are a lot of places there where you’ll get extremely wet – including the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour and the Cave of the Wind Tour. Just watch the video and you’ll see what I mean… you’ll see Carol’s camera cover too, and it rocked!.
A Day at the Falls
By the way, Carol used a Panasonic Lumix GH3 and a Panasonic Lumix LX7 fixed lens compact camera, while I switched back and forth between a Panasonic Lumix G5 (I’ve since picked up a Lumix G6) and my own Panasonic Lumix LX7, which I used for the majority of the images you’ll see in the video. When we got into places where the water was coming down hard, I tucked my LX7 under the plastic rain slickers you’ll see in the video.