A not so subtle reminder

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Replytoken, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    When Olympus launched the E-P5 this summer, I had strong interest in purchasing it as I liked many of its ergonomic features better than the E-M5. The fact that I am a sucker for a good viewfinder, although I prefer them to be internal if possible, did not help matters. While I almost opened the wallet to Pick one up as a special purchase in honor of a milestone occasion, I held back while I considered other higher ticket, "special purchase" items, like the 75mm. Shortly thereafter, Panasonic's GX7 was announced, and I was giving that body some serious consideration. Then, when Olympus announced the E-M1, it caught my attention, but soon was off my short list as I did not really want a larger body, or larger lenses like the new 12-40. I appreciated the compact size of my E-PL5 and G3, and most of my primes and zooms were not too large.

    This weekend, however, the rains settled back in our region with a vengeance, and reminded me that our beautiful summer weather was not to last. Gore-Tex and other waterproof clothing are worn throughout much of the year in the Pacific Northwest for a reason, and although I am somewhat of a fair weather photographer due to health issues, I cannot help but wonder if a "splashproof" camera and lens might trump many other newly offered features, if only for the sake of peace of mind.

    I think the E-M1 is a great camera if one is completely moving away from larger bodies to m4/3rd's, but as I am still keeping my D300, it initially held little appeal for me. One large, specialized system (sports and BIF), and one small system for travel and casual use seemed like a workable plan. But, I am really starting to like the idea of not worrying every time I pull out my camera in foul weather, nor having to worry about it being put away slightly wet while I am out and about. My D300 and Nikkor lenses were reasonably resistant to a bit of a sprinkle, but I never tried to push it as it was not sold as a waterproof body. So, my question is for those of you who live in, or travel to, rainy/snowy climates - is this an important feature to you, or do you just keep plowing ahead with your current equipment and deal with the consequences if/as they arise? I am not making an immediate purchase, but I am wondering if the E-M1 should be back on my short list.



    P.S. Olympus refers to the E-M1 as splashproof. How is this term defined?
  2. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Moisture is the enemy of digital cameras. Owning a camera body that is purportedly designed to ameliorate issues with rain, moisture, etc definitely gives great peace-of-mind. While I don't "push it" either (with my EM-5), I don't freak out when there's a splash or two about! That said, I'm looking forward to receiving my EM-1...
    • Like Like x 1
  3. When you've shelled out your own money for a splashproof camera you'll probably be happy to use the camerain light rain or snow but still be careful to wipe it down dry afterwards. If Olympus is sending you the cameras for free you might feel like trying things like this :smile:

    _5028005 copy by mingthein, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 4
  4. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Check this video out if you haven't seen it already:

    I live in HK where there's lots of rain throughout the year, and I like taking street and journalistic types of photography. My E-M5 and 12-35/2.8 combo has come in very handy in several occasions, including the last July 1 protest, which took place during a typhoon. The splashproof feature came in very handy for me... In fact, I just carried the camera and lens on a neckstrap without any camera bag because I was more concerned about getting the camera bag soaked and having to dry it afterwards!

    When my pre-ordered E-M1 and 12-40/2.8 arrives, it will replace my current gears, and I won't have to worry about the weather when I go out and shoot...
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Yes, i read Ming and saw the photo, but I am wondering what is the official Olympus party line on this, especially if you make a warranty claim.

  6. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    The EM-1 is sold as a PRO camera, so I am pretty sure you can "abuse" it with extreme weather
  7. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    So is the Fuji XPro 1 and the Hassleblad HD4. Definitely wouldn't get either of those wet.

    I have had, on several occasions, to carefully hose my EM5 clean after use in sandy/dusty/wet environments. I've used it several times in solid rain. No problems so far. I generally have the 12-35 on the front of it in extreme environments. I imagine the E-m1 is better.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    If size is an issue with the lens, don't forget the 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 is also splash and freeze proof. It may not be a pro lens. But f/3.5 at the wide end is not even a stop slower and great in a storm. It has macro mode, a function button and optional powerzoom if you need that too. And a fraction of the price of the Pro.
    Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-12-50mm-f-3.5-6.3-EZ. splashproof
    • Like Like x 1
  9. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    I grew up on the Olympus Peninsula and didn't wear Gore-Tex or have a splash resistant camera and somehow did okay in the daily drizzle. But then, I can't think of a better excuse to buy a E-M1 so go for it!
  10. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    What are those other 2 cameras have to do with my reply?:rolleyes: 
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Probably any way Olympus chooses to.

    If there were an independent definition I would expect it to be under the JEITA umbrella (http://www.jeita.or.jp/english/) but a quick search of their site for "splashproof" produced a server error. Google search "jeita splashproof" no joy either.

    The only official definitions of terms like this I know of are NEMA: www.engineeringtoolbox.com/nema-enclosures-d_919.html These are not directly relevant but give you an idea of the various levels of water resistance that can be defined.

    Probably Olympus would draw the line at total immersion or at least anything beyond very shallow immersion, and also not claim resistance to direct pressurized spray from a hose. Pure speculation on my part though.
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    I am guessing that you probably had a manual camera then. If I was using my old Nikon F, I would be less worried about the rain, as there are almost no electroincs involved.

  13. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    DPR had a good piece on this whole subject, but even they could not easily define what splashproof means to a consumer. I clearly do not intend to immerse the camera in water, but every now and then we get very heavy rain with strong winds, and if you are out and about, you will know very quickly what gear is or is not waterproof/splashproof. It would be nice to have one less worry, but this issue is certainly not keeping me awake at night. I mean, its not like we are discussing image stabilization or world peace! :horse:

  14. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I don't shoot a lot in bad weather, but it is very nice not to really worry about it with the E-M5 + 12-50. I stared at the GX7 a bit recently. One of the reasons I moved on from it was that I don't want to lose that peace of mind I have with my "splashproof" Oly kit.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. tuanies

    tuanies Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 13, 2011
    Graham, WA
    Tuan Huynh
    The rain in WA is nothing. We get the heavy rain a couple times throughout the season but mostly its just a light drizzle. Never had any issues when I used my GH2, nor are any of my lenses weather sealed except maybe one. Its not like you're dunking them in water, a couple drops isn't going to hurt it.

    And gore-tex and water proof clothing? I wear a normal hoody, its not like you get very wet going from the car to wherever you need to, unless you plan on hiking.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    It's only as good as the weakest link. With the E-M5 and apparently the E-M1, they have put some effort into putting seals around the exposed parts. That said, if you're unlucky and the seals fail, you're not going to get Olympus to cover the repair under warranty.

    Somebody on DPR with a 12-35/2.8 recently had just this problem (it also is marketed as a weather-resistant item). Many people have successfully used that lens in difficult conditions, but his apparently got water on the inside, and Panasonic will charge him for the repair.

    Bottom line: it's only as good as your confidence in the manufacturer.
  17. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Nothing is a somewhat relative term. When I shot college football, you were on the field in the open for hours, so good gear was essential when it rained. And, I commute by bus during weekdays, so I am often on foot and not protected from the winds and rain, so again, good gear is important if things needs to remain dry and equipment operable.

  18. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Personally, I don't worry about it too much. I used to have a Pentax K200d which was weather sealed. I would bring it on my adventures with a reasonable amount of care to keep it dry and protected.

    Then I realized, if the weather's really poor then I'm not bringing a camera anyway. And in semi-wet conditions a reasonable amount of care is all you need for just about any gear. So now I bring whatever I want and I've never had a problem.

    I suppose it's possible someday I'll really want the camera with me but it'll be too wet. Hasn't happened yet though.

    Now, if you're standing in the rain shooting football for a living that's different. You'll be buying the pro gear for this anyway.
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    And this is why I do not pay much attention to videos or images of cameras being doused in water. It makes for great reading, but notice that the manufacturer is not the one displaying or endorsing such feats. I am sure that many of these cameras would hold up in mild to moderate amounts of rain, but it would be nice if the manufacturers were a bit more clear as to their warranty coverage when equipment is used in such situations. Yes, I can purchase insurance, but if a manufacturer is going to tout some level of "proofness" in their literature, it would be nice if they would let buyers know how much they are willing to back up their design claims. I am not upset at Olympus or other manufacturers, I just wish they could draw a brighter line on what is or is not covered so we can decide if their features are worth the premium.


  20. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Hey Ken,

    I live in NZ, more exactly in the north island, in fact, auckland. Which by the way it has the worst of weather in NZ, humidity its throughout the whole year, up to the point that if you leave your cds or books on top of your table at night, by the morning they are all curly, and starting to 'open up' if you know what i mean. Rain, is everyday stuff (summer or winter), which for me sucks!, and even when the sun is out and hot, there still a lot of humidity, but thats the price to live in a 'green looking' country right?. So, having said that. I shoot with an OMD, a Ricoh GR and the newest addition an EP5.

    I didnt thought that 'weathersealing' was a real benefit and thought was more like it was part of the 'bells and whistles' of the camera. But i was wrong, i do a lot of hiking, and walking and outdoors photography and ive shot under the rain (not drizzle, but heavy rain) with my OMD + 12-35, just to 'try' that weathersealing. It works like a charm and i wouldnt hesitate to shoot under bad weather with it.

    Now fast forward to the EP5 which i got less than a week ago, and i already took it to a three day roadtrip last weekend, which included, some rain, but a lot of wind and sand blasting in some beaches (I will post some pictures in the next couple of days). And i gotta tell you, that i found myself with the EP5 + 9-18, IN the water taking photos of a waterfall while light rain was happening. In fact, the trickiest part of it was to get the picture right as the rain and drops from the fall in the river would jump on my filters and would show up in the photo. Obviously the EP5 is NOT weathersealed, and i do 'baby out' my gear, but this cameras are made for travel, and outdoors in general, and if they are not able to withstand some ****ty weather here and there, they are doomed. And i believe the EP5 handled everything perfect.

    Not to say that the LCD screen, shutter, pinpoint focus point, and a bunch of other 'little' improvements over the OMD makes it a charm to work with.

    Also considering in your case, you said, you are a 'mild weather shooter' therefore you are not going to shoot under a heavy rain, when its pouring down which is what the OMD or EM1 is for. Anything else, the EP5 is fine.

    of course, this is my personal experience, and i thought to share it with you, if its worth something.

    ps: when i took the GX7 for a ride, it didnt come with an instruction manual, but i like instruction manuals as i like to know my gear upside down. And found it online on one of there international websites, and in fact, the first couple of pages had a bold statement, highlighted and all, advising NOT to use the camera under the rain, sea, sand or strong winds situations. It could probably be just a warning for stupid people placing a camera IN the sand, but that is a dealbreaker for me. At least Olympus doesnt give you that warning on their manuals.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.