Importance of Weather Sealing?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by RobDMB, May 12, 2013.

  1. RobDMB

    RobDMB Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2013
    I'm about to purchase either the OMD EM5 or the EP5 and am strongly leaning toward the EP5. I am ok with the external viewfinder and like the WIFI features (I will be sharing the camera with my wife who would love being able to share pictures). However, the only thing I am concerned about is the lack of weather sealing. I do not intend to be out in pouring rain taking photos, but I will be going to Hawaii (a main reason for the purchase) and hope to take the camera on hikes, on the beach, etc. Should I be concerned about the lack of weather sealing in the EP5? Any advise is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Get the EP5 and a waterproof bag. Shoot when it's dry.
  3. lawa222

    lawa222 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2013
    If you are just hiking/beaching casually, weather-sealing isn't that important. If you hike many miles, backpack, camp out on the beach, etc. and want to be sure you come away with some shots as well as a working camera, then the peace of mind provided by weather-sealing is invaluable.

    One thing to remember is that it can be difficult to find compelling lighting in the rain anyhow, so you shouldn't feel too guilty keeping your camera in your bag/the car for a couple of hours if you're just doing normal travel stuff.
  4. DeoreDX

    DeoreDX Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 13, 2013
    I not totally versed in what all the ep5 will do with wifi but is there anything it will do that couldn't be accomplished with an eyefi card?
  5. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 11, 2010
    Shot with the OMD and PL25 in London in the rain yesterday, didn't break it...and if it did its under warranty and insured.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Even weather-sealing is not a guarantee. It increases the odds, but if you get caught off-guard by a wave, or slip during a stream crossing, you can still end up with a nonfunctional camera.

    Personally, I'd say get a good waterproof bag, exercise common sense and don't worry one way or the other about weather-sealing.
  7. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I've bought weather sealed cameras (E-3 and now E-M5) for the just in case it rains while I'm out shooting.

    For a trip to the beach though, especially if the water is clear and there's underwater coral I can photograph I have an Olympus TOUGH camera that can be taken in the water down to 30 feet. For me it's easier than using an underwater case for my SLR (cheaper too).
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't miss weather sealing at all when I don't have it. I keep my Pen bodies in ziplock bags since they're so small, as with my flash. I just don't take them out of the bag in pouring rain.

    However, I love having the weather sealing when I do have it, though i don't really capture much that I wouldn't shoot otherwise. On very odd occasion do I ever shoot rainy-day photos with weather sealing. To me the biggest advantage of the weather sealing is insurance. If you're paying $1000 for a camera (or $1600 for the weather sealed E-Volt bodies like the E-3 or E-5), then both the weather sealing and the heavy-duty magnesium alloy frame act as insurance to ensure that your investment remains sound. That's a lot of money to lose if you drop your camera (something I did on a regular basis with my E-3), get caught in a sudden flash storm out in the field, or accidentally drop it in the drink while shooting close to the water. The sealing is not meant for submersion (ie, underwater use), but a quick dunk will not hurt the Oly sealed cameras as long as you pull it out right away.

    Of course, this is assuming you have weather sealed lenses. Back in the 4/3 days this was more common as every single lens except the cheap standard grade were sealed. Nobody actually used lenses in the standard grade with a pro-grade sealed body. You should have upgraded your lenses to high or super-high grade long before the body upgrade (even if you aren't a big spender, the High Grade options offered a great compromise of value and performance at an affordable price). So if you were shooting native Zuiko glass you were pretty much always covered. It's not so easy to miss the weather sealing in the m4/3 system since there are lots of non-sealed lenses you probably use on a regular basis anyways, which mostly defeats the advantage of weather sealing.
  9. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    I tend to find that it's so unpleasant to take photographs in weather that requires sealing that it's not a worthwhile thing to have in any event; added to that is the fact that many of the best lenses are not weather sealed, and it amounts to weather sealing being useful only in somewhat marginal circumstances (albeit in those circumstances it might be very useful indeed; but many people will not encounter them at all).
  10. abepak

    abepak Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2013
    SFV, CA
    I think its more of a requirement of location and activity. When I used to live in Florida, if I wanted to do outdoor photography, weather sealing would have been a HUGE benefit. There, you could get caught in flash downpour out of nowhere and be soaked in a matter of seconds.

    Here in socal, its not big of an issue. I can see why some might consider them a gimmick though. Warranty from my understanding, gets a free hand on whether to honor it or not, citing that the camera was used outside of "normal usage"
  11. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    For me it is an extra level of protection. Sorta like IS/IBIS ... it is always better to have and not want than to not have and want ... and it is best to want and have.

    I've shot for decades without IS/IBIS with a good return on my images. Not that I have IS/IBIS the return is even better. Same-o for weather-sealing. I've shot for decades without weather sealing ... now that I have it life is and photography is easier. I love shooting sports in wet conditions ... mud and water and sports just adds so much more drama. Shooting in a wet climate, weather sealing, for me, is a no brainer.


    PS- In the middle of a downpour there isn't much to shoot, but before and after the downpour the weather sealing is an extra level of protection. In dry environments the weather sealing helps with dust.

  12. BeyondTheLines

    BeyondTheLines Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
    After shooting with an E-PL2 for a little more than a year I realized personally I'd be better off with a weather sealed camera. Just in the past month and a half I photographed my sister running a marathon in the rain and I also just walked on the Camino de Santiago/St. James Way for 5 days with the first 2 days raining lightly the whole time. Since I don't imagine those will be the only times where I'll have to/really want to take pictures despite the rain, for me it just makes sense to have the extra protection.
    As others have said, it really depends on your own circumstances and whether you think you'll need it.
  13. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    On the day I took this photo it was raining moderately. Since I spent quite a bit of money and effort getting there, I wasn't going to let it stop me from taking a picture with my non-water resistant GX1. A lot of juggling of umbrella, coat, and wiping of wet lens and camera surfaces was involved. Also quite a bit of cursing and promises to myself to remember to make the next camera buy a water - resistant one like OM-D. Although my GX1 and me survived to fight another day, the whole experience would've been more enjoyable and less nerve wrecking with OM-D and 12-50mm lens.

    Another place that you might not think of as needing a water resistant camera for - waterfalls. lots of mist.
  14. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    I have use a storm jacket for many years with great results. I continue to use it with my "weather sealed" body and lenses. In adverse weather it is all inside, in my Billingham or in a backpack with rain cover.
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I used to do that back in the pre-weather sealed days. I had this huge, rubberized, ponch made by a tent makers. Two motorized Nikons, a bag of equipment and moi easily fit inside with room left over to fit a family of four. With long lenses an umbrella was fitted to the top. With weather sealing and rain, I still slip camera and lens into a t-shirt plastic bag use an umbrella ... never can be too safe.

  16. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
  17. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011

    Sometimes you just get wet.
  18. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    So, anyone invented the umbrella with cold-shoe attachment yet? Perfect for keeping your camera protected!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
  19. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    The one essential tool I carry with me almost all of the time, rain or shine, is a simple, medium sized white cotton towel. I carry it in my back pocket. I have done this for years and years. It comes in handy for all sorts of things. If it is hot, you can wipe the sweat off your brow. If you accidentally spill something on the camera, you can wipe it off. Of course, if it is raining, you can simply drape the towel over the camera and lens to shield it a bit or use it to wipe off the water.

    If it gets blazing hot, like it does here in Texas, and you are not wearing a hat, put it on top of your head to block the sun. You will be amazed at the amount of different uses you will find for this simple tool.

    However, I recently purchased an OM-D and it is nice to have the weather sealing, but I think I will still carry my towel.....:smile:
  20. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    I started using a white towel for setting brightness during flash photography. Once detail in the towel is gone, it's time to back off flash output some.
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