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Why Choose a Water Resistant DSLR Camera

Updated on May 15, 2014

Mid-Level Water-Resistant DSLR Cameras Make Sense

Professional photographers often have no choice but to shoot in less than ideal conditions. Whether it's pouring rain, freezing cold, or the wind is kicking up a lot of dust, they still have to get the shot. That's why professional DSLR cameras are weather-sealed.

For a long time, if you wanted the luxury of having a camera that could survive inclement weather, you had to be willing to spend several thousands of dollars on a pro camera. Today, however, you can get a mid-level water-resistant DSLR camera for under $2000. (There's even one for under $1000!) And these cameras are not just for shooting in the rain. Here are some reasons you might want to choose one of the weather-sealed DSLRs shown here.

(Image: weather-sealed Canon EOS 7D available on amazon. See link below.)

5 Reasons to Select a Water Resistant DSLR Camera - Weatherproof cameras aren't just for rain

There are many reasons to select a weatherproof DSLR, including the flexibility to continue shooting in rain. But that's not the only factor. Here are five other reasons you might want a water-resistant camera.

  1. Humidity - In humid climates, condensation can get inside a camera and kill it. Many photographers have lost good equipment this way.
  2. Dust - Dust and electronics don't play well together. Dust on your sensor can create specks on your images, and dust inside the camera can wreak havoc. A weather-sealed camera and lens helps prevent problems from dust.
  3. Sand - Like dust, sand can create real problems with a camera. That's why a water-resistant DSLR camera is especially handy at the beach.
  4. Water - With a weatherproof DSLR, you can shoot waterfalls without worrying about the spray damaging your equipment, visit the beach with no fear of rogue waves splashing your gear, or take your camera to the river or lake feeling more confident.
  5. Freezing Temperatures - Being sealed against the elements also means your camera is more protected against freezing weather and can continue to operate in lower temperatures than other cameras.

    In other words, a good weather-sealed camera is valuable in just about any type of weather! But don't forget the lens. You'll want to make sure to get a weather-sealed lens if you're planning to shoot in inclement weather.

See Water Resistant DSLR Cameras Below

These mid-level cameras all offer weatherproofing for much less than you'd pay for a weather-sealed pro DSLR.

Canon EOS 7D - 8 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Standard Zoom Lens

Canon is the world's largest camera manufacturer, and they know how to build cameras. The 7D offers incredible speed (8 fps, thanks to dual DIGIC 4 processors) and quick focusing with a cross-type 19-point AF system with AI Servo AF subject tracking. It also offers excellent low-light performance, with an ISO range from 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800).

Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Lens (discontinued by manufacturer)
Canon EOS 7D 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD Lens (discontinued by manufacturer)

Product features:

- 18.0-megapixel CMOS Sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 Image Processors for high image quality and speed

- Kit includes 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS UD standard zoom lens

- Advanced HD movie mode with manual exposure control and selectable frame rates

- Intelligent Viewfinder with 100 percent field of view; 19-point, all cross-type AF system equipped with dual diagonal cross-type sensors

- Capture images to CF Card Type I and II, UDMA-compliant CF cards (not included)


Nikon D300s - 12.3MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD

The magnesium-alloy body on the Nikon D300s has extensive weather sealing to ensure it's rugged and durable. When the D300 was first released, dpreview said, "There's simply no better semi-professional digital SLR on the market," and they declared the D300s "still the camera to beat in that class." The camera sports a 12.3 MP APS-C sensor, a 3-inch LCD, 100% viewfinder accuracy, image camera editing, dual memory card slots (CF and SD), and many other features.

Nikon D300S 12.3MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Nikon D300S 12.3MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

Product features:

- 12.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor for high resolution, low-noise images

- Nikon EXPEED image processing; D-Movie HD Video for cinematic 24 fps, 720p HD movie clips

- 3-inch Super-density 920,000-dot VGA LCD; one-button Live View


Pentax Weather Sealed Digital SLR K-30 - A water-resistant DSLR under $1000

If you're looking for a bargain on a weatherproof camera, look no further than the 16.3 MP Pentax K-30. Popular Photography magazine called it a "favorably priced starter DSLR with some advanced features" and gave it a silver star rating, saying it has a "comprehensive feature set, excellent high ISO performance and very flexible Raw files at an attractive price point." It offers full 1080p video, 6 fps continuous shooting, a 3-inch monitor and a viewfinder with 100% optical field of view.

Pentax K-30 Weather-Sealed 16 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens (White)
Pentax K-30 Weather-Sealed 16 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens (White)

Product features:

- 16 mega pixel APS-C CMOS image sensor

- Fully weather sealed through out the entire camera, not just the port and battery doors, for a rugged cold proof/weather proof SLR

- Full 1080p HD video 30/25/34 FPS, features h.264 compression, flexible exposure controls and HDR finishing options.

- ISO speeds to 25600 with minimn noise

- Low profile glass pentaprism viewfinder achieves a 100% optical field of view


Sony A77VM - 24.3 MP Translucent Mirror Digital SLR With 18-135mm Lens

Sony is the world's third-largest DSLR manufacturer, but just as they are lower in sales compared to Canon and Nikon, they're also lower on pricing. A Sony DSLR with similar features to a Canon or Nikon will cost you much less. In this case, you can get the water resistant A77VM with a zoom lens for about the same price as you'd pay for the body only of the Canon or Nikon cameras shown above. The A77VM has an amazing 24.3 MP sensor, a magnesium alloy body, slots for two media types, 11 picture modes, 3D sweep panorama, 19-point autofocus, an ISO range up to 25600, and much more.

Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens
Sony Alpha SLT-A77 Translucent Mirror Digital SLR Camera with 18-135mm Lens

Product features:

- 24.3 megapixels with Sony's Exmor HD APS sensor

- Translucent Mirror Technology accelerates AF performance

- 1080/60i/24p Full AVCHD or 1080/30p MP4 movies


More Weather Sealed Cameras on eBay - Find great deals on cameras

The cameras shown above aren't the only water resistant DSLR cameras on the market. Most of the semi-pro and pro cameras offer this feature (albeit for much more than the models shown here). If you'd like to search for deals on other weatherproof models, here are some offered on eBay.

How Water Resistant Are These Cameras? - See a Pentax K5 and K7 take a beating

The Pentax K-5 and K-7 are two other cameras in Pentax's weather-sealed lines. Both are more expensive than the K-30 shown above, but this video gives you an idea of how tough these DSLRs are.

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Are You In the Market for a Water Resistant DSLR Camera? - Share your thoughts

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    • profile image

      visit2goa 3 years ago

      awesome and incredible demo.. hats off to you soldier..

    • clkbm profile image

      clkbm 5 years ago

      Thanks for all the great information.

    • pavlo-badovskyi profile image

      pavlo-badovskyi 5 years ago

      Great info helpful in making choice

    • Jadelynx-HP profile image

      Tracey Boyer 5 years ago from Michigan

      Great selection, thanks for sharing!

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      Not for a water resistant one, but possibly a new DSLR camera. I am finally taking the photography course that I've always wanted to take this semester. Will be looking over your lenses for more information on what to get, if I need a new camera.