Thursday, March 31, 2011

How To Keep Your Camera Dry—04/04/11

DPMag Published in Tip Of The Week
How To Keep Your Camera Dry—04/04/11

This Article Features Photo Zoom

You know what they say: April showers bring May flowers. That’s great when you’re shooting flowers in May, but what about when you want to get outside and take pictures in April? It means you’ve got to take precautions to keep your camera from getting wet. More importantly, you’ve got to prevent that insidious dampness from finding its way into your camera at all costs; you don’t have to get rained on to ruin a camera with moisture. Here are eight tips for keeping your camera safe and dry through spring’s rainy season and beyond.

- Carry a rainproof camera bag. A built-in rain cover is great protection for all the gear in your bag. I have an all-weather bag with an integrated nylon rain cover. It doesn’t take up much space tucked away in the outer zipper pocket, and it’s always ready to go at the first sign of rain. For real serious foul weather shooting, choose a waterproof case like those from Pelican to ensure your gear is fully protected from even a downpour.

- Freezer bags. You know those zippered plastic bags living in your refrigerator full of leftovers? They can keep camera bits tastily dry, too. Hidden away inside a camera bag, freezer bags work great for keeping moisture out of bodies, lenses and accessories as long as they’re stowed safely away. They do wear out, though, so they’re most effective for protecting items you don’t take out very often—light meters and accessories, for instance. And if you happen to open one in a rain shower, it’s practically useless from that point on. Storing a camera inside an even slightly damp freezer bag is worse than storing it in no bag at all. It’s a recipe for major moisture disaster.

- Desiccant packets.
When you buy many products—especially electronics—they’re shipped with little desiccant packets designed to absorb moisture and keep it from infiltrating the product. I found one inside a new portfolio just today. Well if you stockpile these desiccants, a few placed strategically in camera bags can help keep humid conditions from contaminating your camera with moisture. Best of all, they’re free.

- Use a rain cover. A camera and lens shield, like the Kata Elements cover, protects your camera from rain and moisture while allowing you to keep shooting through it. Some folks rig trash bags as makeshift versions of ìrealî rain covers, and while this is certainly better than nothing, it’s also not nearly ideal. The better fitting and better sealed a rain cover is, the better it will keep moisture out. A tiny drop of water can do really bad things to expensive digital cameras.

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