Which Canon cameras are weatherproof

What makes a camera weatherproof?


Weather protection is the protection of the internal parts of a camera from external influences such as moisture, dust and moisture. The degree of this sealing varies between the manufacturers and also within the models of the individual manufacturers.

Protection is ensured both by rubber seals with silicone rings and seals and by design considerations such as interlocking panels and pool-resistant exterior parts. Most notably, buttons like the trigger are either rubberized or sealed to prevent the elements from entering. The seal is not made by a single piece of hardware. I've often seen values ​​like 60-70 silicone rings used in a typical DSLR case for weatherproofing and 30-40 in a battery grip, for example.

Sealing weather conditions in all cameras except the most professional cameras is a relatively new phenomenon in the consumer market. Today, if you look for the right models, you can often find weather protection on cameras that cost less than $ 1,000.

Usually, aspects of weatherproofing are limited to moisture from weather such as rain, snow, moisture, as well as dust and sand. I would argue that the weather seal doesn't end there, it also includes everything that protects the camera from use and keeps it as it was designed. With that in mind, I would also include features like the magnesium alloy chassis design, impact protection, shielding against electromagnetic interference, stronger locking mechanisms, the sensor's dust resistance, the carbon fiber lip on the lens ends, and even special fluorine coatings on the low-pass filter as part of the weatherproof seal .

Camera body

The weather seal is either used as an additional component in the design or as a part of Camera designs added. The best way to understand exactly what you're doing with the weather seal is to look at a diagram example of a camera showing a cross section of the body with the weather seal components added:

¹ image via Canon USA

The seals highlighted in this image from a Canon 7D are considered weather seals.

The weather seal can be described as John Carlson of Pentax, described at thephoblographer.com:

"The seals for moving parts are made from a more resilient material than those for stationary parts," says Carlson. "By using a different material, we can ensure that it works smoothly and is protected from dust and moisture at the same time."


You've hinted at another good point about how lenses go into the gasket equation. A camera housing can be weatherproof, but adding a lens that isn't weatherproof essentially compromises the weatherproof integrity of the housing. In these cases, water could enter through the bracket and the seals and rings in the housing construction will not prevent it. To complete the weather protection package, you should look for a lens that is also weatherproof. Some lenses (not all) require an additional filter element on the front to complete the weather seal. Keep this in mind when purchasing weatherproof glasses and read the specifications to make sure you are equipping yourself properly.

Image of Pentax 25mm f4 via thephoblographer.com

A good definition of canon can be found at thephoblographer.com:

Chuck Westfall, Canon USA technical information advisor, said, “Canon EF lenses that have been enhanced with dust and water resistance countermeasures typically have rubber seals and gaskets in critical locations.

Likewise, a definition of Pentax at thephoblographer.com:

John Carlson, Senior Marketing Manager: "Our weatherproof lenses contain a silicone rubber material that is sandwiched between the outer exposed parts to ensure they are properly sealed against moisture and dust."

I found a particularly interesting tip on sealing lenses with weather protection from Roger Cicala, owner of LensRentals.com:

"I've never been very impressed with the weather resistance. A rubber gasket on the lens mount, waterproof tape over the holes under the rubber, that's it. I can see that it would tend to keep water droplets from getting inside reach." the lens, but I can't imagine them withstanding constant rain - waterproof or not. I didn't notice any difference between Canon, Nikon, or Olympus high-end lenses. "

Flash units

The seal does not end with camera bodies and lenses. Even external flash units can be made weatherproof. For example, the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT has a fairly extensive weather seal. It has a weather seal that matches the moisture and dust resistance of the EOS-1D X's camera body.

¹ image via Canon

An interesting development recently is that some pop-up flashes on DSLRs are now also rated as weatherproof. In the past this has been a weather sealing failure, but in some cases Pentax are now offering DSLRs with weather sealing and pop-up flashes.


Weather protection does not mean weatherproof. It is uncommon for manufacturers to guarantee performance based on the seal. When a camera determines that it is weatherproof, you can be more confident to use that gear in inclement weather such as light rain or snow. Some models are characterized by excellent sealing and can be immersed in water for a while without any problems. Other weatherproof models can also fail after a light spray. I advise caution unless you are sure the seal is adequate in your conditions and even then a little common sense can go a long way.

It was mentioned above, but I'll mention it again here - if you use non-weatherproof lenses with a weatherproof housing, you run the risk of failure. The opposite is also true, using a sealed lens on an unsealed body can be problematic. It is recommended that a fully sealed kit with housing and lenses be used if weather conditions deem it necessary.

Connecting external adapters and / or cables can also affect the seal. Connecting a USB, HDMI, PC or other port can force the opening of a protective cover that would expose the camera housing to external forces. Another problem can be battery handles, which normally require the battery door to be opened to insert the handle. Not all battery grips are weatherproof, even those that can impair the weather resistance of the camera housing.

additional information

1) A camera is weatherproof if - you guessed it - it is weatherproof. Mainly on buttons and openings, but also along the case. The degree of weather sealing varies - and it's also weather sealed, not waterproof, which some people think.

2) An unsealed lens can allow water to enter the camera through the lens, but especially through the lens mount. That is, an unsealed lens will break a camera's weather seal.

To be effective, you have to be the judge. People have previously used unsealed cameras in the rain with no problem - others have had a sealed camera failed in bad weather ... Sealing makes your camera more likely to withstand moisture - this is not a guarantee.

(If you want to be waterproof, the housings you can buy for diving are a good place to start BUT they can be as expensive as the camera housing itself.)

The weatherproof seal usually consists of light O-rings on the openings and a waterproof and dustproof seal on the control elements. Weather protection is only as effective as its weakest link. If the lens is not weatherproof, there is no weather seal on the housing to protect it from the weather. It will make some difference to direct exposure to rain, but moisture will still penetrate through the lens mount and through the lens itself.

It can also be affected by battery handles. The tradeoff caused by a battery grip isn't as bad as the one caused by a lens, but it degrades weatherproof performance significantly.

It should also be noted that a weatherproof lens will not retain its weather resistance if it is used on a non-weatherproof housing because moisture can penetrate the camera through the opening. It's also worth noting that some weatherproof lenses are only properly weatherproof if you use a screw-in filter.

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