All of the Nikon bodies are better protected than most people think, but I have ThinkTank HydroPhobia rain covers that go on any time the conditions go bad. Prior to having these, I have gotten various Nikon gear through rain, snow, sand storms and various other problems. But the rain covers make almost any trip with me and I don't take too many chances. They seem expensive at $130 but compare that with the price of a trip to Nikon and it doesn't seem so expensive. With the rain covers on, I've shot in pouring rain, up to an inch per hour, and lived to tell about it. An inch per hour is one heck of a lot of water. I was pretty wet from the waist down, and my raincoat was pretty marginal - but the cameras were dry. The problem is that Nikon claim that its gear are weather-protected. But if they find water inside, they tell you it's your problem.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Last year I watched several (YouTube’s ???) videos, showing D7000 going thru moderate rain and even shower and functioning immediately after that. I (we) do not know long term effects after such actions, but i think even moderate rain is quite safe as long as rubber seals are tight in place and camera is “normal” shooting position and not front or back up. Shower water, on other hand, is under the pressure and potentially as harmful as submersion of camera under the water.
The good news though, I read someplace that the camera had a plunge into the bathtub for 1-2 seconds with 18-55 lens, the guy pulled it out and immediately turned the lens down, removed the lens keeping the camera down and worked with the towels to try excessive water from the camera’s sides. The lens was wasted, but the camera DID NOT have any damage, including long term damage, like “fogging”.
So it can take some abuse or at least accidental rain.
A light shower and a few drops probably won't matter. But you need to use appropriate caution. Heavy rain or submersion is a roll of the dice and a good way to ruin the camera.
The D7000 has some protection against elements, but water is still a problem. Each of the buttons on the camera is simply protected by a small amount of rubber but no real seal. The battery compartment is particularly vulnerable. The other problem area is under the lap on the side of the camera. My experience is the side flap is fine, but does not fit securely.
I had a D300 that dropped in a small amount of water for a second or two resulting in a $325 repair. I've used the same camera in the rain with the Storm Jacket and had no issues. I've also used the camera in light rain with no protection and had no issues. I keep a Storm Jacket clipped to my pack all the time. The D300 has better water protection than the D7000.
If the camera gets wet it is important to blot rather than wipe of water. Wiping can force water into the camera. Be very careful with your lenses - especially lenses that extend to zoom or focus. It's easy to suck water into the lens barrel when it moves.
I think you're exactly right. The OP's question seemed to be asking if the camera could be *used* in the rain without worry--meaning, "Can I expose my camera to the rain when shooting and not worry about water damage?"
The only correct answer to that question is, "No."
The D7000 manual states that the camera is not waterproof and that moisture in the camera can damage it. It's true that a brief accidental exposure to rain *probably* won't be harmful, but no one should bet their camera on dodging that bullet.
I have some confidence in the weather sealing on the camera. I have no confidence in the weather sealing on my lenses. Some higher-end lenses, may have good sealing. If you have third party or consumer grade lenses as I do - there is generally no weather sealing.
It's best to protect the "system" from rain. Fortunately for my camera and lenses, I don't like to shoot in the rain.
Not only do you need to worry about the camera you have to consider the lens.
It is much harder to seal turning parts long sliding parts than a button that moves less than 2 mm.
You also have to be careful when drying the camera and lens so as not to cause the water to run under other parts.
Moose Peterson has explained that one should blot the water from the camera and not wipe the water from the camera. Wiping will break the surface tension that is causing the water to bead. Once you break that beading the water flows every were and lenses have a lot of rotating and long sliding parts so water can easily get inside a lens.
You may also need a drying system like silica gel or a warming box go draw any water or water vapor out of the camera a lens.
Long term excessive moisture in a lens could lead to fungi or mold within the lens.
There are many raion covers on the market and you can use a plastic bag. for my long lenses I use a Lens Coat RainCoat both models depending on what lens I an using it covers the camera and has a side sleeve so you can activate the dials. I have used it in Alaska in a wind driven rain and just yesterday in Delaware inthe rain and my camer and lens stayed dry
I recently purchased the Nikkor 70 300 to shoot my son playing football. As I live in the north of France, the weather is often rainy..last month, I had the opportunity to shoot him under a heavy downpour and I used a large umbrella to do it. That’s not easy to handle the camera and the umbrella in the same time, but once home, I was very satisfied with the results because I got very amazing pictures. As the light was quite low and dull, I increased the iso to 800 / 1000 and that was not an issue with the D7000. D7000 / Nikkor 70- 300 is a very good combo to shoot football. Fabien.
Sat 16-Jun-12 05:17 AM | edited Sat 16-Jun-12 05:19 AM by Fabien65
Just because i don't want to show my son's face on the internet ( or my son’s friends..), my choices are very limited, but I have found two pictures of a famous day under the rain: (It was at the beginning of spring..)
The first one, waiting for action…we can feel how the downpour was cold…
And the second one: action!
I was quite far away from the action, but the D7000 + 70 300 VR gives us the possibility to get this kind of details even if the light’s conditions are very bad.
We shoot Events. I've shot in the rain many times and hate it! For me it is just plain drisserable and I avoid it at all cost. Over the years, nearly all my equipment has been drenched with no damage what-so-ever.
You can use a ziplock bag around the camera and snug around the lens. An umbrella is better and a pop up canopy much better Some lens like the 70-200 seal better than others like the 80-400.
I also keep a wash cloth in the bag to blot any drops on my camera or lens. Also keep your hood on, it helps hold the storm jacket and keep rain or snow off lens. Keep lens paper or a lens cloth available as you may need to remove water drops.
I keep silica packets in my camera cabinet at home and in my bag. My friends and family collect them for me when they buy things like shoes and bags. They look like little salt packets but say "Dont eat me" on them.
I used a plastic bag from the grocery store, during the below game but it was not pretty.
"Cameras and lenses are simply tools to place our unique vision on film. Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colors and your images will stir the soul." Jack Dykinga