5 Tips for using your DSLR in the rain!

This weekend, being a long-weekend, there will be lots of you out there with family ready and willing to take photos of Easter eggs hunts, dinner with the gang etc.  But…what’s this!  Every day this weekend calls for rain!

Most DSLRs are designed to handle a moderate amount of moisture, be it from rain, snow or humidity, see photo example of how much light rain a  DSLR can handle without needing to be covered up.   At this price point, these DSLRs are often weatherproofed, but NOT waterproof.   Go here for more info on waterproof versus weatherproof gear.  But for point-and-shoot cameras or if it’s moderately-heavily rainy/snowing you’ll want to cover up.

Here are some tips on keeping the important things dry: your camera gear.

1. The easiest solution is drag a family member along to hold an umbrella over your head.  Not the most popular tip, but the quickest.

2. The plastic bag method.

a-for smaller digital cameras a shower cap works really well!   All you need is your shower cap, scissors and a rubber band to secure around your lens.  If you’re using a point-and-shoot (as shown) I wouldn’t recommend using any kind of adhesives to secure the bag to the lens (like electrical or duct tape–the residue it leaves behind will only mess up your retractable lens and give you problems with your zoom etc.)

b-garbage bag or ziplock bag.  Same method as above, but for larger cameras.  Use your lens hood to secure the bag to the tip of the lens.  And use some electrical tape if you’re paranoid.  (Again, the tape should only make contact between the bag and your lens filter.)

I’ve seen people using black garbage bags for this purpose, and may I suggest you purchase some clear garden waste bags instead?  They look less homeless-like and you’ll be able to see through the plastic to your info screen etc.

3. Turning rain-pants into a camera sleeve.

Now this is interesting.  You need to be a DIYer to do this well.   Go here for the full tutorial:http://www.diyphotography.net/protect-your-camera-from-rain-using-an-old-pair-of-rain-trousers

4. Run out to Henry’s and buy a professionally designed and manufactured camera sleeve.   They’re pricey though–running around $60 for a med. DSLR kit and closer to $100 for a larger kit.  (There are sleeves designed for sports photography gear as well but they are, of course, much more expensive.)  There’s a sale on some sleeves at Henry’s right now, by the way :)

Or there’s the thrify version of that called the OPTECH RAINSLEEVE. http://www.henrys.ca/28252-OPTECH-RAINSLEEVE-2PK-18-9001132.aspx

They are sold 2 to a package and run about $8 at Henry’s.

*Note, using any kind of plastic bag, unless it’s the professional camera sleeve, you MUST take care to avoid condensation. *

*But remember!  If you are out in the rain with your gear, covered or not, when you come home you MUST take it out of its rain gear and camera bag and allow it to air dry overnight.  Be sure to include a few little silica bags in your camera bag to help with moisture as well.

Lastly, check out my most recent post that covers some more shooting-in-the-rain questions:  “Is my camera waterproof?”

So don’t let a little rain ruin your long-weekend photography adventures!   Happy holidays everyone.

And be sure to check out my website: www.clairedamphotography.com for my portrait portfolio.


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