Coming back home from Himalayas you may not feel your fingers, but your camera is surely doing good in the special bag. When you travel the world, you face all the types of weather conditions – from freezing cold to hot as Hades places, but also from all day rain to desert dry areas. Just as you prepare your body, packing proper clothing, you also have to protect your camera while traveling with exactly the same care. Or even more care.
There are several different ways of protecting your photography gear from all kinds of threat. In this ultimate guide, we’ll show why you should take care of your equipment and we’ll cover in details the best accessories you can find. The article will be updated as soon as we get the new accessory in our hands. Ready for the royal treatment of your camera? Here we go!
Why the fuss?
Well, it’s truth that camera equipment is tough and somehow prepared for extreme conditions. But is it really ready for 120° F (46° C) heat? Or the opposite – Antarctic cold? That’s questionable. And isn’t your camera your little baby? 😉
We do protect our gear because we are aware of the costs of it. This means not only the price of the camera and lenses itself, but also how much would it cost us if any damage appears. A broken lens may cost you 100-200$, but if anything happens to the body (like falling from a tricky tripod) it means even 2000$ or more bill for the repair. And you definitely prefer to spend that money another way.
Being a professional photographer, they are your money makers. Even if you’re just on your way to be one, buying camera equipment was surely one of the heaviest investments in your life. Having it all in mind you’ll certainly make sure to have your camera and accessories safe while you travel. It means protecting them from weather conditions, but also from bumps and scratches.
What’s the danger?
The most important threats for your equipment are rain/snow, heat, cold, and sand, as weather and environment are beyond our control. You might say I’m never going to shoot in the rain!, but when you’re on assignment you may have no choice. Or, when you travel to the rain forest the humidity is unavoidable. And would you resist to take this awesome long exposure shot of the Niagara falls? Bet you wouldn’t. And you won’t risk to let the water sunk into your camera and lens as well. That’s why the protection is compulsory.
Shooting in really low or high temperatures, the most important tip is not to expose your camera to sudden temperature swings. When it’s cold outside, you’d better not hide it under your jacket, so it’s “used to” the low temperature. But it doesn’t work for batteries, as they tend to die faster when they’re cold. For extreme hot conditions make sure you can put your camera under the white towel or shirt to protect it from the sun. Or use somebody/something to hide in its shadow. From time to time you can get into the place with air conditioning, as the sensor can’t be exposed to extreme temperatures for long.
Protecting your gear from sand and dust requires a little more than just a plastic bag (the rain/snow) or a white towel (sun). Let’s have a look at some examples.
Wahiba Sands shot by Piotr Kulczycki
Cases and rings to protect your gear from sand and dust
In this article we’ll cover different ways of keeping your camera safe while you travel. Firstly, let’s have a look at the example of sand and dust protection – the body cases and lens rings which we recently tested.
The covers usually are made from really soft silicone material and fit the camera perfectly. We must admit that Photler’s CEO, Piotr’s body – Canon 5D Mark III – and the lens looked really fashionable in it 😉 Both the case and the lens rings are easy to put on. As we tested them in winter, they seem to keep the gear warm, especially the batteries were thankful. During the photoshoot our mobile phones were dead really soon, but the camera kept well longer than usually.
The case covers most of the body, so it’s safe from humidity, but most importantly no sand and dust will get into it as it sticks really tightly with the camera. The case and the rings are also nice to hold in hand. They won’t let the camera slide from your hands, even when they’re a little wet from a drizzle.
The cases and rings are a great way to distinguish your camera from the crowd, making it more colorful. It’s also an easy and cheap way to change your camera a little and protect it at the same time. When you travel with other photographers, some probably have the same body as you, so it’s a really simple way to identify the gear. It also won’t slip out from your grasp, whatever the weather. Plus… take a look at your mobile phone. Doesn’t it wear a protecting case? It surely does! So why not give the same to your camera? 😉
Well, the cases are a new trend though. Some photographers say that putting something like this on the gear is a desecration, so be prepared to even be laughed at. But isn’t it worth it the next time you’ll scream Butterfingers! while turning your inner ninja to catch a falling camera? Well, it really happens, you surely agree without a second thought. Having a protective case has already saved some camera’s lives – you can almost hear the owners’ pheeeeew when you read them.
Our opinion on the cases and rings is totally positive. The material is great, the camera doesn’t move an inch in a hand and it keeps the gear warm. We surely recommend it for winter and dusty/sandy areas. Especially for this article, we will give every accessory we test our grade. So here comes big 5 stars for the execution, functionality and usability of the case and rings.
The covers and rings we tested are from EasyCover, you can find them here.
Protecting your camera from extreme conditions is something you always have to remember when you travel. Depending on the mean of transportation and the weather in the place you’re visiting, you have to take into account different accessories. In the next articles we’ll cover another type of protection – we’ll keep you posted! Safe travels to you and your gear 🙂