How To Protect Your Camera From Rain & Weather

I’ve traveled with a bunch of different cameras; all from the good old film cameras, to 3D Polaroid cameras, waterproof cameras and now a DSLR camera.

But no matter what camera you use, there are always going to be a few common problems – the most significant one being the weather.

You can’t control the weather, but you can prevent it from damaging your camera and ruining your inspiring pictures.

So today I want to share with you a few tips to help you protect your camera from rain and the weather.

Heat

When traveling in countries where the weather is hot and the sun is strong, you can really damage your camera. One problem we’ve had while shooting in Thailand has been camera overheating on a daily basis.

Here are a few tips we find help:

Try to keep your camera out of direct midday sunlight. We’ve decided to try and only film in the mornings and afternoons, and avoid using it when the sun is at its strongest and hottest.

This will keep the camera cool and happy.

Whenever the red temperature lamp (or whatever sign your camera has for overheating) shows up, turn the camera off and let it cool down.

It’s bad for the camera if it’s used while it is overheated. Also try to keep it as still as possible when this happens.

Never leave it in a car for hours, as a car is like a greenhouse and can get really hot. If you have to leave it, put it in the trunk or under the seat.

It’s not ideal, but better than in direct sunlight.

Condensation and Moisture

Camera Condensation and Moisture
Camera Condensation and Moisture

Extreme temperature changes, such as air-conditioned rooms, can cause condensation on the lens and affect the inner circuitry, getting water in the wrong places.

When you bring your camera into an A/C environment (hotel room, malls, restaurants etc), keep it in the camera bag in its own pocket of air (there it has a steady temperature), and slowly introduce it to the cooler temperature, by opening it bit by bit.

The same applies when bringing a camera into a warm room out from the cold outdoors. Another tip is to put it in a plastic bag for a few minutes.

This will allow the camera to cool down/warm up slowly, and prevent condensation and moisture. If you get condensation on the lens, use a dry and clean lens cloth to wipe off the mist.

If it’s raining outside, or you’re somewhere where the chances of getting your camera soaked in water (like the water festival in Thailand, or photographing splashing waves), don’t risk it, but cover your camera in a rain hood.

They’re often really cheap and work great.

Protect Your Camera Sun and Sand
Protect Your Camera Sun and Sand

Sun and Sand

The lens is the most sensitive part of your camera, and even the smallest scratch can make it unusable.

It can also be sensitive to extreme light, so I’d recommend you purchasing a protective lens to put on top of your original one.

There are many good ones out there, that also help to reduce glare and make the picture contrast come out better.

Try to blow the sand away with a blower, or use a lens clothe to wipe it off gently, but it’s best if you use a cleaning solution first to make it moist.

How To Protect Your Extra Camera Gear

Invest in a cleaning kit. A lens cloth, some cleansing liquid and a small brush can do wonders.

Your camera deserves a good camera bag. It’s a way to keep it safe both from being squashed and broken, as well as keeping it away from thieves.

Bring it out when you want to use it, but don’t have it hanging around your neck the whole day. It’s also a good way of keeping it cool and safe from sun and dust.

Having a Lens hood makes a big difference to your photos, and protects it from direct sunlight.

(photo credits: 123Ed Siasoco (aka SC Fiasco)laszlo-photoShermeee)

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18 thoughts on “How To Protect Your Camera From Rain & Weather”

  1. Great tips Sofia, its always hard to protect your camera while traveling around. I can’t count how many times I have lost or broken a camera :p

  2. Hi Sofia,
    Very good tips. After taking pictures during winter when often the wind chill is -20C, I ensure that the camera is exposed to gradual increase of temperature before bringing it indoors. This avoids condensation issues. Thanks!
    Priyank

  3. Great advice Sofia… nothing beats having a good camera bag! I think I’d be lost without my Lowepro backpack.

  4. Nice one Sofia. I’m going to be in Thailand for Songkran and I was wondering what to do about the whole camera situation. I think I may resort to my compact at that particular time!

  5. Great advice guys. I decided to buy a cheap camera for snowboarding last year, the problem was when I got to the top of the mountain the camera didn’t work! I think I’ll have to invest in something a bit more weather resistant next time around.

    Have you used one of those shock/waterproof camera’s? They seem to be quite popular these days.

  6. Hi,

    Thank You for the suggestions to safeguard the camera from condensation, Sun n sand! These are really worthy…..

  7. Hey Andrew – we bought a rain cover for our DSLR – haven’t had to use it yet – but really seems it would do the job of keeping rain out. not sure about Songkran though :p maybe better to bring a shitty cam instead.

  8. A friend of mine was awesome enough to give me an old traveling camera backpack so I’m completely stoked. They are so awesome and keep everything snug!

  9. That’s nice, we were thinking of buying a new camera bag now when we’re in Bangkok, but the one we wanted turned out to cost even more than if you were to ship it from Amazon..!

    I like the idea of having a camera bag that can fit the rest of your clothes as well. Any tips of a good one would be great! 😉

  10. Here is Similar Story

    A lot of people feel that when it’s raining or snowing, extremely hot or cold, the camera automatically has to stay safely indoors. I do have to admit, that is a good way to protect your camera, but you end up missing some great shots.

    On the other end of that spectrum, some people are careless about their digital cameras. They don’t think anything of leaving their cameras in stuffy car when the temperature outside is 100 degrees. All cameras hate extreme heat and extreme cold.

    You invested hard-earned money into a digital camera. When the weather’s bad, be it hot, cold or raining, you don’t want your camera to be damaged.

  11. The eight degree, rainy weather in Taiwan two weeks ago didn’t go too well with my DSLR. The lens are always moist and I always need to have my lens cleaner ready at all times. Since its becoming the routine every time I try to take pictures, I’ve decided to just stop at one point and just savor the places with my own eyes.

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