Check Out What Happens When the $6,000 Nikon D4 is Left Exposed in a Storm


Modern flagship DSLRs are generally designed to be extremely weather and water resistent, but it’s still not a good idea to leave them exposed for a long period of time to anything more than a light drizzle. What happens, though, if you do?

Lebanese photographer Alexy Joffre Frangieh found out for all of us yesterday after his $6,000 Nikon D4 was left in a storm for over 16 hours.

Frangieh tells us that he was shooting a lengthy time-lapse sequence with two of his cameras (a D4 and a D3S) at the Tourist Landmark of the Resistance near Mleeta, Lebanon while the park was closed to the public. After setting up the equipment at 7pm on Wednesday, he left it unattended while he traveled back to his home about 120 miles away.

The gear was fine, he thought, because there were only some clouds in the sky and the weather forecast only predicted very light showers. However, a storm soon rolled in and began pouring heavy rain on the camera hours after Frangieh left.

When he returned to the site late the next day, the cameras were still shooting the timelapse photos, but all of the gear was completely covered with water. In some parts, water had even gotten into the casing.






Since the D4 and $2,000 14-24mm f/2.8 lens had been pointed up at the sky, water had collected on the front lens element and had begun condensing on the inside. (“It was like a bowl,” he says.)




Amazingly, Frangieh says he wasn’t worried about the gear even after seeing how much water had fallen. His primary concern was the external battery he was using — he wasn’t sure if the cases had been closed all the way and feared that a short circuit could fry his equipment. Luckily, it was fine.



The amazing thing about the whole story is that the camera equipment still works properly, and should be back to roughly the condition it was before after a thorough cleaning and dehumidifying.

The camera being cleaned up by a technician.

The D3S being cleaned up by a technician.

We’ve seen cameras survive extremely cold and icy environments and being immersed in sand. Now we can add “16 hours of heavy rainfall” to that list.

P.S. If you’re wondering about the unique look of Frangieh’s cameras, check out our prior coverage of his custom paint jobs.

Image credits: Photographs by Alexy Joffre Frangieh and used with permission

  • Ido N

    Now he got a natural leveler on the bottom screen :)

  • pillybilly

    people who try to get a lot of views on their blogs, because no one cares about their crappy works.

  • Lauren

    Hmmm, a Pentax K3, and the weather sealing would have been a non-issue.

  • Inspektor StrangeĊove

    We forgot a Canon 1D in a swamp, it was hanging off a tree branch, spent the whole night in the rain. Next day we came back, dried it out a bit, used a hair blower for the inside (just in case) and it worked normally. Didn’t even have to ship it for service.

  • Thomas

    Pentax does weather sealing rather well.

  • Thomas

    If you want real weather sealing, go Pentax!

  • E-Nonymouse A

    I’ve unintentionally exposed my D7000 with a nikkor 14-24 to about 4-7 hours of torrential rain during a lightening storm, I was time lapsing the event hoping to find some respectable shots. All survived with no ill effects, but I would not do that again, the 14-24 has no weather sealing at all.

  • Frank Nazario

    after sacrifycing this equipment … where is the URL for the time lapse??? Come on guys thre has to be a final product here… where is the link?

  • Zach Smith

    He should probably leave the inside of the lens hood black.