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In-Depth Breakdown Shows How to Properly Weather-Seal a Camera


Dave Etchells over at Imaging Resource has released a fantastic breakdown the dives deep on exactly how camera makers—Olympus specifically—go about properly weather-sealing their cameras. In keeping with Etchells’ reputation, this video is the most comprehensive overview of the topic that we’ve ever seen.

The video was created in collaboration with Olympus, whose weather sealing is, at least according to Etchells’ scientific testing, the best of the best.

“The first company that came to mind when I thought of [creating this video] was Olympus, because their weather sealing is hands-down the best in the industry,” says Etchells, making enemies of every Pentax user in one fell swoop. “In my own tests, Olympus cameras can easily handle 5 to 10 times as much ‘precipitation’ as I use in my standard tests.”

So Etchells travelled to Olympus’ R&D lab in Hachiochi, Japan, where Imaging Product Development manager Takao Takasu walked him through exactly how the company goes about weather sealing every single piece of their camera bodies: from the seals between the larger sections, to the dials, each button, the shutter release, the battery cover, and everything else in between. Then they shift focus over to lenses, showing how rotating elements and even expanding zooms are weather-sealed to the same ultra-high standard of performance.

The attention to detail and the quality of the engineering is exceptional, and exemplifies the lengths to which every manufacturer should go if they want their cameras to be truly weather-proof. We hope someone from Sony is watching this and taking notes…

Check out the full video up top or head over to Imaging Resource for the full, in-depth breakdown of every seal. Some of what you see here has, to our knowledge, never been shared publicly before, and it highlights the amount of work that goes into weather-sealing a camera to a professional standard. Kudos to Olympus for being one of the best in the business, and to Etchells for revealing exactly why.