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Keep your camera dry when it's pouring out
Raining again? There’s no reason to ever leave your camera exposed to the elements. There are plenty of protective coverings available and they’re surprisingly affordable.
You’ve invested hundreds, perhaps even thousands of dollars on a DSLR or MILC, and a little water can cause a lot of damage! A rain cover is a small price to pay to protect your camera and enable you to go out and shoot in the rain without worry. Here are some products from the Adorama Rain Covers department that may meet your needs and budget. Note: Information accurate as of Oct. 1, 2013.
If you’re looking to step up from a simple plastic bag draped over your camera gear, you can’t go wrong with the Op/Tech SLR Rainsleeve. It is big enough to accommodate a fairly long lens, and the eyepiece is adaptable to most viewfinders. A drawstring provides a snug fit and keeps precipitation out. It's fine for occasional use—and for $6.50 at Adorama, why not?
If people can wear ponchos, why not cameras? That’s the idea behind the Ewa-marine Rain Cape, which drapes over any digital SLR and lens, as well as many camcorders. An optical glass port is placed over the lens so image quality doesn’t suffer, and there are accommodations for camera straps. If you’re concerned about maintaining optical quality even in a downpour, the $16.50 Adorama pricetag is quite reasonable.
If space in your case is at a premium, and you shoot in situations where the weather changes quickly, consider the Vortex Media Storm Jacket Cover. It fits in a fist-sized holder, can be quickly placed over or slipped off your camera, and is made of water-repellant AquaNylon fabric. After the storm, just shake off the raindrops and stuff it back into its case for next time. Three sizes are available. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and is available for $27.50-$53.95 at Adorama.
The LensCoat RainCoat Rain Sleeve provides protection for your camera and lens from the elements like rain, snow, salt spray, dirt, sand and dust while allowing you easy access to the camera and lens controls, and comes in a variety of sizes. The RainCoat is constructed from a lightweight waterproof, breathable material. The RainCoat RS goes on quickly and easily. Its versatility through the use of the cinch straps (on Medium and Large Models) allows you to adjust the length of the cover and to keep it snug around your lens. Access the camera through the rear opening and the lens through the hook & loop bottom closure. It's available in Small, Medium, Large and in a variety of colors and camo designs ranging in price from $49.99 to $99.99, depending on size and purpose.
If you’re planning to spend entire days stalking wildlife in all kinds of weather, consider a durable, high-end rain cover such as the AquaTech line of Camouflage Sports Shield Rain Cover. Each cover is made for a specific camera/lenses configuration, so check the description carefully to make sure you buy the one that fits your gear. At the Adorama price of $109.95, this is a no-fooling-around tool for serious wildlife shooters.
If you own a MILC, you are probably looking at the above list and feeling a bit left out. No more: DiCAPac has come out with a weather-protective housing, available from Adorama for $79.95, that not only works in rain, but lets you take it underwater, as deep as 16 feet. You can operate the camera's controls through the housing, and the lens port will accomodate the most commonly-available lenses for mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras.
Don't forget to protect yourself! Designed for pro shooters, the Gitzo Four Season may be somewhat pricey at $449.95 at Adorama, but it is not just your avarage raincoat. Created with input by working pro photographers (such as sports shooters and wildlife photographers, who must endure all kinds of weather), it consists of Teflon-treated nylon, Cordura, Ecodry membrane and other breathable material for maximum comfort and prtection for the photographer on the move. It has a full set of inner and outer pockets that are completely waterproof, with elasticized bands to vertically support lenses. Other pockets hold flashlight batteries, filters, bales, memory cards, business cards, pens and notebooks. Large lenses and water bottles also have a home in this thoughtfully designed jacket.
Additional research by Mason Resnick. Updated July 30, 2014.