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03-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #1
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How does Pentax weather sealing compare?

The Pentax K-5 and K-7 are fully sealed cameras, along with the DA* lenses. How does this compare with Canon weather sealing? Is it on the same level as an EOS-1 series camera, or perhaps about that of the new 5D Mark III or 7D?

DA WR lenses have "simplified" weather sealing. How does this compare? Is this like 60D sealing? 7D?

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03-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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In what way? How would you measure this?
e.g., BrandA left in heavy downpour for 1 hour v.s. BrandB may be left out in downpour for 30 minutes?
I don't believe anyone publishes a quantifiable study of how water resistant these are, lets say by pounds per inch or bars, or other pressure measurement, etc...

Anecdotal experiences show the Pentax camera is well capable of surviving pretty substantial treatment.

Additionally, all I know is that I am willing to go out in heavy rain for any length of time with no fear of damaging my camera or lenses.
My Canon and Nikon friends with weather sealed cameras still tend to hide under shelters. :-) :-)

I am sure it is more a matter of perception and fear rather than knowledge that their cameras are inferior, but I certainly never thought a comparison was necessary, as the Pentax cameras do a perfectly good job at letting me do my job in any weather. :-)

Although I find the term "simplified weather sealing" interesting.
I have not noticed that wording before and I'm not sure what that means.
Makes me a little worried about taking my lens out in severe weather if it isn't going to hold up very well.
03-02-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Try this thread at Camera Labs - the uptake is that Pentax can do it for less so why can't Canon?

Camera Labs :: View topic - 7D Weather Seal on Battery Grip

Or this discussion on Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon5d/discuss/72157612534041890/
03-02-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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I can't give you an honest comparison, as I haven't used comparable Nikon/Canon cameras. What I can tell you is I have used/abused my k-7 and DA* 16-50/50-135mm lenses quite thoroughly and have had any problems. To give you an example of what mine has been through:

-a two week camping trip that either rained, snowed or sleeted for a full dozen of those days. I took about 2000 images without anything covering the camera or lenses. I just made sure I wasn't switching lenses until I got back to the tent and dried the camera up.
-bay of fundy mud and the very nessessary rinse soon after (my daughter was holding the camera and managed to get a bunch of mud on it).
-an accidental diet coke spill and the much-needed rinsing off.
-several days of photographing storm clouds and getting nailed with rain in the process.

I honestly don't know if Pentax is better or worse than what Canon or Nikon offer but the Pentax sealing has proven effective for me.

03-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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Today I was out doing cross country with my K-5.. I use the Cotton Camera Carrier(Camera Vest for 1 Camera ? Green ) as the camera is not in a bag. We have this morning some fine icy rain and when I come in , some mice have stick on it . I feel very happy with this camera
03-02-2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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There is something to note about this: the K-7 and K-5 have 77 seals, while the EOS-1D X has 76 seals—yet the K-7 and K-5 have fewer control points than any EOS-1 series camera. The D-BG4 battery grip adds an additional 43 seals.

Can this mean that PENTAX weather sealing is better than even a Canon EOS-1 series camera?

--DragonLord
03-02-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Buy me one of each camera and I will do a scientific test: put each camera in the shower and take them out once an hour for testing. The one to shit the bed first will obviously be worse

Honestly I do agree with what others have said- Pentax weather sealing is good enough that in practice, your camera won't break due to rain or moisture. Can't offer a direct comparison, however.

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03-02-2012, 02:09 PM   #8
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I understand that the way seals work on parts that have to move and can be disconnected (lens) is to prevent water from entering up to a certain pressure. I assume the different seals working in each location of the camera would have different tolerances to pressure, and therefore any submerging test wouldn't tell much because of the weakest link...

...but weather conditions don't really put the pressure that something like a faucet would, so they all should perform just as well under weather conditions

QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
There is something to note about this: the K-7 and K-5 have 77 seals, while the EOS-1D X has 76 seals—yet the K-7 and K-5 have fewer control points than any EOS-1 series camera. The D-BG4 battery grip adds an additional 43 seals.

Can this mean that PENTAX weather sealing is better than even a Canon EOS-1 series camera?

--DragonLord
I can't imagine "more seals" on cameras that should be fully sealed would be better, unless they are backups. Edit* I do see the bit now about the control points - but assuming control points are covered for, the only things left are construction seams.


Last edited by JinDesu; 03-02-2012 at 02:25 PM.
03-02-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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Ive seen the K5 waterproofing tested by sum guy running it under a tap about a hundred times a day at a show !
If thats not enough... you gotta need an underwater camera lol
03-02-2012, 02:21 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DragonLord Quote
There is something to note about this: the K-7 and K-5 have 77 seals, while the EOS-1D X has 76 seals—yet the K-7 and K-5 have fewer control points than any EOS-1 series camera. The D-BG4 battery grip adds an additional 43 seals.

Can this mean that PENTAX weather sealing is better than even a Canon EOS-1 series camera?

--DragonLord
All I know is that I read a LOT of complaints about the weather sealing on the battery grips for Canon cameras when I was researching my BG4 and whether to go with the genuine Pentax grip or a Chinese knock-off. In the end I went with the real BG4 - partially because of the horror stories of inadequate weather sealing in genuine Canon battery grips.
03-02-2012, 02:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
I understand that the way seals work on parts that have to move and can be disconnected (lens) is to prevent water from entering up to a certain pressure. I assume the different seals working in each location of the camera would have different tolerances to pressure, and therefore any submerging test wouldn't tell much because of the weakest link...

...but weather conditions don't really put the pressure that something like a faucet would, so they all should perform just as well under weather conditions



I can't imagine "more seals" on cameras that should be fully sealed would be better, unless they are backups.
On watches the WR is a BIG selling factor with watches rated to ludicrous depths like 20000 fathoms (there is no place that deep). Those watches, and even the more mundane ones like the 200m dive watches that are actually used still, have layers of gaskets in order to ensure integrity of the watch. Those gaskets are sometimes 3 layers thick on points of access that move like the stem. So, more gaskets is in fact better because, like any defense, a layered (or in depth) defense is superior to a single line of defense. That means to me that the 77 gaskets on fewer points for the Pentax ought to be superior to 76 gaskets on more access points for the Canon given that gasket materials are sourced and they are using roughly equivalent materials.
03-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #12
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Well there is a thread about it in K-5 section:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-5-forum/152568-weather-sealing.html

My conclusion was that K-5 did well.
03-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
On watches the WR is a BIG selling factor with watches rated to ludicrous depths like 20000 fathoms (there is no place that deep). Those watches, and even the more mundane ones like the 200m dive watches that are actually used still, have layers of gaskets in order to ensure integrity of the watch. Those gaskets are sometimes 3 layers thick on points of access that move like the stem. So, more gaskets is in fact better because, like any defense, a layered (or in depth) defense is superior to a single line of defense. That means to me that the 77 gaskets on fewer points for the Pentax ought to be superior to 76 gaskets on more access points for the Canon given that gasket materials are sourced and they are using roughly equivalent materials.
Gotcha, I misread the part before when I missed the mention of fewer control points - however, seal construction and design are not all the same between Pentax and Canon, so as you say "equivalent material" - we don't know much more beyond those numbers. However, I still would say that the seals require pressure to render them useless, and I do not imagine a real world weather scenario that can match the constant pressure of a water tap.

Excepting dropping them into a pool of water, of course.
03-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
On watches the WR is a BIG selling factor with watches rated to ludicrous depths like 20000 fathoms (there is no place that deep). Those watches, and even the more mundane ones like the 200m dive watches that are actually used still, have layers of gaskets in order to ensure integrity of the watch. Those gaskets are sometimes 3 layers thick on points of access that move like the stem. So, more gaskets is in fact better because, like any defense, a layered (or in depth) defense is superior to a single line of defense. That means to me that the 77 gaskets on fewer points for the Pentax ought to be superior to 76 gaskets on more access points for the Canon given that gasket materials are sourced and they are using roughly equivalent materials.
Yup ! Hence most modern engines use multi layer head gaskets !
03-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Gotcha, I misread the part before when I missed the mention of fewer control points - however, seal construction and design are not all the same between Pentax and Canon, so as you say "equivalent material" - we don't know much more beyond those numbers. However, I still would say that the seals require pressure to render them useless, and I do not imagine a real world weather scenario that can match the constant pressure of a water tap.

Excepting dropping them into a pool of water, of course.
Its not merely pressure that makes the fail. Movement over time can weaken them. Poor design can cause them to wrinkle or pinch thereby allowing water ingress. Decay over time due to exposure to solvents (like alcohol, soap - yes, simple soap, and salt water) and even simple exposure to UV and Oxygen can render them inoperable. Fewer moving parts for Pentax is a design plus straight out of the gate for WR. More gaskets is also a plus. Quality is certainly a factor but so are the other factors (and more) that I listed above.
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