Keeping your camera dry while filming severe weather.

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Specialty Topics Outdoor Video Keeping your camera dry while filming severe weather.

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    • #47345

      As a person who enjoys filming outdoors, especially during severe weather events, and having seen lots of videos on YouTube about severe storms including derechos, downbursts, and even a few tornadoes,I have developed and invented a way that everyone should use to keep all that rain out of their camera while filming, so you don’t have to retreat so far back when the rain starts pouring down.

      Usually, blankets, bed sheets, and sometimes even towels, come in those zippered transparent plastic bags, especially at the store. If you have recently bought any of those items that came in one of those plastic bags, instead of tossing the bag, you can use it to keep your camera dry in the rain.

      All you need to do is put your camera inside the plastic bag, zip the bag closed, and you will be great to go film the next severe weather event, as long as of course you don’t stand close to or downwind ofany big trees lest you get hit by falling tree branches! And neither should you be on any hills lest you get struck by lightning.

      I do however need to say this, if there is a tornado warning, you should be indoors, preferrably in the basement, as especially the middle of the country far from any large bodies of water does tend to have a lot of very destructive and violent (F-3 and stronger) tornadoes.

    • #194988


      Those are handy suggestions. A dedicated camera cover or water-resistant/proof housing would be better as they are designed specifically for camera work. However, those impromptu bags can be a quick fuse lifesaver. Main things to look out for are; leaks since those bags generally aren’t designed to be waterproof, ventilation because cameras (particularly CMOS based) get hot, and whether the bag interferes with the operation of the rig. It’s great the cam’s dry, but you can’t work the controls w/o opening the blasted thing….

      Oh and in the case of a Tornado, unless it’s your gig to film them it’s best to leave it to the pro’s.

    • #194989
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      Back when I was filming, I did nothing… I dared mother nature to diss the scoopic aor aries. They were mechanical, not electronic so I pressed the bar as many can imagine. Today I shoot video. I don’t like replacing cameras unless I was going “wooohoo!” while trashing them. Standing in the rain doesn’t give me that rush so I just bag the camera and call it done.

    • #194990

      It is true that those bags are of course by no means at all designed to be used under water. I mean, those bags will not protect your camera if submerged, but they will keep the rain out of your camera when either held by you or mounted on a tripod or placed on an elevated surface.

    • #194991

      I have taped in bad weather – often from the safety of my garage (we face west – where the storms often come from here in Florida).

      When I was shooting stills, I would take my SLR, put it in a heavy duty plastic bag, screw a UV filter onto the lens plus an eye cup onto the viewfinder from the outside and use it like that, with my hand inside the bag for focus and shutter.

      For video, for rain, they sell stuff like this:

      If you need more than that – look at underwater housings – which are VERY expensive, but sometimes they have less expensive models, rated to something like three to six feet that can be affordable (unless you intend to bring it down deep, in which case, go for the Ikelite).

    • #194992
      AvatarGrinner Hester

      actually, Mike, a large sadwich bag will protect a camera under water. I’ve been as low as 80 feet. Nothin but a sammich bag. Nutty? Only if it doesn’t work.

    • #194993

      Also Pentax makes nice weather sealed video capable d-slr and lenses… check out the k5, between it’s low light abilities (dxo mark rates the sensor very highly, even better than some full frame d-slrs) and weather sealing, it is the perfect bad weather/outdoor camera.

    • #204726

      Away back in time, when my camera of choice, was a Leica M3, My mother sewed me up two or three small oil skin bags, a little smaller than present-day 'toilet-bags' in which to carry my camera and lenses. Each bag was closed by a draw-cord. I was immersed several times in swollen mountain streams and went many times above the snowline, and the camera, bought in 1959, still works as well, today, as ever it did.


       If you can contrive to make a fully sealed enclosure, being able to manipulate most of the camera/camcorder controls, is able to be assured, by using a thick and durable rubber glove, turned inside out, on both sides of the enclosure, and sealing off, around the 'wrist' area, with a substantial gasket, preferably with a silicone, or o-ring seal.


      Ian Smith

       Dunedin, New Zealand.


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