Photography has transformed into such a widespread hobby nowadays that, for most people, leaving their camera at home even in the worst of conditions is unfathomable. The truth is some great pictures can be taken during poor meteorological conditions; if you’re willing to endure a storm or even more, at least. Also, you might also feel better keeping your camera near even when you practice water sports such as rowing or canoeing.
Buy here comes the problem with protecting your camera in such conditions. A lot of high-end, professional cameras are waterproof by itself – or at least claim to be. However, an ever bigger range of mainly compact, but also bridge digital cameras are not; so how will you transport them during a blizzard? Well of course, the answer stands in a special type of container – the waterproof camera bag.
Honestly, this one should be imperative if you plan to take your non-waterproof camera into any kind of wet conditions. A waterproof camera bag will eliminate a stress factor for you – as long as your camera is in it, you need not worry that you are about to be caught inside the middle of a vicious storm; nor if you plan to go under that beautiful waterfall you’ve just seen. Of course, it’s not only the camera you’ll want to protect in some cases; but also additional accessories or equipment, that might be susceptible to water when not attached.
Characteristics of waterproof camera bags
Now, it is important to know that there are different types of waterproof camera bags, depending on how much water you expect your camera to get into contact with. We’ve just mentioned camera equipment; there are bags specifically made to easily insert and take out the accessories you need. If you want it shielded from harsh weather conditions, Lowerpro bags are especially designed to get your camera intact through a hurricane. Going even further, you have bags that fully protect the camera when emerged in water, which might accidentally happen when practicing sports such as kayaking or river rafting. Last, but not least, there are also specially designed waterproof camera cases that let you handle the camera in wet conditions, either during downpours or diving.
Waterproof camera bags should not allow any water to enter them after they are closed. To assure this, they function in a few different ways. A popular option used on many bags is that of a waterproof zipper that is used to open and close the backpack. This does seal the bag hermetically, but at the same time makes it a bit awkward to operate; and it might even hinder attempts to quickly get hold of the camera when needed – adding silicone grease to the zipper from time to time might keep it smooth tough.
For more extreme conditions or sports, roll top dry bags seal the deal. It’s basically a tube made out of waterproof fabric which is folded a couple of times and secured to protect both your camera and your equipment. It offers full impermeability, but at the same time it needs to be unrolled so you can remove the gear; this slowness makes it more suitable just for transporting the camera through extremely wet conditions rather than using it to shoot through rainy conditions.
Types of waterproof camera bags
As with cameras themselves, waterproof camera bags come in some numbers and diversity, albeit not comparable to those of its recipient. Waterproof camera bags, as we stated earlier, theoretically should not allow water to breach it after it has been closed. That being said, you have no real guarantee that at least a couple of water drop won’t find your way to your camera. Here’s a short presentation or round-up of some of the most popular and well known waterproof camera bags on the market. Hopefully, after scrolling through our suggestions, you’ll be one step closer to protecting your camera ideally under all weather and humidity conditions. Here we go:
Lowepro is probably the most well-known manufacturer of camera bags overall, catering to a variety of products from DSLR to point and shoots. They used their experience in this to creat a waterproof camera bag line, which known under the intuitive name of Dryzone. These bags are marketed as being 100% impermeable, due to their use of a waterproof zipper named TIZIP.
Now, as stated earlier, the waterproof zipper might slow things down especially when you need to quickly draw the camera or an accessory. However, Lowerpro has found a workaround for this and incorporates an alternative opening method; if you just close the inner zipper and strengthen it with the top zip, you’ll get faster access times, but you’ll also lose the claimed full water protection.
The DryZone also features other characteristics that make Lowepro bags some of the most used for transporting cameras, especially within professionals. The shoulder straps are totally adjustable for all heights and body types; there are drain holes and pockets that serve as a last resort if modest amounts of water do manage to slip in. It even has a special tripod holder, something that not many containers can claim to have.
Simms Dry Creek Camera Bag
The Dry Creek is specially made to hold smaller, digital compact cameras, especially point and shoots and pocket-size. It is too small to be used with DSLR cameras, but at the same time the small dimensions makes it easy to carry around. It’s made out nylon and is coated with polyurethane, being hermetically sealed and using a roll top-type mechanism to close itself; when closed properly, the bag reaches full impermeability.
This Simms bag differentiates itself from the Dryzone also by the fact that it is meant to be either strapped to a belt or backpack; its low weight won’t provoke any problems in this regard. It can be opened fairly easily and allows you to draw the camera out immediately should the need arise; but it requires proper attention when sealing it back so that it’s done alright.
Simms bag has a strap loop on the back as it is designed to be carried on a belt, or strapped to a backpack. You can easily get the bag open and get your camera out, even with only one hand. However, you will need both hands to seal it back again properly.
Aquapac Camera Bag
The Aquapac Camera Bag is weirder than the previous two – and it also holds a patent while at it. It is a waterproof camera bag and a waterproof camera case at the same time, as cameras can easily be accessed and used through it. It’s basically an hermetically sealed bag that folds around the camera after it is sealed; and has a three-lever mechanism that regulates the opening and closing of it named Aquaclip (which is the thing for which it has the worldwide patent)
This makes for a very versatile experience and virtually no downtime at all when in need to quickly take a photo, as using the camera directly from its container solves many problems. There are many different sizes available, even for IPhones and laptops; however, beware that it doesn’t really take kindly to expandable lenses and their zoom.