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Weather Sealing Torture Test: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV does great, Sony A7R III not so much

Weather Sealing Torture Test: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Does Great, Sony A7R III Not So Much

The folks at Imaging Resource decided to put four cameras through a weather sealing endurance test.

The tested cameras are the Nikon D850 (), Sony A7R III (), Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (), and the Olympus E-M1 Mark II (). Canon and Olympus did best, Nikon had some issues, and Sony showed once more  that their gear is as innovative as it is immature (i.e. in beta stage). Enjoy.

From Imaging Resource’s conclusion:

[…] we were sad to see the A7R III have such a hard time in this test. It’s a fantastic camera, absolutely at the cutting edge of what’s possible with photographic technology today. […]  Sony needs to up their environmental-sealing game if they want to compete in this high-end/professional market segment. We’d feel differently if all the cameras failed the test; we would have concluded that the test was just too harsh for the current state of the market, even though it was a reasonable representation of conditions a camera might be exposed to. That wasn’t the case, though; the D850 had a very minor problem with leakage into its viewfinder, that seems to be entirely solved by using the BS-3 hot shoe cover – and the 5DIV and E-M1II had no problems whatsoever.

  • Wade Marks

    This is one more example of a very practical advantage for Canon that gets little coverage.

    I mentioned this in another thread, but we need to keep in mind that online reviewers and commenters usually only fixate on the novelty of an item. They rarely use any camera for a long period of time or put it through the the rigors of real usage. Most people who gushed over the Sony used it at most for a few days in very nice conditions. Then they boxed it up and sent it back.

    Tech writers love the new bells and whistles; it gives them something to write about. They don’t care about something like durability because it’s boring and they don’t have to worry about it. Why worry about how a camera will hold up in adverse conditions over time when you are just going to send back your review unit in a few days or weeks?

    Sony has some new gadgety feature? Great…let me praise them for giving me something new to write about. Canon has another great, solid camera that will actually last over time? Yawn.

    In other words, most reviews and awards are based on almost the opposite of what a real user would care about. When most people spend their hard earned money on a camera, or anything else for that matter, they certainly care about how durable it is and the quality of service should they need it. But reviewers generally don’t care at all.

    So the next time you see Canon getting criticized for a supposed lack of innovation, or Sony praised for being so cutting edge, just remember which camera is likely to still be in use for a real consumer a year after they purchased it. There’s a reason why Canon leads the market for both consumers and pro’s.

    Always remember: reviewers do not cover long term factors very well. But it is these long term factors that will matter most to the consumer.

    • CW Steve

      “Sony has some new gadgety feature? Great…let me praise them for giving me something new to write about. Canon has another great, solid camera that will actually last over time? Yawn.”

      Another razor sharp analysis I agree upon, 100%. You’re right, bells and whistles count much more than reliability and durability. And what about ergonomics? Canon hard to beat on this, imo.

      Take the 6D2. Got only bad press and never the less it sells like hot cake. Why? Because it’s a Canon and you know what you get, you know it works, you know it will not let you in the rain. What do reviewers see? There is no 4K, and all the rest suddenly counts less.

      • Wade Marks

        Imaging Resource deserves credit for doing this test. I wish more review sites would do the same; it’s not that difficult. If more of them did, then the results for Sony would go lower and the results for Canon would elevate. More importantly, some consumers would make a better buying decision, and perhaps Sony would be more motivated to engineer more reliability and build quality into their equipment.

        Right now, every Sony review should come with an asterisk:
        this camera has 4K, IBIS, etc…*
        *Provided the camera works…no guarantees.

  • Dima135

    We all love Canon for reliability. In the past I used Sony cameras and A100 and A580 was very problematic – sensor all in dust for one-two month, Autofocus was necessary to adjust, and it was very difficult. I heard about the same problems on the A850. With 5d2 i dont have any of this problems for 6 years. I also used amateur canon crops some times (1100. 60. 550.) and they also seems to me more reliable than sony.

    But this hardly justify the backlog in characteristics and technologies. Canon lost my 2000$ because i dont want the same suffering on 6d2 when processing images like i have now on almost 10 years old 5d2. Now I think, does canon deserve my 3000$ for 5d4 or it’s time to change the system ?

    • Wade Marks

      5d4 is one heck of a camera and a big jump from 5d2. I don’t think you’d be disappointed. But everyone has to make their choices, based on what the market offers and the trade offs inherent in choosing any system.

      • Dima135

        I know, but I was counting on $2000 segment.

  • Sony is notorious for bad weather sealing. I use to shoot the A99, A7r, A7r2 (my last Sony) – and none of them could claim complete weather sealing. And I’m wondering why??? They are capable of making such complex (and truly best in class) electronic design, but fail at a simple thing. I remember the A7r2 came with 2 batteries (to “solve” the short battery life problem), so maybe it’s time for them to start including a plastic rain case to “fix” the water resistance issue ;)

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