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Ziplock bag for cameras?
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Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/08/2010 18:46:41 MST Print View

I was at Best Buy the other day asking an employee about a camera. I mentioned that I was going to be putting it in an Aloksak bag while hiking to keep it dry. She informed me that was a bad idea and that the moisture in the bag would build up and get the camera wet. She claimed that they get a lot of customers who ruin their cameras by storing them in ziplock bags because they end up getting wet from the moisture trapped inside the bag. I could've swore I've heard that people store their cameras in Aloksak bags while backpacking. Is this really a bad idea like the woman at Best Buy claims?

-Sid

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/08/2010 18:59:46 MST Print View

Hi Sid,

If the gear is already wet, or in a humid environment that might be correct. Folks who shoot in the tropics often pack dessicant with their gear to keep the moisture down.

Generally, I'd suggest a drybag/ziplock/etc. to protect photo gear from rain or when on the water, but not for longterm storage. On the go, if it's not already wet I have a hard time believing it's going to be a problem, but you can always stow it and not seal it completely. That will still keep the rain out (as long as it's not in standing water).

Cheers,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 01/08/2010 21:36:53 MST.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Re: Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/08/2010 19:08:16 MST Print View

I agree with Rick, I don't see how keeping a dry camera in a waterproof bag when it's raining can be harmful.

I keep may camera in a hipbelt pocket -- when it's raining the camera goes in an Aloksak. No problems after 2 years of doing this...

Edited by jdw01776 on 01/08/2010 19:08:53 MST.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/08/2010 19:15:21 MST Print View

+ whatever.

I keep mine in an Aloksak. Been that way in rain, heat, cold. No issues yet with water buildup/condensation.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/08/2010 20:58:52 MST Print View

Yes, well, whoever said the Best Buys staffer had the faintest idea whereof she spoke? (If she knew what she was talking about would she be working at Best Buys?)

> the moisture in the bag would build up
Sounds like spontaneous creation of matter. Could be worth a fortune!

> a lot of customers who ruin their cameras by storing them in ziplock bags because
> they end up getting wet from the moisture trapped inside the bag.
Oh crap!
People may ruin their cameras by storing them WET inside a plastic bag - for sure. But the water comes in with the camera!

On the other hand, I agree that storing a wet camera where it can't dry is a bad idea. A Gore-Tex camera pouch has some merit.

Cheers

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Ziplock it is. on 01/08/2010 21:30:21 MST Print View

Thanks for letting me know guys. I am about to purchase a Canon S90 and I wanted to make sure I didn't make a $400 mistake. Now that I think about it, I will be storing the camera in one of MLD's waterproof Dyneema hipbelt pockets. It looks like it has a waterproof zipper, so I'm assuming anything in there should stay dry with or without a ziplock bag. I will probably still use a ziplock bag to prevent scratches from the other things I will store in the hipbelt pocket.

-Sid

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
How to keep the camera dry on 01/10/2010 21:27:26 MST Print View

First of all, keep the camera as dry as you can, even if the weather gets wet. Normally, some good heavy pieces of clear plastic over the top of it will do most of that. Then, after you finish shooting, you store your camera into the dry bag. Before you seal it, you toss in one or two desiccant packs (typically made out of silica gel), then seal it tight. The packs will absorb any stray moisture out of the camera or out of the bag. Then, you use the camera again and repeat the process with fresh packs. Now, after a while, you are going to have a bunch of used packs that are each holding some moisture. When you get home, you put the used ones on an aluminum pie tin and place it in an oven at 250 F. Leave it for an hour, and they are recharged (dry) and ready to go again. But, if you leave them laying around, they will absorb moisture again. So, upon removal from the oven, you put them in an air-tight bag and seal it for storage until you need them again. This is done a lot if you are taking your camera to a humid tropical jungle.
--B.G.--

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Dry Camera on 01/10/2010 22:55:12 MST Print View

I live in a rain forest and take photographs. My best approach to keeping the camera dry, warm and available in the winter rains is to carry it under my rain gear and/or fleece in a light weight stomach or fanny pack -- over one shoulder like a holster. We walked 6 miles today in rain and sleet under a dripping canopy and the camera (Lumix DMC-GF1) was dry and warm whenever I took it out to capture an image. Works great here in the Tongass.
Eagle Glacier Trail

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Ziplock bag for cameras on 01/11/2010 11:05:20 MST Print View

For those who need to keep their camera dry in the worst conditions, consider a waterproof case, in particular, a case made specifically for your camera (in contrast to general purpose cases that are essentially ziploc bags with a glass lens insert.

The are not cheap or particularly light, but many are waterproof down to a hundred feet or so. They generally seal via an O-ring. As with ziplocs, your camera should be dry before being put into the case, and don't leave it there for weeks on end (I take it out after each use, and often clean and regrease the O-ring and grooves.)

I use on with my Canon A720IS when I go kayaking or to anyplace where there is a reasonable chance it could get dunked (e.g to the beach). It is almost a revelation to be able to take pictures in any weather or in a boat with absolutely no fear of wrecking your camera. I haven't had much luck with underwater photography, but I haven't tried much, either.

Optical quality is generally very good, and typically all camera controls are available. One problem is water drops on the glass that the lens looks out through. I have a bunch of photos with water drops in them taken while kayaking in the rain...I like to believe they contribute to the mood of the photograph.

Edited by ewolin on 01/11/2010 11:08:54 MST.

Sanad Toukhly
(Red_Fox) - MLife

Locale: South Florida
Re: How to keep the camera dry on 01/11/2010 21:04:51 MST Print View

Bob,
good idea with the desiccant packs. Now I just need to figure out where I can get some.

-Sid

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
desiccant packs on 01/12/2010 00:58:13 MST Print View

Just about every modern electronic device (e.g. DSLR cameras, GPS, etc.) is factory packed with one small one. So, I collect all of those small ones. Some devices that are sensitive are packed with a larger one. Also, some camera shops will sell you extras.
--B.G.--

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: Re: How to keep the camera dry on 01/12/2010 01:08:40 MST Print View

>>>Bob,
good idea with the desiccant packs. Now I just need to figure out where I can get some.

-Sid<<<

Sid,

No need to buy them unless you want to keep it simple. It's pretty easy to make your own. You can buy silica gel in bulk at just about any craft store. Wrap some up in a coffee filter and tie it off. Piece of cake.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
silica gel on 01/12/2010 10:50:31 MST Print View

I'm curious. For what purpose is silica gel sold at a craft store?

If you buy it that way, you would want to make sure that the crystals have a similar size to that in commercially made silica packs. Otherwise, it might not work.

Commercially made silica packs have a woven fabric cover that can withstand some oven heat as I mentioned. If you use your own coffee filter paper, it might turn into a bonfire in your oven.

--B.G.--

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: silica gel on 01/12/2010 18:01:44 MST Print View

>>>I'm curious. For what purpose is silica gel sold at a craft store?<<<


They use it to dry out flowers and other various activities.



>>>If you buy it that way, you would want to make sure that the crystals have a similar size to that in commercially made silica packs. Otherwise, it might not work.<<<


It's pretty much all the same... at least what i've seen. It will work just fine.



>>>Commercially made silica packs have a woven fabric cover that can withstand some oven heat as I mentioned. If you use your own coffee filter paper, it might turn into a bonfire in your oven.<<<


I wouldn't advise putting coffee filters in the over either. Just doesn't sound safe. :D

Hal Potts
(halpotts) - F

Locale: Middle Tennessee
"Ziplock bag for cameras?" on 01/12/2010 18:29:32 MST Print View

Uncooked rice is also frequently used as a desiccant and is quite effective and cheaper than silica gel. Just put it in one of those spare net bags you have in with your unused gear. I think either would work well and you could eat the rice if you got in a pinch!

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Re: "Ziplock bag for cameras?" on 01/12/2010 19:09:35 MST Print View

>>>Uncooked rice is also frequently used as a desiccant and is quite effective and cheaper than silica gel. Just put it in one of those spare net bags you have in with your unused gear. I think either would work well and you could eat the rice if you got in a pinch!<<<

You know I knew about this, but just never thought about the double use. Emergency food. I like it. :D

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Uncooked rice on 01/12/2010 19:13:14 MST Print View

I'll pass this message on to Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, and just about every other camera manufacturer, and I'll bet they'll get right back to us...
--B.G.--

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/12/2010 20:58:40 MST Print View

Not rice..
By attrition you will get some rice dust and that could migrate to the inside of your gear . Keep in mind that you can make glue out of rice.
My preferred option would be silica gel that has an indicator. That turns pink of blue once it has absorbed all the moisture that it can. Without the indicator it can create a false sense of security. You think that is working but it isn't. Beware that the chemical that causes the change of colour is generally toxic.
Franco

Juston Taul
(Junction)

Locale: Atlanta, GA
Rice on 01/12/2010 21:07:16 MST Print View

Franco,

I don't think they meant use loose rice inside a ziplock bag with electronics. At least I didn't take it that way. The dust alone wouldn't be good for most cameras. It would have to be contained in a manner that would still leave it effective.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Ziplock bag for cameras? on 01/12/2010 21:14:53 MST Print View

.I can see a "Gore-tex vs eVent" debate coming up..