First Warning on "Splash Proof"

(news & commentary)

Olympus published a PDF on O-MD E-M1 weather resistance. I take this as an indication that Olympus has seen enough damage on products coming back for warranty work that they’re trying to establish guidelines they can point to in order to decline repairs. 

In particular, Olympus seems confident about the basic sealing of the body parts and controls, but not so confident about places where there are electrical connections under doors/covers (hot shoe, battery chamber, vertical grip connection, PC sync connector, and the cable connections on the side). I’m pretty sure that they are now looking for corrosion in those places, and probably denying repair if they find it. 

Olympus’ advice is common sense, really. But the fact that they had to create a separate document and distribute it seems to me to indicate that they’re encountering folk who aren’t using common sense. Note the one line “Do not rinse the camera or lens under running water…” How many videos have you seen on the Internet that show people doing just that, bragging about how weatherproof their cameras are? 

I also think their admonition regarding sand is a good one: letting sand get any chance to sneak into cracks, crevices, or connection areas is definitely not a good thing. It’s the number one problem I have with gear in Africa, actually. Even being careful, I tend to need lenses and sometimes cameras fully inspected and cleaned after my big trips there. Letting sand get into lens cams and not getting it out is a great way to ruin a lens long term (or at least guarantee it will need an expensive tear down and cam replacement). 

So take Olympus’ advice, folks. Moreover, I’d pick up an extra PC sync cap and hot shoe caps and keep them with me on big trips just in case.

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