- William Hunton
Always Wear Protection
This is a brief pause from displaying my own photographs, to give you a couple recommendations how to protect your camera, especially your vlogging/point-and-shoot camera.
A very popular format for point-and-shoot cameras today is the 1-inch sensor type. There are a lot of brands. Almost all of them are great, and it is just a matter of features and price that separate them. However, there is one negative feature common to almost all of them; that is, the lack of moisture and dust sealing. The problem with that, of course, is the types of photographs the small cameras are made to take are found in the conditions that put them in the most danger from the elements. Most people will take these cameras outside, to the beach, on the trail, on picnics, to capture family moments and nature without the bulk and weight of larger format DSLR’s.
Despite the need, the camera manufacturers have avoided shock, dust, and weather protection except for higher end DSLRs like the Nikon D7500 and these lovelies at this link. At more affordable prices for the hobbyist and family photographer you have specialized cameras like the Fujifilm XP90 and soon to be discontinued, Olympus Tough TG-6. In this price range it is also a question of bulk. You could get a Pentax K-30 kit, with 18-55mm zoom, for not too much more, and get weather and dust protection. The Pentax K mount is arguably more versatile than the Nikon F mount. So many choices, so little money.
Two popular models of the 1-inch sensor cameras, both with very high ratings, are the Canon G7x Mark III, and the Lumix ZS100. However, both are notoriously dust prone.
I’ll offer you my solutions to the dust and weather sealing problems. I think they can really help and they do not cost much to add. However, please consider the cost. All together you’ll add just under $100 to the camera to protect it. You may be able to find a deal on a refurbished, higher end camera, which already has weather sealing.
First and most importantly, add a case, or at least a half case – that is the bottom cradle, to your camera.
You can find camera cases everywhere; at Amazon, Adorama, B&H Photo, and other camera and electronics stores online and in the shops, and at many different prices. The same brand and model costs the same no matter who you buy from, so pick your favorite store. I’ll spread these links out among the stores best I can.
Here are a couple cases by MegaGear. I’ve used them. They are not too expensive and provide considerable protection. Even with the cases attached, both the Canon and Lumix will fit in your jacket pocket. They do mine, anyway.
MegaGear Ever Ready Genuine Leather Camera Case Compatible with Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100, DC-ZS200
MegaGear Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark Ii Pu Leather Camera Case, Light Brown (MG953)
Tempered Glass Protective LCD Cover
The next bit of protection is a tempered glass protective screen for the LCD monitor. These are great! They protect the LCD screen from your greasy nose (if you have a viewfinder) and fingers, which after a while, build up a haze on the rather soft, unprotected screen. The tempered glass is a harder surface and easier to clean with a micro-fiber cloth than the bare LCD screen. They do not interfere at all with the touch screen functioning. I also recommend them for your smart phone. If you are careful, you have a clean screen surface, and you have a steady hand, they install easily. There are YouTube videos which help.
UV or Clear Filter
I believe these are essential in order to keep the dust out of the lens. If you read the reviews and forums before you purchase a camera, you will do yourself a big favor. You will be aware of issues and steer clear of problems. Better yet, read my blogs. I found out about the dust problems among these cameras on the dpreview.com forums.
I love the little Canon G7x Mark II for its image quality. I love the little Lumix DMC ZS100 too. Having said that, both have reputations for collecting dust that you cannot clean out and that may cost you time cleaning up in Photoshop or Lightroom. I thought digital was supposed to take care of the pesky spotting of film.
How do you keep dust from getting into the lens, between elements? You use a protective, high quality glass filter, either UV (ultraviolet) or clear. I recommend Hoya and B+W. They are pricey but they are good and do not affect picture quality at all.
How do you connect a filter to the camera lens when neither of these two gems has a filter thread? You use and adapter.
On the Lumix, I liked the small 40.5mm adapter by LingoFoto (odd name). It looks like it is part of the camera, and it fits inside the MegaGear case with a UV filter attached. That is important to have the camera ready to go when I take the top cover off. Rule of thumb: “An ever-ready (case) is never ready.”
How do you attach the adapter to the lens? By an adhesive. The LingoFoto warns you very clearly on the Amazon web page, “It attaches to the camera using a 3M dual-sided adhesive film which holds tenaciously.”
Carefully consider this before you commit to sticking something to the front of your lens. Some of the adapters have a so called, “easy” deinstallation tool. I chose an adapter that “holds tenaciously.” I don’t want it coming loose. Before you install it, make sure the lens barrel and flat surface is very clean. The adhesive will stick much better if you do. I used red so I can say I warned you.
Having warned you in red, I will say, I have had no problems. It was easy to install for me and I have steady hands. I can add any filter I like. It is important to put the best filter you can afford on the front of small sensor cameras because aberrations will be more intense than they will on larger sensors.
(I chose the Lensmate Quick-Change Filter Adapter Kit for the Canon G7x Mark II because it was designed for the camera. )
Here ya go.
How does all this work together? I store the camera in the case with the adapter ring. The Lumix ZS100 will fit in the MegaGear case with the adapter and a UV filter attached. The Canon G7x Mark II will also go in the case with the adapter and filter on it. When I am shooting, I remove the outer cover, leave the camera in the cradle, make sure the filter is on the front of the adapter, and I carry the camera around ready to shoot.
So that’s it. I say, “Always wear protection,” especially on your camera.
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