Digital cameras, weather and water

Quick Tips: Digital cameras and the weather

Written by Gail Bjork

Follow these quick tips to use and protect your digital camera in varying weather.

The four seasonsHot, cold and wet weather should not prevent you from getting out and about with your digital camera. However extra precaution and protection of camera equipment must be taken to prevent condensation, freezing or other damage.

Most compact digital cameras and entry-level digital single lens reflex cameras and lenses are not weather or water proofed.

Protecting your gear

Keeping equipment in a well-padded, waterproof camera bag will help protect it from the elements. If you can attach a filter, such as a skylight filter, use one to help protect the lens.

Wet weather

If it suddenly rains, snows or drizzles while carrying your camera, slip it under a jacket, sweater or, if small enough, put it in a pocket. You may be tempted to use it, but don’t unless you have protection overhead.

In anticipation of wet weather, some photographers place a plastic bag around the camera and secure it with a rubber band after positioning the hole over where the lens will protrude. This make-shift weather proofing is for cameras with an extended lens that accept filters.

Hot and cold weather

In very cold weather, keep the camera warm by holding it close to your body. Spare batteries should be kept warm, too. Special care needs be taken when bringing a camera inside after exposed to very cold weather as explained elsewhere in this section.

In hot weather, keep your camera out of direct sunlight. If you cover the camera with material such as a beach towel, use a light colored fabric so it won’t absorb too much heat. Make sure the material is free from sand, dirt and other elements that can scratch or damage a camera.

Never leave a digital camera or other sensitive camera equipment in an automobile or glove compartment when the temperature is extremely hot or cold.

Use common sense

Obviously, if the weather is extremely hot or cold, don’t go out with your digital camera unless it manufactured for such extremes. If you want to use your camera when it rains or you’ll be near water where it can get splashed, get a waterproof housing. Some housings keep a camera afloat if it is dropped in the water.

About the author

Gail Bjork

Gail Bjork, who is passionate about digital photography, is the owner and editor of Digicamhelp.Gail is the author of three illustrated ebooks about digital photography. A number of her photos and digital photography related articles appear at other websites.In 2006, a series of her photos, People in the Louvre, were exhibited at the Underground Photo Gallery
in Iisalmi Finland. Eight of her photos taken in the Florida scrub are on permanent exhibition at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, Florida.Gail served twelve years as an elected member of The School Board of Palm Beach County, Florida, one of the largest school districts in the U.S. She has also been the editor of a small town newspaper and a free-lance writer. Gail and her husband owned and ran several small businesses.


  • Sorry to hear about your camera. Our best advice is to call the camera manufacturer technical support. Digicamhelp is primarily an educational site. Sorry, we do not offer tech support or repair advice.

  • Hi,
    Do you have any advice on what should I do if my camera is broken due to smoke. I was taking pictures at a camp and the air is fill with smoke when it blinked and turned off by itself and when I turn it back on it goes on, but it goes on and the screen image is all blurry and it shuts off by it self.
    Please help.
    Thank You