X100F & Weather Sealing

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The Fujifilm X100F isn’t “weather sealed” and isn’t designed to take on harsh conditions. Is this a big deal? How important is weather sealing?

I recently took my X100F to Yellowstone National Park and inadvertently put it to the weather sealing test. It rained all day, pretty heavily at times, and the mineral-rich steam surrounded myself and my camera a number of times.

I did my best to keep the camera dry. I kept it in my pocket whenever I wasn’t using it and wiped the water off whenever I could. It still got fairly soaked at times.

At the Midway Geyser Basin the steam created a thick fog. I didn’t even realize how wet the camera had gotten until I saw that my wife’s eyeglasses were unusable. I looked down in horror to see water literally dripping from the camera. This mineral-rich moisture can ruin a lens if not wiped off completely before drying.

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Disappearing Walkway – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

The rain was coming down pretty heavy at a few places we stopped, such as Kepler Cascades, Isa Lake, Yellowstone Lake, Mud Volcano, etc. The camera got more wet than I ever wanted it to.

The X100F survived all of this. It works 100% perfectly fine as if it never got wet. I’m not sure exactly how much water it can handle, and I imagine that fine dust might be a bigger issue, but it handled the elements well despite no weather sealing.

This begs the question: how important is weather sealing? Is it overrated? I think most cameras are designed in such a way that they can handle casual use in some adverse conditions. If it’s a little hot, cold, wet, or dusty, your camera should survive no worse for the wear. But if you are in more extreme circumstances, weather sealing could be the difference between shooting tomorrow or not.

If the conditions you shoot in aren’t terribly bad, you don’t likely need weather sealing, just take some appropriate precautions. If you shoot in particularly rough conditions, be sure to have weather sealed gear or else you risk ruining your camera. The X100F can take some weather, but there’s a limit, and you don’t really want to find out exactly what that limit is.

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