7/10/2017 0 Comments
PRODUCT REVIEW: Keeping my DSLR protected using the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case
I absolutely love to shoot on the beach, often wading out into the water with my camera in hand or getting close to the water as it rolls up the beach. Up until recently, I did it all using no sort of protection for my expensive camera equipment; I relied solely on my reflexes and familiarity with the beach and ocean to keep my camera equipment dry - tempting fate each time.
Over the years I've looked different cases, bags, and housings which would allow me to take the camera into the water without the fear of getting it wet. And each time, I looked I considered the pros and cons, reviews, and the biggest consideration: was the price worth the amount I would use it, and what I really wanted to do with it. Too often, the answer to that last question was a resounding "no".
A few weeks ago, I came across the DiCAPac WPS-10 case, and I immediately thought that just maybe I'd found a case that fit the bill with what I wanted, and at a price that was almost perfect.
The DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case is a waterproof case, or more accurately a bag, that when properly sealed, allows the user to use their DSLR camera in water depths up to 16-ft. After doing a little research, including looking at the reviews from Amazon and B&H, I decided that with decent reviews and for under $100 I'd give it a try.
I ordered mine from Amazon for the simple fact that it would arrive sooner; the fact that it was a tad bit cheaper was an added bonus.
Once the DiCAPac WPS-10 case arrived and I had unpacked the box, I was happy to find it was exactly how it looked in the product photos, and was described in the reviews I had read.
The DiCAPac WPS-10 case itself is made of a soft but very sturdy material with a hard PVC cap for the lens which has a UV polycarbonate lens cover. The lens cover screws into the cap for a nice seal, but beware there is no o-ring or gasket. The securing mechanism for the case is a super heavy duty ziplock bag closure, which after it is closed is rolled down and subsequently secured with velcro closure to keep it from unrolling; finally the large flap is secured down over top the rolled piece with its own heavy duty velcro closure. All-in-all, when the closures are secured correctly they provide awesome waterproof protection for your DSLR camera.
The bag has a clear back which allows you to see the back of the camera and your settings, as well as a finger hole for your shutter, and a two finger holes underneath the lens tube to allow access for focusing. The bag also comes with some foam inserts to be used if necessary to help raise the camera and align the lens with the lens tube.
TESTING OUT THE BAG
So, after looking and checking over the bag, I made sure it was correctly secured and tested without a camera in it. The test is not only great for your peace of mind, but also required for warranty purposes.
Operational test complete, I got the camera and bag ready to hit the beach. For the first time out, I decided to use my older Canon 7D with the 17-55mm f2.8 lens. In order to get everything setup, I noticed the camera body had to be placed in the bag first, and the lens inserted through the lens cap area separately. Slightly awkward, but nothing difficult about it. I secured the lens cap and bag closures and double checked they were sealed, and then played with the camera operations. Of note, I did end up using the foam inserts to help align the camera and lens with the lens tube. The 7D I used did not have a battery grip installed; had I used the battery grip I believe the camera would fit well and wouldn't need the foam inserts to raise it up.
In playing with the camera while it was in the bag I noticed a few things.
1. Using the access holes under the lens did not allow much use of zooming and or focusing (glad I wasn't planning to manual focus).
2. Access to the back of the camera for settings was possible, just not easy. Specifically the dial on the back.
3. There was some minor visual distortion looking through the clear bag into the viewfinder, but nothing which couldn't be adapted for.
4. The finger hold for access the shutter was easy to find and use (yay!)
5. Since the bag is made for a variety of lens dimensions, the lens portion is like a bellows or slinky which allows a variety of lenses to fit. The flexibility is great, BUT since the lens doesn't attach to the cap at all if the lens is shorter you have to hold the bags lens cap onto the lens to keep it from floating in/out of view in the frame.
Despite the things I noticed while playing with the camera and bag out of the water, I felt pretty confident it would do what I needed in the water.
SHOOTING AT THE BEACH - Day 1
When I got the beach the next day, I double checked everything including triple checking the watertight closures. I attached the strap and off I went to play in the water with it.
Shooting in manual mode with automatic focus worked well. I opted to keep my 17-55mm lens at 17mm to avoid having to try and zoom in/out with the tiny finger holes. Holding the bags lens cap to the lens wasn't much of a bother either, not that I really expected it to be. The camera and bag was slammed by shore break more than a few times with NO water intrusion into the bag. (AWESOME!) And the few times I did take my hand off the camera the bag floated as advertised.
The auto focus worked well through the polycarbonate lens on the bag. There was some minor focus issues when a drop of water happened to be over the focal point, but this was quickly remedied with a dunk in the water or wipe of the finger.
The biggest annoyance with the bag that I noticed was finger hole for the shutter. When my finger was in it, no issues. Getting my finger in quickly however was the issue. The fix, keeping my finger as much as possible to allow me to quickly take a shot.
SHOOTING AT THE BEACH - Day 2
I was a more confident in the bag heading out the second time to the beach with it. I choose the same setup as before, Canon 7D and 17-55mm lens, mainly to see how the two days compared. I took the time before leaving the house to set everything up in the DiCAPac WPS-10 bag, again making sure the water tight closure was fully sealed and closed.
At the beach, I took the camera out in heavier surf, where it was submerged numerous times by the waves. Again, the bag floated as advertised, and even better there was no water intrusion visible at all.
Here are a few shots I took using the bag at the beach over the two days I tested it.
POST BEACH - Day 1
When we left the beach, I left the camera in the waterproof case - The bag still had some water and sand on it which I didn't want getting into the camera. Once I got home I wiped down the bag with a towel and removed as much of the sand as possible. The zip/roll-down waterproof closure at the top retained some water on it which I diligently dried up before opening the bag.
When I did open the bag, the inside was perfectly dry which was I expected. When I removed the bag's lens cap, I noticed there was some sand in the threads, but NO WATER!
Knowing my camera and lens were weather sealed, and having exposed them before to more than what was lingering on the bag, I had no concerns. Still I took a moment to wipe the threads down and remove as much of the sand as possible.
In hindsight, knowing how saltwater can degrade things, I should've cleaned the bag with fresh water before wiping it down, but I didn't. I'll have to remember to do this next time.
POST BEACH - Day 2
After the second outing to the beach with the DiCAPac WSP-10, I left the camera in the bag until later in that evening. Again, I wiped down the outside as I prepared to get the camera out. I was not at all surprised that there had been NO WATER INTRUSION into the bag itself. After the first beach foray, I was confident in the bag maintaining its water tight integrity.
Overall I am extremely happy withe DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case. It worked as advertised, and I only had minor issues with it. For under $100, the protection the bag provides combined with the value of being able to go into the surf and not be afraid the camera is going to get wet was perfect.
The minor issues I had with the bag, such as the finger holes and holding the bag lens cap tight to the front of the lens, were minor and easily worked around. In the future I'll be trying out different lenses (mostly prime lenses) to see which ones fit better.
One additional issue, I noted as I began to my post-processing on the photos from outings was the water drops that remained on the bags lens cap. While not evident as "drops" due to the depth of field I was using, they presented more as smudges. If you look at the photos above you'll see what I mean. While they are probably removable with a lot of post-processing, ensuring that the lens cap is cleaned prior to shooting would definitely help, but how to best do that while in the water is another question. I'm wondering if something like Rain-X would help the water drops to roll of the cap better and reduce the number of drops on the cap itself; however, the question also comes up of what the Rain-X or similar product would do to the clarity of the lens cap in the long run.
I am extremely happy and glad I purchased the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case. I can't wait for the next opportunity to use it. And I think that if your goals and expectations are similar to mine, you'll be happy with the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case as well.
You can find out more about the DiCAPac WPS-10 Pro-DSLR Camera Series Case at:
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