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Accessory Reviews

Date: 07/08/2013 | By: Heather

Camera Rain Cover: Rainproof your gear with the RainSleeve Op/Tech USA


Camera Rain Cover: Rainproof your gear with the RainSleeve Op/Tech USA

Photographers who shoot British landscapes often manage to capture some of the most beautiful shots you’ll ever lay eyes on thanks to the intense colours of the varied terrain, but these shots come at a price. The British Isles see an average of 800mm of rainfall a year, and without the proper rain gear, you could risk causing irreparable damage to your camera and lenses.

There are a number of solutions out there, but for my two months in Wales, I decided to go with the affordable RainSleeve Op/Tech USA. It is a simple plastic sleeve that covers your camera and the length of your arm just above your elbow. Large and roomy, it is easy to slip over any sort of rainproof clothing. Likewise, it is easy to fold up and pack away in any small bag when the rain subsides.

On the end where the lens peeps out, there is a tie string you can adjust to the size of your lens. It fits quite snugly around the tiny body of the M.Zuiko 12mm, and I can imagine that it would fit just as well around a larger lens.

The EVF works just fine with the plastic cover.
The 12mm just peeps out of the RainSleeve. I just wish it had a lens hood!

As a rule of thumb, I would suggest using the RainSleeve with a lens that has a hood as it will not protect the glass from the elements.

I was pleased to find out that the plastic cover doesn’t interfere with your use of the LCD screen and viewfinder. With the Olympus Pen E-P5, I was able to use the touchscreen through the plastic, and I was also able to activate the electronic viewfinder just by putting my eye to it. The only annoyance is that the EVF will sometimes activate when the plastic gets too close to it, turning off the LCD screen when I am trying to view a photo.

The EVF works just fine with the plastic cover.
The EVF works just fine with the plastic cover.

In terms of protection, the RainSleeve does the job. The E-P5 was bone dry when I removed it from the sleeve after 20 minutes of shooting in moderately heavy rain. (We won’t go into my state of ‘wetness’ however! Ah, the sacrifices we make for photography.)

The RainSleeve protects the camera, but doesn't protect the photographer!
The RainSleeve protects the camera, but doesn’t protect the photographer!

You can find the RainSleeve at a reasonable price on Amazon. Of course, if you’re looking for a cheap makeshift solution, you could probably make one of your own by cutting a hole in a plastic bag or shower cap, but it wouldn’t cover the length of your arm, wouldn’t have an adjustable tie at the end, and probably wouldn’t last very long. I personally consider a sleeve like this an essential investment for anyone living in a rain-prone country such as Wales.

List Price: $6.95
Current Price: $5.00
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About the author: Heather Broster

Heather Broster was born in Canada, has lived in Japan and Italy but currently calls Wales home. She is a full-time gear tester at MirrorLessons. You can follow her on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

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