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How does XTi perform in harsh climates?

s nathan , May 20, 2007; 11:50 p.m.


I have a Rebel XTi and a couple of L series lenses. I wish my camera was built as well as the lenses. Anyways, I was wondering if anyone has experience using the XTi in harsh climates. I will be traveling later this year to Dubai, Egypt, India and Europe in the winter. Naturally I will be encountering hot, humid, and dusty conditions, as well as very cold temperatures. Buying a $3k pro body is not an option at this point, but I would consider a 30d. Don't shoot me, but I am also considering selling the Xti and L series lenses in exchange for the Nikon D200. It seems much more rugged than the semi-pro Canon offerings.

Thanks in advance.


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Denis Germain , May 20, 2007; 11:56 p.m.

The XTI is NOT a semi-pro camera in Canon's world... but it works fine in extreme environments (except heavy rain - but a good ziplock and a piece of tape can do wonders for this).

The plastic build or the better build found in a 30D, 5D or D200 will not Seal your camera against dust, sand and moisture.

Be careful and don't change lense in the middle of the desert. and perhaps, buy a second body to avoid lens changes.

Mike Ferris - Omaha, NE , May 21, 2007; 12:03 a.m.

Isn't the D200 weather sealed? I think if you treat the camera reasonably, it will be fine. I have an XT, and it's taken a pretty good beating at the beach.

Geoff Francis , May 21, 2007; 12:59 a.m.

Yes I think the D200 is sealed and Pentax can produce a weather sealed K10D for under $1000. It seems only Canon can't bring a weather sealed body to market for under $5000.

Mark U , May 21, 2007; 04:32 a.m.

Your biggest risk is in warm humid climates. See for example:


and note the advice in this link:


Alan Pain , May 21, 2007; 05:48 a.m.

I have an XTi, and before that an original D rebel (300D). I have treated neither with kid gloves and both have been fine. However, I do take care in heavy or prolonged rain and would also use a cloth (or something) on a very windy and sand-blown beach.

I don't think there is a huge difference in the environmental sealing performance of any of the Canon line below the 1 series.

I would acknowledge that both the Nikon D200 and Pentax K10D are better 'sealed' than the Canon offerings below the professional line-up.

That said, I would trust my XTi in the environments that you are visiting. I would probably buy a second body as a back-up (advisable anyway on a major trip regardless of the type of camera).

Best regard and good luck, Alan

John White , May 21, 2007; 10:32 a.m.

"It seems only Canon can't bring a weather sealed body to market for under $5000"

Try the 1D MKII for under $3000 nowadays (not that this is a lot of comfort). As one can imagine it's not ONLY the weathersealing that drives up the price of Canon pro-series cameras. How many consumers of non-pro cameras need it to be weathersealed? Probably a small percentage and the rest probably do not want to bear the costs of weathersealing. If the weathersealed cameras of Pentax and Nikon are better across the boards then people will make the switch and Canon may need to produce cheaper non-pro weathersealed cameras.

Matthew White , May 21, 2007; 02:47 p.m.

I can't speak for wet or humid conditions, but I've taken my Rebel XT out in -25C Canadian winters regularly with very few problems. You do have to be careful about condensation when you're coming back in from the cold, and you'll need to keep a spare battery in a warm inner pocket (you'll be swapping batteries frequently).

Joe Courtney , May 21, 2007; 03:16 p.m.

Some where around 15-20 times per weekend, I strap my xti to a helmet, walk it across the tarmac and through the prop wash of a turbine aircraft, haul it to 14,000' above ground level, open the aircraft door, which hopefully does not hit my camera but sometimes does, in anywhere from -15F degrees and up, hurl myself, and camera, towards the earth at around 120 mph, taking over 100 images of my free fall student / subject as the conditions around me go from cold to extremely warm, dry to moist, sun shine to falling thru a cloud, then deploy a parachute, createing a 3g force worth of brakes, then land in to what is hopefully a nice stand up in the grass, but may be a hit drop and roll in the unknown, then return to a open-air, dusty packing area where my xti sits on a table, waiting for the parachute to be repacked so that it may ride my head for another adventure. It does great. One of the major things about a rebel that has always made it suitable for freefall photagraphy is its weight, or lack there of, however it light construction has never been a problem for me, or any of my peers.

Jeff DeLisio , May 21, 2007; 04:16 p.m.

Cannot top the conditions of the previous poster.

But closer to the original inquiry I would chime in that my wife takes the XTi and I have the 20D when we travel.

Both cameras have been to India 3 times (Ladakh up to 16,000 ft. Humid Kerala and the dry (and very dusty) deserts in Gujurat. They have also been to rainy, humid S.E. China recently and some hot and humid areas in Vietnam.

Both have performed well, even when we have not, with no mechanical failures or failed photos. The quality of the photos is identical and at the end of a long day I am certainly envious of the low weight of the XTi. Time and again people berate the 'plastic' camera but I am always amazed at how well it performs and holds up.

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