Gadget Bag: The Perfect Cover

Keeping the winter elements of rain, sleet and snow off your camera is easy, as long as you have the right piece of protective gear
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the perfect cover

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As winter arrives, it’s a good time to remember that water and most camera gear don’t mix well. Fortunately, a number of companies offer solutions: camera weather protectors.

We’re not talking about costly underwater housings here; these devices won’t protect your camera if you actually submerge it. But these handy and easy-to-tote accessories will keep your camera and lens dry while you shoot in the rain or snow.

Gadget Bag
Ewa-Marine Rain Cape

Ewa-Marine (distributed in the United States by RTS) is best known for its pliant plastic camera bags that let you use your camera underwater. But the company also offers a line of topside camera protectors, the Rain Capes (aka Hurricane Hoods), made of a clear, double-laminated PVC.

Rain Capes come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit various SLR camera configurations (film and digital) with short to long lenses, as well as video camcorders. For example, the C-AF Rain Cape can handle a film or digital SLR with a zoom lens up to 300mm. The optical glass front port attaches to the front of the lens via the provided A-ring/C-ring adapter, and you operate the camera with one hand inside the cape and the other hand outside. Snaps and a zipper close the Cape for maximum protection. You can use a Rain-Caped camera freehand or mounted on a tripod. Estimated Street Price: From $19 (C35 for an SLR with a pop-up flash and a lens up to six inches long) to $159 (C500 for a camera with a 600mm lens).

Gadget Bag
Kata E-702 Elements Cover

The Kata E-702 Elements Cover from Bogen can protect a pro D-SLR with a lens up to 200mm; the accessory E-704 Extension Sleeve Kit extends this to 600mm. The slip-on cover is secured using adjusters, pull cords and a full-length double zipper, and allows access to all camera and lens controls via sleeves at each side. The transparent cover allows you to see all the camera controls and readouts. Estimated Street Price: $63 (E-702); $80 (E-704 Extension Sleeve Kit).

Gadget Bag
Aquatec Sports Shield

AquaTech’s Sports Shield comes in five sizes to fit SLRs equipped with short lenses up to 600mm super-telephotos. There’s also a Sports Shield SS that protects shoe-mount flash units. Sports Shields are available in navy blue and camouflage. Estimated Street Price: From $82 (Sport Basic for a camera and a zoom up to 300mm) to $239 (SS-600 for a camera with a 600mm super-telephoto); $79 (Sports Shield SS). Each unit requires an eyepiece adapter,sold separately.

Gadget Bag
OP/TECH Rainsleeve

Strap maker OP/TECH offers two camera weather covers. The Rainsleeve is a simple “camera glove” that slips over the camera/lens (up to 18 inches long by seven inches in diameter) and your hand and forearm. A drawstring holds the unit at the front of the lens, and the camera’s eyepiece cover clamps the finder opening in position—so you’re viewing through the finder, not through plastic. Rainsleeves work with both handheld and tripod-mounted cameras. Estimated Street Price: $7 (two per package).

Gadget Bag
FM Photography’s Shutter Ha

OP/TECH WeatherGuards fit cameras with motordrives and large lenses (up to 6.5 inches in diameter). The unit consists of two parts—a lens cover and a camera cover that attaches to the lens cover—and can be adjusted to three positions. You also can use the lens cover alone as an extended lens hood. Estimated Street Price: $69.

FM Photography’s Shutter Hat is a lightweight cover that fits a camera with a lens up to eight inches long, yet slips in a pocket or clips to your belt for easy transport when not in use. A handy inside pocket can protect memory cards and batteries with quick access, while a top window can be positioned for access to the flash shoe or viewfinder eyepiece. New Velcro® dots for the lens hood increase stability. You can use the camera handheld or on a tripod. Estimated Street Price: $39.



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Bag maker Tenba’s one-piece no-seam Rain Covers come in five sizes: the RC9 fits an SLR with a 28mm lens and hood; the RC14, an SLR with a 80-200mm zoom and hood; the RC18, an SLR with a 300mm lens and hood; the RC24, an SLR with a 400mm lens and hood; and the RC26, an SLR with a 600mm lens and hood. The covers attach to the lens hood via supplied Velcro® strips and wrap around the camera for good protection handheld or on a tripod. A Velcro® flap in back provides access to film and memory cards, while a clear panel allows access to the viewfinder. The thin, waterproof, nylon material allows you to operate the camera controls from the outside. The Rain Cover fits in a pocket for easy transport. Estimated Street Price: $56 (RC9, RC14, RC18); $78 (RC24); $100 (RC26).

Gadget Bag

The Popabrella from OmegaSatter is, as its name implies, a simple umbrella that attaches to the camera via its tripod socket and provides protection from rain and sun. A unique, patented, 360-degree ball-and-socket side-mounting system offers great adjustability. The Popabrella fits all compact still and video cameras. For D-SLRs and larger video cameras, there’s the PRObrella with similar features but larger size. Estimated Street Price: $24 (Popabrella); $34 (PRObrella).

Gadget Bag

Lightware’s RC100 Rain Cover is a 39.5×24.5-inch waterproof nylon rectangle that loops around the camera lens (up to 600mm) and can keep your head dry along with your camera and lens. A hassle-free tie-down system makes it easy to adjust the cover to your camera and lens. Estimated Street Price: $53.

Gadget BagFotoSharp Rain Co

FotoSharp offers simple-to-use Camera Rain Covers in a wide range of sizes to fit SLRs with lenses from short to 600mm. Available in translucent white (which lets you see the camera controls) and U.S. Army camouflage (handy when hiding from wildlife), the covers are made of ripstop Silnylon (nylon impregnated with silicon, making it 100-percent waterproof, impermeable to airflow, strong, durable and lightweight). They also feature Velcro® openings with pull tabs and can attach or detach in seconds. TTL flash works through the white translucent covers. Some units come with tripod openings; others are meant for handheld use. Estimated Street Price: From $19 to $45.

Gadget BagVortex Media Storm Jacket

Storm Jackets from Vortex Media come in sizes to fit video and SLR cameras. SLR models come in three sizes—9-inch, 7- to 15-inch and 12- to 23-inch, the latter handling super-telephoto lenses. The 100-percent waterproof AquaNylon units are quick and simple to attach and remove, and weigh just four ounces. While designed for use with handheld cameras, they can be used with tripod-mounted cameras as well, and can be completely sealed quickly—handy when a sudden torrent starts from that sky that has been threatening all day. Estimated Street Price: From $36 to $40.


(724) 746-5300

Ewa-Marine (RTS Inc.)
(631) 242-6801

(800) 361-8341

Kata (Bogen Imaging)
(201) 818-9500

Lightware Inc.
(303) 744-0202

(800) 251-7815

Popabrella, PRObrella (OmegaSatter)
(410) 374-3250

Shutter Hat (FM Photography)
(301) 497-9099

Tenba Gear
(914) 347-3300

Vortex Media