Saturday, February 7, 2009

Nikon D700 vs Canon 5D Mk II weather sealing & adverse conditions.

This is something that I did not think worth mentioning in my previous blog ( The 5D Mk II felt a little bit flimsier and Knowing that D700  is weather sealed whereas the  5D MkII is not, I did not care. I had a Canon 40D and I was wondering vaguely if the 5D Mk II was not even up to the Canon 40D but I was not sure.

Here is another take on this issue from 2 very respectable sources.

The first is from Jim Reed Photography, granted the camera was loaned by Nikon to him and they use his images for advertisements. But dont let this take away anything from the camera or phtographer.

Here is what Jim Reed writes
  "The camera held in my right hand is the D700. Our storm chase vehicle, the camera, and yours truly were covered in dirt and dust by day's end -- but safe and uninjured. It literally took two days to clean everything. Although VERY dirty, the D700 performed flawlessly and never stopped working!

As weeks passed, and the record-setting severe weather season continued, the D700 was subjected to heavy rainfall and, believe me, the camera got SOAKED. It was constantly around lightning and, at one point, was hit by a falling hailstone. Still, not so much as a hiccup. It performed reliably on every level.

While hurrying toward the end of a mission, the D700 was even dropped onto a concrete driveway. The circular polarizer was destroyed, but the camera was fine, and continued to perform as if nothing ever happened. So, with respect to durability and weather-resistance, I give the D700 an "EXCELLENT" rating."

Here is link to the web page -
Here is the link to the images which speak for the photographer and the camera - the landscape images are by Jim Reed.

Next is the link from Luminous Landscape. Again Michael Reichmann who has enough experience and credibility states the following comments about equipment failures during his recent trip to Antarctica. Please note that he went there during this January which is summer time in Antarctica and temperatures are relatively mild in the 30s to 40s. He also explains about the conditions during equipment failure which included some drizzle and the 5D IIs that failed were protected to some extent.

Basically his experience was that 25% of the canon 5d Mk II cameras failed. This is quite a high number and unacceptable for even a camera which does not have weather seal. Also note the fact that the Loaner Canon 5D Mk II from Canon itself failed.

Here is the link -

Please read the entire article and come to your own conclusions.

This is interesting for me since I have the D700 and not the Canon 5D mark II since I was so close to keeping the 5D II instead of D700 considering my then investment in Canon lenses. I just wish to add one more aspect for those who consider these 2 cameras, since photography in adverse weather conditions may be a factor for some individuals, though not much in my case since I usually quit to retire to the comforts of home/hotel long before my camera quits, one advantage for me being an amateur rather than a pro.

I am adding some of my own pictures with the Nikon D700 in extreme conditions of explosion with fire and flying cars, flash flood and snow storm. I never had any problems with the D700 in any of these conditions.


  1. I have the D700, only for about 3 weeks so I don't even know the capabilities yet. Came from the D70. Awesome camera!

  2. The flood photos - isn't that the Universal Studio? If so, I wouldn't call it exactly a weather exterme :)

  3. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)