underwater coral

Is the Sony A7iii Weather-Sealed/Waterproof?

Photo from https://www.hippopx.com/ CC0

Do you want to take your Sony A7iii to the beach? Or maybe you want to photograph a rainstorm. Whatever the case may be, you’re probably wondering, is the Sony A7iii weather sealed? Is it waterproof? This is something that I wanted to know and I had a hard time finding the answer, so I wrote this article to help out others with the same question.

The Sony A7iii is dust and moisture resistant. However, it’s not waterproof nor is it weather-sealed. Do not use the Sony A7iii underwater or in the rain as this can break your camera’s battery and other internal components. Even if your camera is still functional after getting it wet, the damage can occur gradually.

How can I make my Sony A7iii waterproof?

The Sony A7iii camera alone isn’t waterproof or weather sealed. It’s only resistant meaning that it can withstand small amounts of water, but too much will damage it. How much water the camera can withstand isn’t specified so I wouldn’t run the risk of using it near water at all. However, there is a safe way to make turn a Sony A7iii waterproof, it’s called water housing. Water housing is a waterproof shell for your camera. They have clear glass where the lens and viewfinder should be. So your camera is still functional while in its water housing. Here’s an underwater video taken with a Sony A7iii using the Aquatech Imaging Solutions Water Housing.

The uploader of this video included a link in the description for the gear he used. However, it’s very expensive so I would only purchase this if you plan to use your camera underwater very often.

What does waterproof mean?

Waterproof is a universal term for a product being completely functional while completely submerged in water. As the name suggests – waterproof products can not be damaged by water. This is not the same as water resistance. Waterproof is better than water resistance because water-resistant products are only partially resistant while waterproof products are completely resistant. The names are kind of confusing but there not too difficult to understand once they’ve been explained to you. The Sony A7iii is not waterproof and most sony cameras are not except for the specific “action camera” category. Sony Action Cameras are specifically designed for sports and underwater use. They are quite cheap and hence they are quite low quality.

water drops
Photo by form PxHere

What does weather-sealed mean?

Weather-sealed means that a camera can function in all types of weather. Specifically heavy rain and snow. However, this does not mean waterproof so you shouldn’t submerge a weather-sealed camera underwater. Weather sealed cameras are also equipped to deal with high or low temperatures, wind, dust, and dirt. According to Sony support, their cameras can operate within 32 – 104 degrees F which is 0 – 40 degrees C. But you shouldn’t go out of your way to freeze your camera.

The Sony A7iii is not weather-sealed either. Some weather-sealed mirrorless cameras are the Olympus OMD EM1X, the Leica SL2, the Canon EOS R5, the Fujifilm X Pro 3, and the Panasonic S5.

wet camera
“Panasonic GH4 Wet Weather Resistant” by Dave Dugdale is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

What does dust and moisture resistance mean?

According to the Sony website: “This camera is designed to be dust and moisture-resistant but not to be waterproof and splash-proof. When using the camera in the rain, be careful not to get the camera and lens wet.” So the Sony A7iii is considered dust and moisture-resistant but not waterproof. According to Sony support on amazon, this doesn’t fall under “weather-sealed” either. So I’m guessing this is two steps down from waterproof – a step down from weather-sealed. Sony also never once defines what they mean by dust and moisture-resistant so we’re kind of left with speculation and forum posts. But if I had the guess, it means that the Sony A7iii can withstand dust and very small amounts of moisture like condensation. I’m pretty sure most cameras can handle some “moisture” without completely breaking. So I don’t really trust whatever Sony is telling us I would just avoid getting the camera wet.

What happens if I get a Sony A7iii wet?

Well, I’m not about to test on my own Sony A7iii how wet I can get it before it breaks. So I did some research online and found out. You may be able to get a Sony camera wet without it breaking immediately. If this does happen by accident, your camera isn’t safe even though it continued to work. You can completely dry off the exterior of the camera but moisture has already got inside of it. It can actually take weeks for the moisture to affect the camera. It slowly makes its way inside destroying components and eventually short-circuiting the camera and destroying the battery. So remember, just because an electronic can survive a splash of water, doesn’t mean it’s ok. It can break a week or even months later due to that one event, and you may not even realize the cause of it breaking.

sony camera
Image by ptato_graphic from Pixabay

What are some waterproof cameras?

Some waterproof cameras are the GoPro Hero9, the Nikon COOLPIX W150, and the Olympus Tough TG-5. These are all compact cameras and under $500 which is never a good sign when it comes to quality. Most underwater cameras aren’t as good as most mirrorless or DSLR cameras. Almost no waterproof DSLR cameras exist so but if you really have the money. You can use water housing as mentioned earlier.

Thanks for reading, leave a comment if I missed anything.

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