My Canon EOS 1D Mk III Survived in Songkran Water Festival 2011
Songkran สงกรานต์ is one of important festivals in Thailand. People celebrates Thai traditional New Year by throwing water to symbolize cleansing for good fortune. This annual festival is celebrated throughout this Buddhist country.
Photographically, Songkran is a must-shoot opportunity. This is the first year I shoot Songkran, together with a group of fellow Indonesian photographers. We went to Silom and Khao San in Bangkok to capture the “water battle”.
I realized that keep camera safe, it had to be covered properly against water. All fellows covered their gears with various brands of plastic rain cover for photography gears. Considering my Canon EOS 1D Mk III is weather-resistant and splash-proof, I did not put any cover.
The only cover in camera body is Camera Armor. It is not a protection for water, as actually Camera Armor is designed only to protect camera body from scratch and impact. Anyway, the lens I used Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM was not covered by anything.
I read in a photography magazine a story about photographer shooting similar festival in India using Canon EOS 1Ds Mk II. The camera was totally showered by colored water, and it was working normally. To clean it up after shooting, the photographer switched off the camera body, took off the lens and put the body cap on, then gave a flowing hot-water from a hose. The camera then got dried up properly, and worked again normally.
A couple years ago, I went to shoot traditional bull race in rice field in West Sumatra, Indonesia. A fellow Singaporean photographer somehow fell down into the mud of rice field. He got himself covered by mud all over his body, and so was the camera which was Canon EOS 1Ds Mk II.
He then went to a nearby house, got himself a hose and gave a flowing water to the camera body to clean it up from mud. After giving it a proper drying up, the camera then worked properly with no single malfunction. I noticed it myself and it convinced me to go to Songkran without any water protection to my EOS 1D Mk III.
Me and my group hit the road of Silom in downtown Bangkok around 9 AM. Then, after lunch, we continued to shoot more extreme water battle of Songkran in Khao San Road. No one, I repeat: no one, came out dry from Khao San. It was around 4 PM in the afternoon when we decided to cease fire and struggled to come out from water-battleground.
My camera and lens was totally wet. Some part of the camera body and lens even got some powder, as powder is also part of the water-battle of Songkran. I took some proof pictures of my camera and lens using my mobile phone. My wallet, mobile phone and some other important stuff was kept in a splash-proof plastic bag.
As written in the specification, Canon EOS 1D/1Ds serie is designed to endure the weather, including water splash. No, it is not designed to be waterproof, if you tried to sink it into water. It is designed for professionals working in unfriendly shooting situation and extreme condition.
And I feel satisfied to prove myself that Canon EOS 1D Mk III works and functions normally until now.