Review camRade wetSuit Blackmagic

Tom’s skills have been sought after by a range of different companies, from small independent promotional groups to larger international organisations. Tom has previously worked on car commercials and fashion photography but his real passion is film. 

Tom aspires to one day be in a position to create big budget films that do not compromise on originality or creativity but that also reflect high technical standards.

Review by Tom Majerski

I was sent the cover for review purposes by Alphatron/camRade, I have not been paid for this review.

The cover comes in a compact and convenient storage bag which can easily fit in camera bags or rucksacks. When folded away it is small and lightweight. Bringing it along with you on a shoot regardless of whether you suspect it may rain or not would be a good idea, as it doesn't really take up much room at all.

The overall build quality is quite good, not over-engineered and all the seams and straps feel quite robust.

 

What is included

The complete kit comprises of:

x1 Carry bag
x1 wetSuit cover
x1 Lens extension attachment.

The extension attachment is not seen in the photographs above, but you can see it in the review video. It attaches to the main cover via Velcro and has a drawstring at the lens end to ensure a tight fit.

 

Ease of use

Putting the cover onto the camera is quick and simple. With or without the extension attachment, it should cover a wide range of lenses with ease. I expect that it would be too large for very small pancake style lenses, but I have none to test it with.
On either side of the rain cover, it has Velcro flaps which give access to all of the connectors on the BMCC and the SSD slot. The Velcro is of a high quality and when sealed, provides a more than adequate protective seal.

On the underside of the rain cover, from the body of the camera to the front lens element, there is a Velcro seal which can be closed for maximum shielding, or opened slightly to allow you hand to reach in and focus or zoom the lens. I tried out the rain cover in very heavy North English rain and it performed very well. The camera stayed dry as a bone and the functionality was not impeded by the rain cover. The top of the rain cover has a access hole for the top 3 mounting threads of the BMCC camera. The extra slack given for this snood like opening would allow accessories such as handles to have the Velcro seal around them, maintaining the weatherproof nature of the cover.

 

Performance

As any BMCC user will know, in normal filming conditions, the external aluminium of the camera can grow substantially warm during operation. This is due to it being a heat sink for the cameras cooling system. The camera fan outlet is not impeded by the rain cover, however I was curious to see how the cover would affect the overall temperature change within the camera.

Using a standard and unscientific digital probe thermometer, I recorded the following results:

Ambient room temperature: 18°C

Without Rain Cover:

  • Camera on standby for 10 mins: 1°C increase
  • Camera Recording ProRes for 10 Mins: 2.5°C increase

With Rain Cover:

  • Camera on standby for 10 mins: 3°C increase
  • Camera Recording ProRes for 10 Mins: 6°C increase
  • The temperature changes here will vary depending on the filming conditions and the chances are that when using the cover, you will be filming in external locations, with perhaps cooler ambient temperatures.
  • Overall we can see that the camera does operate slightly warmer with the cover on, but not to extent which would likely cause any issues.
  • The rain cover worked well at keeping my camera dry in very wet weather. I got the odd drop of rain on the rear LCD screen when the wind changed or when I panned the camera to look down.

 

Value for money

There are many more expensive rain covers on the market, some also designed specifically for this camera. Some of those do provide additional protection for other accessories and also better designed access holes for camera operating, but the relatively low price for this rain cover helps to make it an attractive option for BMCC users. The build quality and functionality of this cover make it quite good value for money.

PROS

  • Light weight and compact
  • Protects camera and lens very well in wet weather
  • Does not impede camera functionality
  • Minimal change to camera cooling functionality* Good Value for money

 CONS

  • Not ideally suited for heavily rigged cameras, no protection for external batteries or EVF's
  • When holding the camera by hand, dslr style, the rear plastic lcd shield can get in the way - in the same way as the snap on lcd hood does which comes with the BMCC.

 

Conclusion

This rain cover is designed for casual or stripped down filming. It will only protect the camera body and lens - other accessories such as external batteries will need their own protection. This does help however, to keep the rain cover as simple and functional as possible. Because it packs away so small and so quickly, it means one can bring it with them on every shoot - just in case it starts to rain. The construction and build quality feels good and it does a great job at keeping your precious BMCC nice and dry.

If I could change one detail, it would be to have an additional Velcro Strip towards the rear of the cover - so that the lens extension could be used as a larger sun shield. As every BMCC user knows, the rear screen is painfully reflective and being able to use this rain cover to help screen visibility would be an easy way to add value and functionality to this product.

Overall I would recommend this to other BMCC users who want a light weight, quality and good value for money rain cover. I expect the more pro film makers will require an additional level of protection for fully kitted out cameras - but such a cover would no doubt be also larger and too cumbersome for other styles of filming.

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