As I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why the Olympus system struck a chord with me was it’s amazing environmental sealing, not just of the body, but also the lenses. Now this doesn’t apply to all bodies and lenses, but Olympus has provided, from day one, at least one body and numerous lenses that are effectively fully weatherproof. This has been an absolute boon over the years when I’ve had to photograph sports in woeful, wet, conditions.
I also shouldn’t forget the equally amazing in-body sensor dust cleaner. Sensor dust has been one of the most frustrating issues for digital SLR camera users since day one and there have been many manual cleaning systems introduced to help photographers clean their sensors. Olympus came up with an innovative solution that places an ultrasonic cleaner in front of the sensor and, after years of photographing in harsh conditions and changing lenses under those conditions, I have never had to clean dust off the sensor of any of my Olympus cameras.
These two features have enabled me to take photographs in some of the most camera unfriendly environments possible. It hasn’t mattered whether it’s been torrential rain, mud, dust or salt water, I’ve never had an issue. I’ve even washed the camera and lenses numerous times under a tap to clean off the day’s muck.
I’ve also had my share of mishaps in the bush, the worst possibly when I was wading in a river and my small camera bag that held the 50-200mm, tele-extender and a few other bits and bobs, fell into the river. I managed to scoop the bag out before it lay on the bottom for more than a few seconds, but in that time it had fully filled with water. Fortunately, with the weather sealing provided with the lenses, not a drop of water got in anywhere. After some towelling and drying in the sun, they were as good as new and I still use the tele-extender and other bits even now.
So with weatherproofing and sensor cleaning built in, these cameras are capable of being used just about anywhere.