Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Shell ultralight camera cover review

Rain, mist, fog – damp weather brings out the best colors and most interesting conditions. Famous landscapes that have been photographed a billion  times may look unfamiliar like alien landscapes with swirling clouds, flowing mists, and skeins of virga to reveal them in new and intriguing ways. Sadly, such weather often makes getting a shot not smeared with water droplets impossible,  so many photographers avoid going out in the kinds of weather that produce the most interesting and unique photos. The Shell by Peak Design allows you to conquer inclement weather and brave the storms that thwart your photographic success.

The Shell’s design is simple; a wonky tube of neoprene that fits snuggly over your camera. By pulling back the front of the hood you can keep it clear of the view of your lens while shading it from drops and drips. By pulling up the back, you can use the viewfinder and back controls. You can even use the buttons and controls on top of your camera through the shell to some extent. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to use zoom lenses with the shell since you can’t twist the zoom ring with it on. It takes some practice to use the viewfinder and controls, and keep the hood out of view of the lens while shooting, but it’s worth dealing with the learning curve to be able to get shots in the pouring rain that would otherwise be impossible.

The shell is made to work with Peak Designs other products, particularly the Capture Pro camera clip (review here). Combine the two and you can carry your camera from a strap or a belt and not have to worry overly much about it getting damaged, dirty, or wet.

The shell is available in small, medium and large sizes. I found that the medium size was ideal for my Canon 60 with my 18-200mm lens. With my smaller "nifty fifty" prime lens it was somewhat overly large, though this was not a huge issue. If you have a smaller camera or use only small form-factor prime lenses then the small size Shell will be better for you. If you're using a really hefty camera with long lenses then you'll probably want the large size.

Despite a few minor caveats, the Shell is a piece of gear that I can definitely recommend. As one who enjoys experiencing the wilderness in every season and all conditions this is a piece of gear that will only rarely be left at home. 

Sample pictures taken during a rainstorm using the Shell

Capture Pro Review