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 Post subject: Camera Armor
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:24 am 
Hey guys,

Went to look for a wide angle lens this afternoon and ended up with "sort of" an impulsive buy. Saw the new camera armor arrivals display and thought hm..... why not. My D80 could use as much protection as it can get especially with a big guy like me, the camera has a tendency to get knocked around into things while im moving through ppl or through anything for that matter :oops:

So paid around $80 AUD for it and another $5 for a second hand UV filter. Heres how the armor looks in the box.
Image

And out of the box fitted onto a cardboard cut out of a camera
Image


It is made out of really thick and stretchy rubber which gives some shock absorbing element to it. The box contains a camera armor which fits on the camera body like a divers suit, a lens armor which is essentially a rubberised lens hood that is fitted by stretching onto any lens you have, a lens cap attacher thing which allows you to hang your lens cap off your camera armor lens hood and a plastic LCD protector.

Here is how it looks on the D80.
Image
Image
Image

Ok on to the proper review, I really find the camera armor package really expensive for a few pieces of stretchy rubber. But it really increases the size/bulk of the whole camera. This increase in size along with the rubbery feel makes the camera much better to hold onto. Also the thick rubber would really protect the camera from slight bumps, drops and scratches. It is also interesting to note that it softens the sound of the shutter opening and closing when taking a photo. However the armor does make pressing some of the buttons on the camera quite tricky. The only real problem i have with this is pressing onto the AE-L button and some of the time i end up releasing the shutter instead.

The camera lens armor is totally pointless in terms of protecting the lens. It might be useful to control the brightness but i would take a proper lens hood over the camera lens armor any day just because it offers much more protection than the soft rubber that crushes under its own weight. The lens cap attacher is a good idea but not that great of a deal either.

The lcd protector however could be a great asset for some cameras. Not so much for the D80 as the D80 already comes with one. Other camera models would benefit from this much more. I've seen samples of how they fit onto the canon 400d and it looks really good, much better than the clear plastic stickers for LCDs anyway.

Pros
Does what it's supposed to do, protect form shock damage, scratches, dings
Makes the grip much better for people with large hands
Plastic LCD protector a nice touch

Cons
Quite expensive for few pieces of rubber
Some buttons are harder to press/access
Makes camera larger which might irritate some people (not me :P)
Didn't like the supplied lens hood at all

After a couple of hours experimenting with the camera armor, i got to say i quite like it especially for the feel of it. The AE-L button issue is a bit irritating but i'll live with it for now or at least until the day it costs me a good picture by not being able to focus properly while trying to hold onto it. It's a good product but i won't suggest it to everyone i see. I just don't think you're getting enough for the price you are paying however if you're like me being clumsy around my surroundings, this could be exactly what you need to keep your camera safe (from smaller impacts at least).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:34 am 
Great review Melvin, thanks for sharing.

Just curious, you quote the prices in AUD so did you buy it in Australia, cos I've never seen it sold here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:54 am 
Hey Grahamnp, glad you enjoyed it.

Yeah, im currently in Australia for a few months (uni related) before going back to Brunei. I've heard about this camera armor thing from a friend back there but never actually seen them as well. There is a number of them being sold on Ebay if you're interested though.

PRO CAMERA ARMOR PROTECTION for NIKON D80 SLR NEW BLACK

Other camera models are also available on ebay and it's cheaper than what i paid for mine :(

EDIT: Yikes, another of those ridiculously long EBay URLs which break the frame and spoil members ability to read the text on all but the widest monitors. I've made it user friendly. Bob Andersson. :evil:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:00 pm 
Thanks Melvin.

Nah, I don't plan on getting one especially now that I see how big it is. I was just curious as to whether Kuching is a better place for purchasing accessories.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 12:18 pm 
Hahaha Nah Kuching has pretty limited and standard stuff. I actually get people to buy stuff for me when they go to KL or Singapore hahaha


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 5:20 pm 
Well it acctually looks effective! is it avaible for other models?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 6:19 pm 
Hey Miguel,
Yea it's actually available for a number of different camera models. Here is a list of the models that they have.

http://store.made-products.com/collections/camera-armor


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:12 am 
Quick question.

Why did you get this?

I can only really see the benefit if you are REALLY REALLY clumsey or if you go climbing with your camera especially for the price as you stated.

(curious)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 9:26 am 
Melvin87 wrote:
Hey Miguel,
Yea it's actually available for a number of different camera models. Here is a list of the models that they have.

http://store.made-products.com/collections/camera-armor


Great! thanks alot =)

Can hou tell me how does it feel in your hand? the rubber.. does it feel solid? and do you have had any problmes reaching for the buttons with the armor on it?

Apreciated


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 10:42 am 
Hey Mr Barks,
It's true that the armor is kind of overpriced and i totally agree with this point but then there are some reasons which sorts of justifies this purchase for me. First off is that i have really large hands and i actually find the D80 still a bit too small for comfort. And when i tried out the ones they had on display, it felt really good. Another major reason is from time to time i'll actually follow my dad into the jungle (where he spends quite some time while working) and i'll instead be taking some shots. And the thing with jungle is that you got all kinds of debris (twigs, etc) and liquids (dew, sap, etc) lying all over the place so the camera armor does provide additional protection as it limits the exposed area of the camera body to these elements. Wasn't an issue with my previous sony a100 (as it was already worn down) but the D80 is only a couple of months old and its still sort of like a new baby (not wanting to get any scratches and stuff on it). Hope this sort of answers your question.

Miguel,
I'm really happy with how the camera feels with the armor on, it increases the dimensions of the original grooves on the camera making it a lot more comfortable and grippy to hold on to. I've also tried holding the camera with wet hands and it still feels pretty good.

The rubber is really solid and is pretty think, grippy and tough. Most of the buttons have no problems except the AE-Lock button for me. But even then the button is still usable just that it requires more force to press it down. All the other buttons work perfectly though.

Glad you guys find this review helpful.
Cheers


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:15 pm 
Thx i would buy one if i was in the jungle too lol :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 6:31 pm 
i just want to know why you didnt get the camo version :P

p.s in that photo do you have it mounted on the prime 50mm? how about "bigger lenses" with a bigger diameter? how does it work with those?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:05 pm 
Hey Alex,
It was unfortunate that they didn't stock the camo or clear coated version. The clear coated one was actually my first preference.

Also here is a pic of my camera with the 18-135mm lens. It involves a bit of adjusting the lens hood to enable the lens to zoom out properly without restrictions but it can be done.

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 10:43 pm 
Heh..great review Melvin87,

It makes your D80 look like a "military issue" - perhaps what they'd issue to tank commanders for cupola shots..lol.

I know that it exists for D40/60's as well and that is an even smaller body. This might make the form-factor large enough and offer added protection so that those who prefer it, don't have to feel it's a "small-sh" camera.

It's probably very helpful of you have your camera out in crowds often...

Cheers :-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2008 3:16 pm 
Hey Lahlah, Yea it makes the camera really bulky and more solid feeling which i love. I haven't actually had a chance to go on a proper shoot since getting the armor because of non stop bad weather but i'm hoping to get into the city to get some shots on Tuesday. Will report if any "dislikes" pop up while shooting.


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