Review of the Kata E-702 PL Elements Cover

September 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Photograph courtesy of Kata-Bags

This weekend I have been out shooting another sporting event and thanks to the wet weather I used my Kata Elements Cover, so I thought now would be a good time to write a product review. I cover a large number of sporting events every year and many of my commercial commissions are shot on location. As home is in England, I'm used to the British weather and therefore, shooting in the rain. I've tried a few techniques over the past ten years, some with more success the others. I've just let the camera get wet, sometimes this works with a light shower, but anything heavier I've found that often buttons will fail and I've had the screens stop working. These faults soon generally soon go away once the camera has dried out, but I have had longer term, expensive repair issues due to kit just getting too wet. So this I wouldn't recommend. A large car leather is great for keeping light rain off kit, and to dry the kit off, but, if the rain is very heavy, then the leather will just become soaking wet and do more damage than good. I've tried Sainsbury plastic bags, M&S 10p "bag for life" bags too, whilst these sort of keep the rain away, they look daft and unprofessional plus are a nightmare to fit, use and remove.

So, fairly recently I bought the Kata E-702 PL raincover, this fits perfectly on my Pro Nikon bodies with the Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 lens fitted. This model won't accept an on camera flash/speedlight. Kata do make a larger cover that accepts a full size flash though, I just didn't think I could justify the extra cost, and the extra plastic, I thought the size of the cover could be a frustration rather than a positive.

Photograph courtesy of Kata-Bags

So, what do I think... It is fairly expensive at around £70, so you need to shoot outside a lot to justify the cost. The camera fits well, and it doesn't take long to place the camera inside the cover. There is a long Velcro opening along the bottom which opens allowing the camera to be  fitted inside, body first. There is a thick heavyweight velcro strap that wraps around the the lens hood, once this is tight, the bottom velcro opening can be sealed. With two large arm openings, once the camera is fitted, the only exposed part of the camera is the front glass element. It helps if you have a strap that can be disconnected quickly, then it can be reattached through the arm holes.

 

Photograph courtesy of Kata-Bags

The Elements Cover works very well, the camera in my experience stays totally dry, as do your hands, so achieves its purpose excellently. Using the camera on the other hand is a different matter... To look through the viewfinder, you are looking through the clear plastic, if this is flush with the viewfiner, then there is no problem, but if not, you just see a blurry image, this is similar when viewing the rear LCD screen. Of course, when the Elements Cover is being used, it's likely to be raining, so there will be drops of rain on the plastic, adding to the difficulty of seeing the information screens and buttons. I would say, that I don't think this is something that Kata could improve, it is just the difficulty of shooting in wet weather condiditions. 

To conclude, I would recommend the cover if you shoot outside on a regular basis and shoot with a 70-200mm lens. I would suggest some practice using it before an important shoot though. If you are like me, then you will find it frustrating at first.  

 
 

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