Camera Armor

Protect your camera.
Author: Henrik Paul
Published: 02.07.2007
Manufacturer: Camera Armor
Product Group: Digital Cameras
In English In English
Suomeksi Suomeksi

Not Quite Perfection


The little slits for front and back wheels

The first thing that anyone would notice is that the armor, having a thickness of a few millimeters, leaves the front and back wheels almost completely buried in a small slit. Now that there's summer, warmth and no need for gloves, it's manageable, but would I need to have anything than bare skin rolling on those dials, I could pretty much forget about it. The same with the latch for opening the CompactFlash compartment: I have troubles operating it with my bare hands (or nails, if you could call mine such) now during the summer, so it would be next to impossible to swap cards in -15 Celsius in the midst of heavy snowfall with the Armor on. Additionally, the case is the same with the shooting mode dial, af-s/af-c/mf latch, flash cord cap, remote trigger cap and the metering mode dial.

A hard-to-reach CF-compartment latch

The On/Off/Lights dial is also stiff to operate, although not as fiddly to operate as the previous cases. Upon inspecting the reason to this, I notice there's a fine layer of rubber pressing against the dial. It could be some excess rubber not having been cut off from the seam, but it's almost too regular to be a mishap. It could be a feature, again, for those in the movement, but the power saving features on the D200 are awesome to begin with, so this is a puzzler. A small misalignment of the mold leads the CF-compartment door to open only half way by it self. Sure, I can open it manually rest of the way, but I shouldn't have to. This alignment can easily be corrected by tugging the skin the other way, but I find the skin to readjust itself to a misaligned position. The diopter wheel is completely hidden by the Armor, which actually makes sense, and is a good thing.

The first time I clad my D200 with the Armor, I noticed some sort of misalignment between the buttons on the skin and the corresponding buttons on my camera back. This was fixed by taking it off and again putting it back. But something that gets me is, would the user be unsure of which button does what, it would be very difficult to make out what the label on a button really is. Most labels are indeed marked on the Camera Armor itself, but only by beveled letters, without any paint highlighting, making them quite illegible.

Camera Armor's buttons

The battery compartment is tricky

A shocker, for me at least, is the fact that the Camera Armor makes your camera incompatible with a battery grip. The skin wraps around the bottom of the camera (to be clear, the Armor is slipped from top to bottom), and grasps it tightly from underneath - there is too much rubber matter to get a vertical grip screwed in place. The battery door is also hindered by the Armor. When the CEO of Made Products and myself exchanged some thoughts about this fact, he admitted that this was a mistake in the design choice. They assumed people would by their own initiative trim off the excess rubber from the bottom, so that a grip would fit. At least I would prefer not to cut anything out of a mold, if not for any other reason than the fact that I most probably would destroy the skin in the progress. He also assured that the Sony Alpha and Nikon D40 Armors would not have this problem. They apparently offer a separate battery grip cover for D200 owners in the mean time, as they are in the progress of redoing the D200 mold. I, however, haven't noticed anything about a separate grip protector on their website, nor was there anything inside the packaging about this.

One last remark I have to make about the Camera Armor is the hot shoe. The Camera Armor has a protector for the camera's hot shoe's electric contacts, which is actually a nice feature, when an external flash isn't connected. The cover doesn't interfere with the integrated flash at all, which is also a plus. But, sadly and again, when the shoe is in use, the cover is bent backwards, pressing it in my forehead or the bridge of my nose, depending on camera orientation.

Hot shoe cover problems

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