Today I got my 5D Camera Armor from MADE Products. The first question many of you will ask is why. Those who know me understand that I am a gadget freak. Not only must I have the latest gadgets, but they must look as “new” as possible years after owning them. I think this is a mental illness, but I enjoy using my gadgets and taking great care of them as well. I love my 5D but I do not want to be too careful removing it or putting it back in the bag. I would like to pull the camera out quickly and take a shot but still protect it as much as possible. This is where the armor comes into play. After a couple of reviews, I ordered it through Amazon and now it is here.
My fear was I did not want a rubber skin that would move around over the buttons. It has to fit skin tight. I was skeptical if the rubber shell would be able to be as snug as I would like it to be. The instructions requires you to remove the lens and put the lens cap back onto the body. You have to remove the camera straps which is fine since I do not use them any ways. You next place the LCD cover over the display that fits snuggly around the eye piece, so far so good. The rubber shell’s bottom is open for you to pull the cover over the body. This is where I got nervous. To my amazement, the shell fit tightly around the body and the button impressions were spot on. The installation was painless and actually was very quick. MADE Products did a great job molding the skin.
I got the ‘smoke’ as oppose to the black skin. A couple of owners complained of how dirty the back skin became after a couple of uses and the smoke supposedly does a better job of hiding debris collected on it’s surface. As you now know, that is very important! The color of the skin, though a bit toy like, is livable. I feel like I am testing out Canon’s super secrete camera body, similar to how automotive companies try to cover their future cars during road tests. So far my gut has not asked me to pull it off, which is good. In the past, my mind will try to like a gadget only to be returned because my gut could not accept it’s appearance. I guess I really like the snug feel of the shell.
The rubber shell actually made the camera feel more ‘sturdy’ which is surprising considering how well built and heavy the 5D is. The 5D’s hand grip is deep, but the rubberized wrap gave the grip a nice padding with an anti-slip feel. Concerns with accessing the buttons were put to rest during a quick test. Since my hand had memorized the locations of the buttons, I had no problem accessing them through the skin. What the skin did add was the need to apply more pressure on the buttons. Nothing drastic, but still it is a bit different. This worried me on the shutter button as I have gotten really good at squeezing off shots to prevent shake. Unfortunately the mechanics did change. The force to lock focus then shoot is a bit too stiff. Hopefully I will get use to it but that is not how it should be.
The skin did not block the door to the CF slot. Swapping cards is still a snap. DOF button, lens release button and all dials worked well. What did change was the access to the battery. You DO have to move the skin out of the way to gain access to the battery compartment. I guess there was no way around this in order to maintain the snugness of the shell.
I will have to take the camera out and put it through it’s usual assortment of shots before I can make a final judgment but I am pleased with the purchase so far. This may not be for everyone. Those who are pros and actually buy lenses that cost more than the body, protecting the lens is more important. For those who treasure their cameras, you know enthusiasts like me, this product may fit you “like a glove.”