To Cover Up or Not?

The easyCover Silicone Protection Cover for the Z6 and Z7 comes in at least three colors (black, yellow, camouflage). Similar covers appear under different names.

The question we're here to ask today is whether these US$30 accessories are useful or not.

First, let's get one thing out of the way. In terms of dust and water protection, you really only get a benefit at the hot shoe, and then only if you've properly secured the flap that slips into it. 

The most vulnerable water ingress point on the Z6 and Z7 is the card door. The card slot on these cameras is soldered directly to the digital logic board, so any water that gets in past the door has the potential to kill your camera. The easyCover solution doesn't add any protection for this door, as they don't cover it at all. 

So really, the protection you're buying is all about bumps. Neither the viewfinder or the rear LCD are covered (obviously). In my experience, those are the two most vulnerable bits of the Z's: the LCD is prone to scratching in rough handling, and the viewfinder is vulnerable to dust buildup. The easyCover isn't going to help you with either.

In terms of fit, the easyCover is snug, but... 

It's tough to get the cover onto the camera (start with the handgrip end), so the fit is definitely overall snug and tight. Except for the the lower left rear, where the cover doesn't really grip anything and is easily moved. 

Some controls are covered (FN1, FN2, lens release, playback, delete, AF-ON, thumb stick, movie record, ISO, exposure compensation, i button, and the zoom in/out buttons) and some aren't (mode dial, shutter release, on/off switch, front command dial, most of the rear command dial, most of the Direction pad, DISP button with the Live View switch, and the OK button). The "feel" of the covered controls is mostly vague (the top buttons behind the shutter release are subtle enough that you won't find them with gloves on). That said, pressing on any of them usually engages the button/control underneath as you'd expect. The problem in some areas, though, is that you must move the silicone with concerted pressing, otherwise sometimes you don't get the interaction you expect. You need to be pressing straight through, not at an angle, which makes the use of the thumb stick a little iffy at times.

I took a pair of these covers on my last Africa trip hoping that they'd protect the camera a bit more. The problem I found, though, is that blowing sand had a tendency to get under some parts of the cover, which made cleaning the camera each night much more of a chore. In the end, after a couple of days, I took the covers off and didn't use them the rest of the trip.

If you're going to leave your camera bouncing around on the floor of your vehicle or loose in a backpack where other things might bump into it, then the covers may do what you're expecting them to do (though cover that rear LCD with a protective glass sheet, too). For some, they might be a fashion statement (Nikon yellow, baby). But I'm not convinced they work for me. 

easyCover Silicone CoversAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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One reader points out that in high heat/humidity environments, the silicone covers protect the original camera grip rubber from deteriorating due to sweat. That's partly true. Some people produce chemicals in their sweat that seems to degrade the covering that Nikon uses, and have to replace their grip covers once in a while.


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