Kagoo Explains: IP Rating
Updated 20 May 2020
Welcome to ‘Kagoo Explains’ - a series of short articles explaining some of the confusing terminology used to describe technology. This week we’re looking at IP Rating: a system used to measure how dustproof and waterproof sensitive pieces of technology are.
‘Ingress Protection (IP) Rating’ is one of those things that you rarely need to think about, but it’s super helpful in very specific situations. It is an international standard used to measure how well portable equipment such as digital cameras and camcorders stand up to both dust and water. It takes the form of 2 numbers - the first number measures dust protection, the second measures water protection. The higher the number, the better the device is protected. Effectively it is a way of quantifying rather loose terms like ‘waterproof’ or ‘water resistant’
The first number - dust - ranges from 0 (no dust protection - sometimes also written as ‘X’) to 6 (total protection from all dust. The second number - water - ranges from 0 (cannot get even slightly wet - sometimes written as ‘X’) to 8 (total protection from water for long-term immersion).
A camera with IP36 will offer middling dust protection and excellent water protection. A camcorder with IP6X is fully dustproof, but can’t be immersed in any water otherwise it’ll stop working.
It’s a useful system to see at a glance how rugged your new camera is, which is important if you plan on taking your equipment outside or into difficult terrains. Otherwise you may find your expensive new camera suddenly stops working the moment it gets slightly wet - which is never a good situation to be in!
For reference, here is the full list of protection levels, as explained by The Enclosure Company
Dust Protection Levels
- 0 or X - No dust protection.
- 1 - Protection from solid objects greater than 50mm in diameter (i.e - hands).
- 2 - Protection from objects not greater than 80mm in length and 12mm in diameter (i.e - accidental finger contact).
- 3 - Protection from objects with a diameter of 2.5 mm or more (i.e - tools, nails).
- 4 - Protection against solid objects larger than 1mm (i.e - needles).
- 5 - Partial protection against dust.
- 6 - Full protection against dust.
Water Protection Levels
- 0 or X - No water protection.
- 1 - Protection from dripping water.
- 2 - Protection from splashes of water up to 15° from vertical.
- 3 - Protection from splashes of water up to 60° from vertical.
- 4 - Protection from water splashes from all directions.
- 5 - Protection from low pressure jets of water from all directions.
- 6 - Protection from strong jets of water from all directions.
- 7 - Protected from immersion in water for up to 30 minutes.
- 8 - Protected from immersion in water for over 30 minutes.
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