Available at: www.ShaShinKi.com
a small but useful accessory!
I can't remember since when Nikon introduces the Nikon BS-1 hotshoe cover to their camera. Definitely not before year 2000, as I do not have that little item when I purchase my Nikon F60D new from shop. If I am not mistaken, the BS-1 is introduced together with the Nikon F80 camera, comes free as a standard accessory for the Nikon F80. Since that, all Nikon SLR/DSLR comes with the BS-1 as a standard accessory.
What is Nikon BS-1 hotshoe cover? As the name has suggested, it is a cover for the hotshoe for flash situated on the top of the Nikon SLR/DSLR. It protects the hotshoe from direct exposed to the air/moisture that might cause rusting or water drop to slip into the electronic contacts of the hotshoe.
The hotshoe part on Nikon camera is not weather sealed, hence it can be a weak point causing damage to the camera. I have heard (not verified) my friend told me that his Nikon F4 failed after he used it under snow (during that time there is no BS-1 available yet). The snow flakes fall onto the hotshoe and caused electric short to the camera and damage the circuit inside it. Causing him having to pay $$$ for the repair.
Some of us who lives in Asia Pacific countries might not experience snow, but rain is definitely very frequent and unavoidable. With the BS-1 on, I am definitely more confident in bringing out my camera to shoot in the rain than having a naked hotshoe.
Though the BS-1 hotshoe cover is not exactly a weather proof or sealed to the camera hotshoe, but it protects the camera hotshoe from direct contacts with rain or snow, giving you the extra protection to your previous investment. It is just a little piece of plastic, but an useful and important accessory in my opinion.
Price? Less than US$5, and you got your camera protected :)