cameras and the cold

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sunlou, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. sunlou

    sunlou TPF Noob!

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    I just wanted to know if there were precautions or things to know about photoshooting in the winter... can a Rebel XS go out in the snow at 0 Faranheit?

    Thanks
     
  2. MrRamonG

    MrRamonG TPF Noob!

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    Shutter will be slow.
     
  3. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have similar concerns. I use a Canon 50D, and although I know it has some weatherproofing features... We've been seeing pretty inconsistent weather this winter (cold/warm, wet/dry... and all within days of each other. Since December alone I've noticed drops as low as -30 Celsius (or lower) and peaks as high as +10 Celsius. And that doesn't account for any rain/wind/snow that goes along with it.

    Anyway, back to the point... How do you care for your camera when the weather is like that?
     
  4. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    :raisedbrow:


    According to Canon USA, the XS is rated from 32 to 104 F (0-40 C) operating temp. If you were wanting to go outside to get a few shots, you aren't going to kill your camera. If you are out for any duration of time, keep a spare battery warmed in your pocket, as that kind of cold will sap them quickly. Also, when you come back in from the cold, expect some condensation to develop....just let it sit, and it'll dissipate.
     
  5. Mulewings~

    Mulewings~ TPF Noob!

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    I put my NikonD40 in a gallon zip lock bag. I cut holes for the lens to poke through and holes for the neck strap.
    Yesterday I used this while walking about in a snowstorm. The camera did not get wet.

    When I was finished, I took another gallon zip lock bag and set the whole works inside it before going in the house.

    I let the bagged camera sit and warm up on the table. Any condensation developed on the inside of the outer bag.

    Very cheap and nifty trick.
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The shutter shouldn't 'slow down' unless it gets really, really cold.

    I've shot in much colder temperatures on many occasions. One concern is the battery. Cold temps will reduce the battery's output so that it appears to be dead, so it's a good idea to have some fully charged spare batteries with you. Keep them in a pocket close to your body, so they stay warm. When the one in the camera dies, just swap it out with a warm one.

    Another concern is condensation. If you take your cold gear into a warm & humid environment (indoors), condensation will form on all the cold surfaces of the gear, even inside the camera & lens. You obviously want to avoid this, so you need to isolate the gear from the warm air until the gear can warm up. A good method is to put your camera into a large zip-lock type bag before you come inside. At the very least, leave it zipped up in your camera bag until it can warm up.
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The camera should operate fine, the issue you will have is the battery will freeze. It will show as being empty, but its not. So having a second battery tucked in to your jacket, close to your body to keep warm, is a must.

    When battery 1 freezes, switch for battery 2 putting battery 1 in the jacket to warm up.


    The one issue to watch out for is when you come back inside with your camera and the condensation that can form when you are going from cold to hot. Do not turn on your camera right away when you are in doors... condensation + electronics aren't the best match.

    Wait a few hours. I usually leave the camera in the camera bag for 2 hours, in my house entry way (which is a wee bit colder than in the house) to let the camera warm up slowly. Some people put the camera in a zip lock bag right away, close it, and wait 2 hours.

    Others carry those little salt packs that you get when you buy a bag in the bag as they absorb moisture.

    But other than that, you are fine to actually shoot in the cold.

    I took some pictures in January 2009 at -25C outside (without windchill) and had no issues (not even with my battery?!?) with my XSI.
     
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Arg... Mike always beats me by a few minutes, thats why he has the purple title :)
     
  9. MrRamonG

    MrRamonG TPF Noob!

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    Maybe this article will help.
    Canon Digital Learning Center - Cold Weather Shooting

    When I shot film in very cold temps while in the desert, I noticed terrible shutter lag. I noticed what appeared to be the same condition, while shooting with my DSLR in freezing conditions on Mount Lassen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2009
  10. BuS_RiDeR

    BuS_RiDeR No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yay! the amount of knowledge that these forums offer astounds me. :)
     

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