Possible Dumb Question - Cameras in cold weather

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Dmitri, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,872
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    End of the line
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I went out shooting today, and it was pretty chilly out. It will get worse as winter approaches. Being a photonoob, this will be my first winter with the camera (Canon XTI) and I'm suddenly having fears of shattering glass and internal damage due to cold weather.

    Am I worrying for naught or is there something I should do before needing to buy a new camera?

    Thanks for advice.
     
  2. jcolman

    jcolman TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Raleigh NC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The only thing you have to worry about is condensation forming on the camera and lens when you move from the cold to the warmth inside. Put your camera in a ziplock bag before you go inside and don't take it out until it's warmed up will prevent condensation. Even if you forget and condensation does form, it's usually not a big deal. Just let the camera dry out before opening the card slot.

    Also, your camera batteries will run down quicker in the cold. Keep the batteries in your pocket until you want to shoot and they'll last longer.
     
  3. furono

    furono TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Nagoya
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    jcolman said it good. I haven't heard of anything happening where I live when it snows.

    The only bad thing to happen to me was I lost my cell phone in the snow. Dropped out somewhere while I was shuffling lenses and caps. Lucky I live in Japan and somebody turned it into the police station.

    On a side note in the cold: I have seen people wearing those gloves that can be used as grey cards.

    Steve
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Depends on how cold. Usually everything will be fine until you get to below freezing temperatures. In the picture below, my fully charged battery lasted only an hour. I don't know the exact temp, but I do know that it was well below freezing because the lake was starting to freeze and the condensation on my tripod froze solid.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jklersy

    Jklersy TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    I live in MN
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I shot a lunar eclipse at -20ish F and my batt lasted about 45 min and my second batt lasted about an hour. It took about 4 hours for it to come back to room temp when I came in and has worked fine during and since. I took about 40 shots, trying to do a time laps. Did I already say -20F? yeah, I froze and the camera kept goin till the battery died
     
  6. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,662
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yup, same here, except it was about 0 F. I shot the eclipse for about 2 hours, only I was running in and out of the house. I put my camera in a ziplock bag before going back in the house. Then I went back out, took some more shots as the eclipse was happening. Probably ran in and out of the house about 20 times during the 2 hours, putting the camera in the ziplock bag each time before going in and not pulling the camera back out until I was outside.

    I have a small superzoom, not a dSLR. It runs on 4 AA NiMH batteries. Batteries lasted the entire time, no problem. My tripod sat outside the entire 2 hours. It was completely covered in frost.

    I did pull the SD card out before putting the camera in the ziplock bag each time so I could look at the shots before going back out.
     
  7. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    5,872
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    End of the line
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks for the replies, all. Good to know that I only have to worry about battery draining quicker - I can live with that! :)
     
  8. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 14, 2007
    Messages:
    5,076
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I regularly shoot in temperatures down to as low at -30 with a wind. I just keep my camera in my camera bag and only take it out to shoot. When I go back to the cabin, I leave it in my camera bag to warm up before I take it out. I have not had any condensation problem yet, with digital.

    Using a film camera and going inside and outside frequently, I had condensation actually freeze to my lens and viewfinder, but that was minus -40 F. No permanent damage was done.

    skieur
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  9. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The battery only drains as the chemicals freeze. If it starts becoming a real problem then keep the batteries in your pocket till you need them. Also when it gets cold enough then the LCD may die, but nothing that will stop the camera from working. I think there is even a photographer here on this forum who is permanently using their camera with a dead LCD.
     
  10. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2007
    Messages:
    1,662
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Might not stop mine from working, but since my viewfinder is an LCD, it would be difficult to get a perfect composition with a dead LCD :lmao::mrgreen::lmao:
     
  11. chrisburke

    chrisburke TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Madoc, Ontario Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

Share This Page