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Thread: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

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    Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    How low/high for how long? Which is worse for the camera; high or low?

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    How low/high for how long? Which is worse for the camera; high or low?
    My Nikon manual states operating conditions 0-40C (32-104F) and less than 85%RH. but I was watching a PBS special called Christmas in Yellowstone and the photographer was working in below zero conditions. Mind you the professional had a film camera but there were other amatuers on the excursion that were using digital. Batteries tend to drain very quickly in winter and excessive heat can also interfere with the electronics.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    I read the manual as well, but I also watched several Discovery Channel shows where photographers were in miserably cold conditions and shooting digital and wondered wherein lay the absolute no-no tolerances. I had my D40 in temps well above 104 last summer and it didn't show the least bit of hesitation.
    I wonder what temps others are shooting in...like Roband Donald who regularly hike off into the snow?

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    My 1Ds3 takes heat from the boot of the car - rain - sometimes slightly below zero ... and doesn't seem to care. My rule of thumb is "it's too hot if it's too hot to hold", but even in the boot of the car - in a camera car - the hottest it ever seems to get is "handwarmer warm".

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    As well as the actual effect of the outdoor temperature, isn't one of the other concerns condensation when bringing a camera from the cold into the warm or from the warm into the cold ? It's something I've read about but never experienced so far.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    I'd guess most cameras should have adequate sealing to cope with standard humidity ranges as far as damp air goes. Good share are waterproof (at least to ipx4, storm conditions at sea are different story) and most higher end stuff is ipx7 and over so will survive dunking no problems so humidity wont touch it.

    As for condensation it's the cold to warm part that causes the issues as you know so often not too bad, don't have much experience living in UK of cold aircon on high indoors to blazing summer outdoors change to comment on whether humidity is high enough to cause major issue. What I can testify to is if you come in from freezing outdoors and want to start shooting in relatively warm indoors asap it's a different story and condensation inside cam is always one of those things which slows things down somewhat and is best avoided.

    On that note I find plastic bagging your gear when you are going cold>hot and leaving it in the bag (inflated with exterior temp air of course) to sit for a while means the temperature change is gradual and avoids most issues so imagine would work for you. Kind of like proceedure when you transfer fish between ponds where you bag them and let them acclimatise to new temp slowly rather than short sharp shock.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    I don't know about Nikon, Chris, but I've been shooting Canon 1 series cameras for the last 3 years and have yet to find weather conditions they can't handle. Everything from 0 degree temperatures Fahrenheit in the Rocky Mountains to shooting 9-10 hours straight in the rain in Guatemalan rainforests and my camera never knew the difference. One chap described the 1Ds3 (I shoot the same, Colin) as basically bullet proof and I'd say he's not far off . Now, I would say that my Canon 30D isn't built to near the specifications that my 1's are (I have a 1Vhs (film) and a 1Ds mark III) and so I don't take it out in the rain, although temperatures don't seem to bother it at all.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    From the perspective of damage to the camera, high temps are far more of a problem that low temperatures. The first indication of heat problems would most likely be noisy images, so if you're shooting in high heat, you might want to check your shots for noise occasionally. Low temperatures are more dangerous for the batteries than the electronics, but the most likely problem will be that the batteries drain very quickly.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmoll View Post
    One chap described the 1Ds3 (I shoot the same, Colin) as basically bullet proof and I'd say he's not far off .
    The standing joke is "you can use one to knock out a charging rhinocerous ...

    ... and then use it again to photograph the unconscious beast"!

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    I was just wondering this the other day. I was out and about taking pics and the temp was 6F. I didn't notice anything different other than the battery drained really fast. After I realized the temp I was concerned that it might damage my camera or lens. If it damaged the camera... I could upgrade. But, the lens is new and wouldn't want to damage that.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    New Hampshire, eh...I am coming there tis summer to a workshop at the art Institute in Manchester. Looks like a lovely area. As per cold, I think the battery is about all you need to fret over. I always carry an extra one or two, so it doesn't bother me one way or the other. I guess, if you got down to 20 below there might be call for concern, but even then, snug it up under your parka and it will warm in a hurry..just watch for consensation.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    I used my D700 in Algonquin Park a few weeks ago and it was about -20 C. I was shooting a lot using an off camera flash and after about 10 minutes it froze up on me (ERR message). I brought it into the tent to warm it up and after about 15 minutes it worked fine, so I have to assume it was the temperature that caused the ERR message.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    New Hampshire, eh...I am coming there tis summer to a workshop at the art Institute in Manchester. Looks like a lovely area. As per cold, I think the battery is about all you need to fret over. I always carry an extra one or two, so it doesn't bother me one way or the other. I guess, if you got down to 20 below there might be call for concern, but even then, snug it up under your parka and it will warm in a hurry..just watch for consensation.
    Lucky you, I'll be there next week when the temperatures are predicted below zero. I'm from WNY so it's not much of a swing in the degrees area. Why can't I get the Hawaiian gigs?

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
    New Hampshire, eh...I am coming there tis summer to a workshop at the art Institute in Manchester. Looks like a lovely area. As per cold, I think the battery is about all you need to fret over. I always carry an extra one or two, so it doesn't bother me one way or the other. I guess, if you got down to 20 below there might be call for concern, but even then, snug it up under your parka and it will warm in a hurry..just watch for consensation.
    It is pretty up here. You'll have a great time, I'm sure. We are up in the Lakes Region (Winnipesaukee). If you like nature an landscape head on north on 93 and head into the notch and take a drive up the Kancamangus, or head over on 89 toward Sunapee and into VT to the Quechee Gorge, or into Stowe and the surrounding areas.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Lucky you, I'll be there next week when the temperatures are predicted below zero. I'm from WNY so it's not much of a swing in the degrees area. Why can't I get the Hawaiian gigs?
    Enjoy your chilly time up here. Bring your warm boots and gloves... skis, too.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Cameras in cars... When I am leaving my camera in my vehicle I leave it in a Styrofoam picnic cooler without ice of course. IMO, the cooler serves a triple purpose.

    1. It will mitigate the high temperatures of the car interior

    2. More importantly, it is a safety factor. I am pretty sure that a cooler would not attract a thief since the contents of the cooler could be a couple of ham sandwiches. Not exactly a great haul for a thief...

    3. The Styrofoam is relatively soft and protects the camera.

    Anyway, it has worked so far! My camera has never felt very hot when removing it from the cooler even on hot days and my car has never been broken into to get the cooler... YET! However, I tend to place the gear into the cooler in a location other than where I park my car.

    In fact, I have recently been keeping an old 350D camera with a 28-135mm IS lens in a small Styrofoam cooler as a ready camera in case I see something that is photogenic or newsworthy. My Honda CRV has a neat place to keep this small cooler underneath the picnic table which serves as the back deck. There is a cooler sized space there which is out of sight from any would-be thief.

    As far as precipitation (which often accompanies inclement weather), I use a Kata rain-cover along with a new Chinese knock-off of the Kata which I purchased on eBay for ten U.S. Dollars. This cover allows me to use a longer lens + a flash. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWNX:IT

    As a Southern Californian, I am not often faced with extremely low temperatures. However, a couple of extra camera batteries in my inside pocket would be the way to go. I use the new version of Eneloop batteries for my flash (I will almost always have a flash on my camera for fill work) which are good for -20 degrees centigrade or -4 degrees Fahrenheit as opposed to the original Eneloops which are good down to -10 degrees C. or 14 degrees F.. Since I am no longer being paid for my photo efforts... I am not going to be out shooting in temperatures lower than this...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 21st January 2011 at 04:40 PM.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    That's a great idea, thanks!

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    Enjoy your chilly time up here. Bring your warm boots and gloves... skis, too.
    I did a bit of research and found a few photos of the Mount Washington Observatory encased in ice. Would love to see it but didn't plan ahead.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    1. It will mitigate the high temperatures of the car interior
    I'm wondering in reality, just how much high temperatures REALLY bother electronic equipment. Probably a good "case in point" is a radar detector; mine is black - sits in the car, in the windscreen, and in full sunlight. Often when I get in the car it's too hot too touch ... and yet it continues to work. Why should electronics heating up to even 70 or 80 dec C really bother it? (I've had CPUs and video cards going much higher, again, with no issues).

    My camera stuff is always in the boot - everyone says this is a "no no", but again, I've never had any issues. It can get "nice and warm", but then again, things like flashes can get "nice and warm" when operating normally anyway.

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    Re: Outside Temps and Digital SLR Cameras

    Part of the problem with high heat for cameras is not so much the electronics, but the lenses. Too high of heat will break down the fine film of lube on the focusing helicoid inside the lens, which can then migrate to the aperture blades. This will cause them to "stick" and not respond as they should, ending in overexposed photos.

    I have never heard of this happening while shooting outside, but have seen it happen to a few lenses left inside a hot vehicle.

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