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Thread: DSLR vs Snow

  1. #1

    Default DSLR vs Snow

    Hi guys, heading to japan for snowboarding soon. I'll be bringing my 20D along! Wondering if anyone ever tried skiing with the camera? It'll hurt like hell if you fall right..

    Anyway been reading past articles about sub zero temps so just wanna make sure I have the precautions right:

    1- Camera in the cold air, batteries run out of juice real fast. Does this apply to AA batts too? I will use them in the grip as backup once the main one dies. By what degree of drainage will it affect? Eg. 500 shots become 250?

    2- Going into a warm room, to prevent condensation/moisture inside the camera I'm supposed to wait until the air warms up then take the camera out of my bag yes? Normal camera bag will do or do I have to buy a ziplock to put the camera in before entering a warm room?

    Hope the friendly people here can advise!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Singapore Central

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    I don't think you will have any problem. The humidity is not high compared to Singapore and given the low temperature, even in a warm room there, you shouldn't have problem with condensation.

    I was in Hokkaido last year when it was snowing and the temperature was about -10 deg and despite bringing my camera in and out of the coach at every stop and inside hotel, the camera was completely dry. Snow falling on the camera also did not give any problem as all you need to do is to brush it away (unlike rain). Since you are going there, you might as well be prepared. I did not have dedicated rain jacket with me then and I simply used a jumbo sized ziplock bag and placed my Nikon D80 back in leaving only the lens hood protruding from the opening. I had no difficulty operating the camera at all although this was not the best method of protecting it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    go enjoy your hoilday and worry less about your camera.

  4. #4

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    I live in Sweden and never worry about the snow, unless it is real heavy, or unless it is too mild and windy at the same time. The problem with snowboarding with the camera is that the snow around you may be quite substantial, a lot of it may end up on your bag or, worse, directly on your camera. If the weather is mild, around a few minus only, the snow may easily melt on your bag or camera. The melted snow may cause problems in water form, but also if you are out for long, the melted snow will freeze to ice, which may be worse in the end, since the only way to get rid of that is by melting it once again. In fact, that is the main reason why I am getting the new Oly E-3 soon, to replace the E-500. I need the weather protected body.

    So, my advice is, be careful. Use a weather protected bag, like any Lowepro AW type, or similar. Keep everything inside the bag, unless you are about to take an image, don't keep your camera on your shoulder for longer than needed.

    As for entering my house with the camera, I use no protection for that. If there is condensation, it is only on the surface and that is gone by itself after a few minutes. Don't use the camera directly after entering a house or a warmer environment, like a restaurant or shop. Don't remove the lens or anything, just let it be for about a half an hour and you are probably safe.

    Most of all, have a good time, take many images, don't worry, but take care.

  5. #5

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    Spare battery pack you may place in your internal pocket, but anyway, real problems with capacity began under -10C.
    Condensation is a most important problem, and IMO in this article all issues are described enough good
    Last edited by reedcat1965; 24th January 2008 at 09:05 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    Wow thanks a lot guys! Some mixed ideas here but i guess the problem isnt that big after all... I'll just bring a big ziplock and snap away then.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Melbourne & Singapore

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    One factor to consider is your skiing ability. If you're good enough, then bringing an SLR should not be an issue but if you're not, I'll be more concerned about actually damaging the camera.

  8. #8

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    Some helpful tips here in addition to the help here

    Not much about skiing while using your camera though
    It is the camera, not the photographer.
    my flickr -

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    Just to share a story here since TS is going snowboarding with his 20D.

    My friend who's quite a decent snowboarder decided to bring his SLR up with him to the slopes to take the nice scenery up there. He was going pretty slowly as he wanted to be sure he didn't fall with the SLR on him. All was well until on his way down, a little bump caught him off guard. And his first instinct was "protect camera!" and both hands went to the camera sling bag to push it to his side (he was falling forward). He ended up with a long cut across his nose as his goggles had cut him when his face went into the snow. His camera was fine of course.

    I guess everyone would have their own ideas on how he could have saved his nose (and the camera at the same time), but my take is: when on the move, keep your gear in a place where you know you shouldn't have to worry about it, like near the top of a backpack.

  10. #10

    Default Re: DSLR vs Snow

    Thanks again for the tips, the website helps!
    I will put the camera in a backpack and only take photos when stationary then.
    Gengh, I know how your friend feels, the last time I was up on the slopes, this noob e-braked infront of me and i totally flew over him, landing on my face. Teeth cut my lips and my mouth was dripping blood.
    Also, my bro fell with his big prosumer zipped in his chest. camera gave him a huge bruise but cam was hardy and didnt spoil.

    The pains we must go through to share our memories eh?


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