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Thread: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

  1. #21

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    make it a sticky please

  2. #22

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    See this article on extreme conditions review of Canon 7D.

    http://canonfieldreviews.com/

  3. #23

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    i hv experienced b4 the weather at -13 degree c few of my fren dslr was auto shut down due to chemical of batt stop reactioned.n one of our view cam spoilt.. Keep it warm n make it fast.. Take out capture then keep it.. Another issue is can u withstand the weather of -30 degree c.. Is frezzing cold tat can goes into ur bone even with winter jacket..

  4. #24
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Many thanks once again, for the inputs (: hopefully with all these in mind, nothing will go wrong during the trip ~
    d700 | AF Nikon 24mm f2.8D | AF Nikon 50mm f1.4D | Samyang 85mm f1.4 UMC | Tamron 90mm f2.8

  5. #25

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Try this one, sounds reasonable.

    http://ezinearticles.com/?Keeping-Yo...res&id=3249722

    Another forum UKClimbing.com mentioned keeping battery with handwarmer packs.

  6. #26
    Member whizzard's Avatar
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    I just went for a skiing trip to the French Alps. Took my 5DMII with me. Worked extremely well throughout the trip. No noticeable drop in battery life (I didn't need to recharge for the whole week). But then again, I took only about 200 pics. Needed no extra protection - just put the camera in my haversack and took it indoors and outdoors. Didn't change lens as I brought only the 24-105. Weather was between -2 to -10.

    Was a little apprehensive before I went but am glad I did it. Didn't notice any condensation when I reviewed the photos indoor (after letting it sit in my haversack for 30 mins to acclimatise).

  7. #27

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    This will be my virgin post on CS

    Hi Mods, thanks for making this thread a sticky. It will provide members with good relevant info. Bearing in mind that most of us will feel anxious when using our cameras (paid by hard earned mollars to own one DSLR) in countries where the conditions may or may not cause permanent malfunction.
    Last edited by adamirfan; 3rd January 2010 at 04:44 PM.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Hi, I thought of sharing some personal experiences from my trip to Seoul during the winter (End Dec09).

    Temperature range from: -25degrees(peaks at night) to 8degrees(peaks at noon)

    Equipment brought: 500D and a Benro tripod

    I remember reading some information about protecting your camera from condensation when traveling from a cold area to a warm area. I would like to fill in more details on that. Since I travel with a tour package, I got to notice some interesting truths and false about the above statement.

    Condensation only happens when 2 conditions exist.
    1) Drastic change of temperature (cold to warm, or warm to cold)
    2) When high humidity exist for moisture to condense on a surface.

    TRUTH: When boarding a tour coach with alot of fellow tourists breathing out warm moist air into the "enclosed space" in the coach cabin, YES CONDENSATION OCCURS on your lens. Do protect your camera by putting it in your camera bag before entering the coach. An additional tip of exposing the inside of your bag to the cold temperature outside is a VERY USEFUL tip to allow time for your lens to "warm up" to the warm coach temperature. Also, I noticed something interesting, SNOW BUILDS UP in the internal side of the coach window. That is how humid the coach cabin is when it is filled up with people. Its a death sentence to your lens if that happens.

    False: Condensation doesn't occur when you enter a restaurant/museum/building. As a building is usually a wide enclosed space, humidity doesn't build up. Also, the frequent opening/closing of the main doors(to the outside) reduces any build up of humidity. Thus, you don't really have to be that conservative in protecting your lens from condensation.

    Ok, moving away from "Condensation" topic, I would like to share something interesting about the tripod. I noticed that when using the tripod in the cold winter (especially at night), the different metals of the tripod contracts differently. What I noticed is that my ball head becoming very loose and it just won't fasten tightly to the tripod mounting. Just don't panic and remember not to tighten your ball head screw mount too much before u return to the hotel (warmer place), else you will have a jammed ball head screw mount

    Lastly, enjoy your holiday! Else, it won't be called a "holiday" right?

    Hope these 2 facts help
    Cheers!

  9. #29

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Hi

    I just want to share my experience up north this time of the year. I was in Harbin for a week and the temp dropped between -20 to -35 deg C (coldest in 43 years). Learnt a couple of useful tips.

    Was carrying a Nikon D300s, a couple of Lens and a flash in a cushion bag. I was amazed (after reading so much about equipment in the cold weather) that throughout the trip, I did not have any issues with the camera and flash, although the 18-200 zoom len was a bit stiff. I was outdoor like 3-4 hours at a time and with camera in my hand all the time. Make sure that you hold tight of your camera and make it to land on your on top of your stomach in case of any fall.

    1. Make sure you had all the precautions to keep yourselves warm, especially exposed hands and fingers when handling your camera. Snow gloves are not flexible, especially when you need to make some adjustment on camera. Recommend that you wear 2, one cotton glove on the inside and the stubbed one on the outside, so that equipment don't easily slipped from your hand.

    2. Cold weather, UV very strong. If you are wearing a sunglasses while taking outdoor photo, remember that what you see through your camera is different.

    3. Battery use up very quickly. I recommend that you purchase those heat pad, those that suppose to stick on your clothing to keep you warm. ( I am using a brand called "Kobayashi") Use one to cover the battery area. I covered part of the right grip of the camera including the battery cover, warm throughout and my battery lasts longer than anyone. One can last for about 6-8 hours before changing and most of the time, my battery life still ok.

    4. If you have live view function on your camera, use it. Frozen feeling when sticking your face against the body of the camera.

    5. Keep your lens and camera in the bag for a while longer before taking out when moving from cold to warm area. Last thing you wanted was condensation.

    6. Believe me, metal on your tripod stick to your skin. Handle it with a glove.

    7. Wipe down your equipment at any opportunity, I do it every night after "defrost" my equipment.


    Enjoy your winter holiday. Hope this will helps.

    Ken

  10. #30
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by chua0165 View Post
    Condensation only happens when 2 conditions exist.
    1) Drastic change of temperature (cold to warm, or warm to cold)
    2) When high humidity exist for moisture to condense on a surface.
    Condensation do not happen when moving from a warm environment to a cold one. Don't believe me, you can try.

    False: Condensation doesn't occur when you enter a restaurant/museum/building. As a building is usually a wide enclosed space, humidity doesn't build up. Also, the frequent opening/closing of the main doors(to the outside) reduces any build up of humidity. Thus, you don't really have to be that conservative in protecting your lens from condensation.
    If the building/restaurant you enter is very very well heated, condensation will still occur. A lot more so if the restaurant has open pots of soup boiling away. It all depends on the difference in temperature and the humidity in the space. Even if the space is huge, it will be loaded with humidity in a hotpot restaurant.

    the different metals of the tripod contracts differently. What I noticed is that my ball head becoming very loose and it just won't fasten tightly to the tripod mounting. Just don't panic and remember not to tighten your ball head screw mount too much before u return to the hotel (warmer place), else you will have a jammed ball head screw mount
    I have no problems whatsoever with my Manfrotto ballhead in -25 deg C (and windy) weather.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 2nd May 2010 at 10:53 PM.

  11. #31
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Hey guys, I'm back from the trip up north. (for awhile now actually)

    Lowest temperature there went down to -33 degrees at the far north area and my d200 held up really well, except for the ONE time when my screen totally went bonkers and had some weird lines on it while viewing outside in the cold but after switching it off for 2-3mins it was back to normal. Battery life was passable but not superb (especially with d200). I alternated between 2 batteries with one spare battery kept close to body inside jacket. I only had to use the back-up battery once throughout the trip. Two batteries could last the entire day's shooting just fine for me.

    So yeah if anyone of you out there still wondering the lowest it can withstand, I think a weather-sealed body like d200 and above, shooting in -33 while it is snowing, is totally fine.

    As for the ones not sealed, just remember to brush the snow off abit before going indoors heh, and of course, the usual precautions like keeping it in the bag for awhile before taking it out when moving outdoors to indoors should be taken still ;P

    Ok thats about all, and thanks for all the information given to me before i went too (:

    Oh yeah, for my tripod, I bought a manfrotto tripod meant for digicam when i was there lol, it was like 100 euros heh, not the best but it seems to have held up really well there!
    Last edited by aranair; 6th May 2010 at 03:31 PM.
    d700 | AF Nikon 24mm f2.8D | AF Nikon 50mm f1.4D | Samyang 85mm f1.4 UMC | Tamron 90mm f2.8

  12. #32

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    HEAT PACKS is the solution!!!

  13. #33

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Sorry another newb question... so looking at the temperatures in question, am I safe to assume normal camera usage under climate temperatures of +/-0 degrees?

  14. #34
    Moderator ziploc's Avatar
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Quote Originally Posted by winterain View Post
    Sorry another newb question... so looking at the temperatures in question, am I safe to assume normal camera usage under climate temperatures of +/-0 degrees?
    Not sure of what you meant by "normal camera usage", but if you're asking whether the camera will work, then yes, especially if it is around 0 degree which is actually not that cold. Battery life will be shorten, so bring back up batteries and warm them as mentioned in previous posts.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    A little unrelated, but what about using compact cameras like the canon S90 in cold weather? I'm going to Mt Fuji next month and a friend advised me not to bring my camera along cuz the cold will affect it, and anyway all I'm going to get is photographs of other people's heads. -_-

  16. #36
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    No problem with using compacts in cold weather, and the precautions are similar as mentioned above. For trekking/mountaineering trips I usually bring along 2 cameras, a compact (Fuji F11) and a DSLR. The Fuji F11's shutter did jam on me before but recovered when I descended to warmer areas.

  17. #37

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    compact no problem, i took it to harbin previously with more than -30++, no problem, just the battery like s**t.
    mt fuji not that cold, aug is still summer. i went last oct/nov, only +10 to +15, just the wind abit big :P.

  18. #38

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    wow haha ! thats informative. thanx! my NITEMARE is over. getting a 1gallon ziplock bag should save the day! hahaha !!

    to TS,
    no prob. i've brought my cam to north of china. seems alrite though my lens condenses but i dont on it in the hotel / room. no issues. when out my cam in my jacket. i got a handwarmer to keep my cam warm too haha ~ not sure if they works but till now my 30D stil fighting war for me back here in SG

    Cheers!
    ** haha sorry didnt notice this thread was like ages ago. haha ! 0ops
    Last edited by stormweaver; 13th September 2010 at 01:43 AM.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    * Always keep a protective layer on your hands. Extreme temperature is no joke, and you can develop frost bites within minutes with your bare skin exposed to the environment. The way to do that is to wear a liner gloves beneath follow by the mittens. When you need to operate the camera, you can momentary remove the mittens but keep the liner on at all times. Mittens are better than gloves as they keep your fingers together and hence warmer.
    * Even though the place is rated -30 degree, in day time it is usually much warmer, especially when the sun is out. It will only reach the extreme temperature during the night or under a snow storm/wind chill.
    * Keep your DSLR in a protective jacket in your backpack/bag (the padded camera bags works great as the padding can act as the jacket). I usually keep my camera inside a padded bag and then put that into my backpack. Carefully keep out any moisture because if it gets inside your camera, it will freeze and can cause jamming of the mechanical parts (e.g. shutter). Hence keeping it inside your jacket close to your body in this case is not a very good idea as when you sweat your camera will be exposed to the moisture. On the other hand, it is a good idea to keep spare batteries close to your body to keep them warm.
    * One very important thing to take note is that battery performance decline rapidly under very cold condition. So it is important to keep spares, and keep them warm by keeping close to your body as mentioned above.
    * When bringing your camera from the outdoor to the indoor, condensation might form if it is humid indoor. But usually during winter the air is quite dry so that is not much of a worry. If you want to take precaution, just zip up your camera in a ziploc bag before going indoor. When going from indoor to outdoor, just leave it inside the jacket in your bag and it will be fine.
    * As for your tripod, if it is made of bare metal, just take note that bare skin sticks to them easily under sub zero condition, so it is advisable to use tripod sleeves. If it is carbon fibre then it is not so bad.

    That's very good advice. One thing I want to add is when you come back home, send your camera & lenses in for a complete cleaning & servicing to ensure that your equipment as well as before.
    In such extreme condition safety is more important than a missed opportunity to shoot a picture. Make sure you have a steady & clear view location before you start shooting as your vision will be badly impaired. If you are all dressed up why don't you dressed up the camera too. Wrapped it with something warm & only exposed the lens & viewfinder when you need to shoot.

  20. #40

    Default Re: problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?

    Here's a little contribution while my memory's still fresh. I went to Harbin in late December 2010 and the temperatures were between -25 to -30 degrees celcius. I had a D700, Sigma 24-70 F2.8 HSM, SB900 and Tamron 70-200 F2.8 with me. Everything worked fine, except for the Sigma (which was damaged back in Singapore, so that's unrelated).


    The frozen D700 was working perfectly well. I wasn't.


    So was the SB900.

    Some tips to take note:

    1) Your camera will last longer than you in the cold. Keep yourself as warm as possible if you want to take photos. Your fingers are especially susceptible to the cold and they will hurt.

    2) As mentioned often, batteries don't last long in the cold. Have spares. I only experienced my battery completely dying on me once, but you'll see the power draining quite quickly. On a side note, the Phottix EN-EL3e performed as well as my originals.

    3) In terms of operation, there wasn't anything unusual. There was a 7D, 450D and D60 in my tour group. The 7D didn't have any problems, but the 450D and D60's batteries died quite often. There was also one incident when the D60 had a memory card error, but the error cleared once the camera was warmed up.

    4) Hold your breath when taking photos. While it may not be a necessity here, it is there, because your breath will fog up your viewfinder and you won't be able to see anything.

    5) Condensation is a problem, and ziploc bags are quite a hassle. I was the only one using a ziploc bag and it did keep my camera dry while I was in a warmer environment. However, it doesn't make much sense when you're in a tour group because you don't have the time to wait for your camera to change to the ambient temperature. There was an incident where I boarded the bus after being out in the cold for two hours - condensation occured as expected - and I didn't have the time to let the condensation clear because five minutes later it was time to visit another attraction. I thought that ice was going to form on the filter, but instead the cold outside evaporated all of the moisture!

    6) Using your gloved fingers to brush away snow will only melt them and make your camera wet. Use a blower (NOT your breath) to puff away as much snow as possible before boarding the bus etc.

    7) Don't attempt to use your lenspen on a frosted lens. I did that and my lenspen didn't work properly after that. It made the lens (filter) worse too.

    8) When it was snowing, I had my front element pointed downwards and my hand was covering the back of the camera body. That pretty much kept out most of the snow.

    9) It might be a good idea to keep your camera in your bag and then take it out only when you want to use it, but that option wasn't available to me because I was using a backpack.

    10) Don't be too worried about everything. The main priority is to enjoy the trip!
    Last edited by racoon31e; 14th January 2011 at 03:20 PM. Reason: Spelling error

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