problems with dslr in extremely cold weather?


aranair

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Aug 20, 2008
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Boon Lay
#1
I will be travelling to Northern sweden/finland during the winter times and i realised the temperature is going to drop to roughly -30 C. ... Has anyone been to such cold weather with a dslr? I'm currently using a d200 which is supposed to be 'weather-sealed' but im not sure if its able to withstand these temperatures.

I sadly do not have a cold weather case yet(if theres something like that). Can anyone advice me on some precautions to take while taking photos in that weather?

I have an aluminium manfrotto tripod with me as well, under -30C anyone know if the joints/legs will screw up and lock?


Thanks a-lot for reading my post and i hope someone with experience in these temperatures would be able to help me out!

Homan
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#2
Please try a search. Every year at this time of year there are 20-30 "DSLR in cold weather" threads.

And think about it: Every darn article you see in all the nature magazines taken in cold climates was taken with a DSLR. Every DSLR out there is designed in a country with cold winters.

A little common sense will go a long way.
 

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aranair

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#4
shrugs if you aren't helpful enough to help fine with me, I tried a search with cold weather and it came up weird entries like rain and i went through 2 pages i think, i look at the title of the threads and the threads were mostly just not appropriate to my questions.

And for your information, while I was reading one of those threads, someone mentioned something about casings to protect the cameras further, in extreme winters and so I was led to believe that perhaps it would be better to enquire if MORE protections should be in place and im going to a country which is amongst the coldest in the world, -30 C and below is not really classified as normal cold winters to me.

And if you would exercise a tiny bit more common sense as well, perhaps you would realise not everyone has had the opportunity and experience to have read so many magazines like you have, let alone nature magazines. And just because you are a senior memeber in here doesn't mean you have the right to discount on courtesy to new members who are sincerely just seeking information, albeit not always the right way.

I don't see why I am not allowed to post a question to helpful individuals who are willing to spend one minute of their time to clarify my doubts before i set off a trip where it might be potentially dangerous to my camera. Instead, you had to spend that same minute replying in a rude manner to some complete stranger you had no previous grudges against.

on a sidenote: the few threads that matches my question ironically contains you making the same line saying there are hundreds of threads already containing the information. jeesh,i bet like the last 200 entries of these questions you replied the same, so the real entries just gets buried under piles of your useless replies. do you just go around hunt for these threads so you can vent your anger or what?
 

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Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#5
And just because you are a senior memeber in here doesn't mean you have the right to discount on courtesy to new members who are sincerely just seeking information, albeit not always the right way.
You've been a member since August 2008. That's not "new".

In the time it took to read your soliloquy, I did a search for "winter cold dslr" And found many many threads dealing with your question.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=548033&highlight=winter+cold+dslr

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605058&highlight=winter+cold+dslr

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=578458&highlight=winter+cold+dslr

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=591366&highlight=winter+cold+dslr

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=585263&highlight=winter+cold+dslr

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=571125&highlight=winter+cold+dslr

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=577993&highlight=winter+cold+dslr


Now, since you've been around since 2008, you should know that the main concern is to keep a spare set of batteries warm.
 

aranair

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Aug 20, 2008
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#6
how about you check the number of things i've ever written in here. I don't surf this place as often as you do. Well, in the first place, having difficulty searching for the entries is a problem in itself it seems to me, i've searched for cold weather and went through 2 pages of threads in search of relevance to no avail and i can't say i haven't tried looking in the old entries first?

So what say you? But thank you for the helpful information at last though. and no, please stop assuming just because i have been registered since 2008, i have the appropriate information. And shrugs i do know that spare warms are a need but I am also worried for the maintenance of my camera, what with fogging and internal condensation/leakage etc.

Uhm, the threads you have posted me, well they are all pretty irrelevant to my question. Alot of them refer to cold weater as zero degrees, that is like barely cold to me right now heh. Some speak of -20, but none have indicated that they have gone below -30 and -30C will be a norm for me during my stay up north.

Also, some are hinting at sub-20s might warrant more precautionary measures which was exactly what i was thinking, even if cameras and lenses CAN operate at these temperatures there must be some way i can protect it from breaking down further? (i've read up about condensation already) are there any other precautions i should take note?
 

night86mare

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Aug 25, 2006
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#7
shrugs if you aren't helpful enough to help fine with me, I tried a search with cold weather and it came up weird entries like rain and i went through 2 pages i think, i look at the title of the threads and the threads were mostly just not appropriate to my questions.
http://tinyurl.com/yc5femt

http://www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=295139
http://cameradojo.com/2007/12/05/dslr-myths-–-cold-weather-is-bad-for-your-dlsr/
http://forums.photographyreview.com/showthread.php?t=25988
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081215104658AAjBJkg
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/s.../107568-5d-cold-weather-use-any-problems.html

have a nice day!

i see you like to write essays. :)
 

night86mare

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#8
Uhm, the threads you have posted me, well they are all pretty irrelevant to my question. Alot of them refer to cold weater as zero degrees, that is like barely cold to me right now heh. Some speak of -20, but none have indicated that they have gone below -30 and -30C will be a norm for me during my stay up north.
happy happy post above!

please click tinyurl for a world of love! :heart::heart:
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#9
I wont worry about the D200. Its whether your fingers will be fine in the open as using a dslr with mittens is pretty challenging. This is of course if you will be outside at -30.

one thing about sweden if you walk around the cities, there always seems to be a convenient pub or so my friend tells me.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
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#10
one thing about sweden if you walk around the cities, there always seems to be a convenient pub or so my friend tells me.
Great for warming your insides. ;)
 

yokoshy

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Dec 5, 2009
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#12
Are you a troll? *pokes with stick*

Was there really a need to be so condescending? A simply "there are already specific threads for this topic" would have sufficed yes?

Not saying you were wrong about there being previous threads but not everyone spends every waking moment foruming? He only has like what, 42 posts? Obviously not married to the forum or anything. Give him a break =/

Wouldn't kill you to be nicer, you know. (unless trolls are allergic to manners?)
 

ponders

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Dec 18, 2005
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#13
just my experience...

in such weather i usually wrap the camera in a scarf or something warm.

i will as much as possible reduce the number of times going in/out doors as to prevent condensation. Indoors in such climates usually have high humidity due to melting ice.

when i go indoors.. i will hold the camera as is, no putting inside bags and places that are potentially humid.

expect shorter battery life, retarded LCD, and in some cases.. jammed mechanisms.

but so far have no failed cameras due to extreme weathers
 

slith210

New Member
Dec 5, 2009
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#15
Hi all

im goin to purchase a PANASONIC ZR1 soon

however can any1 here tell me if it is suitable for winter ?

ie) will the ZR1 spoil if i use it in cold conditions?


thanks in advance
 

#16
hmm even yahoo does come up with the most basic details on how to keep a dslr safe in winter/cold conditions!

1st time i see someone blast back after posting this question and the next person who replies ask him to do a search...was seriously having a good laugh looking at the essays.

but in someway i do agree with TS..sometimes the search dont really work unless till very specific..i can search 50-200mm and sometimes nothing comes out.. but this winter thingy do give alot of results
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#18
Also, some are hinting at sub-20s might warrant more precautionary measures which was exactly what i was thinking, even if cameras and lenses CAN operate at these temperatures there must be some way i can protect it from breaking down further? (i've read up about condensation already) are there any other precautions i should take note?
This is contradicting. Either the camera works or you need protection.
The main precautions: keep the battery warm. In addition, you might learn to go without your LCD, they simply don't work at such temperatures. Close to zero you'll notice that the display is slow when changing numbers, further down it goes blank when the Liquid Crystals freeze. Not sure when it will happen, maybe newer displays have a wider temperature tolerance.
Check with outdoor equipment shops, there are hand warmers that you can put inside your gloves. Could be an idea to put them inside your camera bag to keep the inside warmer than zero. Please check carefully to avoid overheating your camera.
Also do read up about additional compensation settings when shooting snowy landscapes. Stop worrying, enjoy shooting and the experience.
 

user12343

Senior Member
May 15, 2005
1,032
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#19
suggest to TS if the temperature is really freezingly low, get a few packs of 12-hour foot/hand-warmers to keep ur batteries warm, as lithium-based batteries operating life will be shorter. can buy from beach road market where they sell army supplies. :)
 

ziploc

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Jan 17, 2002
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#20
Are you a troll? *pokes with stick*

Was there really a need to be so condescending? A simply "there are already specific threads for this topic" would have sufficed yes?

Not saying you were wrong about there being previous threads but not everyone spends every waking moment foruming? He only has like what, 42 posts? Obviously not married to the forum or anything. Give him a break =/
Wouldn't kill you to be nicer, you know. (unless trolls are allergic to manners?)
Well said, and as a mod I can't agree more. It doesn't hurt to be nicer or having better manners. :thumbsup: And for those "senior members", no doubt you've been around and you've seen it all. And if you are tired about the same thing being asked over and over again by newbies, you can just simply ignoring these questions. Let others who are willing to reply do so.

As for TS' queries, I've not been to places that are -30 degree before, but I had been to places that were -25, usually in a prolong period (high altitude mountaineering). Here are what I have to share:

  • 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.

Hope that helps. Cheers. :)
 

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