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Re: Shooting in cold weather conditions?

Posted by nobody special on 12/31/07 16:05

I have shot in winter conditions since the umatic days. Heat packs on
the camera won't help if you don't defend against the condensation
problem first. A plastic bag with a lot of silica gel drying packets
can help. The idea is to get the air in the bag bone-dry and never
open it until the job is finished, working thru the bag is not easy,
nor is sealing around a lens opening. One of those cheaper shallow-
depth underwater camera bags might work for this.

You'll get dew warning shutdowns any time the camera has moisture or
humidity around it and a component colder than room temp. Heat packs
randomly applied to the outside are better than nothing but can't make
the whole camera equalized in temp, and not the lens components

You will want to let the camera gradually acclimate to the lower temps
over an hour or more before you try to shoot with it. Put it on AC
power while you wait, if you can. When done shooting, eject the tape
while still outside, leave the hatch open, then re-warm the camera
gradually as well. If you just can't do that, plan to have a hair
dryer to blow room-temp (not hot) air at the innards for a while to
help clear the dew. This could sometimes help in the field, if you
have a battery powered blow dryer handy :-). Do not shuttle or review
your tape in these conditions, you are only asking for trouble, just
record, stop, and eject. Let the tape acclimate indoors for two hours
before you try to play it, and baby it until you're sure it's not
going to stick and snarl in the transport.

Lithium batteries don't handle the cold as well as nicads did. Keep
the batteries in your coat next to your armpit to keep them warm. Have
some gum erasers in your pocket, use one to clean the power contacts
just before you hook up. ptravel already warned you the LCD will be
useless, he's right, best not even deploy it in the first place, lest
you permanently damage it, crt viewfinder is better here. Super-deep
cold will make the circuit boards in the camera contract and flex at
dissimilar rates to other components and might lead to popped solder
joints on smt chips and other weak components. So if your camera picks
up a new quirk after a run in the deep coild, this may be the problem.



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