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Old Dec 1, 2008, 9:55 AM   #1
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Hi all. I have a Lumix FZ-30, and I'm taking it into some very cold conditions in Breackenridge Colorado. What precautions if any should I take?
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Old Dec 1, 2008, 10:31 AM   #2
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The manual for the FZ30 states that its operating temperature is 32°F to 104°F. That usually means that some component becomes unreliable at the freezing point of water. There aren't a lot of moving parts in the FZ30, so it might have something to do with the lubricant used in the zoom lens, but it could also just be related to battery performance and capacity.

On the other hand, the FZ30 has a scene mode entitled 'SNOW' (page 78 of the Operating Instructions). The fact that they included this mode sems to indicate that the camera is intended to be operated "in locations such as skiing resorts and locations near snowy mountains."

It's posible that they stated the operating temperature as a way to cover their butts in case something happens, but the inclusion of a 'SNOW' mode would negate that.
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Old Dec 1, 2008, 4:34 PM   #3
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The major danger in cold weather is condensation when moving the camera from a cold area to warm, such as coming inside or following the often given misguided advice to put your camera under your coat between shots. A problem is that batteries loose capacity in the cold. Once you get down to about forty below, the LCD can malfunction though I have not heard of it failing to recover.

To avoid condensation, put your camera into a plastic bag *BEFORE* going into a warm area and leave it there until it has warmed up. If you need the photos quicker than the couple of hours that takes, put the memory card in a separate bag - since it is smaller it will warm much quicker. Some folks advocate zip-lock bags but I prefer large bags that can be twisted shut and folded under the camera as it is set down. (My fingers and/or the zip-lock don't seem to work real well when cold.) It is not the same problem as throwing your camera into a lake.
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