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Old Feb 18, 2011, 8:44 AM   #1
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Default Using SLR,s in VERY Cold weather

I know this has been discussed here times before.
I have a E-520 with some oly lenses.
I am going Hiking on Sunday and the temp will be around
-20 C or under 0 F. I will be in the trees so there is no wind.
I will be in it for 3 to 4 hours straight .
My concern is if the camera is very cold is it safe to take pictures ?
Is it best to leave the Camera in the open of under my jacket
untill I take pictures ?
Any other help or suggestions ?
I know the battery life will be cut much shorter

Thanks very much in advance
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 9:45 AM   #2
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Hiking in trees will mean chunks of snow falling on you sometimes. A quick access case is my choice. It protects from the snow and lets the camera get cold.

I've not had problems down to forty below. I have seen the LCD go nuts at those temperatures, but it worked just fine once it warmed back up. I have heard of shutters sticking in cold weather, but those have mostly been the in-the-lens shutters found in some medium format and most large format cameras.

The biggest danger of cold is condensation when a cold camera is moved into a warm-moist area, like under your coat.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 10:05 AM   #3
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When you are hiking, you sweat, and a cold camera next to you will pick up some condensation, so I would not recommend keeping the camera under your jacket, unless you are only removing it briefly to take a shot.
Lithium ion batteries are not as cold sensitive as NiMH, so a freshly charged battery should hold up pretty well. If you leave your camera exposed to the cold for long periods, expect the LCD to not work well, if at all. You may also have exposure problems from the shutter slowing down.
I use layered clothing, and keep the camera inside the most outer layer except when taking pics, and this has worked pretty well for me.
You aren't going to be able to work switches and buttons very well with gloves, and your fingers will get frostbitten pretty quickly without them, so you should decide on shooting mode ahead of time and not be changing settings much.
When you return to a heated space after the shoot, keep the camera in a sealed plastic bag for several hours to prevent moisture condensing inside it. I prefer using dessicant in the bag as well.

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Old Feb 18, 2011, 2:37 PM   #4
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I have been out for a couple of hours in that kind of cold (Winterpeg ) ....even a bit colder. I usually just carry my DSLRs, using the neck strap around my neck. The cameras/lenses are out in the open....might fog if you keep them under your coat where it's warm...then take them out for a pix...I'm not sure.

I've done this a number of times for a number of years and haven't had any difficulty.

I carry a garbage bag (big green Glad) in one of my jacket pockets in case it start's to snow...wrap the camera up in the bag, then.

The camera equipment I use, is Pentax and one body that's been out in the cold a lot, over many years, is an old K10D, which is weather sealed...very rugged body and seems to cope very well in the winter outdoors.

I have some friends who are outdoors a lot in the winter..their equipment includes Pentax 200D, Canon 30D and 7D...no problems yet.

My experience...hope this helps.
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Old Feb 19, 2011, 8:26 AM   #5
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Thankyou for all the replys
I have a large zip lock freezer bag which should be good
when I bring the Camera in from the cold. I will put an open
green garbage bag over it when hiking. There is lots of snow in the trees.
GOOD NEWS according to the latest forcast it is supposed to
be sunny and Heat up to - 16 C

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