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Contriver Mar 5, 2007 4:53 PM

1) Will it hurt the camera if I take it from my warm apartment or car right outside into 32 degree (fahrenheit) weather and immediately start using it?

2) Will I damage the sensor if I take pictures with the sun in the background? (Not sunset, but a few hours before sunset.The sun isn't at its brightest point, but its not at the horizon either.)

stowaway7 Mar 5, 2007 5:56 PM

1) You may fog the lens with rapid temperature changes but it shouldn't harm the camera.

2) I've photographed the sun on numerous occasions; just don't try a time exposures (leaving the shutter open for a long period of time).

Corpsy Mar 5, 2007 8:01 PM

If you want to be sure you don't damage your camera with moisture, you should keep it sealed in a plastic bag when you take it from one temperature to another and let it adjust. Otherwise, there is a chance of getting moisture on the internal components which could damage it.

I don't go that far, but I make sure there's a lens on it and I keep it in it's bag when I take it from one temperature to another and try to give it about 10 minutes or so before I use it.

Like Stowaway says, be careful of long exposures of the sun when it's really bright. Direct sunlight probably isn't good for the sensor. If your camera isn't a DSLR, then maybe you should be even more careful since even pointing it at the sun is affecting the sensor, but I don't really know what kind of damage it might do, if any.

BillDrew Mar 5, 2007 9:14 PM

I've not had problems with digital or chemical cameras when going from warm to cold, e.g., 70F indoors to -30F outdoors (21C to -23C). Start shooting right away.

Coming back from the cold is another matter: water condenses on cold surfaces, which could a surface inside your camera or lens. Then I want the camera in a plastic bag. I like a grocery bag that is much larger than the camera so it can be twisted into a good seal. I think that works better than a Zip-lock type bag since my cold fingers aren't good at making sure the seal is tight. It isn't like you are throwing the camera into a bucket of water so a grocery bag works just fine.

As for how long it should stay in the bag: just feel the camera through the bag. If it still feels cold, don't take it out of the bag. That can easily be an hour or two if you are coming in from real cold.

VTphotog Mar 5, 2007 10:05 PM

As Bill and others mention, going from cold to warm is where most problems will happen. On occasion, moving from warm to cold can create some fogging on the interior of the lens. If the lens is fogging, there is probably condensation on interior surfaces of the camera also. Best advice is to allow temp to stabilize in either case.

This may be why my old Vivitar Series One has fungus spots inside now. Only got 30 years use out of it, too.:(


Contriver Mar 5, 2007 10:34 PM

Thanks for the tips guys! Well, I didn't break it yet LOL. Just got it today though :) I guess this is why its good to learn on a $500 dSLR. I'll have to keep a bag with me for the cold to warm situations.

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