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Ponin Feb 18, 2005 11:11 PM

My Canon G3 is supposed to work optimally at 0-40 degrees Celsius. I have not risked taking it outside whenever it is below freezing out. Have you ever taken your camera out to take photos in the cold, and if so have you ever had any problems with your camera? Does this void the warranty?
Did your LCD freeze or crack? How long were you out in the cold for? What is the make/model of your camera?

DBB Feb 19, 2005 10:34 AM

Me and my D1x have been shooting in temps as low as -5 farenheit. Mine is also rated at 32-95, or something similar.

I know of many digital photographers who shoot in extreme cold. The battery goes down quick...


eric s Feb 19, 2005 1:50 PM

LCD Freezing is a possability. I've never had it happen.

I take my Canon 20D (and the 10D before it) out into similar code to DBB does (I've done about -12) and other than the battery draining very quickly and getting some fog on the lens when I went into the car... it has worked fine.

The fog is a serious worry, don't ignore it. You can get condensation *in* the camera if you're not careful... and that will be really bad.


PeterP Feb 19, 2005 1:50 PM

Yes use mine all the time. If you search for forums there are many threads on this topic. I find I usually give up before the camera.

The biggest problem is not the cold it is coming back into the warm, instant condensation on everything. Before you come in, bag your camera in a ziplock bag and squeeze out as much air as you can then let it warm up normally. The condensation forms on the outside of the bag instead of all over the camera.

Only thing I can think of that would be worse is to come inside, get a case of condensation and step out into the cold again, instant ice inside the camera, I suspect that could cause some damage.

To add to what Eric S said, I've poked around lcd manufacturers sites and it seems general purpose LCD's are designed to operate from about0c-40c andbe stored at -10c - 40c, below 0c they start to slow down and blank out, but unless the liquid crystal really gets frozen there should be no damage when it warms up again.


eric s Feb 19, 2005 9:36 PM

Good pointer PeterP. Blacking out on an LCD isn't that bad, really. Just give it time to warm up and it should be fine.

It is my understanding that getting the air out of the ziplog bag isn't an issue. Unless you mean "get rid of all the indoor air". That matters. I just take the bag outside, open it up and let the warm air rise out. After a minute or less I assume the air is all low-moisture cold, outdoor air. I guess that might keep the camera from warming up as fast, but there is little risk from moisure.


BillDrew Feb 19, 2005 10:24 PM

As the others have noted, condensation is the major issue for working in the cold. Bagging the camera *BEFORE* going into a warm area is the key point, but I don't like zip-lock bags for that. When my fingers are cold I just don't get a good seal so I use the plastic grocery bags or a bread bag. The key point is that the bag is much bigger than the camera so a good twist can be put in the end and it can be folded under the camera. At least as good a seal as a zipp-lock so long as the camera isn't being moved about while it is warming up. I just put the bag in my pocket before I go out - that crumpling tends to damage a zip-lock seal.

I've only seen the LCD start acting strange at about -30F (-34C) and it worked just fine after it warmed up.

PeterP Feb 19, 2005 10:55 PM

Eric squeezing the air out of the bag is for me only, I try to shove the camera back into my pack with it in a baggie, and it won't fitwith the baggiesfull of air.:-)

Note: multiple baggies, I bag the camera, and any lenses, flashes I might have had out with me. I keep thinking that maybe just putting everything in the LowePro Trekker and closing it tight might be good enough, but I don't want to take the chance and find out using my own equipment.

I have used the other route and put the entire backpack insealed plastic garbage bag. That seemed to work OK, I just kept worrying someone might put the bag out on the street corner by mistake.:shock:


Ponin Feb 19, 2005 11:49 PM

PeterP wrote:

I just kept worrying someone might put the bag out on the street corner by mistake.:shock:


:shock::cry: Heaven forbid!

pianoplayer88key Feb 20, 2005 4:56 AM

If I could cool a Canon S1 IS enough so that if I handled it with bare hands I'd get severe frostbite, what should I expect the noise performance to be like at ISO 400?

eric s Feb 20, 2005 4:38 PM

Actually, noise performance should be better at lower tempratures. I haven't seen a difference myself (so I assume it isn't cold enough to really make a difference) but in theory its true.

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