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Old Nov 1, 2006, 12:03 PM   #1
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you read about putting your camera & lens in a bag to keep condensation off of your equipment, but at what temperatures should this be done at.

is it safe to go from 70 indoors to say 35-40 outdoors without doing the bag & visa versa without doing any harm to your camera or lens.

I've noticed that at even around 40 outside the camera starts getting sluggish, lcd doesn't want to display good.

what are some of the do's & dont's of shooting outside in cold weather.
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 12:21 PM   #2
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two separate issues. One issue is the transition. The other issue is cold-weather use.

For transition I haven't had a problem going from say a 70 degree house to a 30 degree outside temp or vice versa. The issue is more a matter of humidity than temperature change. So, when going from a cool, dry, air conditioned building to a very humid outdoor setting. The temp diff may only be 15-20 degrees but the humidity diff is huge. it's those humidity differences on top of the temp diff that cause rapid condensation. So, typically you don't tend to see rapid condensation when coming in from the cold to a heated enclosure unless that enclosure has high humidity (i.e. lots of people standing around sweating = higher humidity, but just walking into your house = probably not). Hope that makes some sense.

So on a hot humid summer day when you come out from air conditioning you'll have the problem.



Now - cold weather use - each camera should tell you what the recommended temperature range is - when you get below that there may be problems with the electronics or mechanics but what is more likely to happen is that your batteries are going to have problems. Batteries, by and large, will drain much more rapidly. And, certain battery technologies (someone else will have to chime in here with which ones) are more prone to rapid depletion in cold weather than other technologies. So, both the camera being used and the battery being used play a part in how well the device will work in the cold.
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 3:08 PM   #3
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I believe that the LCD can be permanently damaged if the camera gets too cold, because if it freezes entirely the crystals can burst and will never work again. Quite how cold it needs to get before that happens is another matter though...
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 6:49 PM   #4
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MrPogo wrote:
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I believe that the LCD can be permanently damaged if the camera gets too cold, because if it freezes entirely the crystals can burst and will never work again. Quite how cold it needs to get before that happens is another matter though...
Not heard of that happening, though there are a fair number of reports of temporary malfunciton of LCDs at something like forty below (same F & C). My old Casio 3000 worked just fine at -30F (-34) thoughNiMHbatteries

Since LCD stuff gets shipped to Northern Minnesota and Alaska without special handling, I'd put the bursting crystal story down as an urban myth.
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Old Nov 1, 2006, 7:16 PM   #5
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Some research show it would take temperatures of about -80 degrees C (-112 F) to break the crystals. The only place these temperatures have been recorded on Earth was at the South Pole in 1983 (-89.2 C or -128.56 F), with the average coldest temperature usually being about -65. So it is possible, but not anything to worry about
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