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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:16 PM   #1
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Default How cold can a camera work at?

I have a Panny FZ28 and want to go shoot some pics of the ice on a rapid stream near my house. So whats a safe low temp a camera can be out in. I"m in WI and am well aware what happens to LCD's that are left in the cold. But considering I keep the camera in my coat it should stay warmer enough for the LCD to respond properly when I want to take it out.

For example I would go out tomorrow, but its going to be 0 to -10 once the day has warmed up, is that too cold for the camera?
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:35 PM   #2
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It will work just fine right up to the point when you lick it and your tongue gets stuck.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:39 PM   #3
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Most manufacturers say that their camera will work down to 32F (0C), at which point the battery won't be as strong and the LCD display(s) won't work reliably.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 8:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
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It will work just fine right up to the point when you lick it and your tongue gets stuck.
It's actually a good question, and I suspect it can only be answered on a brand to brand basis. Certainly some of the machines I've owned have told me not to shoot below freezing, and yet I happily used them in temperatures as extreme as 10 below zero.

I suspect the best answer for someone wishing to buy a perspective camera, is to post this question on the "What Camera should I buy" and ask for feedback from owners.

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Old Jan 2, 2010, 9:58 PM   #5
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I think their ratings are actually quite conservative. I am pretty sure if you can survive it, your camera can too.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 12:08 AM   #6
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OK! Will see if I go out tomorrow. Depends how close it is to -10F when I plan to go. And depend on how much energy I have to freeze off.

From my experience LCD displays will work quite well past 32F, at least my phone and the one in my car's stereo do. Its around 15F they start to lag. Batteries I don't think will be an issue at the time I go out. The outdoor thermometer froze last night though... so looks like your typical AA batteries cut out at around -19F. Which was the temp this morning when I had to drive to work. I survived... I guess.... It hurts to breath at that temp though. You have to inhale slowly...but walk fast!
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 12:46 AM   #7
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Last winter I had my FZ28 out in around 0-degree weather a number of times. It worked fine. I tucked it under my down coat when I wasn't shooting.

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Old Jan 3, 2010, 1:00 AM   #8
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Given the size of the controls on cameras, when the temps fall enough
that gloves are too thick to work them, the cameras are probably near their limit, too.
I have used my Minolta 7hi down to around -5f without any problems, but this was with the camera only exposed to the cold for short periods. Rechargeable batteries tend to quit fairly soon, though, so some lithium primary cells should be used for extended cold.

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Old Jan 3, 2010, 7:24 AM   #9
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Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
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Old Jan 3, 2010, 7:26 AM   #10
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Default Panasonics can take the cold!

January 7th, last year, at 7 o'clock in the morning (still pitch dark) I stood on top of a hill, overlooking my hometown to get some sunrise-pictures. The temperature was -10 Centigrade which is 14 F

My FZ-28 was mounted on a tripod and stayed there for almost 2 hours, until the sun came up and it got light. I had a fully loaded battery, started shooting at 07:24 and stopped at 09:22 and shot 956 pictures (most of it in brackets for HDR's) that night - without changing batteries!

No problem at all, not with the battery, not with the camera and certainly not with the LCD, which was on for most of the time, as the EVF on this camera is useless (it sucks!!) anyway.

So go out and shoot with your FZ-28.

What you must NOT do, is take the camera in and out, and out and in between cold outside-temperatures and warm inside-temperatures. Quick temperature-changes is a sure way of ruining the camera and possibly the lens as well! Every time you bring a cold camera into the warm and humid air in your living-room, condensation will take place. Out- and in-side of your camera, ruining electronics. If you are really unlucky and take your camera back out into cold conditions again, shortly after, this condensation will freeze and you might even get small ice-cubes inside your FZ-28

I do a lot of night-shooting in freezing conditions and when I come home after a shooting-session, I always take out my memory-card before I open my front-door - put my camera back into the, by now, icecold camera-bag and set the bag down in the hallway and leave it there for at least 2 hours, without opening the lid. This way, the bag and the camera will, very slowly, adjust to inside-temperatures without the perils of condensation.


One of the pictures I took that night with FZ-28 in freezing conditions:
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