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Old May 30, 2005, 9:25 AM   #1
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Hi friends,

I'm just about to purchase my first digital camera. One of the things I'd like to do with this camera is take it with me anywhere.... so I'd always be able to take advantage of those rare photo opportunities.

What kind of stress would be placed on my camera by leaving it in the trunk of my car all the time (within a carrying case of course)? Would the vibrations day after day damage any of the internals? Would a hot 90 degree day be too much for it?

I would obviously use common sense and remove the camera from my car during temperature extremes.

Any advice?

After reading countless reviews and articles, I decided on getting the Panasonic DMC-FZ20. It's not a $1500 SLR... but it's also not a cheapy P&S either, so I'd like to take care of it.

Thanks!
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Old May 30, 2005, 10:35 AM   #2
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It's never a good idea to leave any camera in a car. The temps inside a closed areaget much hotter than the temperature outside. Eventually the camera will just die from the heat and constant vibrations. Maybe you should consider a smaller, compact camera which you could carry in your pocket.
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Old Jun 14, 2005, 1:29 AM   #3
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Leaving a camera in the car is bad for a pile of reasons. Theft is a big one, but heat is a killer to digicams.
Too much heat and you can fry the circuts in the camera. There may not be any damage until you turn your camera on, and if it is too hot, watch out. Let your camera cool down first if it gets hot.

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Old Jun 15, 2005, 6:14 PM   #4
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So by me taking my 20D with me pretty much everywhere I go I'm screwing it up? I have it in a well padded case and I don't leave it in the car so my concern is the vibration comment. I don't think it gets too hot because it's normally just a daily commute 30 miles one way. Should I start to pick and chose when I take it with me or am I okay?

Thanks,

Grady
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 2:11 AM   #5
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My first though about taking your camera everywhere you go is -- sounds great -- they are built to use, so use them!

The 20d is a well built machine. Its heavier than most because it is built with tough metal alloys meant to take a pounding. Car vibration shouldn't be a big concern (maybe we should look at your car!), especially if you keep it in a case. I take my film and digital cameras everywhere - why have it if you have to baby it? I have developed problems from salt water or dust or the occasional oops, but that is part of the way things work.

A good case and common sense go a long way to protecting your stuff. I use a pelican case, its foam lining helps keep my stuff cool and well protected. Its when I use it that I have the problems. Ce la vie.

Shoot, have fun, and make good use of your stuff. May all your vibrations be good vibrations!

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Old Jun 17, 2005, 11:06 AM   #6
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Car color makes a big difference. If you place the camera on something that will absorb the vibration I don't think you would have a problem in a white car. Black might be able to generate enough heat to eventually deteriorate something.

My FZ10 manual shows a max operating temperature of 104 degrees F. You would surely exceed that in a black car, but might not in a white one. I would put a thermometer in the trunk and check it about 2 PM on a hot sunny day when the car has been sitting in the sun.

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Old Jun 17, 2005, 4:10 PM   #7
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I live in El Paso, TX and leaving a camera in the car can kill it. I know because I made that mistake one summer many years ago. It is the opposite for those who live where it gets very cold in the winter. Cameras have operating temperature ranges and do not do well outside of those ranges. Condensation can also be a problem in areas with high humitiy. That is not the case in El Paso. The humitiy is 8 percent today but the temp will reach 103.
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 4:56 PM   #8
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I've never left a camera in a closed car in the sun, but I have left vinyl records:lol: and tapes:-) and 8-tracks:? (anyone remember those :?: ).
Results were very wavy records and streached out odd sounding tapes and 8-tracks.

The temprature in a closed car with the summer sun on it can get very hot, hot enough to damage some plastics. Guess what material is used a lot in modern cameras.

Don't think I would want to risk it.

Peter.
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 5:33 PM   #9
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I only leave mine in the car while riding with it. I'm in GA and it gets hot enough that I know better than to do that but I do ride with it A LOT! I'm not too worried about vibrations, I think I'm okay there. Humidity is a problem...I've noticed my lens fogging up a time or two and it scared me because I don't know what kind of moisture is inside the camera so I shut it off and wait for the lens to clear. Is that pretty safe practice or should I not shoot in that case at all?

Thanks

Grady
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Old Jun 17, 2005, 8:16 PM   #10
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Essentially you'll be fine taking the camera everywhere with you in the car, but don't ever leave it in the car when you're parked up if you can avoid it.

Equally it would be better if you could leave it on one of the seats whilst travelling - the padding will elimate any chance of vibration damage (though I don't think that is really an issue anyway), and the air conditioning will mean the passenger compartment will be cooler than the trunk.
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