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Old Nov 26, 2006, 9:40 PM   #1
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I am planning a ski trip to Colorado in January and plan to take my 5D and a few lenses. I have skied before and have taken a 35mm SLR and a Digital point and shoot, but didn't have the 5D last time I went skiing. I can't pass up the chance to capture photos in the Rocky Mountians at 10,000 ft. plus in the winter. The temperature should range from -10 to +25 degrees F. Has anyone used their 5D in extreme cold conditions? I am be out for 4 or 5 hours at a time and I am not sure what to expect from the 5D. It seems that this could force the "first frame black" problem if it is common to all 5D's.
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 10:05 PM   #2
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I have never used mine under such extreme conditions. My "black frame" problem (also referred to as Error 58 first happened during my vacation in the Germany during a mountain trip. However, it was in the midst of summer and the mountains weren't very high (the Harz Mountains), so it's no comparison to what you are about to do. I have no indication that the KM5D should hold up any worse than other DSLR's. It is pretty rugged.

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Old Nov 26, 2006, 10:15 PM   #3
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I know I can protect the 5D from moisture and physical damage, but there is nothing I can do about the cold. I have heard of people putting their camera inside their parka, but I don't think this is a good idea because of fogging. I would think that the 5D shutter could be a problem and possibly a zoom lens. A well dampened zoom could get tough tomove and could even cause damage?? I want to get some shots, but I don't want to damage my equipment.
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Old Nov 26, 2006, 11:26 PM   #4
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I've had my 7d in sub zero weather with no issues at all. Normally you won't get lens fogging when going from warm to cold, but from cold to warm (and humid) so I'd have no problems keeping it in my parka other than it may not be as accessable as it normally would. I would not personally carry my main camera while skiing due to the risk of physical damage, perhaps a good P&S would do in such circumstances. (I do sometimes carry a film maxxum when environmental circumstances are a concern. )

I wouldn't think that the cold alone would damage a quality zoom, but if you're going to get pretty wet that may cause an issue.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 8:01 AM   #5
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We haven't really been cold here since I got my 5D so cannot comment on that, but the only problem I had with other digicams over the years is due to batteries losing capaicity when cold. Not as much a problem with Lithium batteries as with NiMH, but does happen. Lower capacity batteries just might triggerthe first-frame-black issue. If JimC's theory is right (shutter becoming sticky after sitting for a while), firing off a couple of shots before heading out wouldn't be a silly idea.

I agree that putting your camera under your coat is a bad idea. Repeated hot-cold-hot-... transitions cannot be a good thing and it is moister as well as warmer under your coat. I think it is a good idea to let your camera get cold and stay cold until you are done for the day. Might want to keep a spare, fully chargedbattery in your warm pocket though.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 9:08 PM   #6
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The cold shouldn't make a differenceas far as the performance but I would bevery worried about the snow, mud and dirt.Anything that could get to glass or sensor.

I recently went tent camping/fishing at high elevation and it was extremely dirty and freezing. I decided to only use my kit lens just to be on the safe side. I would recommendnot changing lenses outside under those conditions. Just decide what lens you think will cover the most bases and keep it on until you get back indoors.

Even taking all the precautions you better get good at cleaning your lenses and your sensor because you'll need to.

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Old Nov 27, 2006, 10:25 PM   #7
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Moisture and prolonged exposure cold can cause mechanical parts to bind and freeze up. It happened to a friend of mines Nikon. When he went to release the shutter it caused something to break. Also LCD displays are prone to damage from freezing. That doesn't mean you can use the camera in extreme temperatures but some common sense should be utilized.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 12:56 AM   #8
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meanstreak wrote:
Quote:
... Also LCD displays are prone to damage from freezing. ...
I real sure that is an urban myth. If there was a problem with LCDs being damaged by freezing, there wouldn't be any being shipped north in the winter - that means LCD TVs, monitors, game machines, ... wouldn't be available here. They are here, and there is no special treatment when shipped.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 7:24 AM   #9
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BillDrew wrote:
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meanstreak wrote:
Quote:
... Also LCD displays are prone to damage from freezing. ...
I real sure that is an urban myth. If there was a problem with LCDs being damaged by freezing, there wouldn't be any being shipped north in the winter - that means LCD TVs, monitors, game machines, ... wouldn't be available here. They are here, and there is no special treatment when shipped.
Though theliquid-crystal paste used in LCD displays has amuch lowerfreezing point than water it can freeze.Even if there is no apparent damage, oncefrozen, an LCD's operational characteristics can change, either ruining the LCD or causing a significantly reduced lifetime. Incases where it doesn't, but it gets real cold and the liquid gels, the response time of the LCD will also be sluggish until it warms up.I'm talkingabout extreme conditions for extendedperiods of time.During shipping that is usually not the case. If a product with an LCD is ina delivery truck overnight, the truck is usually indoors and the product is packaged so there is some insulation. While it is being delivered the truck is generally warmer than outside temperatures.

The only reason I posted this caution is that I noticed the thread was headed in the directionthat cold temperatures are never a problem. I think the original poster will be fine with his intended use. I wouldn't however leave my camera in a car for extended periods of time in extreme temperatures even if it was my old film camera which doesn't have an LCD. Regardless of what it is, my recommendation is never leave your equipment exposed to extremes.... Why take a chance?
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 7:26 AM   #10
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I would suspect that LCD's are more prone to breakage as the temp drops, due to less flexibility but I've had several digicams out in weather well below 0 degrees F and haven't had breakage due to cold.

I do think that the movement from the warm moist environment of the parka top the cold and back again should be minimized but I'm not sure if I'd avoid it altogether ( there is always some inherent risk in taking your SLR to any locale where the photos are worth getting.) I may be more inclined to leave it in the cold unless there is precipitation or fog (or if I was likely to wipeout).
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