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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2

    Digital Cameras in extreme cold?

    I am going to the Green Bay Packers/New York Giants game on Sunday and the temperature is expected to be around zero degrees fahrenheit. I have a Canon S5 that I was hoping to take to the game, but it occurred to me that such extreme temperatures might be bad for the camera. Looks like Canon says the operation temperature range is 32-104....

    At what temperature does the liquid in LCDs freeze and what is the consequence?

    Is there a particular battery (NiMH, NiCAD, Alkaline) that performs better at such low temperatures?

    Is there anything else I need to be concerned with?

    Thanks,

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by myquealer View Post
    I am going to the Green Bay Packers/New York Giants game on Sunday and the temperature is expected to be around zero degrees fahrenheit. I have a Canon S5 that I was hoping to take to the game, but it occurred to me that such extreme temperatures might be bad for the camera. Looks like Canon says the operation temperature range is 32-104....

    At what temperature does the liquid in LCDs freeze and what is the consequence?

    Is there a particular battery (NiMH, NiCAD, Alkaline) that performs better at such low temperatures?

    Is there anything else I need to be concerned with?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    Lithium batteries are used in very cold weather. As for the LCD freezing - don't worry too much about that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2
    After googling some more I think it will be fine if I keep the camera inside my jacket and only take it out when I need it and have a spare set of batteries in my pocket. I might use a handwarmer to keep the spare batteries warm ready to go. And then seal teh camera in a ziploc bag before bringing it into a heated space (to minimize condensation).

    I'll look into getting a set of lithium batteries.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Great White North
    Posts
    1,313
    Yup, bring a spare or two and keep them warm. Swap them when needed and you should be OK.
    The respect of those you respect is greater than the applause of the multitude.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    I shoot in below zero temps with my S3 all the time, don't worry about it.

    DO NOT keep your camera inside your jacket. Everytime you pull it out it will fog up and be useless. You may have to warm up the batteries from time to time; if they read low they may just be cold, not dead.

    Remember - keep the camera cold and the batteries warm.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,346
    Believe it or not there is actually a benefit to a cold camera. One of the biggest problems for most camera sensors is heat buildup which leads to image noise. A cold sensor can generally take a cleaner picture at a longer exposure. Of course, that won't help much for sporting events.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    66
    If possible, I'd look into getting an external battery pack. You'd want to keep the batteries warm, but the rest of the camera should be fine out in the cold.
    Eugene Leafty
    Fujifilm S9000, Hoya 58mm uv/circular polarizer/warming filters, 8GB CF, 256 MB CF, topload bag, Dynatran AT-858B tripod base, Dynatran ATH-A04 tripod head, 2 sets NiMH batts w/2 chargers, 58mm +2 and +4 close up lens, 2x telephoto lens, rubber hood, Canon T244 external flash

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
    Posts
    90
    It was 10 degrees in Joliet, IL. I took my Canon S3 out for an ecological conservation project. I was out for about 2.5 hours and the camera's perfectly fine, batteries and everything.

    I just kept it in my front hoodie pocket keeping my hands on the cameras. Body heat, my friend.

    Took some good pictures, too.

    --edit--
    And I had NiMH batteries.
    Last edited by piedownjoe; 01-23-2008 at 05:16 PM.
    Soli Deo Gloria

    Canon Powershot S3 IS, Panasonic Lumix LS70, Konica KD-200Z
    http://photo.surrendered.org/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,965
    Quote Originally Posted by myquealer View Post
    I am going to the Green Bay Packers/New York Giants game on Sunday and the temperature is expected to be around zero degrees fahrenheit. I have a Canon S5...
    So how was the game and your photos? Did you thaw out yet? I live in WI and think people who sit in the cold for a game are just nuts. But tell us how it went.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4
    I took my S1 to the top of breckenridge peak 8 (12,998ft), and it was pretty cold. The camera worked fine, but i had to warm the NiMH batteries up in my hand. The only problem with cold weather i'd heard of is bringing a freezing camera in a warm room, and condensation collecting on it. I think a zip lock bag was the remedy to this problem.

    And about the game, we'll see if Eli can succeed where Peyton failed.

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