Brick
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Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:57 am

I plan on doing some shooting in some locations that I have to be outside of the nice warm car for extended periods of time. What's the best way to keep a 20D at or above the temperature Canon says it needs to be above in the specifications? I'll probably be in weather that's between 5F and 25F (-15C and -4C) for several hours. I will be hiking in to a spot, so I have to carry everything I need with me (i.e. a car will not be close by). Canon says keep it above 32F (0C) in the specifications.

How can I do this? Keep it zipped up in my jacket? Place a chemical heat pack in my camera bag? I don't want to get the camera too warm because then I will have to deal with condensation on the optics when the camera is reintroduced into the cold weather. If I just let the camera get too cold, what kind of behavior can I expect out of it?
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spencer
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:19 am

Well, not sure about the camera but, make sure you keep spare batteries in your (warm) pockets!
Spencer.
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CalgaryBill
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:45 am

Can't speak for Canon as I shoot Nikon, but with the D100 and now D2x I've had no problems in cold weather. As Spencer mentions, just keep the batteries in your jacket. I keep all the batteries (spare and "live") in an inside pocket, in a ziplock baggie. If I'm going to be shooting consistently for several minutes or longer then I'll leave a battery in the camera. When the first bar or two of the indicator disappear (assuming the LED hasn't frozen!) I swap the cold battery out with a warm one. After warming up, the cold battery gets most of its strength back.

I haven't tried the hot pack in a camera bag yet, but I've bought some with that in mind. Taking a warm camera into cold weather will not cause condensation (think about a cold Coke on a hot day - condensation forms on objects that are colder than the outside air, not warmer). The risk of condensation would occur when you put it back in your camera bag but there's a simple fix for that - put the camera in a ziplock bag before you put it in your camera bag, and the condensation will form on the ziplock bag. However, I doubt there's much moisture in a camera bag, so it's probably not an issue.

B
 
prat
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:59 am

Easiest way is simply keeping all your batteries as close to your body as you can. The camera itself shouldn't have any issues at all with it. Biggest thing is keeping your equipment dry and your batteries warm. If you're able to carry the weight of a hard-shelled waterproof carrying case such as a Pelican case I would highly recommend it. A chem warm pack on the inside as well as some silicon gel packs do great for long hiking trips.
 
graphic
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:55 pm

Quoting Brick (Thread starter):
I'll probably be in weather that's between 5F and 25F (-15C and -4C) for several hours.

I plan on shooting on the ramps at GFK this winter whats your point?  razz 

In all seriousness, I've shot a 300D in -15F (this was in New Mexico) and it worked fine, however it was only exposed to the cold for a few minutes before being put back in. I'm almost wondering if you'll see better noise performance on the CMOS when it gets that cold... Probably the best thing you could do is the heat packs, but not only is condensation a risk when you do that, rapid cooling and thermal contraction could do some serious damage inside the lens, the better idea might be to just keep it exposed to the cold?

Let me guess, you're climbing the hill west of EGE?  Wink
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Tommy Mogren
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:58 pm

I've done a lot of shooting in cold winter conditions where it easily goes down to -15'C.
With my Canon all I have to think of is to keep the batteries warm. (in a pocket or similar)
Just like spencer said above.

Stuff your spare batteries (you need a few with you as the cold drains them quickly) in a warm place. Other than that, just fire off!


Tommy Mogren
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Brick
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:29 pm

Thanks for all of the replies! I guess my primary concern should be the battery. I'll have a spare with me...both batteries will be in my pockets.

The coldest I've done at an airport was MSP about 6 years ago. It was -17F outside. I had a Canon 630 film camera at the time...what weird noises it made! I was only out there for an hour before it was just too damn cold. Now, I'd gladly spend a day in the bitter cold at MSP for a chance to shoot Omni Air/NW DC-10's, KLM 742's, ATA L10's, TWA, Vanguard, and Sun Country DC-10/727's all day long..

Quoting Graphic (Reply 4):
Let me guess, you're climbing the hill west of EGE?

That's one spot I plan to check out as soon as business travel and weather stop interfering with my weekends. What I have in mind though is the hills near the Aspen airport. I was up there during the summer and the overlooking view was really good! Unfortunately, roads are not available to the spot I'm wanting to shoot from.
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aviopic
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:07 pm

A cool sensor works better then a warm one, the warmer the sensor becomes the more noise it will produce.
So from a technical view point it's better not to do anything.
The downside of this is the a battery looses capacity the colder it becomes.
So make sure you have some spares with you which are carried best close to your body.
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CanadianNorth
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:22 am

My camera said something about the operating temperatures above 0c or something, but I take it out somewhat regularly as low as -15c and colder, and my experience has been as long as I keep the batteries warm it works just fine. However, when I go snowmobiling with it I do have the bag hanging around my neck but inside my coat (partly to keep it warm, partly so it doesn't get caught on anything and partly for an extra layer of padding).


CanadianNorth
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photopilot
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:36 am

I used to shoot winter car rallying (down to -40C) and I finally worked out a great way to keep shooting all day. (Nikon F4, Motor drive)

I took all the batteries out of the camera and carved out of wood (soft pine) a block that exactly matched the shape of my batteries. I used inset roberts screws for the electrical contacts and then wired the whole thing to a 3' length of coiled wire. A very small hole drilled in the end of the camera's battery cap allowed the wire to exit the camera body. Then the wire went inside my coat inside pocket to a battery that NEVER came out into the cold. With a perpetually warm battery I never had shooting problems.

Should work just as well for today's digital cameras.

Steve
 
graphic
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:33 pm

Quoting Brick (Reply 6):

Ahh nice. Hopefully at some point maybe spring break I can get up on that hill at EGE. Like I said, I'll be shooting on the ramps at GFK here soon so I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it performs in the cold. My only worry is that it gets cold enough that just by actuating the shutter causes damage to the shutter.
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Brick
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RE: Keeping A Canon 20D Warm In Cold Wx

Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:03 pm

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 9):
I took all the batteries out of the camera and carved out of wood (soft pine) a block that exactly matched the shape of my batteries. I used inset roberts screws for the electrical contacts and then wired the whole thing to a 3' length of coiled wire. A very small hole drilled in the end of the camera's battery cap allowed the wire to exit the camera body. Then the wire went inside my coat inside pocket to a battery that NEVER came out into the cold. With a perpetually warm battery I never had shooting problems.

A good idea, but in the aviation world I would think this would make you look like a terrorist.  Smile

Quoting Graphic (Reply 10):
Like I said, I'll be shooting on the ramps at GFK here soon so I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it performs in the cold.

Let me know. I think 8500' ASL is probably the same temps at GFK on a normal winter day.
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