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Old 12th Dec 2012, 22:13   #1
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Using DSLR outdoors in cold / winter

So I've generally been neglecting my 7D on a whole recently. Had a bad 6 months in my personal life which has ended a lot I my days out as a family as I primarily took photos of trips to seaside, zoo etc

Now things are getting cold as frosty I wouldn't mode talking a few walks and getting some shots but I'm wanting to be sure I don't do my kit any damage.

As I understand the 7D is weather sealed and I won't be venturing out in pouring rains etc. I'd like to know how bet to deal with the kit coming from a cold outdoors to indoors without having too much condensation issues.

Any tips and tricks?
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Old 12th Dec 2012, 23:01   #2
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If you'r out on a freezing walk and come home to a nice toasty house, you will get some condensation issues, but I'd be very surprised if you had any actual damage caused. I worked on a short film a couple of years ago shot on the RED One with a set of Zeiss primes, we were out on a beach for about 8 hours in January, then moved location to a cosy wee house for the evening. The lenses fogged up as soon as the boxes were opened, they had to sit under a couple of 2k lamps for half an hour before they were usable again

Best bet (if you don't need to use it right a way when you get home) is to let the bag sit closed for a bit to let everything warm up slowly. Alternatively warm everything up with a hair drier.

I had my (considerably less weather sealed) 550D out on a shoot today in not quite pouring rain but a couple of pretty heavy showers, not a bother to it, a 7D should be fine!
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 09:14   #3
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7D has nothing to worry about!

I've shot in pouring rain, on the beach, and freezing cold last night without without camera bag (first 2 with weather sealed lens). the fast prime did fog up when coming in to the house, but nothing much to worry about.

as mentioned, keep it in the bag to soften the effect. end of the day, camera is a tool. worrying about it is like worrying about your dust-free computer over heating.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 11:16   #4
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DigitalRev did a fairly hardcore test of the 7D including freezing it in a block of ice and setting it on fire. It still worked just fine.

I'd link the video but youtube is blocked in work so you'll have to google it
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 12:00   #5
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Lol, thats a bit extreme!!

Its was mainly the changes in temp from hot to colds I was worried about but like you say I might leave it to warm in the bag slowly. I've got a couple of L lens I can use for the weather sealing if its would help too.

Just thought these frosty days look great so why not snap a few shots
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 12:08   #6
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Only thing I would say is to take spare batteries with you and keep them in a warm inside pocket of a jacket or something. The cold weather can cause the rechargeable batteries to not function properly.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 12:26   #7
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not all L lenses are weather sealed, and some require a filter to seal it. what L lenses have you got? usually the ones with rubber seals around the mount can be assumed to be weather sealed to some degree.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 13:16   #8
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The 7D will survive being brought in from the cold and the card being taken out without any issues. You might not want to take the lens off before it's warmed up, but I'd not worry about taking the card out.

Most of this condensation stuff comes from the days of film as you opened the whole camera up to swap/remove it, a decent DSLR doesn't really have this issue to the same degree.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 13:36   #9
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I found somewhere that said storing your lenses with the UV filters off will help prevent the growth of fungus because the UV will kill it.

Especially if you sun bathe them occasionally.

What do you guys think of this?
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 13:56   #10
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It makes sense, but only incidentally. Storing a lens the caps will be on, usually inside a fairly dark room, so there's no chance of killing the fungus off there. However, once you take it outside to shoot with, you'll take it out into the sunlight and usually pop a UV filter onto it, or shoot without, leaving plenty of exposure time.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 14:21   #11
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don't use a UV filter, it degrades image quality and introduces flare.

I only use 1 UV filter on the 17-40 f4L to complete its weather sealing for when I go to shoot landscape, and have to be mindful of flares. otherwise none of my other lenses have any filters.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 15:20   #12
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One thing you might want to do is get some silica gel packs for your camera bag and throw them in with your kit. It will help prevent moisture build up especially when your moving into different environments like the cold out doors to a warm house.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 15:32   #13
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Cool, I'll keep some if those tips in mind.

The lens is a 24-105 mm f4 L IS, got a 70-200 f4 L too but for general walking and snapping I'd take the 24-105mm. It's already got a UV filter on, all lens do as I was initially told to do it to protect the lens.

Work as an IT tech so got stacks I those gel packs so ill throw a handful in my bag
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 21:29   #14
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I wouldn't use silica gel, it's toxic and not pleasant if it gets on your gear! The best thing to do is put everything in a zip bag and put some rice in, which absorbs the moisture really well
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 00:53   #15
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I'm sorry to find this question a little silly....

But you paid around $2000 USD for a camera with magnesium body.
A huge sum of the money you paid is for you to feel comfortable with a camera body that can take a nice hit to the ground. You can take a trip to a desert or a freezing siberian winter and sit with your 7D for days waiting for that shot of a Tiger.

If you're shooting a riot, please use your 7D to defend yourself against an incoming shove or a blow (battery grip recommended). Same goes for an annoying wedding videographer who's moving into your shot.

Really it can take it. You paid for it to take it.

I've had salt water kiss many parts of my 7D, I've had it embrace rocks of Yosemite. It just made for a better shot

Here's a video of 7D being roughed up:

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Old 14th Dec 2012, 11:15   #16
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Anyway if the camera dies you can just claim on the photography insurance. Surely anyone with a 7D and pro lenses has insurance on gear that expensive...
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 23:45   #17
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I don't think many people have insurance on their gear.

After posting above comment I drove to Bear Mountain and watched the meteor shower.
Tried to take some photos with no great success, but did end up having snow form on the tripod, lens good and actually on the front element. Then shot a 12hr wedding on the same camera.

(The studio I work with we shoot only with dslrs and shutters seems to be doing okay and nothing overheats)
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 21:35   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dead beat View Post
Only thing I would say is to take spare batteries with you and keep them in a warm inside pocket of a jacket or something. The cold weather can cause the rechargeable batteries to not function properly.
This.

The batteries will die in about 10 minutes in below freezing weather, but will work normally once you warm them up in your pocket. if you keep swapping batteries back and forth you can go all day. Due to the conditions they get used in, the GoPro cameras have built in battery heaters to prevent this problem.
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 07:51   #19
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Bring your gear in from the cold, leave it inside the bag, and let it warm up overnight. I've always done this, and never ever had a problem.

Do NOT remove lenses from the camera body once inside, as internal moisture is something you really want to avoid if possible.


If you need to edit your images right away, remove the memory cards, or film.. whatever you are using BEFORE you go indoors.. then let teh gear warm up slowly inside the bag.

condensation on the outside of a camera won't really harm it though.. unless it's VERY severe.... but.... just leave it in the bag.

/thread
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 09:28   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheap Mod Wannabe View Post
I don't think many people have insurance on their gear.

After posting above comment I drove to Bear Mountain and watched the meteor shower.
Tried to take some photos with no great success, but did end up having snow form on the tripod, lens good and actually on the front element. Then shot a 12hr wedding on the same camera.

(The studio I work with we shoot only with dslrs and shutters seems to be doing okay and nothing overheats)
For cheap photo gear insurance, just get it added to your home contents policy.
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