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  1. #1
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    Cold Weather Camera Advice

    Hey guys and gals,

    I ride a fatbike year round and like to take pictures of where I ride. In the summer, my iPhone works fine, but in really cold weather, 20 degrees F and below, the iPhone conks out. I've seen a few rugged cameras while wandering through WalMart. They appear to be more waterproof than freeze proof. I'm aware of the battery drain at really cold temps and I can live with that, but I was wondering if anyone has experience with trying to take pictures in cold weather. If it's simply battery failure, then any cheap camera will do that uses AA batteries. I can carry spares. If it's the condensation failure then will a waterproof camera make any difference?

    I read an article by a mountain climber who just kept his camera outside of his clothing and let it stay at ambient temperature. He didn't appear to have any problems other than cold weather battery drain. Anyone else have the same or different experience?

    Thanks
    Steel Fatback

  2. #2
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    I don't think I've had any problems beside battery drain in cold weather (haven't photographed in colder than -30C (-22F). The camera has stayed at ambient temperature. You need to take care not to breath out near the lens, though, since any condensation immediately freezes to the lens, causing soft pictures.

    Here is a picture of my pocket camera Canon S90 left out in -10C (14F) to take time lapse pics until its battery drained a night last weekend. In the morning I just inserted a fresh battery and it worked fine.
    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  3. #3
    saddlemeat
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    Keep your phone in a pocket next to your body, only take it out to shoot, has worked for me. With a camera you can just keep the battery in your pocket. Doing this will usually work to energize a cold dead battery too.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb View Post
    Keep your phone in a pocket next to your body, only take it out to shoot, has worked for me. With a camera you can just keep the battery in your pocket. Doing this will usually work to energize a cold dead battery too.
    What I'm concerned about there is the excessive moisture. I sweat... a lot. Water and electronics don't really like each other and I worry about water failure. At least for the phone. I suppose a cheap camera would be an easier sacrifice. Any ideas if a waterproof camera handles body moisture?

    I like the battery idea though. Really good idea.
    Steel Fatback

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outsider View Post
    I don't think I've had any problems beside battery drain in cold weather (haven't photographed in colder than -30C (-22F). The camera has stayed at ambient temperature. You need to take care not to breath out near the lens, though, since any condensation immediately freezes to the lens, causing soft pictures.

    Here is a picture of my pocket camera Canon S90 left out in -10C (14F) to take time lapse pics until its battery drained a night last weekend. In the morning I just inserted a fresh battery and it worked fine.
    Nice! Do you shoot video with that camera or do you have a gopro or something similar?
    Steel Fatback

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrkgstiff View Post
    Nice! Do you shoot video with that camera or do you have a gopro or something similar?
    I've been doing time lapses with this camera and actual videos with a Panasonic GH2. Yesterday I got a Gopro Hero3 Black Edition, which I'm quite excited about. It won't be better quality than the GH2, but it should allows some good POV clips and filming in wet conditions.

    My latest video from a week ago:
    My bike blog: www.yetirides.com

  7. #7
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrkgstiff View Post
    What I'm concerned about there is the excessive moisture. I sweat... a lot. Water and electronics don't really like each other and I worry about water failure. At least for the phone. I suppose a cheap camera would be an easier sacrifice. Any ideas if a waterproof camera handles body moisture?

    I like the battery idea though. Really good idea.
    Put your phone in your jersey or shell pocket. It doesn't need to be next to your skin, just within your outer barrier.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  8. #8
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    I love shooting during the winter and never really had any problems with my Nikon SLR cameras and lenses. The lowest I've been out at was probably -15C (5 F) or so. SLRs tend to be very well built and have good weather sealing. With small kits I used to put them in sealed (zip lock) bags when going inside to let the gear acclimatize and avoid condensation. With bigger stuff I just let it sit in my backpack for a bit. Never had any problems over the last 4 or so winters.

  9. #9
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    The GoPro Hero3 in the waterproof housing (included at purchase) is good enough for a longboard in the ocean. These puppies can survive just about anything. Worst case scenario on a bad crash, the housing breaks. I have a Silver, good for 11mp, 1080 @30fps. If you have an iPhone, the app allows you to control the camera that way, rather than spend the extra $ on the LCD screen or remote. The free app does both. Or use an iPod, as the GoPro has its own WiFi built in to communicate with devices. The new Black Edition comes with a lot of extra gadgets, but the best is better resolution at more frames per second, equaling better video. But the Silver plus free app is awesome nonetheless.
    1x9 Hardtail, yummy.....

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the replies. Going to be getting a cheap(er) point and shoot and see how that goes. I'll let you know what I get and how well it performs.
    Thanks again.
    Steel Fatback

  11. #11
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    cold weather

    when you take your camera out in the cold always have a ziplock bag. Seal it in the bag before reentering a heated area to prevent condensation on the camera.

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