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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Caring for Cameras and Equipment

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Photography Question 
Ronald S. Matthew

member since: 1/27/2005

Using My Digital Camera in Extreme Cold

I'm going to Fairbanks, Alaska, in February, where the temperature could be -20 degrees or colder. Can I use my digital camera in those conditions without damaging it and get good photos? If so, what steps do I need to take to protect the camera and get quality photos?

1/27/2005 9:36:14 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/11/2003
  Batteries don't last very long in cold weather. Take some extras, and keep them warm with body heat - in your pocket or something like that. If you are out for a long time in extreme cold weather, protect against condensation when you come inside by putting the camera and your lenses in air-tight plastic bags until they reach near-room temperature.

1/27/2005 9:48:55 PM

Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery

member since: 6/27/2004
  Does it hurt anything to take the camera straight out into the cold?

1/28/2005 7:10:35 PM

Phil S
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2003
  Living in Alaska, I am finding myself outdoors taking photos at just those temperatures, Ron! Gregory has great advice on the bag! I place my camera in a Ziploc freezer bag. You can tell if the seal is air-tight and condensation forms on the inside of the bag rather than the camera. Keep in mind that plastic does not like that cold weather either, so pack it up quickly! Sharon, I found going directly outside has not effected my D70. And yep, I don't use the bag until I come back indoors. I have actually seen plastic break like glass when it gets that cold here. Keep that Ziploc warm until ready to use it, Ron!

1/28/2005 8:48:04 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/11/2003
  You won't get condensation going inside to outside. Humidity, not closed in, air isn't static.
Not talking about misty days, but you always get condensation on the inside of your windows, not the outside.

1/28/2005 11:38:01 PM

Rob Lonsberry

member since: 1/21/2005
  Great suggestion with the plastic bag. I do the same thing for my D70, and I use a dessicant just to be sure.

2/1/2005 7:30:44 AM

Denis Ruest

member since: 8/28/2003
  One thing I would be worried about is permanent damage to the LCD. What does the expert think about this issue?

2/2/2005 6:15:06 AM

Tyler B. Sutcliffe

member since: 2/29/2004
  I live in Anchorage,and use my digital camera outside in the cold and dark all the time. My LCD doesnt seem effected, however I do try to keep the camera as warm as possible (ie under the coat,in the car, etc) right up until I am shooting. I do not recommend letting the camera getting and staying cold.
Hand warmers help out too...

2/5/2005 10:14:30 PM


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