Shooting in Fridges/Freezers/Direct Sunlight...questions! at

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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.

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Old July 25th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #1
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Shooting in Fridges/Freezers/Direct Sunlight...questions!

Hi Guys,

I wanted to hear your thoughts about best practices for shooting in certain situations. I've been filming with a 7D rig in different industrial settings including freezers/fridges. I've not been able to find much information in terms of best practices and wondered if you could offer any advice?

1. Will the 7D be at risk of damage if exposed to low temperatures for a long time?

2. Is there any best way to change climates and avoid the steaming up of lens/viewfinder? Will the foggy/steaming up damage the mirror/sensor?

3. I also shoot towards the sun to achieve some lens flare artifacts for more creative cutaways. Are there any risks to damaging the sensor when shooting at direct sunlight?

Hope you can help!!!


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Old July 25th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #2
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1. Battery life will be affected by the cold, meaning charges wont last as long, keep a separate battery warm in your clothing.

2. I live in a freezer for 7 months of a year (Canada) joke! The best way to deal with extreme cold and warming is put your camera in it's bag as soon as you come out from the cold and let the micro climate of a closed camera bag slowly warm up. The condensation from going from cold to warm will affect the electronic circuitry eventually, unless you take precautions like the above suggestion.

3. Potentially yes
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Old July 26th, 2010, 04:14 AM   #3
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I've shot in the Arctic with my 7D at -40C below (similar temp to most industrial freezer buildings - and I've occasionally worked in those in my past career around the world in industry). The 7D is very rugged and well able to take this kind of punishment - with one or two caveats as already mentioned - and be very careful about exposing the sensor to direct sun for more than a few seconds. Worth mentioning that lasers must also be avoided too, while we're at it (they are common in some of the industrial/hi tech environments I shoot in).

Main problem you'll have (apart from the much reduced battery life mentioned already) is the camera lens will most likely freeze over within several minutes (actually, it was the surface of the filter I had on the front to protect the lens). I found no amount of "gentle cleaning" would shift the frosted film of ice, only solution was to put it back in my arctic suit and wait for it to warm up gradually.

I also found the LCD and viewfinder froze over (along with my glasses!) so it got pretty tricky to get anything usable after a very short while. I was out in the open/very exposed with a light wind etc. so you may get a little longer in a freezer unit without wind.

Also, operating with THICK gloves on is tricky - but you don't want to take them off or your skin will stick to the buttons!

Alister Chapman shoots in the Arctic (with a DSLR I think, but certainly with other cameras) and posted one or two tips in a thread on here somewhere about late Feb 2010 time I think - to do with Northern Lights - might be worth doing a search on DVInfo/looking at his website.

Edit: Found it - some info in this thread. Hope this helps a bit.
Andy K Wilkinson -
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; July 26th, 2010 at 04:38 AM. Reason: adding link
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Old July 29th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot guys, very helpful responses there. Nice tip with putting the camera straight in the bag. I've seen photos of the 7D being used in the arctic in the past covered in snow so i wasn't too worried about taking it into a large freezer for short sessions. My main worry is shooting at the sun. I've been shooting in Hungary with 36 degree heat and occasionally have shots pointing skywards. May have to do a little more research into long term effects of this and start to cut down on those types of shots!

Thanks again, always great answers here!!
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Old July 29th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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The chip in the camera is not all that different from chips in other cameras, just bigger. You see sun in the lens shots all the time from lots of different video cameras, as well as from still cameras. I have read one instance of a laser damaging a chip. You wouldn't want the camera to point full at the sun for very long, I'd think.

Condensation is, as noted, the biggest problem for going in and out of cold places. The idea of putting the camera in the bag to let it warm up slowly is a good idea. I've shot inside giant freezers before, and the crew got too cold to shoot before the battery died, so that worked out well. Another time shooting outside when the temperature was about -5 (F), the only problem was that the tripod started getting really stiff as the fluid in the head got too cold. That was with a Libec; my old O'Connor 50 didn't mind the cold so much.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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I just did a shoot where I started out my jib shot pointing directly at the sun. I put it on auto and no probs.
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