How Cold is too Cold? at DVinfo.net

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old January 15th, 2004, 02:09 PM   #1
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How Cold is to Cold?

I got my gl2 for x-mas and I was wondering how cold is to cold to take it outside. I know the mannual says 32F, I do a lot of snowboarding videos and my other camera I didn't really care that much if it broke or not when taking it out in the snow. But I baby my Gl2 and don't want to brake it or ruin it any way. I know the battery will run out fast but I have been dying to go film some snowboarding but right now it just to cold to even go out side. ( right now it is -1F without the wind chill) I seen the polar bear thinger but that is a little pricey. Some suggestions would be well appreciated.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 04:46 PM   #2
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Well -1F is pretty darn cold, particularly if the camera is unprotected. I have used mine at approx. -20F but I was using a Porta Brace Polar Bear cover with it.

In general, the cold is not the primary danger to the camera. Yes, the battery will die fast (they need to be kept above freezing to maintain power) and the servos will being to slow and groan. But the biggest enemy is condensation. Be -very- careful about bringing it indoors after it's been cold for a while. Otherwise the warm moist room air will quickly condense inside the camera, potentially causing a disaster. It's not a bad idea to seal it in a Zip Loc bag (BEFORE bringing it in) and wrap it in a coat for an hour or two when bringing it in. This will minimize the invasion of the warmer, moister indoor air and help to insulate it from warming too quickly.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 07:07 PM   #3
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cold is cold

I was out shooting a short for a local contest last weekend and it was -10F (without factoring in wind chill factors).

I do have a Porta-brace Polar Bear cover and we stayed out there for almost 5 hours with no issues.

Please realize that the condensation issues that Ken mentions above is by far your worst enemy.

Ease your gear back into a warm climate once you get back in, and make sure you remove any inserted tapes BEFORE you go back in the warm house/car/building. (I use hand warmers in my camera bag to do this)
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Old January 15th, 2004, 07:52 PM   #4
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Wind chill does not effect cameras, batteries etc., only living tissue.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 10:03 PM   #5
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same thing betwwen 25-32. make sure it doesnt warm up to fast
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Old January 15th, 2004, 10:54 PM   #6
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Great information guys, I never thought of that!

I am assuming the Porta Brace cover can be had from the sponsors?
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Old January 15th, 2004, 11:09 PM   #7
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Yes. I know that B&H Photo carries it and EVS also carries the Porta Brace line.

Be sure that you order the correct model for the GL2. You can check this at the Porta Brace site.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 05:14 AM   #8
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If you somehow decide to go out without any protection then I'd
suggest you do let the camera adapt to the cold first. I took my
XL1S out into the snow once and had it in a closed sports bag
walking to the site for at least 15 minutes before I took it out.

I experienced no problems with it at all. I'm not sure what the
temperature was back then.
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Old January 16th, 2004, 08:55 AM   #9
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I used a xm1 during a one month winter trek in Zanskar (indian Himalaya). High altitude, that was cold, always. During the nights, outdoor, temperature dropped down to minus 20f and even when I reached some villages and I could sleep inside the locals' houses it was 10f. Only during the days it was kind of 32f. Most of the times i shot with below freezing temperatures without any Porta Brace and I never had problems except for the battery life which was dramatically shortened. I agree, protect your camera when moving from cold to worm/humid AND viceversa. keep some slica gel in your bag, too.
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Old January 25th, 2004, 04:23 PM   #10
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So using this baby in -32f is a no no? hehe fridgin canada
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Old January 26th, 2004, 03:12 AM   #11
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What actually happens if it gets too cold? Can someone provide me with some specifics or experiences if they've had?
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Old January 26th, 2004, 10:48 AM   #12
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well i no your battery will die in like 5 min but i have nit taking it out to find out. i odnt want to ruin my cam
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Old January 26th, 2004, 12:06 PM   #13
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A fully-charged battery will not die in 5 minutes but it's charge will rapidly diminish, easily to half its normal run-time in very cold conditions.

The servo motors driving the lens zoom will also become extremely sluggish...good time to get that extemely slow crawl move that normally eludes you.

The iris seems to be unaffected.

The lcd panel will become mush, unable to refresh in a timely manner and making its image unusable. Ditto for the the lcd in the eyepiece, although not generally as rapidly since it's closer to the remaining heat energy in the camera's body.

The slightest wisp of breath will condense on the lens and instantly freeze into a micro layer of ice that seems impossible to clear while outdoors.

I suspect that eventually your tape might become brittle and prone to snapping under tension, but I've not had such happen to me. I can say that the sound of the tape transport trying to engage in sub-zero weather is not something I ever want to hear again.

Other than that, everything will be fine.
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Old January 26th, 2004, 12:57 PM   #14
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Quote:

"I can say that the sound of the tape transport trying to engage in sub-zero weather is not something I ever want to hear again"

Agree with that...
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