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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 21st, 2007, 09:19 AM   #1
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Canons and humidity?

Has anyone had a problem with their Canon shutting down in high humidity?

I was doing a shoot at the beach yesterday with my A1, and it started shutting down on me right in the middle of a shot.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 09:28 AM   #2
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Did you get an error message?

Depending on conditions, shooting on a beach, with high humidity and salty air is very harmful to a camera.

If the waves are crashing on the beach you can guaranty that there will be a lot of salt in the air.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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All it said was "Camera is now shutting down" (or something along those lines).

The battery was good. It's new and it was fully charged. There were no waves crashing...it was just a really humid day.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:03 AM   #4
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When going from an air conditioned environment to the humidity of South Fl, we always let our cameras sit, turned off, outside for 20-40 minutes to warm up. Once the lens looks clear it is safe to turn on the camera. We've never had a problem of the camera shutting down.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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It isn’t any more or less sensitive than any other digital camera when it comes to that situation. You need to acclimate the camera to the weather first.

I just shot Puerto Vallarta in September with no issues at all. Grand Cayman in August- Riviera Maya in July – St. Maarten in June..etc.

Hot, Humid and Salty are understatements. I’d kill for Maine in June.

I keep my cameras in a plastic bag with a few ounces of silica gel inside the case at all times. Prior to shooting I will put the entire case outside for 45-60 mins.

If you get the error message “Remove Tape”..just run a head cleaner through it and it should be OK after that.

If it shuts down, you’ll just have to wait it out. Having it shut down is a good thing. Any moisture on the tape or the heads will result in un-usable footage.

“Depending on conditions, shooting on a beach, with high humidity and salty air is very harmful to a camera.”

Not unless you throw the camera in the water or get hit by a tsunami.

If it’s really windy or if you are covering a storm, use a weather cover or an Ewa Marine housing. An Ewa Marine housing will immediately protect against humidity as well.

You should also watch out for sand getting into the focus rings or the vf area.
It’s more annoying than harmful. Overall, I find these cameras to be sealed and protected very well against anything less than extreme conditions.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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My guess is that it considered the humidity too high and shut down to protect the camera and tape.

There is a humidity (or dew) sensor in the camera to prevent the tape from sticking to the rotating drum (the tape heads).

"Really Humid Days", in Florida, at the beach, can get really humid!
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:17 AM   #7
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That's a standard thing for all video camcorders. If you go in or out of an airconditioned space to a high temperature, high humidity place, you'll almost always get a high humidity or condensation shutdown. As noted above, the solution is to let the camera acclimate in plenty of time before the shoot. Same for tape. If the camera is all acclimated and you take a tape out of the air conditioned room, it will probably cause a condensation shutdown.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:25 AM   #8
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Certain areas of Florida have real problems with corrosive salt air.

Beaches near Cape Canaveral are in an area with serious problems. The coast juts out near Cape Canaveral. So there are miles of coastline that goes roughly North East. The wind blows West over the crashing waves and heads to the parts of the beach with the salt air problem.

In these areas, non-rust proofed cars rust out in a few years. Aluminum light fixtures crumble and fall apart in about a year.

Any blowing sand is also very harmful to an unprotected camera.

I was recently at Canon's Factory Service Center in New Jersey. While I was there two individuals brought in their expensive Canon lenses for cleaning.

The lady explained that the lens, while operating "breathe" in such a manner that air from the outside gets inside the lens. One individual asked if there was anything he could do to prevent this from occurring, and the lady said no.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:48 AM   #9
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Iím not disputing the fact that salt air is corrosive; but nobody is leaving their
A1 outside for a year. For the short time that one is filming in such conditions, the salt air isnít going to do much damage. The camera will die of other issues before corrosion.

As far as photo lenses, sure. All sorts of things get in there. You can actually see the openings. Currently, mine look like the inside of an airport bathroom. A simple cleaning takes care of it.

Further, I live next to NJ. The air in NJ is corrosive to just breathe.
I can be driven blindfolded down Rte 80 and tell you exactly where I am by the stench.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 05:45 PM   #10
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I had forgotten about the humidity senors in the cameras, and it was in an air conditioned vehicle right before being used.

Unfortunately I didn't have time to let the camera sit as the shoot got moved from 6:30 to 3:30, so it was kind of rushed. Additionally, the shoot was supposed to be inside, but got moved outside. :P

And, yes, Florida humidity is horrible. Sad part is that it's October and 95 degrees outside with about 90% humidity.

I'd kill to be anywhere up north right now... :)
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 12:57 PM   #11
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I agree with Erics post.

I live at the beach and do 85% of my shooting there. I have not had any tape sticks or errors yet. I see a pattern of 1. the outer lens fogs over, 2. all is clear for a bit, 3. some inner surface fogs over for a bit, 4. all is clear and temperature equilized, keep shooting.

Sand was a little of a worry, but never caused any problem. Inevitably, it would get from the tripod legs to the camera. So I know for sure, a little sand won't kill it.
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