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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 May 2nd, 2008, 05:12 PM   #1
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Leaving XH A1 in car

I'd like to start taking my A1 around with me everywhere just in case there's something I'd like to film, but am worried about leaving it in the trunk of my car... especially living in Florida.

Will the heat cause damage to the camera or the film? What kind of heat can it handle?
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 05:21 PM   #2
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Yes, extreme heat will most definitely damage the camera. It won't do anything to the film, because this is not a film camera and so there isn't any film. :)

There are any number of different things that might happen. I wouldn't worry about trying to figure out some sort of heat threshold--just keep the camera out of extreme heat.

The above having been said, in a lot of cases, it doesn't really get all that hot in the trunk of a car--provided it's an enclosed trunk with no glass (i.e. a regular "sedan" trunk and not a hatchback). The only real reason why it gets so hot inside of a car is because all of the glass creates a greenhouse effect. So you might or might not be OK leaving your camera in the trunk.

My advice: stick a thermometer in your trunk one hot day and then check it out a bit later. If the temp in the trunk is hotter than, say, 95 or 100 degrees, ixnay on the ameracay in the unktray. :) In the meantime, just stick your camera in a smallish bag and carry it with you if you have to.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Right... I should have said tape instead of film.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll try measuring the temperature. I do have a regular trunk and not a hatchback, and also have tinted windows... but then again, this is Florida and it does get pretty hot.

As far as carrying the camera in a smallish bag... not sure how smallish I can get with the A1, and it might get a little unpractical at times.

I guess I'll just have to make sure to plan all the times I want to shoot.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:25 PM   #4
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You might consider carrying your camcorder in a backpack.

A friend of mine left a camcorder in the trunk of his car for a few days (we are in the Pacific Northwest) during the summer and it got hot enough to melt the solder contacts on some of the circuit boards. I don't think it got that hot (melting point for solder is supposed to be 200 degrees F) but it was the length of the exposure that got to it.

Are you not concerned about your car getting broken into as well?
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 07:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makoto Schoppert View Post
I'd like to start taking my A1 around with me everywhere just in case there's something I'd like to film, but am worried about leaving it in the trunk of my car....
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, but if you decide to do it anyway, could you let me know where you park your car?
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 09:39 PM   #6
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You guys are a little paranoid, aren't you? How often do car trunks get broken into? :) Honestly, I think a break-in at your home is probably several orders of magnitude more likely to happen.

I do leave my camera in the trunk every now and then, but only for very short amounts of time--of course I also have an airtight camera case full of foam, which I am certain slows down the heating process. At any rate, leaving a camera in the trunk for two days during the summer is clearly a bad idea, as Doug's friend found out.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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If you do *accidently* leave a cam in a trunk (or as we say here, boot) on a very hot day, don't pull the cam out of its case till it has cooled down to a normal temp. Can take some hours.

Certainly don't pull a baked cam out and start using it, the first thing to suffer will be your warranty.

Cheers.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Okamoto View Post
You might consider carrying your camcorder in a backpack.

A friend of mine left a camcorder in the trunk of his car for a few days (we are in the Pacific Northwest) during the summer and it got hot enough to melt the solder contacts on some of the circuit boards. I don't think it got that hot (melting point for solder is supposed to be 200 degrees F) but it was the length of the exposure that got to it.

Are you not concerned about your car getting broken into as well?

I'm more concerned about the heat than it being broken into. No one can see what's in the trunk so they won't know that it's in there. I think I'll play it safe and not store it in the trunk/boot. If everyone here had said that they leave it in there with no problems, then I wouldn't be hesitant, but with all the warnings, that won't be the case.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 02:52 AM   #9
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how hot exactly is extreme heat that you wouldn't want the camera to be in? I'm about to take my a1 to southeast asia in the summer where it gets real hot and humid, but i would expect for it to function properly, though that's just my expectation, i do not know for sure.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 06:20 AM   #10
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Kevin, I don't think you have that much to be concerned about. Air circulation (or the lack of) seems to be the culprit. Our hypothesis (we didn't want to test it again to make it a theory) was that because of the lack of air circulation, the fact his car was in the hot (85 degree F) heat for two days and he didn't move his car at all during that time while the camera was in there. It all built up and took it's toll.

The humidity will probably be the main thing you need to be concerned about but most modern cams can take it with proper care and consideration.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 11:53 AM   #11
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I've shot in Florida in the summer--leave the car in the sun for a little while and the steering wheel is too hot to touch. You leave a camera in a car all day, you're asking for trouble. Not only the heat but the humidity can mess up things. Occasionally we see very sad stories of some dummy leaving a child or a pet in a car on a hot day, and the result is death. If the heat can kill a person or animal, it can damage a camera. Don't do it. Just for fun you might stick a thermometer in your trunk for an hour or two during the afternoon and then take a look...if you can find a thermometer that will go high enough. Maybe an oven thermemoter would work. You can probably bake a pizza in your trunk down there. I wouldn't want to leave the camera there for more than half an hour or so.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 12:19 PM   #12
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The Canon manual specifies the operating temperature range from 0-40C (32-104F). Storage temp range isn't specified but for most devices it's a bit broader than the operating range.

A hot car will get much hotter than the max operating temp., and as Allan said, you want to let the cam cool down before you start it up.

Dramatic heat cycling is the enemy of any electronic component and *will* shorten it's life. Subsequently, leaving your A1 in a car trunk, which can get up to 120 degrees in the hot sun, then removing it and shooting in, say, 90 degrees you're subjecting your camera to a 30 degree temperature change. This isn't good.

To help mitigate this problem, you might want to invest in a good case. I have the Petrol which is basically lined with dense foam which is a decent insulator. Pelican cases are lousy with foam. It's just another way these can protect your camera.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 02:04 PM   #13
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Hey Bill, when you shot in Florida in that heat and humidity, what was the best way to maintain the camera?

I'm about to take the a1 into a very humid and hot setting, so i want to be prepared on how to care for it to make sure it functions properly. Thanks
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 02:36 PM   #14
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It does NOT get as hot in the trunk as does in the car itself. There's no glass, and so no greenhouse effect. Depending on various factors such as the color of your car, the thickness of any padding on the underside of your trunk door, etc., the temperatures in your trunk may or may not be acceptable for short-term (i.e. less than a day) camera storage.

And Doug--the fact that you consider 85 degrees F to be "hot heat" is kind of funny to us hillbilly southerners. 'Round these parts, 85 deg. is a pretty comfortable late Spring day. :)
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 03:09 PM   #15
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Living in Florida I'm very familiar with the heat problem. On occasions when I need to leave the camera I store it in one of those soft side coolers. I use a cold gel pack on the bottom of the cooler then put a towel on top of it with a plastic bag on top of that, then the camera. The gel pack keeps it cool inside, but not cold, and a combination of the gel pack (not ice) and the towel keep any moisture from building up. I did this for three weeks traveling in my jeep to the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah last year with no problems.

Occasionally I would just wrap my camera bag with a space blanket If I was only going to be gone an hour or two. It's amazing how much heat they deflect. No problems with these techniques for over a year now
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