Storage temperature: XH-A1s + tapes at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 9th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 62
Storage temperature: XH-A1s + tapes

The recent cold snap in the UK has me wondering about storage of my cameras (XH-A1s & HV40) and miniDV tapes.

Over the quieter winter period, my XH-A1s is kept in its Lowepro carry-bag, and covered for good measure. HV40 in a carry case inside a drawer. MiniDVD tapes each in their own plastic cases, all inside a closed cardboard box, inside a drawer.

With the recent temperatures dropping to around -10c overnight (cold for the UK anyway!), are the cameras and tapes safe from 'extreme temperature'? I'm not sure of the temperature in my storage room (it is double-glazed and nowhere near freezing), though obviously it gets colder as it gets colder outside, especially at night - I do heat the room briefly with a radiator every so often (it is part of my home) but subtly to avoid any 'sudden' changes in temperature. Camera and tapes are kept well away from the radiator of course.

Everything OK in these overnight temperatures? XH-A1s manual states 'store in a place free of dust' (check) 'with low humidity' (check) 'and at temperatures not higher than 30c' (check). From the information available online, it seems heat is more of an issue than cold with regards to cameras and media - I'm guessing the gradual and natural change of a room's temperature responding to the conditions outside is fine during storage?
Rob Harlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2011, 02:55 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Brevard, Florida
Posts: 77
Well, I can tell you this much, Rob. While shooting news on DVC Pro (tape based) back in the day, we operated these cameras at well below 0 degrees Celcius - nevermind storing them.

As long as you bring them up to temp slowly (sealed in a plastic bag to keep condensation out) you should be fine. As always, never store with a tape loaded.

I'd be curious what an engineer has to say about it.
__________________
Beer is cheaper than therapy.
John Kilderry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2011, 12:38 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
You rang! :)

Rob, the best DV tape storage conditions are, yes each in their own polystryene cases, stored in their original 5 pack boxes (if you have them) but stored standing upright, not with the tapes lying flat. That way, over the years the tape pack doesn't slowly drop down.

Old habits die hard .. I leave my tapes archived end or tail out, so the tape is tight and neatly packed, especially after capturing the material. Sequentially number tapes as you buy them and leave an index in a note book, so you don't have to open tapes up to see what's on them.

Then store them in a plastic airtight fridge container with some fresh silicagel .. in a temperature stable environment. Cardboard can absorb humidity.

DV tapes stored like that, have a life of about 30yrs. if you can then find a machine to play them :)

Some advice says you should annually take tapes out and spool them end to end to avoid the tape sticking, but who does that? Early tape did stick but there's been no reports of that with current DV tapes. The advice about temperature stabilizing tapes and cameras is correct.

Beware of hot cars in summer. Here's a trap, my Pelican 1510 A1s camera cases, even though you can seal them air and water tight .. are not temperature proof. Left in the trunk of a car on a cool morning, can cook the cameras by noon on a hot day.

If that happens, leave the cam cases closed and let them (and the cameras) cool till they stabilse. You might lose a shoot, but you won't lose the cams.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
I can't speak with authority on storage -- my years in Canada have left me experienced with shooting in the cold (winter days at -20C are to be expected) ... but we keep our homes at 20C, box rooms included. Truth is, the coldest winters I've ever experienced were in the UK ... single glazing, lack of weather stripping, pantry & loo venting -- wearing a scarf and a woolie hat at your desk was standard operating procedure at my Bedfordshire office. When asked if it was cold like that in Canada, my response (though I'm not convinced anyone believed me) was no, we pretty much heat our homes and offices!

But to shooting in cold weather:
Be careful of transitioning from warm to cold and vice versa. An hour shooting in the cold will have your camera pretty chilled -- bring it into a warm pub over lunch, and condensation will form even in places like inside your lens. The condensation will form almost instantly, but takes hours of careful attention to dissipate. If you must bring your gear inside, keep it sealed in a case, don't open the case and keep silca gel or some such in the bag with your gear.
Cycle your batteries. Keep one battery in an inside pocket, or tucked in your armpit -- every few minutes exchange the one on the camera with the one you're warming. The cold won't break your battery, but it will see it report low capacity pretty quickly -- warming it up will bring it back to its true level.
Consider rubber gloves. Here in Canada it is easy to find linesman's mitts -- big heavy mitts that hinge open at the palm, so you can get your fingers out for fine work quickly. But warm as the mitts might be, when you're working with your fingers in the cold it can get uncomfortable pretty quickly. Wear a latex glove on your focus hand, so when it is out of the mitt it is still covered -- works quite well!

I've shot many hours of skiing footage in temperatures that would shock my mates in the UK -- the equipment is up to the task with a little care and prep. Remember that snow is nowhere near 18% grey, mind your backlighting, keep a UV filter on the lens and enjoy the weather -- beats rain now doesn't it!?!

Cheers,
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2011, 10:35 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 62
Thanks for the replies.

I generally avoid 'sudden' temperature changes - filming weddings, I guess we all may find ourselves shooting outside on a cold December day for an hour, and then heading back inside to the Reception. Filming must continue regardless, and I'd like to think this wouldn't count as an issue unless 'inside' is suddenly by a roaring fire or in a hot kitchen.

MiniDV tapes: a few people have mentioned these 'plastic airtight fridge containers'. In the UK I suppose we might refer to them as 'sandwich boxes' - so these are ideal for tape storage? What are the benefits over using a closed cardboard box - lack of any air at all is much better for the tapes then?

Silica gel: should I buy a few packets of this, and drop them in my camera bags, and also in among my tapes for good measure?

Last edited by Rob Harlan; January 12th, 2011 at 11:08 AM.
Rob Harlan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2011, 10:55 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
I have mini DV tapes in two differing types of container: the transparent swivel case, that swings open to allow the cassette out, and opaque hinged cases (typical of professional tape cases) that close with a bit of a click. The latter is likely more 'sealed' than the former, though when travelling I always put either type in a zip lock bag.

As long as you follow the admonishment printed on the packets ("Do Not Eat" -- hard to imagine who would!) Silca Gel packets should be tucked into the corners of all your camera bags & transport cases. Periodically bake them dry if you've been somewhere humid -- they are an effective and low cost desiccant.

There are times when transitioning from cold to warm can't be avoided -- but as eyeglass wearers will be quick to attest, the transition can still be problematic, even destructive. I step in from the ski slopes and the humid air in the lodge instantly fogs my glasses -- it takes a minute for the condensation to dissipate. And that is on my eyeglasses, exposed on both sides and close to my body for warmth -- the same condensation on a tape drum, or on the tape itself, on the front of a lens or worst of all, inside a lens -- a transition from cold to warm when the warm is also humid can ruin a shoot, damage tape & camcorder both. So plan for these eventualities with sealed containers ... though I doubt that a wedding ceremony will spend time in temperatures I would begin to call cold.

Cheers,
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 14th, 2011, 12:52 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
I use a couple of these, long term they save funds ..

http://www.silicagel.com.au/products...-40-grams.html

Apparently blue Silicagel has some carcinogenic properties ..

ANU - HR - OHS - HAZARD ALERTS - SELF INDICATING BLUE SILICA GEL

has been replaced by Orange ..

095A201 Replacement Silica Gel Bag

Haven't seen any tho.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:41 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network