Just got my XL2. how do i store it? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old March 19th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #1
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Just got my XL2. how do i store it?

hi everyone,

just got my xl2 and would like to thank this forum for providing me most of the infos i need in deciding what to buy. You definitely helped me a lot on my my past questions and im sure you will with new one. :)

I paln to purchase a pelican dry box for my xl2. but someone warned me that dry boxes beign watertight will not do my camera good because of hunmidity being trapped inside. He said that it will sure make fungus gorw on my lens if stored inside a dry box for a long time. Is that true? If it is, can i counter that with a silica gel?

Will disassembling my xl2 (detaching lens from the body) during storage puts my camera at risk? I Plan to do this so that i can get the smallest case possible.

Is it true that fingus also grows on that camera CCD? how do i prvent fungus growth on my camera's CCD and lens?

I live in the philippines, its a tropical country, i am wondering if that means that my camera is more at risk.

And last, i tested my XL2 already without running a head cleaner first. So far i've seen no artifacts on my footage. So can i skip that part now (running a head cleaner first before shooting for the first time)? I am not a big fan of head cleaners. :))

Thank you all in advance.
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Old March 19th, 2005, 01:46 PM   #2
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Once activated silica gel won't work. In other words, once the gel has absorbed its limit of humidity, it will absorb no more, and it will absorb never more.
I was involved in a company that did a lot of military packaging, and we always would place the gel in a package (and lots of it in a package the size of an xl2) remove the air (literally with a vacuum cleaner on reverse) and the seal the package completely so new air wouldn't get in.
OK, I guess for long term storage, but kinda impracticle for most items you'll be reusing.

(BTW, the silica gel they throw in with our electronics gear we buy...doesn't work!)
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Old March 19th, 2005, 02:34 PM   #3
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thanks for that info.

any other suggestion to counter humidity?
if i buy those commercially available cilica gels, how often should i replace it? how do i know when it's time to replace ?
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Old March 21st, 2005, 05:23 AM   #4
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I know that there are reuseable silica-type products on the market. You use them to dry stuff out until the crystals change color, then you bake them to get rid of the moisture, and can use them again.

Hopefully this helps
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Old March 21st, 2005, 05:56 AM   #5
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Hi Arlie,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your new camera. I believe the Pelican case has a moisture vent situated near the carrying handle. If you have questions, I would contact Pelican and ask due to your tropical climate.

As a side note Arlie, my son is a US Marine and was deployed to your country for a month or so last year. He said he really enjoyed his stay in your country and the people he met there.

-gb-
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Old March 21st, 2005, 05:09 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Michael OKeefe : I know that there are reuseable silica-type products on the market. You use them to dry stuff out until the crystals change color, then you bake them to get rid of the moisture, and can use them again.

Hopefully this helps -->>>

Dunno about changing color, but bulk silica gel "dessicant" is available (somewhere...) and yes, it should be a simple matter of baking it in the oven for an hour or so at maybe 200F to remove any absorbed moisture.

It strikes me that if a sealed case is going to result in your camera getting fuzzy, a non-sealed case would yield the same results (unless your sealed case doubles as a mop bucket...)

-cw-
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Old March 21st, 2005, 07:57 PM   #7
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The little screw vent on Pelican cases is actually to release pressure from traveling to different climates like higher or lower altitudes. In some instances there can become such a vacuum on the case it would be impossible to open. In this situation you can unscrew the knob and equalize the pressure and thus open the case. If you live somewhere like Denver and fly much for business you will eventually discover this little feature (nothing like going out of town and not being able to open your camera case). Keep it closed for waterproofness and open it up to ventilate.

The product you are talking about for humidity removal is called "DampRid". You can buy it in cartons of various sizes and use it in smaller packages for enclosed spaces like camera cases. But there are are a bunch of other options that work better, like the Silica Gel packets in reusable containers.
Here is one I've used before, scroll down to model number "SG-8", it's the 40 gram Aluminum canister pictured in the top center row. It should be perfect for your camera case.

other options on reusable dehumidifiers:
http://www.polylam.com/reusable_canisters.htm
http://www.adorama.com/ZZSGC.html
http://www.cameraconcepts.com/store/p1717.html

just google "reusable silica gel canisters" for a bunch of links. I bought mine at a camera show a while back.
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Old March 21st, 2005, 08:10 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rhett Allen : The little screw vent on Pelican cases is actually to release pressure from traveling to different climates like higher or lower altitudes. In some instances there can become such a vacuum on the case it would be impossible to open. In this situation you can unscrew the knob and equalize the pressure and thus open the case. If you live somewhere like Denver and fly much for business you will eventually discover this little feature (nothing like going out of town and not being able to open your camera case). Keep it closed for waterproofness and open it up to ventilate.

-->>>

Thanks for that clarification, Rhett. I just recently looked at one and made the assumption that it was a moisture vent after ruling out the possibility that it was an alarm(looks kind of like a sonalert:> ). However, left partially open, it might work as a moisture vent.

-gb-
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Old March 21st, 2005, 09:19 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rhett Allen : Thanks for that clarification, Rhett. I just recently looked at one and made the assumption that it was a moisture vent after ruling out the possibility that it was an alarm(looks kind of like a sonalert:> ). However, left partially open, it might work as a moisture vent.

-gb- -->>>

Keep in mind that venting works both ways. As long as that vent is open, the case is going to "breathe" with any ambient pressure changes. In a dry environment, no problem. In a humid environment, the inside of the case will eventually end up humid too.

I would suggest that you want that vent closed except when necessary to equalize the pressure to get the case open. Likewise, you want the case sealed as much as possible when in a particularly humid environment. Open it, get the camera out, close and seal it again. And that's when your dessicant does its work, pulling the humidity level back down inside the case once it's sealed again.

-cw-
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Old March 21st, 2005, 10:43 PM   #10
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Yes Charlie you are right that it works both ways. I have problems on my bass boat with so called 'dry storage' areas. They are watertight but they trap humidity from the air and get wet inside anyway, sort of a greenhouse effect. I now prop the lid just slightly open when the boat is covered and that allows moisture to go in AND out. I was forgetting how humid his environment would be when I mady a suggestion to do the same with the pelican case. The re-usable dessicant is the best solution in very humid environments where the air is never going to be dry. I've even started putting the smaller packets in my tackle box to keep hooks from getting rusty during extended periods of non-fishing activity.


-gb-
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:56 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Greg Boston : Yes Charlie you are right that it works both ways. I have problems on my bass boat with so called 'dry storage' areas. ...
-gb- -->>>

Nothing that 500 pounds of silica gel won't fix. ;-)

But seriously, yeah that's a perfect illustration of why a sealed case alone is not enough in an environment that's either humid or subject to temperature extremes (which can cause condensation).

I had a simiar rude awakening here in normally mild Maryland last summer. It got so humid that all my tools in the shed started rusting and a collection of old electronic "treasures" (aka "junk") stored under the porch got covered in mold.

Sure don't want that happening to your XL2!

-cw-
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 12:37 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone,

once again this forum proves to be useful. I read the brochure that came with my camera and learned that canon's hard case for the xl2 is airtight. I figured that if humidity and condensation are issues with a watertight case, so will they be with an airtight one.
I think a watertight case will be better in case rain pours suddenly or if i am travelling by boat with my cam.

judging form your posts, i think its ok if i use a pelican case as a permanent storage for my cam as long as i replace the cilica gel regularly (of put it in an oven it they're reusable).

If i am not going to use my cam for let's say a month, should i open the case regularly, or should i just make sure that i am using a "working" dessicant and leave the case untouched (that is if i can resist the temptation). Or should i leave it out of the case and just leave it sitting in my office or room (oops did someone's stupidity alarm just went off ) ?

And Greg, when can i expect you to visit the Philippines? :) Yes, we do smile a lot here. :)

P.S. how about my other questions re: ccd and lens fungus?
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 03:15 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Arlie Nava : Thanks everyone,

If i am not going to use my cam for let's say a month, should i open the case regularly, or should i just make sure that i am using a "working" dessicant and leave the case untouched (that is if i can resist the temptation). Or should i leave it out of the case and just leave it sitting in my office or room (oops did someone's stupidity alarm just went off ) ?

P.S. how about my other questions re: ccd and lens fungus? -->>>

Just my opinion, but I'd probably open it about once a month to swap in a dry canister of dessicant and a fresh battery.

You'll get varying opinions about how to take care of your Lithium Ion battery packs, but my personal experience combined with the best info I could find on the subject indicates that there is little harm in "topping off" these batteries and they have no memory effects to worry about like NiCd and NiMh batteries. They will however self-discharge over a period of months, and I would assume that the XL2 also draws a tiny smidge of power even when off. So best not to leave the same battery pack on the camera for months at a time. Also a good idea to make sure all your batteries spend a few hours on the charger every month or two.

If you leave the battery pack off the camera, I would expect that the memory backup battery is going to have to work harder and would need to be replaced sooner.

Concerning fungus, corrosion and other such nasties... you should be fine, provided that you keep the camera stored in its air/water tight case and maintain your dessicant. Preventing corrosion and fungus is exactly the purpose of the sealed case and dessicant.

Even if you didn't have humidity to worry about, storing your XL2 in its case also serves to keep dust, spills, falling objects, curious fingers, pets (and pet/human by-products, ick!) off your pricey little wonder. It's just a good idea. :-)

-cw-
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