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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 30th, 2005, 08:45 PM   #1
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shooting in cold weather

Does anybody have any experience shooting in below freezing temperatures for extended periods and at high altitudes(7000-14000 ft) with the XL2? Is is it practical to use a Portabrace Polar Bear or should I just get a 16mm camera?
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Old December 31st, 2005, 05:37 AM   #2
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You should post this in the XL2 board, you posted a bit in the wrong board. Maybe someone of the moderators can place it in the correct board.

I think it's better to look for a Portabrace instead of going to 16mm, unless cash is no problem. (But will it fit the rest of your footage or is it only there that you have to shoot?)
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Old December 31st, 2005, 11:10 AM   #3
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Moved to XL2 from RDC.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 01:55 PM   #4
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James,
I am living in Norway, Northern part of Europe, where temperature can be very low.
I have shoot footage with the XL-2 during winter, and have not experienced any difficulties with the XL-2 tape-system nor the lenses.
Of course the batteries run low very fast, but if you are able to have lots of spare batteries or a place to charge them everything will be fine.

I am also careful when I take the camera from a warm place and out in the cold and back again cause the condensation matters. This can cause drop outs when recording.

I am not using any polar bear cover, just a regulary Portabrace camera-cover to protect the camera from wind and snow in the air.

If you like you may go to my website:
http://www.video-film.no/snutter/norway.html
here you can see the XL-2 in action in real cold conditions.

- Per Johan
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:07 AM   #5
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Hello James:

I live so darn far north that a few more miles and I would be headed south. I've used the XL2 at -40 degrees C with great success but as Per suggests insure that you have a handy supply of extra batteries that you can keep warm. If you go to an outdoor/outfitter type store you may find hand warmers there a chemical reaction product that you crack an internal bulb of a chemical which mixes with the others in the pouch to create heat. I store my extra batteries in an insulated bag with one of these heaters. This keeps them warm and fully charged until I need them. The warm to cold and back again is also a serious concern, make sure you keep it in mind.

Hope this is of some help.

Brian
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:08 PM   #6
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Thanks so much for the info. From my understanding, the limitations to shooting with the camera in cold weather is primarily battery dependent(keep warm with extras). It sounds like I will need a cover to protect the camera from moist weather such as snow or rain, not necessarily for insulation.

What about altitude? The info sheet for the 20X zoom lens mentions the formation of "bubbles" within the lens at high altitudes. Has anyone experienced this?
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Santos
The info sheet for the 20X zoom lens mentions the formation of "bubbles" within the lens at high altitudes. Has anyone experienced this?
I've no personal experience with that, but I have read and know that bubbles in the lens have no effect on the image quality. A friend of my brother's was a camera repairman his whole life, and once showed us a pre-war Zeiss lens with a predominant bubble in it. It produced flawlessly sharp images. It's only the surfaces that matter.

About the cold: I find the greatest challenge is keeping the digits warm yet still be able to operate those fiddly little switches and buttons!
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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:43 AM   #8
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We shoot ice fishing in northern Minnesota and Canada all the time and haven't had a problem with our, new, XL-2. Yet. However, we do have a lot of problems with our XL-1s's when the temp goes below 32f. The timcode will drop and reset, the camera will record only black for minutes at a time, all kinds of problems. We have found that if your XL-whatever starts having these problems a quick field-fix is to immediatly put the camera into "standby" whenever you stop rolling and then immediatly begin recording when you power up again. That usually gets us through the day with minimal problems.
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