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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #16
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Johan,

Thank you very much for your highly practical advice which I take seriously, given where you live.

Best wishes,

Harry.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #17
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Johan, do you think I need the full cold weather jacket, or will the "rain slicker" model be enough. I guess that my question really is at what temperature does a Portabrace padded jacket become necessary in your opinion?

The location I'm shooting is a ski resort in California in Jnauary, not the North Pole.

Many thanks---

By the way, great stuff on your website.

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Harry
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Old December 7th, 2007, 08:11 AM   #18
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http://www.portabrace.com/productB-POL-25

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ar_Heated.html

Heat Packs - http://www.portabrace.com/productC-PHP-2

Its a bit cumbersome to get both hands inside the jacket, due to the knitted ring at the end of the sleeves. I put approx. twelve heat packs inside the various little pockets to spread the heat around. (This was at -35F)

I found that I was comfortable at -15 - 0 F without the jacket once the camera and I acclimated - But I admit I have a high threshold for outdoor discomfort, and in my experiances the camera does too.

Johan, advice matches my experiences - the BP-970G last even in the cold.

[edit] I also have the rain slicker and use it - It is essential under the rain and wet conditions (even dust) - it would do very little in the cold - think of it like wearing a heavy nylon shell, instead of an insulated down jacket.

Last edited by Pasquale Benedetto; December 7th, 2007 at 08:14 AM. Reason: added info
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Old December 7th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #19
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Harry,
I've used this jacket toghether with the xl-2 and now the xlh1 for many trips out in the snow:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...n_Slicker.html

It's very practical to use, there are zippers to open for access to the knobs and lens, I'm satisfied with this even in really cold weather.
To give you an impression of how it can be out there look at this short sample of a couple of muskox in a real blizzard:
http://www.video-film.no/snutter/blizzard.mov (2.4 MB)
In this conditions you need to wear real thick gloves and easy access to your gear is essential for getting any footage at all!
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Old December 7th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #20
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Makes me cold just looking back at the photos;

http://web.mac.com/desertdude/iWeb/d...?slideIndex=21

http://idisk.mac.com/desertdude-Publ...g_Sledding.mov
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Last edited by Pasquale Benedetto; December 7th, 2007 at 09:58 AM. Reason: added movie link
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #21
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Thanks very much for the info. But at what temperature do you think it becomes necessary to use the Portabrace? Canon says that the camera works ok down to Zero, but do you think I'm asking for trouble not purchasing this when working a "few" degrees below zero? It sounds very cumbersome.

Many many thanks for your advice.

Harry
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Bromley-Davenport View Post
It sounds very cumbersome.
Harry
I found it extremely cumbersome, but got used to it. I did not always have the jacket or slicker on the camera. In the three weeks up in the Arctic, I discovered it was more about frozen moisture than extreme dry cold. The camera can handle the cold quite well. I did not always have the jacket or slicker on the camera. (and had no issues.)

Once we arrived down in Washington State, with the wet snow and drips of rain, I was glad to have the slicker on.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #23
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Dog sledding was at -20 and it was wet and we were moving fast, snow from the trees, slapping me on occasion.

When up in Tuk, it was -35f I was outside for nearly an hour shooting the tire chains for a product endorsement, without the jacket. The camera had no issues, as it was extremely dry. (This was at about 9:30 PM sun going down)

I used very thin silk gloves at times, but my hands were still cold.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #24
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...but do you think I'm asking for trouble not purchasing this when working a "few" degrees below zero?
Hope you mean degrees celsius? I have used mine down at -25 degrees celsius both with and without the jacket. Often I only use a towel around it when not in use.
In the area where I film the muskoxen there can be a long way from civilization and staying in tent is the only way. The temperature will in such conditions be very low all the time both inside and outside the tent. I have been staying like this for 3 days without experiencing any issues to the camcorders lens nor tapesystem. The only thing is that viewfinder often blur in strong cold and there can be a real hazle to focus properly.

So my answer to you will be: I don't think you gonna be in trouble at all. Just be carefull for condensation when moving from cold to warm areas.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #25
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The only thing is that viewfinder often blur in strong cold and there can be a real hazle to focus properly.
I found this to be true as well...
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Old December 7th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #26
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Very many thanks to you all for your time and useful advice.

Harry.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #27
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the XLH1 is rated to 0C that is 32F. So -35F is 67 degrees below what the camera is rated for.

The theory with li-ion batteries is to store them cold (in a fridge) but bring to room temperature before using. This will maximize life and run-time. Always use canon batteries, statistically they perform better then the off-brands. If you want more info on batteries in cold temps search the net or drop by Rocky Mountain Film Video when you get to Denver. They build battery belts and their techs are very knowledgable. They also rent polar coats for the XLH1.

For me the big thing with battery life in cold temps is that I tend to leave the camera running a lot more. Controls are much more difficult to access by feel when your fingers get numb, and you can't wear gloves.

Also practice using the camera by feel. Smear and focus problems will be minimized if you shoot at 60i. Have your gear stowed well. Anything you drop in 3 feet of snow is likely to stay in cold storage until the spring.

FWIW daytime temps at Keystone are rarely below 0. Most of the camera mountain camera crews work with just the normal protective cover a lot of the time. Not much to film on a ski mountain in a blizzard.

Wind chill has no effect on inanimate objects but it does on your face and hands.

Two feet of snow in my drive this morning. Slopes should be great if I can get out.

As everyone is sharing: - btw this was shot with an XL1 precisely because I didn't have a coat for the larger camera.

http://timberlinevideo.com/clients/p...heSDE0207.html
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:46 PM   #28
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the XLH1 is rated to 0C that is 32F.
All camcorders I'm aware of is. I wonder why. Is the manufactor doing this for a specific reason, anybody knows?
In my country you could not film outdoors more then half the year if you gonna follow the recommendations which is nonsense!
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Old December 7th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #29
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Per -

Take a glass of water outside when the thermometer reads 0F. Did it freeze?

Put your camera in your freezer set to 0F - leave it in there for a day. Does it still work?

Obviously cameras work when the ambient temperature is below 32F. But if the core temp of the camera itself drops below 32F and stays there any length of time any moisture inside the camera will turn to ice with potentially catastrophic results.

If you leave the camera running the heat generated will keep the camera from freezing in very cold temperatures for quite some time, especially if the humidity index is low.

Canon could put in all sorts of provisos with regard to minimum operating temperature. But if you want one number without any qualifications that number is 32F.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 03:00 AM   #30
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Wow thanks for all the info. My shoot this season should be a success with the help of you guys!

Peter- I didn't even think about the fact that wind chill doesn't count for the inanimate things! And I was including that in the temp. range I listed for Keystone, so you're right. The temp. when I was out there last season in January was about an average of 0-15 degrees fahrenheit (without wind chill). Just thought I would clear that up so I didn't sound like a complete idiot.

Anyway, thanks again. This is a great thread.
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