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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old August 29th, 2005, 10:15 PM   #1
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XL-1 Condensation Event Alert!

I went out to shoot some of the severe weather damage today due to hurricane Katrina. Well, my camera was inside all day in the nice air conditioning. I had to drive twenty minutes to the first location in my nicely air conditioned truck. I usually remember to climatize it in the truck but not today. I don't think I have to tell you what happened when I got out of the truck to shoot some footage in the nice warm, moist rain. The damn thing just shut down and ejected the tape. All of this is understandable but the following is not. I promptly returned it to the truck and turned off the AC. I left it on with the tape door open for it to air out faster. Over the period of about 45 minutes, the condensation alarm was still flashing. During that time I had turned the power off and back on several times to see if that would reset it and it didn't. So, I then decided to turn it off and then remove the battery, put it back on and then power up. That did it! Now, I don't know if it was a coincidence and it had reset itself anyway at that exact moment or if removing the battery did it. I then referred to the manual (page 68) and it didn't say anything about having to remove the battery to reset it but just to open the tape door and leave it off for about an hour before further use. So, if your camera won't reset, try removing the battery to reset it.


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James Emory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 29th, 2005, 11:25 PM   #2
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Plastic Bag Isolation

The manual also suggests placing the camera in a plastic bag if moving from a cool environment to a warm/moist environment to prevent condensation while climatizing takes place. Well, the same air is going to be in that bag where the camera is inserted so how does that help. Has anyone else ever seen water droplets (condensation) on the inside of a closed bottle?
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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory
The manual also suggests placing the camera in a plastic bag if moving from a cool environment to a warm/moist environment to prevent condensation while climatizing takes place. Well, the same air is going to be in that bag where the camera is inserted so how does that help. Has anyone else ever seen water droplets (condensation) on the inside of a closed bottle?
It slows down the sudden attraction of moisture to the camera when the cold camera hits the warm air (which can hold more water vapor) by allowing the temperture in the bag to equalize. The same air is not going to be in the bag if you close it off. Once the temperture of the camera body rises to the temperture of the outside air, the camera won't attract moisture. When a warm air molecule passes a cold surface, it gives up some of its energy and tends to stick to the cold surface. This is why you see frost on your windshield on cold mornings. It's because the glass cools much more rapidly overnight than the air does. The warmer air molecule stops and sticks to the windshield while having the moisture squeezed out of it as it cools.

What you see on the inside of the bottle is more like the greenhouse effect. This is water molecules being evaporated into the warm air space in the bottle and becoming large enough to form droplets.

The scenario I listed above is why you see water form on the outside of a cold glass of liquid. Another good example is the frost you see on a beer mug when you pull it out of the freezer. Now, imagine that your camera is that beer mug. Hope this helps.

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Old August 31st, 2005, 05:29 AM   #4
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As Greg imples, put the cancorder in the bag while you are still in the cool (air conditioned) environment and seal the bag, then go to the warmer area.. That way it has the cooler, dryer air in the bag. around the camcorder while it wrms up.
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Old August 31st, 2005, 08:14 AM   #5
 
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Haven't had this happen... yet!

Where does one find a plastic bag large enough to hold an XL camera?

Jay
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Old August 31st, 2005, 12:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell
Haven't had this happen... yet!

Where does one find a plastic bag large enough to hold an XL camera?

Jay
You could use common kitchen trash bags perhaps doubled to help support the weight of the camera. Of course, you should directly support the camera while in the bag.

It happened to me once a couple summers ago when it was very humid outside. I took the camera outside and it promptly gave me the dew warning and wouldn't work. I merely took the camera back inside with the tape out and door open and left it for an hour or so. All was fine after that.

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Old August 31st, 2005, 02:20 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston
You could use common kitchen trash bags...
Duh... Why didn't I think of that? It was too obvious.

Thanks, Greg!

Jay
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