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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 28th, 2003, 10:45 AM   #1
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Operating Temperature

I'm in the market for a new camera. I want to be able to use the camera to film various outdoor sports, some of which involve cold weather shooting.

All the specifications I'm reading (including the XL1s) state the minimum operating temperature as 32F. This simply will not cut it. What limits the operating temperature to this value? Is it simply the LCD? If I replace the LCD with the B&W CRT will the rest of the camera function properly? Is there any way to get around this temperature limitation? Any help on this matter would be appreciated.

I've used my current camcorder in temperatures less than 32F extensively, and it has functioned properly. However, after 4 years of use, the screen is starting to get a "reddish" tint. Is this a result of the temperature use, or just the life of the LCD?

Thanks a lot
Mike
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Old January 28th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #2
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Mike-
I believe that low temperature not only affect the LCD but also the motor, heads and the lens functionality as well. As you may or may not know, there are covers that you can buy for cold weather protection. I recently purchased one from Portabrace that I think is great. I have taken it out on numerous occasions so far this winter in temps that were below zero and it worked just fine.

I hope this helps,

Vito
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Old January 28th, 2003, 11:32 PM   #3
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The temperature rating is a safety factor for Canon (and the user). Many strange things can happen below freezing. Motors get sluggish, tapes transport can slow down, LCD VF get dark etc. Canon doesn't want to try to trouble shoot all the possible camera malfunctions for below freezing temperatures. It could be a warranty nightmare. Instead, limit the specs to a range that the camera will give reliable performance.
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Old January 29th, 2003, 12:08 AM   #4
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WOW, I had no idea. I'm planning on purchasing the xl1s in the future for that very same reason, filming outdoor sports. Much, if not all, of this filming will be in cold, often below freezing temps. I have a friend who currently owns an xl1 and he uses it in cold temps on a very regular basis, and while I've never asked, he's never commented on any special attention to cold weather filming. Are there other cameras better suited to this?
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Old January 29th, 2003, 04:21 AM   #5
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Well, if you use it for outdoor work I would definitely get a polar
"rug" around it to protect it from some of the elements....
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Old January 29th, 2003, 06:27 AM   #6
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The 32F reading is fairly standard between all the manufactures. They just aren't going to recommend or say flat out that they will record at lower temps. It opens up Pandora's box. Too many variables (temp, humidity, storage condition prior to exposure) to make blanket predictions (or warranties). I've operated the XL1 at below zero F temperatures on many occasions (like others have mentioned here) without a single problem.
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Old January 29th, 2003, 12:05 PM   #7
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I routinely use my XL1 outdoors for extended periods of time in cold weather.

Two days ago we had a four hour shoot where the starting temp was minus 15. It warmed up to a balmy fifteen above zero by the time we finished.

Even though I forgot to bring my camera cover, we had no problems at all with the tape, transport or lcd.

The bitter cold did zap the batteries faster than usual, but that's to be expected.

Mike Avery
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