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Old March 7th, 2003, 02:27 PM   #1
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EVF in cold weather

Yesterday I was shooting news footage at the scene of a fatal avalanche. It was at 12,000 feet elevation and colder than a... well, it was cold. Though it was mostly sunny, the wind was blowing at about 40-knots and clouds passed overhead like fluffy race cars. I had to keep my thumb on the iris wheel to make constant changes. It was not snowing, but the wind was blowing so many tiny specs of snow it was like being in a frozen shower.

The biggest problem I had was my EVF. Almost as soon as I'd put my eye to it, it fogged up. So I tried to center my shots and keep other than primary stuff out of the foreground, and held the autofocus button in... hoping for the best. Luckily, that worked and I got some terriffic footage.

I did notice, however, when I could see through the EVF the image appeared to be much darker than normal. Fortunately, I trusted my gut and shot at the exposure I thought best. If I'd have shot using the EVF to give me an indication of what I was getting, I'd have gotten a bunch of worthless stuff.

So after this winded diatribe, the question is: Was it just me, or does the EVF react to damp cold and not reflect images accurately?
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Old March 7th, 2003, 02:36 PM   #2
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Cold effects the liquid in the Liquid Crystal Displays. Canon rates the camera to specific temperatures. Beyond that temperature Canon makes nor specific warranties. It not that the camera won't work when it is cold, it may not work up to the manufactures specs. Freezing is usually the mark most manufactures aim for.
Jeff Donald
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Old March 8th, 2003, 05:17 AM   #3
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Canon's spec for the XL1 (the XL1s appears to be similar):
Performance: 0 C to 40 C, 85% RH, the temps translate to 32 F to 104 F.
Operation: -5 C to 45 C, 60% RH, temp translates to 32 F to 113 F.
Operation implies it works, but may not be up to specification. (And I wonder if the RH numbers were a typo error in the manual.)
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Old March 11th, 2003, 05:51 PM   #4
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the cold......

I find that when using a Portabrace heated cover that I don't have the issues you speak of.

It seems to keep the "neck" of the EVF warm enough to alleviate the issue. (no scientific data to back up this theory)

You may want to check one out for future shoots in the cold.
I'm pretty happy with both models for the cameras listed in my signature below.
Dan Holly
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Old March 11th, 2003, 06:45 PM   #5
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Thanks, all.

Interesting... we haven't had an avalanche fatality around here for about 12 years. Now we've had three (as of yesterday) in as many weeks.
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Old March 11th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #6
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One more tidbit for you, Charles. Eyepieces have a really maddening way of quick-fogging in the cold. Since the eye is wet moist air quickly fills the cavity betweeen your eye and the eyepiece lens, leading to condensation.

Using an iCuff (my favorite) or Hoodman eyepiece accessory will greatly help to alleviate this, as well as providing more comfortable eyepiece for all-seasons.
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