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Old February 6th, 2008, 03:22 PM   #1
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Best Cold weather camera ?

We film a hunting show in ND and we have had to film in weather down to zero. At this time we use GL2s and have had numerous loss of footage ( blue screen during these cold spells) We use heat packs and covers but still have trouble. Looking at getting new cameras along the same line as the GL2 but in HD. If any of you have first had knowledge of cold weather shooting I would appreciate your advise on cameras.

Thank you
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Old February 13th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #2
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you should try sony A1U

I live in Montreal
and for the past 2 months, I did a lot of recording on very cold days.
I did not need to cover the camera and the temperature was often
-20celsius+wind of 70kmhr so probably close to -50celsius.Two week ago I did camping and before sleeping I leave the camera outside the tent, so no problem of condensation.Never a single problem since the beginning of winter.
Last winter I was on a boat on the St-Laurent river and it was -35cel+wind of 80kmhr and I never saw a colder day but camera ok.
The battery was np-qm91d and I can record more than 5hour on it.
the camera resistance surprise me, because I did for a lot of years photography on very cold days and the photo camera did not last like the video camera.Actually my hands even with two pair of gloves were freezing and I felt pain for hours, but the A1U always redy.

Last edited by Martin Labelle; February 13th, 2008 at 01:25 AM. Reason: missed a line
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Old February 13th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #3
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John,

I use an XH A1 and I've had it in the cold for hours without problems. Now my definition of cold is sometimes warmer that what you might experience. The specs from Canon say the operating range goes down to 32F, but I've had it out in weather between 0 and +10F for at least an hour. Could have been longer but I don't remember. What I do remember is the camera lasted longer in that weather than I did. [grin]

I have almost always shot with a Porta Brace rain cover to protect it from falling snow from the sky or from trees. No heating devices were used.

A thought on your blue screen problems with the GL. Make sure you're using top quality tapes in whatever cam you get. That may help you. I use the Panasonic AY-DVM63PQ. In 50 tapes, I've had about 5 dropouts. I've read more than a few good reviews about the AY-DVM63AMQ which I expect are higher quality since they are more expensive.

Hope that helps.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 09:15 PM   #4
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Just finished a shoot this week with HVX at -40 below, No damage to camera, p2's worked great but did not use LCD. Batteries worked well with Warm RAPS and no blue screens. The only thing that was a problem was the fluid head on the stick iced up which we solved with a warming wrap you use on a persons neck.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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Have used the Sony Z1 in North Dakota in temps of -10 to -30 and have had some issues with LCD screen looking fuzzy and also heads making serious noise but when heated with hothands and gloves the Z1 popped right back into full production mode. I have also heard the XDHD cam is one slick rig when it comes to cold temps and rough shooting environments hope to try one out some day.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #6
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is people in USA talk in farheneit or celsius?
here in Quebec its celsius but for measuring lenght its often inches mix with centimeter,and for speed its kilometer hrs and for weight its a mix of kilo and pound. And MR Tripp if you live in NH go on mount washington this week end to try your camera, then we will have your definition of cold.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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US is Fahrenheit, but at -40 degrees, Celsius and Fahrenheit are the same - ie -40 degrees F is the same as -40C

So in the minus 30's there isn't much difference which one you use
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Old February 16th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #8
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ok but I would sometime prefer the february of arizona instead of quebec.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #9
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I think a lot of people have the same idea!

Of course, when it's 115F (46C) here in the summer, there aren't so many visitors from cooler places.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Of course, when it's 115F (46C) here in the summer, there aren't so many visitors from cooler places.
You will NOT see me wherever there is! I'd melt into the pavement!

The biggest problem I find with cold and cameras is that any cords you might need get brittle. The older they are the worse they are. I've shattered Lowell light cords trying to coil them (I've since let them warm up first).

But with a variety of cameras, I've never had a problem in the cold. Just keep them batteries warm.

Now, if your rough on your gear, and shooting hunting videos can't be easy, any hit it might take runs the risk of doing more damage because of the brittleness factor. Might make more sense to buy cheap cameras and call them disposable.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:13 PM   #11
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I have experience using Canon XL1 (tape based) in Everest Base Camp ... with temperatures going to -25 deg C at night and 30 deg C during the day. Tape based recorders are pretty bad here ... because the capstan will grip the tape and wound it into a big ball. Just terrible - I recalled loosing 3 DV tapes this way.

I now have a HVX202 (Panasonic) - that records on P2 cards. Last year (Nov) - I brought the camera up to 4000m in Nepal Himalaya to do some videoing. Absolutely ZERO problems - even down to -35 deg C. I was having trouble moving myself at that temperature - but the camera records the footage without problems. Battery life was also great - no motor to drain the battery.

Just 1 week ago, I carried this same camera up to Mt Kinabalu (4,000m) - again - no problems recording the footage (in HD).
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:47 PM   #12
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A question for those of you with experience filming in the cold . . .

I am working on a documentary about a local volunteer fire dept. and have been going out on runs with company. A recent one was at 3:00 am with temps about 10 degrees F, humid, and windy.

At the scene, an Applebee's where and automatic alarm had gone off (no fire), I was having trouble with what appeared to be frosting of the lens. There was not visible frost, but it was clear through the view finder that something was softening and diffusing the image . . .

Am I right to assume it was frost? Anything to do to help prevent this? Are there some conditions that seem to produce the effect more than others?
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:53 PM   #13
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A question for those of you with experience filming in the cold . . .

I am working on a documentary about a local volunteer fire dept. and have been going out on runs with company. A recent one was at 3:00 am with temps about 10 degrees F, humid, and windy.

At the scene, an Applebee's where and automatic alarm had gone off (no fire), I was having trouble with what appeared to be frosting of the lens. There was not visible frost, but it was clear through the view finder that something was softening and diffusing the image . . .

Am I right to assume it was frost? Anything to do to help prevent this? Are there some conditions that seem to produce the effect more than others?
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 12:54 PM   #14
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Do you have a filter in front of the lens? I am assuming you didn't take your camera out into the cold from a warm place. Sometimes, the filter forms a warm air pocket between the front of the camera lens and the filter. And it could give you this problem.

Another thing - watch the relative humidity as well. If it is 80% RH and greater - and the temperature is well below freezing point - frost will form pretty easily.
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Old February 23rd, 2008, 01:14 PM   #15
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Of course the air pocket must be it.

Yes, I have an ND filter on the lens and take the camera out of a warm house to a cold car and then to the fire scene.

Thanks TingSern
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