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Old July 3rd, 2007, 05:17 PM   #1
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Bringing an HD100 across the Himalayas?

I'm going on a trip across china the himalayas and india over the next couple of months and I want to bring my macbook pro and hd100. Has anyone ever brought an HD100 to everest or similar high altitude locales? I wlll be at about 17,000 feet for at least a week. Can the HD100 be operated at this altitude? I know many films and documentaries are made in the himalayas and everest so I imagine it's possible right? The web has scant info on this subject... I hear rumors that you can't bring laptops/hard drives to such high altitude (17,000 ft.) without having the hard drive be destroyed. Is this true? Why can't a macbook pro work at that altitude? What if I were to just keep it in a protective case like this... http://pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1495CC2 and not operate it until I get to a lower altitude? Would I still lose the data? If I don't power it on for that leg of the trip will the data remain intact? I know this is a bit out of the ordinary but has anyone else had experence operating/transporting a mac/hd100 in high altitude conditions like this? I've scoured the web and there doesen't seem to be too much info. What about bringing an Ipod? Same story? It's a twelve week trip and we'll be in the himalayas for about 3 of the weeks. If it turns out that I can't operate the hd100 or laptop at 17,000 feet, so be it I guess, but I want to be able to transport it safely for the India section. Has anyone had experence with this sort of thing? Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 07:57 PM   #2
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George Kourounis took a couple HD100s to the summit of Mount Washington (6300’) for the show Angry Planet. I'm not sure if anyone has taken them up Everest, which is about 4 or 5 times higher.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:22 PM   #3
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Well more to the point, does anyone know of any documentation in the manual or anywhere else that states that bringing the camera to that high altitude will cause it to malfunction or break? More generally, what's the protocol when taking any digital video camera up to altitudes that high?
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Bieber View Post
Well more to the point, does anyone know of any documentation in the manual or anywhere else that states that bringing the camera to that high altitude will cause it to malfunction or break? More generally, what's the protocol when taking any digital video camera up to altitudes that high?
I don't know about specs for altitude, but the official minimum operating temperature is 0 degrees Celcius, and humidity of 30% to 80%.
With that said, many of us have used the cameras with great success in much colder and dryer conditions.

I would imagine that from JVC's perspective climbing Mt. Everest would be outside the operating specs and therefore not covered by the warranty.
I would recommend a DR-HD100 for a redundant backup system.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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I spent all last weekend at 11,000' shooting in the mountains of Utah without any issues...
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:05 PM   #6
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I've heard that computer hard drives go on the fritz at that altitude, what about pressurized cases like the kind that pelican makes? Do they work well? What about putting the hd100 in some of kind of pelican case with an o-ring. Will that help the situation at all? Does anyone have any experience with that?
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:45 AM   #7
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Frank
There was some comments made in this tread on harddrives at higher altitude. http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=77961

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Old July 4th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #8
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This site has HDV footage shot and uplinked to the net from a winter expedition to Broad Peak. << http://www.extremehd.net/ >>. The expedition was in a very remote place with base camp at 16,000 feet and climbers reaching and filming with a Canon camera at over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) in extremely cold circumstances. These guys posted regularily to the internet during the expedition and there's a link somewhere that shows how they did the filming.
The altitude at Everest Base Camp should not be a problem for the equipment, for you though it may be a different matter.
The cold however may affect your batteries.
Computers are used frequently at Everest Base Camp and above, seemingly without too many problems. Discovery Channel filmed "Everest Beyond The Limit" last year. The series shows a lot of use of computers for weather updates and getting news reports to the web. They shot video all the way to the summit. see http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence...estbeyond.html.
It also shows climbers with the effects of altitude sickness, even at base camp, before they've had enough time to aclimatize.
Another big problem at the north side of Everest is dust, it's extremely dry and very windy. The south side has the problem of being a long walk at high altitude. If you're going to the Nepal side you'll need a lot of porters and / or yaks to carry that much equipment and it'll need to be very safely packed to protect it from damage.

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Old July 5th, 2007, 12:37 AM   #9
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Ouch, I accidentally necroed that linked thread instead of posting here. Err, oops.

Anyway, surely somebody's invented something like an air-tight hard drive that's pressurized to work in low pressure environments... I can imagine NASA having a need for a hard drive that will work in a vacuum.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 12:28 AM   #10
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I have an HD-100 and shoot out a small plane over the Cascade Mountains at around 10,000 ft. No issues at that altitude, at least not yet. I also hike with it in the snow at around 8k feet - small peanuts compared to where you're going. The only concern I would have for you is the tape transport freezing in the mountains +10k ft, but read JVC's site and you should find peace of mind with this:

JVC GY-HD250 WEATHERS FRIGID ANTARCTIC CONDITIONS (16,000 ft.)
ON EXPEDITION SHOT BY PROUD LINE PICTURES.

If you haven't left already, best of luck on your expedition. Can I go with you? :)
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