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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old November 24th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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Cold Weather Ops

Has anybody operated the EX1 in temps below 0 C? I am curious how the the operational efficacy holds up. I know the battery operation will be drastically less, but, are there any other troubles that others had while operating in very low temps?

Thanks!
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Old November 24th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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This is a good one for Philip Bloom - Phil, are you around? I'd help, but I live in Tampa!
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Old November 24th, 2008, 06:14 PM   #3
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Thanks, I know the specs indicate it's limitation to 0, but I am thinking that's kind of a conservative estimate.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #4
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I've used an EX1 in the Arctic at -26c and had no issues. The camera was kept outside the hut we stayed in as if we brought it in from the cold the condensation on it froze solid. So for 5 days the camera stayed out in the cold. The battery life was shorter but only by about 25%. See my article...

Sony : Sony PMW-EX filming in Arctic : United Kingdom
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Old November 25th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #5
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I shot in sub zero temps last weekend, and the camera performed normally in every way.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #6
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Alister,

That is an amazing story! I guess that answers the question of the cold weather capabilities of this camera! Where can I see your Aurora footage? Is it on-line somewhere?
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Old November 25th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
From Alister's article:
" I placed one of my SxS cards on a plate and poured water over it."
Alister, remind me to never loan you any video equipement..

;o)
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #8
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Thank you so much Alister! There are many times I am glad i decided on a tapeless workflow, but this really drives the points home- for my applications require the camera to be in a harsh environment that a tape-based camera would struggle in. Thanks again!
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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You will find more of my weather footage here:
The Northern Lights Videos - The Elemental Project

Since switching to XDCAM HD 3 years ago despite shooting in some pretty extreme conditions I have never lost a clip. Even when I had a car destroyed in a hailstorm and then had all the hail that was in the car melt and soak all my discs I did not loose anything. While we were in the arctic I froze an SxS card into a lump of ice. Thawed it on a log fire and it still worked just fine.

YouTube - SxS card frozen in ice. XDCAM EX1 memory card.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #10
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And I'm definitely not loaning you any SxS cards!
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Old November 25th, 2008, 03:21 PM   #11
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Yea, try that with a tape. If you're interested in seeing a bit of what I do check out: XMaking of MXS Photoshoot for Pilot Magazine
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 05:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
The camera was kept outside the hut we stayed in as if we brought it in from the cold the condensation on it froze solid.
Is there any way to work around the condensation issue apart from leaving the camera outside?

I'll be on a boat and I'd prefer to have it in the cabin.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:49 AM   #13
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If you take any cold object into a warm environment you will get condensation. If the camera is very cold the condensation will freeze. There is not much you can do about this. If your cabin is warm then the camera will warm up and the ice will melt and the condensation will evaporate. However repeatedly doing this could end up damaging the cameras components, especially on a ship where there will be a lot of salt about.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:35 AM   #14
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If you put the item inside a sealed plastic bag--like a ziplock- before you go inside, the condensation will collect on the sides of the bag, not the item in the bag. This is an often-cited trick in outdoor photography and mountaineering books. I've done it with inexpensive 35mm film camera equipment and not had a problem. I don't know where you'd find a zip lock bag big enough for the EX-1. My understanding is the bag has to seal tightly, you can't just throw it into a garbage bag and knot the end.

Try searching the web for articles on camping with electronics/cameras.



Quote:
Originally Posted by John Gilmore View Post
Is there any way to work around the condensation issue apart from leaving the camera outside?

I'll be on a boat and I'd prefer to have it in the cabin.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 11:39 AM   #15
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The way to avoid condensation on the camera when you bring it in is to seal it in a tight plastic bag. This way the condenstaion stays on the outside of the bag and not directly on the camera.

But I usually keep it in the cold and only bring it inside when I need to

I have shot a lot in sub zero condition and arctic conditions and the EX has performed very well.
I was outside in -16 celcius for 8 hours last weekend shooting skiing in the Norwegian mountains and the only thing I experienced was that the LCD started to "blur" or show a little lag. The director was worried that our footage looked like that, but I could confidently tell him that would not be the case.
(With my XL-H1 I could hardly use the viewfinder in extreme cold as it would show a blur that was 0.5 seconds behind the action)
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