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Old December 9th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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EX1 Minimum Operating Temp

I have been asked to shoot something outdoors this Saturday and it will most likely be 20-30 degrees F. The manual states 32-104 F operating temp range. Anyone have any experience in the cold with an EX1/EX3, Rode NTG-2 or Varizoom VZ-Pro-EX zoom controller?

I will be outside for at least 1hr and up to 2.5hrs.

Thanks
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Old December 9th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Steve,

I've used mine in both the high arctic (800km from the pole), and in Antarctica. Used a rain coat to protect it from wind and snow, but had no issues what so ever. I was amazed at how well the batteries performed. If you are really worried you might use some insulation like a polar bear or a glove, but I didn't find the need.

I know that Alister has also worked above the Arctic Circle in winter with his - so I think that you should be fine.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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Dang it! I hate the cold and was hoping to have an excuse not to shoot this event.

And I just checked and there won't be any chance of snow so I can't use that excuse (I don't have any rain/snow protection for it).
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Old December 9th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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Steve,

We have the opposite problem here at the moment - several of the last few days have been around 40 degrees C - about 105 F. Still I think I prefer the warmth!
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Old December 9th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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Not sure where you are shooting, but I will be shooting the opening of a TV Show outside for about an hour tonight in Denver where we have been having single digits F at night (both positive and negative)... While I haven't shot in quite this cold before, we have shot in 15F weather and had no problems at all. The longest the camera has been outside in this cold is about an hour, then we put it in a running car to slowly warm it back up opposed to taking it straight inside going from 15F - 75F. Not sure if this was entirely necessary, but I figured it couldn't hurt.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #6
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I did a lot of shootings in extrem weather. For the EX1 I can tell you that this cam did a very good job in the deserts in the summer and also in the Denver mountains during a winter snow storm. Mostly without any cover on it.

But normaly extrem cold weather is not at big problem for the ex1. More humidity... I did a shooting when the snow was melting, and for a strange reason the LCD didn't work suddenly. But on the next morning when the camera was dry again, everything worked perfect.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #7
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So speaking of that shoot I did last night... We had the camera out and set then had to make a bunch of changes to our lighting due to the scene completely changing. So, we ended up having the camera outside in 3-6 degree weather for 1.5-1.75 hours... When I hit the record button, the red light on the back came on, however the camera LCD never showed REC nor did the READ/WRITE light change red above the card. The, the rear red light began blinking and suddenly an error message came up (had a string of number but I don't kno what). So we shut it off, warmed it slowly in a car while shooting with a different EX1. Once the camera warmed up and we got it back inside we began recording again without anymore errors the rest of the night.

So it seems that below 10 degrees is definitely cold enough to cause the camera to error out...
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Old December 10th, 2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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The problem is almost no camera has a stated operating temperature below 32F and above 104F even though we end up shooting with them in more extreme temperatures than the manufacturer calls operational. Truth is you can use the cameras in cold and heat and if they have a problem you have to live with it or solve it. Back up cameras, batteries, covers are all insurance to try and get through the shoot.
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Old December 10th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #9
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I have used my EX1 in 15 F with the lens 6" from the side of our helicopter with the door off running between 50-120 kts for two full tanks of fuel for a total of 5 hrs. The camera did not skip a beat neither did the Nano. Batteries go about 10-15% quicker in these temps.

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Old December 11th, 2009, 12:14 AM   #10
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This camera tends to run hot... Therefore it's a great performer in cold weather. High humidity and heat will shut it down (Gulf Coast, July, 100degrees with 98% humidity...would shut down every afternoon about 1pm).
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Old December 11th, 2009, 01:44 AM   #11
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In February I made my annual trip to Norway to shoot the Northern Lights. I used both an EX1 and EX3 and the temperature was -36c (-34c) at times and the cameras performed just fine. The only problems I had were with tripod heads freezing solid, rain covers shattering like glass. The cameras were stored outside for 4 days to prevent condensation issues and sudden temperature changes, the warmest day was -22c. The LCD screen does become very sluggish when cold and after the rain covers shattered I did use a fleece cover to give a small amount of protection to the cameras.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:20 AM   #12
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Interesting Frank I ran the EX in the tropics for a 14 day shoot with temps up to 100F and very high humidity with out loosing a frame. Very long days pre sunrise to past sunset.

Also in RI during the summer we have very high humidity with fog often and my on the water shooting again has never dropped a frame.

Alister makes a great point: Store the camera in the conditions it will be use to shoot starting the night before if possible. Air conditioning to humid is not a good deal. The same goes for hot to cold.

Like the old saying used on ships. "Cold to hot ventilate not". Think about that one when shipping rice on a ship.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 07:38 AM   #13
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Alister, great presentation at NAB.

If you want to see what extreme conditions the EX series cameras can take take a look at the video of Alister Chapman's presentation at NAB2009:

Sony Business Solutions & Systems - Featured

scroll down to his video and watch it.


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Last edited by Garrett Low; December 11th, 2009 at 09:25 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #14
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From the Battery forum, CHARGING li-ion batteries at extreeme low temperatures can cause permenent damage to the battery.
so if your in those -20*f type of places and using $200-900 li-ion batteries , you should check out that info.

i thought this would be a good thread to point that out in. I have not yet confirmed the info, but it is restated at a number of battery information web locations. what the extent of the damage would be i donno.
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Old December 11th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #15
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Good point Marty, I charge my batteries in room temp after the extreme cold shoots.
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