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Old April 1st, 2004, 10:16 AM   #1
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How do you store digital cameras?

I've acquired a Canon G5, for my arty pics and a compact Canon S50, for my fun, shlepping everywhere camera.

Since I live at the ocean, I'm considering storing each camera in a Pelican case with silica gel.

I'd appreciate recommendations whether this is the best way to store my cameras.

Just out of curiosity, how long (months? years?) could my digital camera be stored unused in a Pelican case with silica gel and still remain functional.

Thanks as always for your help!

Dorothy
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 01:06 AM   #2
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Very complicated questions.

Electronic equipment tends to have components that will slowly degrade if you don't power them up from time-to-time. So that can determine shelf-life from one perspective. Frequently cameras have rechargable batteries that also need attention on a regular basis. Or have consumable batteries that shouldn't be left in any gear except flashlights for a long period of time.

Pelican cases are reasonably tight but, being made of plastic, are still somewhat permeable to air and moisture. The gasket seals, unless you test them, are unknown quantities. The amount of Silica Gel you place inside will also count. It's not a bad idea to place the camera in a Zip-loc bag since over a long term, the foam will disintegrate. For a more secure storage, you might consider Hallburton Zero cases. Or even their military-style case which is much more rugged and has better seals.

I'd probably try a 90 day storage cycle. Every three months, open the case, turn on the camera, renew the Silica Gel. More often if you have to maintain the batteries at some charge level.

Canon should be able to tell you what to do in general terms.
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Old April 4th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #3
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"Very complicated questions."

Hi Mike, indeed there's much to learn about the proper storage of video and photo equipment.

"Electronic equipment tends to have components that will slowly degrade if you don't power them up from time-to-time. So that can determine shelf-life from one perspective."

Thanks for the tip! I'll take care to alternate my G5 and S50.

"Frequently cameras have rechargable batteries that also need attention on a regular basis. Or have consumable batteries that shouldn't be left in any gear except flashlights for a long period of time."

With this in mind, I've begun removing batteries and tape from my cameras after each usage.

"Pelican cases are reasonably tight but, being made of plastic, are still somewhat permeable to air and moisture. The gasket seals, unless you test them, are unknown quantities. The amount of Silica Gel you place inside will also count. It's not a bad idea to place the camera in a Zip-loc bag since over a long term, the foam will disintegrate.

I'd probably try a 90 day storage cycle. Every three months, open the case, turn on the camera, renew the Silica Gel. More often if you have to maintain the batteries at some charge level.

Canon should be able to tell you what to do in general terms."

The tech at Canon mirrored your recommendations of storing my cameras in Pelican cases with silica gel and using them every few months.

Pelican advertises their cases as "watertight and dustproof". Are there any circumstances when storing cameras and allowing for some air circulation might be more prudent than total airless storage?

Thanks so much for all your feedback, Mike!

Dorothy
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Old April 15th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #4
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Consider, instead of the Pelican cases, using "dry bags" like boaters use. They're watertite (so are the Pelican's) but less bulky and much less expensive. I live in a rain forest and don't bother with silica bags - you need actually a bit of silica to dry out any real space and you have to replace them fairly often. I just keep stuff in the dry bags and pack them in a fairly dry (non condensing) environment - my living room. I do use things quite often so I'm always in the bag but even parts that don't see much use stay dry and clean.
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Old April 15th, 2004, 06:36 PM   #5
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Other than the batteries, what components would degrade?
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Old April 16th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #6
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Hi Roger,

Thanks for your suggestion to, "Consider, instead of the Pelican cases, using "dry bags" like boaters use. They're watertite (so are the Pelican's) but less bulky and much less expensive."

I've seen boating bags in catalogues. They're cool looking but made from PVC which, alas, I'm allergic to.

Dorothy
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Old April 16th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #7
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I've seen cameras sit for years (10+) and still power up when a fresh battery is applied. No special storage conditions, just in a case, on a shelf. Moisture and humidity are the biggest factors. Never store a camera with a battery attach, you're just asking for trouble.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 09:52 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Never store a camera with a battery attach, you're just asking for trouble. -->>>

You mean in case it cracks or leaks or something?

How long would it have to sit before you'd consider taking the battery out?
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Old April 17th, 2004, 11:02 AM   #9
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Where can the little paper packs of silica gel be purchased?

Dorothy
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Old August 1st, 2004, 01:26 AM   #10
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I never thought of storage until I saw this thread. Thanks guys. I had a Nikon EM since 82. I once let it sit for five years without taking pics. The battery was dead. When I opened it up, that little battery was oozing a dark liquid. I wish I knew to take it out when not used for awhile.
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