Filming in very hot conditions soon! at

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 4th, 2007, 11:26 AM   #1
Regular Crew
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Birmingham, UK
Posts: 90
Filming in very hot conditions soon!

Hello there

I'll be filming in the Grand Canyon in a couple of weeks. I think it's going to be very hot!

I'm worried that the camera may malfunction due to the heat, and the tapes that I've already recorded on to will melt!

Does any one have any advice to for hot and dry conditions please? I'm think keep all the tapes wrapped up to the heat can't get to them, that kind of thing?


Jonathan Nicholas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 1,961
Heat isn't as much of a problem as humidity. Dry heat should be no problem as long as you don't leave your stuff in a black car in the hot sun. You say you are shooting in the Grand Canyon which is not necessarily famous for intense heat. If you are shooting in Death Valley, that is another story. From my reading of various sources over the past several years, it seems that the lowest melting/softening point of most plastics is about 170F, so a camera should be fine at temperatures that are acceptable for people. Treat it like a person. Keep it out of strong sun for extended periods and don't leave it in a hot car.

Humidity is a different story. You don't want to take your camera from a cold place to a warm and humid area. Condensation could cause problems. Think of a cold beverage sweating in a humid room. You don't want that effect on your camera, so let your camera acclimate in it's case when you bring it from a cold place (like a cold air-conditioned room) into humidity.


I searched around and DVinfo users have reported that batteries are not save above 140F and someone had mics go bad at 110F. I'm sure that 110F is too low to cause problems, but you can get temps much higher than an ambient 110F if there are other factors like direct sun on a dark surface or the interior of a vehicle. I definitely wouldn't leave my camera in the sun or in a vehicle on a 110F day.

Last edited by Marcus Marchesseault; June 5th, 2007 at 06:56 PM.
Marcus Marchesseault is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 17th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #3
Regular Crew
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: denver, colorado
Posts: 80
I live in phoenix and generally don't have any problems with heat. I would just keep the equipment out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
David Cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 29th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
Posts: 1,043
A couple weeks from now you should be ok. A couple months from now, HOT HOT HOT!!!!
Marco Wagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 29th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #5
Regular Crew
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 192
The polyethylene backing of magnetic tape has a melting point around 250F (120C), so it is unlikely that your tape will melt at the Grand Canyon even in the summer at river level (which is about 15F hotter than the South Rim). In fact, up at the South Rim the hottest month of the year is July with an average high of just 84F. Of course that translates to 99 at the river; during a hot spell it can be a lot hotter, too. Even so, your tape should be OK.

One consideration in the desert is that while your camera might work fine in the heat, you might not be able to touch it without getting burned. A PortaBrace, or similar, cover will help keep the camera cooler, but you might still want to carry some type of gloves along. Also, be VERY careful of dust getting inside the camera, especially when you change tapes. I prefer the 80 minute tapes to minimize opening things up for that reason.

Have fun, the Canyon is the best.

Peter Rhalter is offline   Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Techniques for Independent Production

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:58 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network