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Old February 27th, 2009, 07:52 PM   #1
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Shooting in cold weather/snow

Just wondering if anyone can offer tips from experience shooting in the snow. We have a shoot coming up in 25-30 degree weather w/ a good change of snowfall. Looking at something like this for our XHA1:

Porta Brace | POL-MVX200/XH Polar-Mitten Camera | POL-MVX200/XH

Necessity? Alternatives? Tips?

Thanks guys,
-K
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #2
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You should be fine. The LCD's won't start freezing up until it's much colder. Mine on my HVX200 was ok until about -13 then it started getting slow and ghosting.

As long as you protect the camera from the snow melting on it you should be fine.

I've filmed in raging snowstorms and had my camera pretty much covered but I got all the snow off before I brought it in and it melted which would have been a problem. Now I just punch a hole in a trash bag and stick the camera inside. The bag is big enough that when on a tripod, I can stick my head inside to get out of the snow too. :)

To prevent condensation after the shoot put your camera in its case and don't open it inside until it's had a chance to slowly warm up to room temperature. I do the same going outside too.

If I'm in and out of a vehicle I'll often travel with the heat off so as not to frost things up.

As long as you keep moisture from getting inside the camera and keep the lens from frosting up you shouldn't have many issues if any at those temps.

Battery life will be diminished somewhat because of the cold but you can always wrap a hand warmer around them with a rubber band. Keep them in your pocket as close to your body as possible so they stay warm.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:09 AM   #3
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Good advice Kevin. I have always instructed people I have guided on hikes to bring two trashbags... and always had a roll to hand out...I think they may be the best emergency shelter gear of all.... but had never put it into a camera sense... I like it! Thanks ! I'm not just thinking out of the box now, but also thinking IN the bag ! Great idea.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shahinian View Post
Just wondering if anyone can offer tips from experience shooting in the snow.
1) If possible, get a belt clip for the Li-batteries and keep them under your coat.
2) Porta Brase cases are just fine.
3) You can put those small chemical hand warmers -a small bag that heats up for several hours once you remove the cover- inside the Porta Brace case. Recommend this if you are recording to tape.
4) If it's a sunny day, the amount of light can be amazing. Consequently make sure you have enough ND-filters.

A tip: If the sky is bright, shoot something that is lit by light refleceted from the snow fields while leaving the background showfields in shadows. You'll end up with warm colors with deep blue reflected from the sky in the background. In case you don't know what I mean, once you discover it, that's one of the unforgettable moments of life.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 03:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shahinian View Post
Just wondering if anyone can offer tips from experience shooting in the snow. We have a shoot coming up in 25-30 degree weather w/ a good change of snowfall. Looking at something like this for our XHA1:

Porta Brace | POL-MVX200/XH Polar-Mitten Camera | POL-MVX200/XH
Hi Kevin, I have used a similar Polar Mitten cover for my Canon XM2 the last 5 years. In my opinion a well worth investment. I can strongly recommend buying one.
Even in temperatures as low as -25C, I was able to keep the temperature inside the Polar Mitten above freezing point.
(It even keeps your hands warm)

Not sure how it will be with the XH-A1, but with the XM2 it is impossible to adjust audio levels "on the fly", without open up the cover.
Other than this, the control buttons on the left side are easy to adjust.

I have also noticed that when using the on board mic, the Polar Mitten reduce a little of the wind noise, but noise generated from touching the cover will a little too easy be picked up by the on board mic. This will not be an issue with external (on cam) mics of course.
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Old February 28th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #6
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This shot reminds me of waiting 4 hours (from 5.30 a.m.) for the second day in a rough hide at -5c on last March 4th. Morning sun is still low and not strong enough to reflect any light upward off the rock that the Golden Eagle had stood on for 20mins before deciding not to hop down on the bait at my side of the rock. No problem with XL2 on tripod. My long johns and strong jacket were working fine. Dried apricots and granola bars kept internal flame alight. This hopeless shot taken with Digital Rebel + 100-400mm IS. Video clips are no better.

Be glad if you can get good reflected light, as suggested by Lauri, and good luck
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Old February 28th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #7
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Brendan, I hope you don't mind but this gets a little bit more out of your shot.

Bob
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Old February 28th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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That's a happy improvement Bob, thank you.

Late on Dec 5th 2007 a blizzard was winding up and this Golden Eagle suddenly opened her wings to restore her balance, but my DOF f/7.1 and my ISO200 kept my shutter speed to 1/80 so I hardly got a feather that isn't blurred ... you did so well last time with a tiny file that I am intrigued by what you might do with .5mbs, so bad it appears out of focus ... I don't expect you have time to bother but if anyone can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear it may be you ... your editing may also be of interest to Kevin Shahinian.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #9
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Kevin, for the range 25-30F polar mitten is an overkill. The other issue I have with the design was access to the controls with hand held situations. Imo your biggest vice will be vapor condensation on the head. More important then to keep battery warm is to keep your tapes warm. just duct tape a hand warmer to the battery and you'll be fine.
After you are done bring the camera in and leave the tape door open for a bit (careful not to get any dust in there!) to let the moisture evaporate.
Also bring a very light pair of liner gloves, so you can operate camera without freezing your hands off.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 09:21 AM   #10
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Good Morning,

I shoot in the cold 6 months a year, its my curse.

Lauri's advice is solid as the others.


I do not think you will have any problem, as freezing is not all that cold!! I like to use a rain cover as I can keep my hands inside as I found wearing any gloves cause me to mess up.

Tronde's suggestion of a polar mitten is great if you are going to shoot in the cold regularly. It was his suggestion for me to get the polar bear for my camera and I LOVE it and I shoot in -20 to -30 often!!!

for a balmy 32 farienheit a cheaper rain cover would be nice but not essential.

The heat packs are aresome!! great advice here!!! They say they are good for 6 hours but in reality that isn't the case!!


Have fun!

If your fingers start tingling, that is good!!!

when you feel nothing , thats trouble!!
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