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Under Water, Over Land
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Old January 9th, 2010, 11:47 PM   #1
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Hot desert conditions

I may be doing some shooting in hot desert conditions. I'm told the heat can be over 100F, and dust storms can be frequent at times.

What cameras are best for conditions like this? I'm inclined to think that tape-based cameras may be best because there will be limited access to electricity. However, tape-based cameras involve more moving parts. Moving parts and dust probably won't get along so well.

I presume that any camera I get will need some sort of camera cover. Can anyone recommend one?
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Old January 10th, 2010, 06:18 AM   #2
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I live in Arizona where it can easily reach or exceed 100F five months a year. I have shot with both Panasonic and Canon tape based cameras. About the only precaution I have taken (when out in the desert) is to keep the camera out of direct sun light for extended periods of time.

Some might recommend bagging the camera, but I would be concerned about the camera building up even more heat. Perhaps when not in use you could loosely drape something over it to avoid long periods of direct sunlight and minimize the amount of exposure to dust.

I actually worry more about shooting near sand, like at the beach at San Diego, California than I do here in the Arizona desert.

Now if the desert area you are talking about has lots of heat and blowing sand, it might be even more difficult to protect your camera. Perhaps someone here who has shot in the deserts of Iraq might be able to help.

Last edited by Tom Dickerson; January 10th, 2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Take a look at this, I came accross it in use recently and the operator gave it a 2 thunbs up.

Location: Middle East

camRade | DS-HVX200/HPX170 desertSuit | DS - HVX200/HPX170 | B&H


Have a great day.
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Old January 11th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #4
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What brand/size camera? If you have serious dust concerns, an underwater shell might be an option, you could always use paper or paint to create a white shield for the cam. The cam would be 100% protected as long as heat buildup wasn't an issue. I've got Sony sports packs myself if the weather gets too rough.

Also, you might want to consider what type/size of dust particles you're primarily dealing with - some fine sand can be brutal and get into everything.

As far as power, just get a few big batteries and keep them handy!
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Blumberg View Post
Take a look at this, I came accross it in use recently and the operator gave it a 2 thunbs up.

Location: Middle East

camRade | DS-HVX200/HPX170 desertSuit | DS - HVX200/HPX170 | B&H


Have a great day.
That's SWEEEEEET!

I am also in AZ and the only concern I have is with my HMC-150 in the heat. States in the manual that 104 is the max operating temp. I read somewhere the camera just shuts down. I know I will be shooting in temps much higher than 104 this summer so I may have a problem! I did a shoot in 90 deg at a playground (sandbox) and like the others above suggested, I just kept a white towel over the camera and put it back in it's bag if it was not being used for a period of time. I also had a can of compressed air to blow off the dust. No issues. I also put a baby sock over the viewfinder and kept the LCD screen closed as I use my SmallHD monitor. The viewfinder is particularly sensitive to sun and a friend had to replace his out of pocket over $200. The camera was 2 weeks old and used outside. Panny said it was sun damage and not covered by warranty!

I have used tape based cameras to film at motocross events in the sun with no issues. I didn't use a bag or any sort of protection other than a lens filter. I also mount a small DV camera to my motorcycle which gets the worst of everything, wind, vibration, sun, dust and it's still going strong after 6 years of abuse!
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