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Under Water, Over Land
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 08:51 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 217
Cold weather taping

Hello gang,

I have been away from this for a while.
I have a question regarding taping and gear, in our cold climate.
I have taped in minus degrees in the past, and had no issues, but this year, the temps and windchills have been very low, usually the day I have to myself, and would love to get out to do some taping.

I know about the battery issues, keep them warm.
Don't rely on the LCD, as it will be sluggish- go with the viewfinder and hope your eyelids do not freeze onto the rubber eyepiece, as it condenses/fogs over.
Warming packs-more than for just your hands and feet.

What about the mini DV tapes, and the camera lube?

Dale, you come to mind on this, as you live in a harsher climate than I do, and you have some great winter video, that I am sure was taken in the multi minus degree weather.

Any input from all of you would be appreciated, as I am getting bored of editing at the moment.

A search on the forum, really hasn't given me the info I was expecting, just common sense stuff, about personal safety, and keeping the gear warm.

I was told I have no vision, but boy do I see great!
Sam Mendolia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Stevens Point, Wi
Posts: 155

Hi Sam
I have filmed in northern Ontario in the dead of winter with a mini DV tape camera. I bought a insulated cover, Porta Brace?, for my Canon GL2 and placed chemical heat packs in it. The kind they sell for hands and feet. Expose them to the air and they generate heat for a few hours.

I did not lube the camera.

The most important thing is to have a air tight container, bag, to place the camera in when you bring it from the cold to the warm. Leave all of your electronic gear in the bag until it is at room temperature to prevent condensation.

Take plenty of batteries. They never last very long in the cold.

I am currently preparing for another trip to Kapuskasing, Ontario. I now use DSLR's. Less moving parts and no tape.

With the mentioned precautions I never had any trouble.

Kent Jakusz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2011, 09:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Bergen, Norway
Posts: 2,673
Hi Sam,
I agree with Kent, as I also use a PortaBrace heat cover for my XM2/GL2 when shooting in cold temperatures. Best investment I have done for camera gear! I believe Dale G also use a similar cover for his cameras.
Even at about -25C and strong winds, (which we frequently have in the mountains here in Norway) I was able to keep +8 to +10C inside the cover.
(Made my hands happy too)
Trond Saetre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Jupiter, FL
Posts: 164
It'll be cold down here tomorrow for sure, maybe even as low as in the 60s. So to prevent wind chill we sit in the car and shoot through the open window, with hot coffee and rusks always at hand. A bean bag rested on the window helps, but I think a window mount for video will be essential. I shot a Hooded Merganser like this a few weeks ago, until another photographer spooked him. Probably the best photos ever, but wish I had been able to shoot footage.

Now to be serious: A few years ago we shot in Yellowstone in November, it didn't get to 28 degrees for 4 days.
I was able to get panning photos using kayak panning techniques as I was shivering too much to use my tripod. I felt the camera gear was far tougher than me and aside from hearing the camera slowing down, it worked perfectly. Gloves with fingers that peeled back made a difference.You guys are far braver than me.
Doug Bailey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 16th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 217
Thanks for the replys gentlemen.

I'm still expecting cold days, to go out and make some video.
Toying with some audio/music software, as well, to incorporate.
A new friend has urged me to work in my poetry, in a story for the video, so let see where mother earth takes me.
I was told I have no vision, but boy do I see great!
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