Advice on bringing camera in from the cold

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Pete
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#1
I try and keep my camera within reach at all times which means its left in the car most of the time while working just in case I need it. I have some worries with the approaching cold weather. Upon taking it from my car and entering my house the other day I took the lens cap off and it immediately steamed up. My concern isn't so much the outside, it's the inside. I'm worried, over a period of time, could this be happening inside the camera and if so could this cause mildew or other problems?

If so whats the best thing to do?
 
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wontolla

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#2
I try and keep my camera within reach at all times which means its left in the car most of the time while working just in case I need it. I have some worries with the approaching cold weather. Upon taking it from my car and entering my house the other day I took the lens cap off and it immediately steamed up. My concern isn't so much the outside, it's the inside. I'm worried, over a period of time, could this is happening inside the camera and if so could this cause mildew or other problems?

If so whats the best thing to do?
Just as important, is your camera covered by insurance whilst left in the car?
Simple answer is keep it in the house until you need it then no problem either way!
Also, extreme heat generated inside a car is almost as bad for your camera's insides! (summer time)
 

wontolla

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#4
Personally, insured or not, I would not, and do not, leave my camera in the car for any reason.
No idea why you have to, or want to, but it's a target for a opportunistic thief who sees you pop it in the car!
 
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bryan
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#5
Hi Peter,

this is a good question altho I think people have picked up on you keeping your camera in the car rather than your concerns about coming in from the cold to a nice toasty house.

I looked at this a few years ago when I was off to Iceland and managed to find a nice little piece by the New York Institute of photography:

Condensation
Now it's time to come back indoors. Here's where you'll need a few winter photo tips about condensation because it can be a real problem. You've seen moisture condense on a cool glass of water on a hot summer day. Your lens and the electronics inside the camera behave the same way when you bring them inside – moisture from the warm inside air condenses on their cold surfaces. The lens can become completely covered with moisture, as can the mechanical and electrical components inside the camera. You don't want moisture – water! – on your lens or inside the camera. So how can you avoid this problem?


Let your camera warm up slowly. Place it on a cool windowsill or an unheated porch for a couple of hours so it can rise slowly to room temperature. Condensation can play havoc with an all-electronic camera. This is where the suggestion of wrapping a cold camera in a plastic bag comes into play. The moisture will settle on the outside of the bag rather than on the camera's outside and inside surfaces. You can protect the delicate electronics this way. In fact, it's best if you place the bag on the camera while still outside, not when you bring the camera in.

With these simple precautions and camera tips, you'll be able to take great cold weather pictures. Winter offers exceptional opportunities for wonderful landscapes because of its crystal-clear air. So don't be daunted when the temperature drops into the Arctic zone. Just dress properly, take these few winter photo tips to heart, head outdoors, and get going!

I hope this helps

Read more at New York Institute of Photography - Cold Weather Pictures | Winter Pics | Winter Photos | Winter Photo Tips | NYIP http://www.nyip.com/ezine/outdoors/coldtemps.html#ixzz2BlJNbGXg
 
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#7
Hi

If I've been out and about in the cold with my camera, I'll keep everything in my camera bag (closed) when I bring it back in to the house and allow it to warm up slowly and had no issues with condensation
 
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#8
If I have a cold camera to bring indoors I let it come up to room temperature naturally. What I don't do is take the lens off and start trying to use it on the basis that the air inside the camera is cold, so the dewing process won't take place inside the camera unlesss I take the lens off and allow all that warm moist air in to dew up on the mirror and other internal parts.
 
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#9
The easiest way to deal with this problem, is your camera bag.

Leave the camera in the bag when transitioning from cold to hot and vice versa, and the camera will change temp slowly inside the bag. This has always worked fine for me when I want to take my camera everywhere.
 
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#10
i keep everything in my backpack when i come in from the cold .. i also have several small silica gel packs in my backsack to help combat any moisture :)
 
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#11
It's not an issue unless you remove the lens. The air inside the camera will warm up slowly. It;s only when the warm air of the house suddenly contacts the cold surface will you get condensation. Just leave the gear in your bag, and do not open it for a few hours and all will be well. No need for plastic bags etc.
 
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Bruce
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#12
Amazing the things you dont even think about
I'll have to keep this in mind from now on
So any other advice beyond let it warm up in the camera bag slowly?
Good shout with winter upon us again
 

AFC

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#13
Hi

If I've been out and about in the cold with my camera, I'll keep everything in my camera bag (closed) when I bring it back in to the house and allow it to warm up slowly and had no issues with condensation
Agree 100% Andy. (y)
 
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#14
i keep everything in my backpack when i come in from the cold .. i also have several small silica gel packs in my backsack to help combat any moisture :)
You do know they stop being effective once they have absorbed a certain amount of moisture? This can happen pretty quickly. You need to regenerate them regularly by heating gently...
 
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#16
So any other advice beyond let it warm up in the camera bag slowly?

Nope. Just be patient and let it SLOWLY reach ambient temp and there won't BE any condensation. If you open up the bag, then it will quickly form on any surface that contacts the warmer air of your house. Even then, it will be on the outside surfaces of your gear only, and will do little harm. Just don't remove lenses until you know for certain it's fully warmed up.

If I was out all night shooting in winter, I'd just dump my bags and not touch them until the next day.


Silica gel will be a good idea... but as others have said, it has a limited life span. Not essential though.
 
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Alan
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#17
It's a private car park and probably safer in the car than in the staff room :) But yes, I do need to sort out insurance.
When I was working I had my own private car parking space right outside my office window, but I still managed to have my radio stolen twice from a locked car. It was in the days when an Audi had removable radios. I know, I should have taken it with me. :bonk:
 
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#18
Taking the memory card out straight away is ok though?
 
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#19
Taking the memory card out straight away is ok though?
Probably, but if the contact surfaces condensate, then there's moisture on them. This will eventually tarnish the contact surface if done regularly. It's not a big deal though.

Why not remove your cards BEFORE you get home? :)
 
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#20
Probably, but if the contact surfaces condensate, then there's moisture on them. This will eventually tarnish the contact surface if done regularly. It's not a big deal though.

Why not remove your cards BEFORE you get home? :)
That's what I do
When I'm out in the cold swap out CF card and battery and then can leave the camera in bag for a few hours before I take it out
 
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#21
Pookeyhead said:
Probably, but if the contact surfaces condensate, then there's moisture on them. This will eventually tarnish the contact surface if done regularly. It's not a big deal though.

Why not remove your cards BEFORE you get home? :)
Good idea!
 
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#22
LCPete said:
That's what I do
When I'm out in the cold swap out CF card and battery and then can leave the camera in bag for a few hours before I take it out
How come you take the batteries out aswell?
 
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#24
That's what I do
When I'm out in the cold swap out CF card and battery and then can leave the camera in bag for a few hours before I take it out
I do this too... Once I'm on my way home the remaining CF card is swapped so they are all in my cf case... battery swapped out for a fresh one.

Memory & battery put in trouser pocket to keep them warm and the camera stays zipped in the bag for a while.
 
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Danny
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#25
i keep everything in my backpack when i come in from the cold .. i also have several small silica gel packs in my backsack to help combat any moisture :)
I do this too, it's probably a bit over the top, but I a load of silica gel packs from eBay for next to nothing. I change them every month or so.
 
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#26
Iam out and about on various sites every day, so the 40d is just left in the van at times and gets cold :( is there anything I can do?
 
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#27
Hi

If I've been out and about in the cold with my camera, I'll keep everything in my camera bag (closed) when I bring it back in to the house and allow it to warm up slowly and had no issues with condensation
(y)

Spot on advice as it also protects all your accessories as well.

.
 
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Stephen
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#28
Great question ( and I can see why you leave the camera in the car).

I am a drying contractor - I dry buildings and their contents and use the science of psychrometrics to help me. As a couple of people have suggested, dampness and condensation (which occurs at dew point) are not purely winter conditions so it is always a good idea to be mindful of this issue.

Storage of cameras and kit worry me more than the immediate inconvenience of of a misted up lens and it is worth using a dessicant pack (such as the silica pouches you find in new products) if leaving kit unused for more than a few days.
 
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