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Temperature effect on Cameras

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Jay Huubs
Temperature effect on Cameras
on Aug 8, 2011 at 7:31:46 pm

I have been hired to shoot a High School Senior's football games for college recruitment. I have talked to the College coach so I know what he is expecting, but my question is more from a technical standpoint. I know cold temps effect battery life by shortening them, but does cold temperatures effect the data being stored onto the camera's internal HD and onto SD cards? We will be shooting into October so I am most concerned about September and October. I thought about using heat packs to keep the camera warm, but am more concerned that too much heat will be worse than cold weather. Any thoughts?

"Life's a pitch and then you buy."
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Scott Sheriff
Re: Temperature effect on Cameras
on Sep 3, 2011 at 4:43:24 pm

1. Cold effects batteries more than cameras. If you're on the battery, you will see reduced capacity the colder it gets. On cold gigs, bring double the number of batteries that you would normally use. This goes for batteries in mics, radios, etc. It helps to keep your spares in a warm area, and you can often get more out of 'dead' batteries once they warm up.
2. Cameras generate heat, and some even have tiny fans in them, so cold is not really an issue for the camera. I used to direct a 24 hour ski race in Colorado. In the middle of the night the cold sometimes killed intercom headsets, mics, microwave gear, etc, but the cameras themselves were fine. Most of the cameras had big glass with no servos on them. The servo zoom on the handhelds got sluggish in the middle of the night when they were really cold, and I have seen that before on other skiing gigs with ENG style cameras. Actually too hot is much worse for cameras, then too cold. Never forget to turn them off before putting them in the case if the battery is still attached. And they can overheat shooting a lot in direct sunlight, or if you're using one of those padded camera jackets in hot desert type climates. Unless your working at MacMurdo in the Antarctic, I don't thing being too cold is going to be an issue for the camera itself.
3. Taking a cold camera into a warmer area can cause condensation to form on the lens, tape head, and other exposed items like switches, etc. The ideal situation is to always have the camera warmer than the surroundings. But this is more about sudden change, and not really about the cold itself. If you're out on the field for a long time on a cold day, and go into the locker room to shoot you will probably fog up. If you are inside shooting for a long time and go out into the cold, you shouldn't have any problem.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

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