Over the years, I've had many shoots where humidity has shut down the camera, and I've had to dry it out, etc. before I could continue working. Sitting in a small van in July with the heat going full blast is no fun...or using a hair dryer carefully so you don't melt something is always a drag. Acclimating the camera outside before a shoot isn't always possible.
So, are the cameras that use a non-tape platform any better at handling humidity? I didn't know if the humid "warning" had more to do with the tape-transport than the actual circuitry.
For example, does the Sony XDcam have as much humidity problems as I've encountered with betacam?
Hi Bill. I do not know the answer to your question but I can tell you I shoot with an FX1, live in StLouis and have never had a himidity problem (even when it's over 90% all day). I've been hell on this camera too. It's been held out of a drifting Viper, in the tub of a pro-mod dragster while it's doing a burnout, in paint booths while they are spraying, in dust bowls, ect. Only hickup I have EVER gotten out of this 2 year old workhorse is an occasional cannot read tape error due to swapping out so many brands of tapes. I use it as playback for HDV and miniDV in the edit suite. Not optimal but it sure does go the extra mile for me.
We've being using tape (Umatic, BetaSP, BetaSX, DVCam, DigiBeta etc) for many, many years. There are a couple of measures that can be taken to prevent the humidity issues. The easiest being to seal the camera in a plastic bag with a silica-gel pack. When moving from a cold/warm to a warm/cold environment the mositure forms in/on the bag and keeps it out of the camera. It doesn't take long.
The other option is a heated, padded jacket. Okay, this is more relevant to pro/broadcast cameras.
Yes, humidity is a problem where moisture on the head drum can cause the tape to stick and wrap around the drum. Also a problem but not as serious is mositure inside the lens assembly leading to fogging. Professional cameras tend to be sealed to prevent mositure and dust getting on to the lenses.
For tapeless cameras it's less of an issue but the lens can still fog. Many smaller camera lenses are plastic and are less prone than glass lenses to fogging.
Either way, the plastic bag helps to protect the from sudden change in temperature/humidity.