Taking photos in cold weather

snow-sceneYou have more to worry about than just fingers freezing when taking photos in cold weather. Special care needs to be taken with your digital camera.

The camera lens can fog up, batteries will lose power more quickly than usual and condensation may form on all parts of the camera. The LCD and any other camera displays may flicker in and out.

Keep the camera and batteries warm

When venturing out in cold weather, keep the camera close to your warm body, inside a pocket or coat. Also keep at least one set of spare batteries in a pocket close to your body. Some photographers don’t insert batteries in the camera until they are ready to begin taking photos.

Place the camera in a plastic bag (with a zipper closure) to help prevent the lens from becoming foggy. If condensation forms, it will do so on the bag instead of the camera.

To conserve power turn off battery-consuming features such as the LCD and continual autofocus until needed. After taking photos, put the camera away until ready to use again.

Don’t let water freeze on the camera

When the temperature is at or below the freezing point, melted snow on the lens can freeze and potentially cause damage. Don’t breathe on your digital camera either as the water droplets from your breath causes condensation that can freeze. Wipe off any moisture immediately with a lint-free cloth.

Bringing a digital camera in from the cold

When bringing the camera inside from the cold, give it time to adjust to the room temperature. First put the camera in an unheated room for about a half hour before bringing it into a warm area. Before moving to a warm area, place the camera inside a standard camera bag to help minimize condensation.

If condensation forms on the camera, stop using it immediately to prevent damage. Remove the battery, memory card and lens cap, keep compartment doors open and don’t use the camera until the condensation evaporates.

It’s better not to take the camera out into the cold again until the condensation is completely gone. The moisture may freeze causing permanent damage.

Digital camera operating temperatures and operating humidity

Your camera manual specifications list the minimum and maximum operation temperature and humidity for you model. If those specifications are exceeded, it could invalidate any warranty that is still in effect.

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