Quick Tips: Digital cameras and the weather

The four seasonsHot, cold and wet weather should not prevent you from getting out and about with your digital camera. However extra precaution and protection of camera equipment must be taken to prevent condensation, freezing or other damage.

Most compact digital cameras and entry-level digital single lens reflex cameras and lenses are not weather or water proofed.

Protecting your gear

Keeping equipment in a well-padded, waterproof camera bag will help protect it from the elements. If you can attach a filter, such as a skylight filter, use one to help protect the lens.

Wet weather

If it suddenly rains, snows or drizzles while carrying your camera, slip it under a jacket, sweater or, if small enough, put it in a pocket. You may be tempted to use it, but don’t unless you have protection overhead.

In anticipation of wet weather, some photographers place a plastic bag around the camera and secure it with a rubber band after positioning the hole over where the lens will protrude. This make-shift weather proofing is for cameras with an extended lens that accept filters.

Hot and cold weather

In very cold weather, keep the camera warm by holding it close to your body. Spare batteries should be kept warm, too. Special care needs be taken when bringing a camera inside after exposed to very cold weather as explained elsewhere in this section.

In hot weather, keep your camera out of direct sunlight. If you cover the camera with material such as a beach towel, use a light colored fabric so it won’t absorb too much heat. Make sure the material is free from sand, dirt and other elements that can scratch or damage a camera.

Never leave a digital camera or other sensitive camera equipment in an automobile or glove compartment when the temperature is extremely hot or cold.

Use common sense

Obviously, if the weather is extremely hot or cold, don’t go out with your digital camera unless it manufactured for such extremes. If you want to use your camera when it rains or you’ll be near water where it can get splashed, get a waterproof housing. Some housings keep a camera afloat if it is dropped in the water.

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