Dealing with extreme temperatures

From deep Alaskanian winters below -38°C up to extreme heat over 43°C in eastern India – cameras are not made for this. Here you find some tips on how your gear survives and you still get things done.

Cold

  • Most cam specs start with a range from -10°C or even zero degrees. The key to make them operate in lower temperatures is to use them for a few seconds only and pack them right away after shooting.
  • Bring some spare batteries with you and keep them at your warm body.
  • Bring at least two small cameras (e.g. your phone and a pocket cam) and keep them at your body as well if possible (if not, use your pockets). If they get really cold and stop operating, warm them up with your hands / gloves, try again and maybe change the battery.
  • Don’t use big cams and lenses. It’s too big to carry at your body and you should not risk damaging your lenses. I know pocket cams are not that comfortable to frame things right, but you’ll probably have to make some compromise.
  • Avoid touch screen functions, at least don’t rely on it.
  • Buy some heated gloves or insoles and use it for your gear as well.
  • If there is sun, use its energy!

Heat

  • Up to 35°C should be no problem for most cameras. However don’t rely on the specs – even if it says your cam will be fine up to 40°C like a Fujifilm camera, it can (and it will) happen that your beloved friend gives up at 37°C.
  • Bring two cameras with you, big ones are ok. Operating temperatures may differ from manufacturers and models.
  • If your cam overheats, put it in the shadow and swing it through the air to cool it down. Use your other cam in the meantime or just take a break.
  • If your cam is wrapped in plastic (because of rain) remove it for better cooling.
  • Don’t leave your gear in the sun, it can lead to serious damage.

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