Winterizing DSLR

Camera equipment and technique for taking photos.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
User avatar
areed20
Posts: 116
Joined: 7/12/2009
14er Checklist (48)
14ers Skied (2)
14ers in Winter (8)
13er Checklist (47)

Winterizing DSLR

Postby areed20 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:41 am

What is the best method for taking care of your DSLR in winter conditions, specifically in blowing snow and wind? Also, how much does the cold temperatures affect DSLRs? I got one for my photography class earlier this semester and when I am home for Thanksgiving, I would like to take it up with me. For a camera newbie, what is the best method for taking care of your DSLR during a winter climb?
tmathews
Posts: 3852
Joined: 7/2/2008
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby tmathews » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:04 am

areed20 wrote:What is the best method for taking care of your DSLR in winter conditions, specifically in blowing snow and wind? Also, how much does the cold temperatures affect DSLRs? I got one for my photography class earlier this semester and when I am home for Thanksgiving, I would like to take it up with me. For a camera newbie, what is the best method for taking care of your DSLR during a winter climb?


Hey, Andrew,

I actually leave mine at home during the winter. I already carry enough gear and don't want the extra weight. I also don't want to chance damaging anything -- not with how expensive the camera is. If the weather is forecast to be calm and clear, I might chance taking it, though. Often times at higher altitudes, I don't feel like taking my pack off to take photos when I'm being blasted by snow and wind, so I keep a point-and-shoot in my thigh pocket where I can access it quickly and can often times take photos without taking my gloves or mittens off.
User avatar
prestone818
Posts: 593
Joined: 8/15/2006
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby prestone818 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:06 am

Don't have much advice for protecting the camera. For me batteries are most important. Having a couple of them and keeping them warm
User avatar
Dave B
Posts: 1718
Joined: 6/14/2010
14er Checklist Not Entered

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby Dave B » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:23 am

I used to use one of these when I lived near the coast and shot in areas with a lot of blowing sand. It worked pretty damn well and is a pretty cheap (albeit not super robust) option. There is a price gradient with similar options with that will allow you to find the perfect combination of protection and price.

Nowadays I take an older Nikon d70 outside with me and carry it in a holster style pack that slides over the hip belt on my pack. I'm not super worried about protecting because (1) it's older and (2) I'm continually amazed at how this camera keeps chugging despite almost ten years of abuse.

I've never had a problem with the battery in this specific camera dieing in cold weather. I used to carry a spare in a plastic bag under my shell where it would stay warm(er) but I never once have had to use it, not even on 14 days on Aconcagua.

My P&S is another story altogether...
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

-John Muir
User avatar
Steve Gio
Posts: 511
Joined: 5/29/2009
14er Checklist (19)
13er Checklist (8)

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby Steve Gio » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:34 am

I think the only protection you need is for when you are carrying it. When the time comes to take it out and shoot you should be more concerned about your fingers. I've had mine out in pretty cold conditions, snowing and blowing with no problems. I've used in in Costa Rica with rain and humidity. No problems. Back up batteries are a good idea but if you charge yours regularly one should be enough. The rain cape would work fine but you can also just use a plastic bread bag or something.
User avatar
MonGoose
Posts: 1054
Joined: 8/14/2009
14er Checklist (58)
14ers Skied (6)
14ers in Winter (13)
13er Checklist (20)
Contact:

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby MonGoose » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:04 pm

I shoot a Canon Rebel t2i and I took it skiing with me a bunch last year. Here is what I did to keep it safe.

I started by ordering the unconditional warranty through B&H when I bought the camera, so that has given me a bit of confidence in facing the elements. I read through the manual and the only warnings for temperature I could find are for heat. The manual specifically warns against leaving your camera in the car on 100 deg days, but they don't give any warning about the cold. For shooting in the snow, I highly recommend a circular polarizer filter or at the very least a UV filter to protect your lens at high elevations. You should NEVER change lenses outdoors in windy conditions, especially in sand or snow. I also recommend a nice camera case because most of the potential damage to your camera will be caused by a fall skiing or a slip on ice. I pack my camera into my backpack and wrap a fleece or something soft around it. I usually take one of the kit lenses when I go skiing and leave my more expensive lenses at home, just in case something happens. My camera survived 20 days of skiing last year and a few good wipeouts without any problems. Also, if you're at the area, take some photos of the terrain park. There is always some 17 year old kid willing to defy death so you can snap a good photo.

So take your camera and get some cool winter shots:
Image
User avatar
yorksman
Posts: 356
Joined: 5/28/2006
14er Checklist (13)
13er Checklist (12)
Contact:

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby yorksman » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:42 pm

I would give a thumbs up to MonGoose advice. All lens no matter if its winter or not should always have a UV filter that way your only scratching the filter not the lens. Extra batteries too are one of the biggest things for cold conditions. Some people in winter like to have a chest harness that way it is easier to access one's camera. I personally just use a backpack and deal with taking it on and off.
User avatar
Steve Gio
Posts: 511
Joined: 5/29/2009
14er Checklist (19)
13er Checklist (8)

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby Steve Gio » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:22 pm

Nice shot! Is that A-Basin?
User avatar
mattpayne11
Posts: 1081
Joined: 5/9/2009
14er Checklist (58)
13er Checklist (71)
Contact:

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby mattpayne11 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:40 pm

I don't really protect my camera any special way except with a filter on the lens. I also use a LowePro toploader bag that is really nice for hiking and climbing. It has only got in my way once and that was on Mt. Wilson's summit block. A professional camera is going to be weather-sealed, so YMMV.
User avatar
BlueKhan
Posts: 91
Joined: 7/10/2011
14er Checklist (27)

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby BlueKhan » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:15 pm

I noticed yesterday that Dick's had handwarmer's on sale. I was thinking of buying some to throw in my camera case to keep things warm...any thoughts?
User avatar
Dancesatmoonrise
Posts: 2142
Joined: 9/25/2009
14er Checklist (58)
14ers in Winter (43)

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:15 pm

areed20 wrote: For a camera newbie, what is the best method for taking care of your DSLR during a winter climb?


I'm with Terry on this one. The best way to protect your SLR is to take your P&S. It's faster to get in and out, weighs less, is less bulky, and at least in winter, you've got enough other things to worry about. You not only protect your SLR, you may come back with all 20 appendages. (Sometimes it's difficult to strike the perfect balance between being a climber and a photographer - especially in winter...)

So abuse the P&S and get lots of photos and pick the few good ones. Besides, that's what photoshop is for. Shoot quick in the cold alpine; crop and adjust to your leasure in the warm living room. :lol:
User avatar
Dancesatmoonrise
Posts: 2142
Joined: 9/25/2009
14er Checklist (58)
14ers in Winter (43)

Re: Winterizing DSLR

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:24 pm

BlueKhan wrote:I noticed yesterday that Dick's had handwarmer's on sale. I was thinking of buying some to throw in my camera case to keep things warm...any thoughts?


Probably not a bad idea.

FWIW, here's my system. May not work for everyone. In winter, I can usually get away with one set of light gloves. (REI all-season gloves in XL so they allow plenty of circulation.) I can usually work the camera with no problem with these gloves. Then I have a set of mitts, in XL. If it's quite cold, I'll wear the mitts over the light gloves, with the leashes on. The little P&S is in the hip belt pocket of the Osprey pack. When it's time to shoot, I pull the mitts, let them hang by the leashes, the gloves are still on so no exposed skin, and with the light gloves I'm able to get the camera out quickly, get the shots, and get it back into the hip pocket. Then the mitts go back on.

I also use a P&S with full manual. A little trickier to work with the gloves, but still manageable with the two-layer system.


PS - this system also works for rock and mixed handholds in winter - then belaying with the full mitts. All the while, the camera is out of the way until it's needed.

Return to “Photography”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests