??? Risk of using equipment below rated operating temperature ???

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BD, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. BD

    BD Guest

    Hi, all.

    So when a camera advertises an operating temperature limit of 0
    degrees, and I am in a place that's, say, a few degrees below - what
    are my risks? Damage to the LCD? Physical components like the mirror
    siezing up? Can I kill my camera if I'm only a few degrees outside the
    documented threshold?

    Specifically, I have a Rebel 300D.

    BD, Dec 10, 2005
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  2. BD

    m Ransley Guest

    Do you mean 32f-0c read the "cold weather digital" thread. Alot of good
    answers, ive been out at 15f with a sony w5 no problems.
    m Ransley, Dec 10, 2005
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  3. BD

    BD Guest

    read the "cold weather digital" thread

    Great, I'll search that thread. I just want to make sure I'm not likely
    to damage anything for skirting a few degrees below minimum.

    BD, Dec 10, 2005
  4. BD

    Jim Guest

    The risk is that it won't operate. The batteries tend to die at subzero
    weather. Not only that, the operator tends to get too cold also.
    Jim, Dec 10, 2005
  5. I wouldn't worry about it. Almost certainly you will *not*
    damage the camera. It might even continue to function quite
    well, and merely have some limited functionality that you won't
    even notice.

    For example, the battery will have reduced capacity, but if you
    only take a few exposures that will not be important. Likewise
    if you have a spare in your warm pocket, and swap the two
    batteries, you will get the full capacity of each (just not as
    conveniently as you would at a warmer temperature).

    Early LCD technology could be damaged by cold, but to my I've
    never heard of that happening on a camera. LCD's on laptop
    computers used to be a real problem, and allowing one to be
    totally frozen at -40 did cause problems... but again that seems
    to have been corrected years ago and I haven't heard of a
    problem with that in perhaps 6-7 years now.

    Your camera will simply cease to function long before it gets
    cold enough to damage mechanical parts from "brittle cold".

    Note also that the stated temperature range is the actual
    temperature of the camera, which means you would have to leave
    it exposed to that temperature for at least half an hour or so
    to bring it down to ambient temperature. If you leave it
    sitting in the trunk of a car... it will be at that temp. But
    if you step outside for 15 minutes to get pictures... it won't
    get down to air temperature.
    Floyd Davidson, Dec 10, 2005
  6. BD

    SteveB Guest

    If the camera actually gets to below zero (it won't if it's in your pocket
    mostly) then the main danger is condensation forming when you bring it back
    into the warm. Risks are mucky lenses, circuit boards conducting across
    tracks, corrosion eventually if repeated often enough leading to
    intermittent switches. The most fatal risk is turning the camera on while
    it's circuit board is damp and charging up the flash, if it arcs over at
    full charge then it will likely fry all the ICs and memory card.

    In the unlikely event of the camera itself getting really cold then put it
    into a sealed plastic bag while it's warming back up.
    SteveB, Dec 11, 2005
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