Rugged Digicams?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ewan Sinclair, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. I'm looking for a digital camera with performance roughly equivalent to a
    normal consumer one (anything over 1MP will do), but able to with withstand
    some pretty low temperatures (-60 degrees celsius or so, preferably even
    lower) for extended periods whilst still operating.

    I was hoping to leave it outdoors in all weather to capture images. I don't
    mind encasing it in anything, so rain etc aren't a big problem, but there's
    no keeping cold like that out. Naturally, something that is easy-ish to hack
    up so that I can control the shutter automatically would be preferable.
    Alternatively, being able to control it from a PC would be nice.

    I need to run this camera and any attached systems from batteries, so heated
    enclosures are not preferable.

    Any suggestions or pointers?

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. The batteries won't work. To say nothing of the grease in the motors
    freezing.

    David J. Littleboy
    Tokyo, Japan
     
    David J. Littleboy, Nov 19, 2003
    #2
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  3. Ewan Sinclair

    Jim Townsend Guest

    -60 Celsius.. That's 76 below zero Fahrenheit !!

    No way will you find a camera that will work left unheated for any length of
    time at that temperature.. No battery will work at those sub zero temps.
     
    Jim Townsend, Nov 19, 2003
    #3
  4. Ewan Sinclair

    Ray Fischer Guest

    If you can find batteries that can work at that temperature then you'd
    have the best luck with a cheap camera that doesn't have any zoom, has
    a fixed focus, and doesn't have an LCD display. If it has a wholly
    eloctronic shutter then you're all set. Probably.
    A webcam, in other words.
     
    Ray Fischer, Nov 19, 2003
    #4
  5. Noise would be at a minimum...
     
    Phil, Squid-in-Training, Nov 19, 2003
    #5
  6. Ewan Sinclair

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Heh. No kidding. What temperature does CO2 freeze?
     
    Ray Fischer, Nov 19, 2003
    #6
  7. Ewan Sinclair

    Stewy Guest

    In extremely low temperatures (below minus 10C) battery activity slows and
    stops. Many people get around this problem with optical fibres - encase the
    camera, drive etc in a heated insulated box or simply indoors and use a
    bundled optical fibre cable. I don't know the amount of light loss per metre
    of cable but I'd assume around 5 metres would need one extra stop in
    exposure.
     
    Stewy, Nov 19, 2003
    #7
  8. I was hoping to leave it outdoors in all weather to capture images. I
    don't
    Can you get >1MP webcams? If so, where?

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 19, 2003
    #8
  9. -60 Celsius.. That's 76 below zero Fahrenheit !!

    My bad, I meant -40C. Still rather chilly, but that's how cold the winters
    get here.
    I don't mind heating the battery pack. I am also looking into alternative
    power sources. I just don't want to worry about heating the camera itself,
    as I assume it would take more power than heating just the battery pack.
    Also, in the event of a power failure, it'd be nice if the camera survived.

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 19, 2003
    #9
  10. Noise would be at a minimum...
    About -78C at 1 Atmosphere of pressure.

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 19, 2003
    #10
  11. Ewan Sinclair

    Jim Townsend Guest

    OK.. -40C is 40 below F.. (That's the easy one to convert :)

    It gets that cold where I live from time to time so I can say first hand that
    it's pretty brutal.

    I wouldn't leave a camera unprotected at that temperature for long periods.
    I'm sure the camera would freeze up good. It's *far* in excess of the
    recommended operating minimum. The minimum is usually 0C - 32F

    Best bet is a heated enclosure..
     
    Jim Townsend, Nov 19, 2003
    #11
  12. Ewan Sinclair

    staci Guest

    staci, Nov 20, 2003
    #12
  13. How long do you want to leave it out? I think most digital cameras
    I was thinking in the order of months rather than hours unfortunately. I've
    had mine going for a while in the winter, I guess the batteries were heating
    up as they were used and keeping the thing warm, as well as residual indoor
    heat. It started blackscreening when I took a picture after a while though.

    Oh well, looks like it'll have to be heating :)

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 20, 2003
    #13
  14. Ewan Sinclair

    Stewy Guest

    How long do you want to leave it out? I think most digital cameras
    should work at -40 for a few hours.[/QUOTE]

    No way. I was shooting the aurora at minus 40 a few years back with a Canon
    AE1. The battery froze after 30-40 minutes and the film started to sound a
    bit brittle too.
     
    Stewy, Nov 20, 2003
    #14
  15. Ewan Sinclair

    staci Guest

    No way. I was shooting the aurora at minus 40 a few years back with a Canon
    AE1. The battery froze after 30-40 minutes and the film started to sound a
    bit brittle too.[/QUOTE]

    Digital cameras do not have film that will tear, and if you aren't using
    a dslr, they don't have mechanical shutters or moving mirrors. You can
    use more than one battery, or depending on the camera use something like
    like the powerbank, and leave the battery under your coat.

    http://www.thomas-distributing.com/maha-powerbank.htm
     
    staci, Nov 20, 2003
    #15
  16. Ewan Sinclair

    staci Guest

    Oops, sorry - coming into the thread late.

    How are you planning on heating it all winter? Is there any way you can
    just get a big, blue extension cord and just leave it plugged in? If you
    got a camera with an optical viewfinder, and did without review, you
    wouldn't have to worry about the lcd freezing.
     
    staci, Nov 20, 2003
    #16
  17. Oops, sorry - coming into the thread late.
    I am probably going to have it very far from any power source, so heat will
    have to come from batteries.

    Review isn't a problem though, it just needs t shoot when I tell it to.

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 20, 2003
    #17
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