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Helios lens

How to take pictures in the cold?

Winter is a rather interesting season in terms of landscape photography. The fluffy first snow, sparkling hoarfrost, frosty haze look very seductive for a landscape photographer. However, there is one difficulty. The instructions for the camera clearly state that it is not designed to work in sub-zero temperatures. This stops many from traveling to a winter landscape photo shoot. Naturally, there is a “frost-resistant” technique, but it is rarely designed for frost stronger than -10 degrees (at least according to the instructions). 

Personally, during my life in winter, I tried 7 pieces of cameras of different classes - from simple soap dishes to a full-frame DSLR. All of them withstood the cold test, although sometimes the frost reached -25 degrees. Based on this, we can conclude that you can still shoot in the cold, contrary to the instructions.
Naturally, working in extreme conditions is not good for technology, however, if you look at the question from the practical side, why did you buy a camera? Probably not for him lying on a shelf and gathering dust. So go ahead to the shoot!
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What happens with the camera in the cold?
Firstly, the battery quickly loses its capacity. Secondly, the LCD screen starts to work with a delay during cooling. Thirdly, the lubrication of mechanical elements is thickening - shutter, autofocus, iris control. Because of this, these elements can operate with a delay and even jam (although this is rather a special case). 

In fact, all this is not as scary as it seems - when heated, the lubricant becomes liquid again and the mechanical mechanics of the camera are fully restored. When heated, the battery also restores its capacity. 

The freezing temperature of all devices is different - one refuses to work already at -10 degrees, the other and -30 nothing.
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Why does the instruction prohibit using the camera in cold weather?
The ban is rather formal, similar to protection from dissatisfied customers. Its essence is that in the cold it is not guaranteed that the declared technical characteristics are guaranteed. For example, the instructions say that the camera on one charge makes 500 frames. But at minus temperatures, this amount is reduced, say, to 100. We, technically competent amateur photographers, understand that the manufacturer is not to blame for this and act "at our own peril and risk." But there is such a category of Citizens (with a capital G) who are suing for any reason - even if it is obvious that the trouble happened because of their stupidity. It is precisely because of such people that the instructions are full of points that cause normal people to laugh healthyly - "Do not drop the camera on the floor, it can hurt you in the leg!"
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Recommendations for taking pictures in frosty weather


In principle, shooting in cold weather is no different in principle from shooting in ordinary conditions. A camera on the neck - and forth :) Someone prefers to hide it under clothes - also an option, but having a number of features that you should be aware of - about them a little later. 

The worst thing to fear is condensation. It is formed on a cold object placed in heat. There is an erroneous opinion that it is enough to heat the camera to a positive temperature (for example, +1) and it can already be used in a warm room. This is not true. You probably noticed that abundant condensation sometimes forms on objects whose temperature is significantly above zero degrees, for example, on a tap from which cold water flows. Let's see what causes the formation of condensate?
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What are the most favorable conditions for condensation?
First of all, you need to know what there is such a thing - dew point. This is the temperature below which the water vapor contained in the air becomes saturated and begins to settle on objects in the form of droplets of water. The dew point depends on temperature and humidity. At a humidity of 100%, the dew point temperature is equal to the air temperature; with decreasing humidity, the dew point temperature is lower than the air temperature. The exact value of the dew point is calculated by a rather complicated formula with logarithms, we will not focus on this, especially since everything has been counted and entered into tables for a long time. An approximate table of correspondence of temperature, humidity and dew point can be found on Wikipedia.
Condensation forms if the temperature of the item is lower or equal to the dew point. Contrary to popular belief, if you place a warm object in a cold environment, condensation will not form on it. No matter how fast cooling is, the camera cannot cool below ambient temperature.

Based on the data in the table, if we bring the camera from frost into a room in which the temperature is +20 degrees and the relative humidity is 60%, the camera cannot be turned on until it warms up above +12 degrees. The slower the heating, the less likely condensation will form. For this reason, it is categorically not recommended to remove the camera from the bag within 1.5-2 hours.
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Keep the camera in a bag or under clothes?
If the camera is in the bag, the appearance of condensation is extremely unlikely, but you have to pay for it by reducing the battery capacity from cooling. Especially from this, "soap dishes" having already "frail" batteries. You can wear the device under clothes, but there are several nuances. 
-Take out the camera only for short periods of time. 
- If you sweat, there will be high humidity under the jacket. 
- The camera quickly collects dust from clothes
What if you need to take pictures both on the street and indoors? 
An example of such a task can be a winter wedding shooting, when the shooting conditions regularly change between warm and cold - bride redemption, walk, registry office, restaurant. In this case, the most reliable option is the presence of two cameras - one for shooting outdoors, the other for indoor shooting.
Author: Artyom Kashkanov
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