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Thread: Cold Weather/Outdoors

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    Question Cold Weather/Outdoors

    Anyone using an eVolt 500 in cold weather outdoors? I'm planning a trip to Fairbanks, AK in March largely to do a lot of photography, including (hopefully) the aurora borealis. Temperatures can drop to or below zero, although March often has more moderate temps (in the teens to 20's).

    I've had a couple of people who use Canon equipment warn about ruining my good DSLR in the cold, which now has me a bit concerned especially after investing in a new Zuiko 14-54mm, f2.8-3.5 lens this past week.

    Not knowing much at all about the construction of the camera or the Zuiko lenses, I'm unsure how much "outdoors" in below freezing temps they can withstand without causing permanent damage (separation of components, etc).

    Any suggestions and/or reassurances would be greatly appreciated.

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: Cold Weather/Outdoors

    Hi Yvonne,

    I have used my 14-54 many times at temperatures around -20 C (-4 F) without problems. I don't think you need to worry about the optics.

    However, the battery will not deliver as much energy in the cold, so make sure that you have at least two fully charged batteries with you every day. Carry the spare close to your body to keep it warm and after you have changed battery, put the cold one in the warm place - it will regain a lot of its power when it gets warm.

    Another thing to consider is to bring a large ziploc bag to put the cold camera into before you take it indoor. The reason is that you should avoid condensation of water on and inside the camera. If you get condensation, make sure that the camera has had time to equilibrate its temperature with the surroundings before switching it on.

    I don't know how sensitive the LCD display of the E-500 is but you should, as general rule, avoid using LCDs in very cold weather as they may take damage.

    Good Luck and I hope you will see the Aurora up there (don't forget to bring a lightweight tripod).

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Cold Weather/Outdoors

    Thanks Jens. Fortunately, I bought a couple of back-up batteries for our trip to Alaska last summer so I'm good to go there. Somewhere I read a suggestion to try to rubber band one of those chemical hand warmer pouches to the battery compartment to help the one in the camera a bit.

    Good pointer on the LCD, as I hadn't heard of that concern.

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: Cold Weather/Outdoors

    I am on my 2nd winter shooting with the E500 outdoors in winter in temperatures down below -30C and wind chills below -40C. This winter I also have the E1 and E330. The BIG plus for the E500 is that it has less metal and doesn't cool off your hands a quickly as the other 2 that have more metal.

    As others have said, you have to put your camera in a bag before you go inside and let the camera warm up to above freezing before you take it out of the bag or you can get condensation. Because the E500 is not sealed, you could get condensation inside the camera. As I have a couple of cameras to do this with now, I use a double bagging of green garbage bags.

    Put a spare battery in an inside pocket in your parka and you are good to go.

    Now, keeping the photographer warm, that is a different issue !!! Now go take shots and have fun and don't worry about it.

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    Default Re: Cold Weather/Outdoors

    Thanks Garry! Any concerns or problems that you have had with the LCD display? Have you ever rubber banded one of those chemical hand warmer "packets" to the back of your camera body? Does it help with the LCD and/or battery life?

    I have two spare batteries so I should be good in that department . . . and I've got decent cold weather gear and am investing in a couple of specialty items.

    Thanks again . . . this forum has been extremely valuable to me!!

    Yvonne

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    Default Re: Cold Weather/Outdoors

    Hi Yvonne,

    I had problems with my Evolt 300 slowing way down when taking pictures, but I then figured out it was because I started shooting with it when it as cold. I've then since done a few different things and have shot with no problems.

    1. Started with the camera being warm (room temperature). I make sure I have a large enough jacket to keep the camera warm when not shooting and also give it some time inbetween shooting to warm up in my coat.

    2. When you notice it beginning to slow down, take it inside and allow alot of time (like over 30 minutes) to warm back up before you try shooting again. This happened to me at the Ice Sculptures last winter. I would take a few shoots of a sculpture and then keep it in my coat until we walked to the next one. Finally after about an hour it began to slow down so I took it in the cafe and we had lunch and let it warm up.

    3. Weatherproof lenses. The 54 should be great for this but I've noticed that the weatherproof lenses seem to handle the cold and condensation problem better than the stock lenses. The suggestion of the Ziploc baggie is also a good one.
    Lara P
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