Cold weather? (Minnesota) - And update on K110D for me

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Buschmaster, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Feb 12, 2006
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    Minnesota
    #1
    Hi guys, I need your awesome wisdom. What kind of damage can cold weather do to a camera? Right now I'm away from my user guide (It's at home and I'm at college) but I do have a Sony DSC-W50, I would look up the guide online but our network is reallllllly slow right now at school.

    So basically, what kind of damage is typical on a camera in cold weather? As a reference point it was 10 degrees F yesterday and the lows can get below zero, but that doesn't mean I'll have my camera out in that weather.

    Also, any specific advice on either the Cybershot or a Pentax K110D? How do you cope with weather conditions with your cameras?

    The story on the K110D, I may be near it after all! My books were a lot lower than I had expected so I told my mom (who really encourages my photography hobby) that the camera was really all I wanted and I'd be willing to cover whatever she didn't want to as a Christmas gift. She sounded interested. We'll see how that plays out! :) So basically, I want to treat them well, as they're like my little babies.
     
  2. glennp macrumors member

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    #2
    Typically, it's not the cold, per se, that causes the damage. It's the transition from the cold/dry air to warm/moist air (aka coming inside) that causes condensation that's the problem.

    If you have a well padded camera bag, the padding will act as insulation. So before coming indoors, put your gear in the bag and zip it up. Leave the bag alone for a while so it'll warm up slowly. This works for me most cold days (but here in DC it rarely gets below 25 degrees F). For more extreme temperature transitions/added protection, you can put the camera in a Ziplock bag while still outside. The bag will act as a barrier for any condensation (condensation will form on the outside of the bag rather than your camera).

    Additionally, keep the batteries warm. Exposure to cold will reduce the charge capacity. Keep them in an inside pocket of you jacket to help them keep their charge.
     
  3. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #3
    So I should get a nice bag and even if just going out in my back yard follow this procedure or is this more of a long day outside type thing?
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    The new reviews of the Pentax K100D at DPReview were glowing. I'd go for the K100D over the K110D despite what they say about the OS not being fantastic. I'm sure others have much better experiences with it than DPReview.

    On the other hand, I don't have VR on any lens and I do fine without it.
     
  5. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #5
    Abstract, I know. :) I would LOVE to have a K100D. But... at the same time, this will be the first digital SLR I own so... Do I need it? It's like, I would love a Mac Pro. But I don't need it, the MacBook does everything I need it to... You know? I'm just not sure I'd benefit from the extra price. Plus, if I save myself money on a body that'll be more money for other things for my camera... which I could always transfer to a new body. Who knows, maybe by a year from now I'll be in the position where I can sell my 110 and get a 10D. You know? I'm simply a hobbyist and I am certainly a student. I understand what you're saying, though, don't get me wrong. I took a long hard look at the two of them in a store and yes, I did notice that with IS I got a better picture in certain situations... I won't deny that it is an unbelievable feature, but above my current camera, the K110D puts it to shame already.
     
  6. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #6
    On the topic of the K100D, how do you guys think it compares to the Nikon D40? I'm also considering getting myself a D-SLR. From the reviews I've read (mostly at dcresource.com), the Nikon seems to be a little faster, with a better UI, but the K100D of course has IS.
     
  7. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #7
    Between those two, I'd say the K100D. They're both very new cameras with new technology. They're both good cameras and it depends on what you need it for, really. Also, on what you'd want out of lenses. If you'd never take off the lens it comes with, get the Pentax for sure, because it has the superior kit lens. Also, any Pentax lens ever made can be placed onto the K100D, so, your lens possibilities are giant, but if you want to buy a few lenses that cost a ton and are very high end... Go Nikon. Others can give you a better idea of these two I'm sure, but as far as bodies, I'd say the K110.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #8
    Typically two problems

    1) Battery performance is considerably lower when it is below freezing.

    2) When you bring a cold camera into a warm building water condenses all over it.

    When it is very cold like when the Apollo astronauts took a camera to the moon where it is like -250F in the shade oil and other lubricants can freeze solid but that should not be much of an issue for you.
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #9
    The D40 is a "point and shoot". Don't compare it to the K100D. For the price of a D40 you can buy a D50. The D50 is a "real camera"

    The question should not be d50 vs. K100D but Nikon vs. Pentax. Once you start out with one brand it is expensive to switch. If you buy the D50 then you will have Nikon lenses so when it comes time to replace/upgrade the body you will want to be able to use your collection of lenses so you buy another Nikon body and the cycle continues possibly for decades. Pick a company that you think you will still like in 10 years. Between the two, Nion has a wider range of eqipment. Pentax has a good reputation but is smaller. Canon is the market leader Choose based on where you want to be in five years In five years you will be using your second DSLR body so D50 vs. K100D does not matter.

    And yes, if you are a photographer you want the d50, not the d40 if you go Nikon.

    Back to bodies -- other things to look at: How does the light meter work? how does the AF system work. After the sensor the light meter is the most impotent thing inside the camera body.
     
  10. glennp macrumors member

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    Washington, DC
    #10
    I usually think of it as more of a long time thing but that "long time" can be as little as 15 minutes depending on how cold it is. If the camera is outside long enough that the camera surface gets below the dew point of the inside temperature, you'll get condensation on the body. If the camera electronics cool below this temp, you'll get condensation on them which means trouble.

    If you take the camera out into the yard, snap a few quick pics and go back inside, you'll probably be okay. If you plan to linger for around 20-30 minutes in 10 degree weather, I'd probably plan on a bag. Use glasses as a rough reference point: if your outside long enough that your glasses will fog over when you come inside, you will probably want to consider some protection for your camera.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Agreed. I'd never get a D40 if you plan on actually taking photos as a hobbyist and not just on AUTO mode at birthdays or something.

    The D50 is and always has been fantastic. I'd read the DPReview review, because they say that while the D50 was probably the best basic DSLR camera around, the K100D is probably the better camera in many ways.

    The K110D is just the K100D without the OS, which still makes it a fantastic camera. :)

    Good luck. Right now, Pentax is starting to look interesting in most peoples eyes because of the K10D, and because they're in bed with Samsung, the most recognised electronics company in the world right now.
     
  12. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #12
    I'm in Minnesota also...

    Unless your camera bag has very tightly sealing zippers the only way to completely prevent condensation is to put all your cold equipment into an airtight plastic bag and keep it sealed until the equipment is back to room temperature.

    I own quality camera bags, backpacks and waist packs but I don't take chances and simply put my stuff into plastic bags before I put it all in my good packs. It's easy to do and guaranteed to work fine.

    Your camaera should work fine in cold weather except battery performance suffers. I have not invested in expensive batteries. Rather, I use two standard batteries (I always have two EN-EL3 batteries with me for my D70) that I normally use, always keep the spare inside my parka and swap them out as needed.

    Have fun and best wishes!
     
  13. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Minnesota
    #13
    That goes for body, lens, and everything? Also, do you use the plastic bag and a camera bag? Should I just get a really big plastic bag and keep it all in one piece until it's warmed up again?
     
  14. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #14
    Sorry for the slow reply...

    The main thing is to bag up your cold equipment up before you bring it in to a warmer temp. That's when condensation will occur. I don't bother putting my camera bags in plastic bags when bringing them back inside the house. I just open them up in the house. I suppose you could put your camera bags in plastic bags too if it's convenient. Especially if you're trudging through snow or swamp.

    When I am done shooting outside I put my body, lenses and flashes in a plastic bag before going in the house and don't remove them until they feel ther're up to room temperature. Don't apply a heat source, just let them warm to room temperature by themselves. The bagging thing applies to other sensitive do-dads like meters and such.

    Happy shooting!
     
  15. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #15
    Awesome, I'll be sure to pack several bags then, and not just the one! :)
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #16
    I wouldn't even open the camera bag up in the house, even if the cameras are in plastic bags. The temperature transition of the camera from cold to hot will be more gradual if in a well-cushioned bag.
     
  17. wmmk macrumors 68020

    wmmk

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    #17
    the K100D is wayyyy better than the D40. it's a real camera;)
    hey, are you an NU student? I live in the Evanston area.
     
  18. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #18
    Yep! Go Cats. I'm on the cycling team; I hope you aren't the creepy kid with the DSLR who took a few pictures of us the other day :rolleyes:

    I keep finding positive review after positive review on the D40, but all you folks seem to bash it. It's much more than a simple point and shoot... I like the top LCD on the Pentax, but dislike the noisy kit lens, AA batteries, lack of AF-assist lamp, and somewhat of a kludgy UI. Right now I'm planning on getting a D40 when I can find a better price, but the Pentax is still an option.


     
  19. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Minnesota
    #19
    I think the D40 would be a great entry level dSLR, as it lacks some of the things and you have to leave them auto, so you'd have to be concentrated on a few other things while taking your pictures but not x or y.

    Also, if you're looking for a first SLR the Pentax would be great because of its instant preview without saving thing. The Nikon doesn't have that, does it? I'm sure I'll use it quite often. Until I get my pictures just right, and that would really help me learn. There are some things that aren't really in your D40 that are certainly in the Pentax, also. The Nikon doesn't have manual focus, and only has 3 focusing points. The Pentax has 11.

    And it's funny you would use the kit lens as the first reason for not liking the Pentax as much as the Nikon. It seems to be unanimous that it's the best kit lens around.

    To each his own, how do you like the feel in your hand of each? You'd learn everything else if it just feels right in your hands.
     
  20. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #20
    Going from a Prosumer Canon Powershot Pro1 to my new 30D, I am less worried about the winter chill on my newer more expensive DSLR.

    I tend to have my camera in a bag, like others have suggested on here, and usually take my memory card out, and place it into my pocket so that I can use it, to process my pictures, without having to take the camera out of the bag. Having an external card reader is a plus, despite this camera having a USB 2.0 subsystem that tested as being really quick.

    As far as image preview, I tend to look at my images only for a reference in image composition, and more importantly the histogram. I tend to take allot of photos, and weed through them later on my MacBook.

    I hope you enjoy whatever camera you decide to get. Going from an 8 megapizel prosumer to an 8.2 megapixel DSLR was a big step for me,and one I really don't regret!

    If you are near the UofM campus, I recommend going to National Camera in Roseville Minnesota. They have some really awesome staff, and if you can, work with a guy that goes by the name DJ . Super polite, calm, and informative to say the least!

    Regards

    840quadra
    Chanhassen Minnesota
     
  21. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #21
    It's a quality lens, just noisy. Not sure what you mean by the the D40 doesn't have manual focus...It does, unless we are talking about different things.

    What's the instant preview thing you mention? EDIT: Is this the "digital preview" function where it takes a picture and just saves it in the buffer, without saving to the card? If so, I don't need it. Might as well just take a picture and delete it.
     
  22. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #22
    It has manual focus? I could've sworn it didn't have that when I looked at it.

    And the instant preview, yes. Sorry... I just felt it was really nice because it's so much faster and I hate hassling with deleting when I'm out taking pictures. Personal preference.
     
  23. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #23
    Yeah, it does. Just flip the switch on the lens. The gripe everyone has with it is you have to use manual focus for non AF-S lenses.
     
  24. Buschmaster thread starter macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #24
    Oh, I only saw the body...:eek:
     
  25. superted666 Guest

    superted666

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    Oct 17, 2005
    #25
    Hey Guys,

    I went for a bike ride yesterday with camera on my back in a slingshot camera bag with 2 lenses.

    Took 2 or 3 pics of the girlfreind and bike but it was cold and raining so didnt really use it as planned.

    When we got back i uploaded the pics and they were awfull quality, could of got better from a camera phone! worried i swapped lenses and the kit lens seemed fine so phew i presumed the camera is okay.

    We were out about a hour in cold and rain is this just a case of condensation in the lens? what am i to do about it? is it long term?

    the insides of the bag were dry with a slight dampness near the zip but cam was dry as was lens.

    Any advice appreciated.

    C

    Ed
     

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