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    Cold weather shooting tips with the Fs5 and FS7 (or any camera)
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    I'd love to hear people's suggestions (or guidelines) for shooting outdoors in cold weather. I just received a 100-400m lens and am looking to test it out and use it somewhere other than filming into my backyard from my office.

    For some context on what I mean by "cold," the temperature the next few days will range from a low of about 10°F to a high of about 32°F (or about -12°C to -1°C). There's also a healthy layer of snow over everything at the moment. Aside from a few short test shoots I've never worked with a camera for an extended period of time out of doors in freezing (and below) temperatures.

    I'm planning on heading out with an FS7 and Fs5 (separately). Any suggestions on filming in cold weather—specific to these cameras or more generally—would be very appreciated. Thanks and I hope you're enjoying the new year!


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    A nice pair of regular gloves or camera gloves should be #1 on the list. [Thin camera gloves for screens under mittens are nice too.]

    Then dress for comfort as you normally would when planning on spending extended time outdoors in that weather (and bring extra clothes you can leave in the car).

    But you need good gloves otherwise camera operation is just miserable in cold weather.


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    And use a carbon tripod, not aluminum because of cold.
    Fs7 can handle cold weather well. Never had problems with freezing weather (up to -10 Celcius).

    And my most important tip: use lard to prevent freezing your eye to your viewfinder.

    Condensation can be an issue, don't bring your cold camera into a warm room.

    I don't know how your 'breathing lens' (as the canon 100-400) will handle the cold (and condens).
    Last edited by Publimix; 12-31-2020 at 05:13 PM.


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    My best ever cold weather purchase was a pair of down-filled "hunting mittens" that I got some 40 years ago. They are toasty warm and have a flap to free your fingers briefly when you need the dexterity to operate a sensitive control. I use them every time I shoot in the winter.

    Those chemical hand warmer packets are also handy, both for their intended use, or to keep a battery or viewfinder a little warmer.

    A suede or microfiber eyecup cover like the Bluestar products makes using an EVF much more tolerable.

    Bring spare batteries, and keep them inside your coat until needed. Lithium ion batteries seem to be a little more sensitive to cold than other chemistries, so you may only get half or less of the usual run time.

    Brings back memories of an "outdoors" series I used to shoot for local cable. Among other rigors, I spent two days on a frozen lake one February shooting an episode about ice fishing. That was 39 years ago and my feet are still cold.


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    +1 on Greg's suggestion about the EVF -- it can and will fog. Even with an eyecup cover. Really annoying ;(


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    I’ve shot the FS7 at between -30 and -40 c.

    Gloves - agree. Have a thin pair of silks to operate and lamb skin lined mittens (skidoo mits) on top when moving.

    Take a large vacuum bag (home storage ones with heavy duty ziplock work well) and put all electronics in there and carefully seal before taking inside a warm building. Leave everything in the bag until they have warmed up to ambient temperature. Condensation will kill a camera by rusting it from the inside out.

    Take twice as many batteries as you’d normally use.

    On a skidoo, I use active carbon hand warmers to raise the temperature in the camera bag, as wind chill can get you down to -50 and further. That can buy you a bit more operating time, depending on temps. But be careful not to have the hand warmers directly touching kit. They can melt through the bag if anything presses against them.

    Ben.
    Ben Giles BFE BAFTA

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    Aside from hand warmers and toe warmers, as most people mention...
    Consider using a power cable from the camera to the battery if you're doing long takes (and/or spending a lot of time next to camera) and staying in one spot. This allows you to keep the battery inside your coat and at a reasonable temperature. But of course you need to remember you're attached - so don't walk away!!!
    An insulated lunch box can also help keep the temperature of your spare batteries from dropping as fast.
    Speaking of insulation... standing on something between you and the snow or ice can help keep your feet a little warmer.
    As others mention, beware of bringing cold equipment into a warm, moist environment. This also means scheduling your day accordingly if you are shooting both interiors and exteriors -- to allow for gradual temperature changes for equipment.
    Also realize that camera bags/cases act as insulating containers -- so if you're thinking that the temperature adjustment will happen in them, realize that it will take longer than you expect! Of course when using the large, sealable plastic bags, you can feel the temperature of the equipment inside to check it before opening the bag.


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    These suggestions are excellent—thank you! And thank you in advance for others who may yet chime in.

    A question about bringing gear to temperature: my plan was to have a bag/case in the car, put the camera back in that after shooting, and then leave those in either the foyer or basement (colder spaces) for an hour or two before bringing them into the room temp living space. I'm not sure I have vacuum bags or storage bags big enough for the gear so I'm wonder if this might work.


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    You'll probably get away with it, but strictly speaking - no, it's the warm moisture in any part of the house that causes the inevitable condensation. By keeping it in a bag, all the (generally drier from the outside) air around the unit as well as inside it rises at the same rate, allowing any moisture to gradually evaporate evenly into the air in and around the camera.

    If it's one-off, probably not worth worrying about - just know that everything will be steamed up for a while!

    Ben.

    Quote Originally Posted by drboffa View Post
    A question about bringing gear to temperature: my plan was to have a bag/case in the car, put the camera back in that after shooting, and then leave those in either the foyer or basement (colder spaces) for an hour or two before bringing them into the room temp living space. I'm not sure I have vacuum bags or storage bags big enough for the gear so I'm wonder if this might work.
    Ben Giles BFE BAFTA

    www.matobo.co.uk

    @MatoboLtd


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    Quote Originally Posted by bengiles View Post
    You'll probably get away with it, but strictly speaking - no, it's the warm moisture in any part of the house that causes the inevitable condensation. By keeping it in a bag, all the (generally drier from the outside) air around the unit as well as inside it rises at the same rate, allowing any moisture to gradually evaporate evenly into the air in and around the camera.

    If it's one-off, probably not worth worrying about - just know that everything will be steamed up for a while!

    Ben.
    Gotcha—sounds like I should invest in some bigger bags if I'm going to make a habit of this! Thank you.


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