Hello, Im considering purchasing my first ever DSLR to take to the Amazon and Galapagos next May. Ive used several point and shoot digicams in recent years and in the 1980s used a Pentax 35 mm film camera in East Africa. Im a bit concerned about the effect the high humidity environment in the Amazon and Galapagos may have on the internal electronics of an expensive DSLR (or any digicam). Id love to have the capability to take higher quality photos that a DSLR enables, but not at the expense of destroying the camera in the process by exposing it to high humidity which may cause condensation, etc. I do not plan on ever taking the camera directly into the water or photographing under the rain. Its the high humidity that the camera will be exposed to that concerns me. Am I being overly concerned about this issue? If I just keep the camera in a sealed bag in between shots will that be enough to prevent moisture damage from the humid environment? Thanks very much for replies.
[ Edit: Edited at Aug 2, 2006 10:17 PM by tknterry ]
A good question that has come up a few times.
Most DSLR's are quite robust and once they have been aclimatised (yes they need to as well usually takes about 30mins) you shouldn't have a problem.
Check out these photography sites where the same question has been posted and other members have replied with their experiences:
Moisture and DSLR's
DSLR's and high humidity
The basic idea is be senseable, i'd also get the moisture absorbant bead sachets to put in your lens cases and camera bag.
Hope this helps you out.
Yes thanks Jase and I will check into those 2 websites you posted.
My associate spent time in that area last year using a Canon D20 and had no problems with the humidity. I have used the a D20 in the jungles of Vietnam and Thailand and the cold of nothern Finland. Most semi-pro digitals have a good humidity and temperature range these days. As Jase007 said you need to aclimatise the lenses (NEVER remove a lens from an slr before it has equalized temperature or you will fog the sensor/mirror and have blurry images until you have it serviced). Take the lens cap off 30mins before you need to take a photo if moving from air conditioning to the outside heat/humidity.
I have taken my semi-pro ("prosumer") SLR to temperatures between +45 in Namibian deserts and -45 Celsius in Finnish Lappland. In Africa the issue was mainly dust and sand, and in Lappland it was both battery power issue and humidity issue when entering heated spaces such as cabins.
A lifesaver number 1: air-proof camera bag (Ortlieb etc.).
a) Lets your gear warm up in dry cold air you bring in the bag, once in a cabin with clothes hung to dry from sweat and cabin's heating in progress. Probably a good idea to let your camera warm up overnight before opening the bag (if you only can forget about shooting for that long time). In tropic, temperatures probably dont vary that much, but still the bag gives you the chance to choose the moments when you let moist air in your camera.
b) Requires you to keep the bag dry. Keep sufficient supply of moisture absorbing material with you in another airproof container, newspaper will do fine if out of silica. Reserve enough space for the absorbing material in your bag and change it asap when needed. IMPORTANT: keep tissues handy to wipe your gear dry before putting it in the bag. Keep your hands dry if you can. If possible, use disposable hand warmers (small self-containgin chemical bags that give warmth for several hours once outer bag is breached) in your camera bag to increase temperature there, vaporize some of the water and even keep your equipment a bit warm so that less condensation occurs while your gear is out of the bag.
c) Requires you to keep moist air out of your camera (especially extending zoomlenses). Whenever exiting spaces with moist or warm (=moist) air, change the air inside your bag and camera (pump the zoom several times) to get cool air there in stead. Then seal your bag to let your gear start to warm up the new air in the bag.
d) Gives you some trouble of deciding when it is a good moment to start shooting...
No Problem at all on Galapagos or Amazon Aerea Ecuador.
Check your Camera Manual about temperatur infos.
Thanks for your replies everyone. I will use common sense precautions to prevent over exposure of the camera to salt air, humidity and high temps in the galapagos and amazon, by using dessicant water absorbers, etc. I may soon be buying the pentax K100d. thanks Terry