Extreme weather and my SLR - need help!

Travel Forums Travel Photography Extreme weather and my SLR - need help!

1. Posted by katelanc (First Time Poster 1 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,

So, i'm a newbie with my first ever DSLR (Canon 450D with twin lens kit) and I love it! But I'm about to go travelling through Africa, and am concerned about killing my camera due to extreme weather conditions. The first part of my trip involves climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, which will be very very cold, whilst the second part of my trip will be very warm going round national parks, deserts etc.

Does anyone have any advice on how to protect my camera? I really don't want to kill it in the first 6 months of owning it, but at the same time, I want some great shots! Are there any camera bags perhaps that will help protect my camera from extreme weather conditions? I also have the option of leaving my camera at base camp whilst I climb Mt Kilimanjaro and to just take a point and click, which I'm seriously considering.




2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5972 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I don't know about Canon DSLRs (does a 450D have any form of weather sealing?), but I know my Nikon DSLRs have taken all extreme weather I've thrown at them without any problems whatsoever; from hot and humid weather in summer in Thailand to standing in the snow on top of a glacier in winter in New Zealand (and I've read articles from people who use them in winter in Siberia without any real adverse affects other than reduced battery life, plus photographers who've placed their cameras in the freezer overnight to test, with the same results).
The biggest risk to the camera is probably extreme temperature changes (due to condensation inside the camera), and to avoid that I'd recommend leaving it in its bag (any bag) for at least half an hour or so after going from warm to cold (or vice versa) so that the temperature can more slowly equalize inside there. Also, I'd probably recommend avoiding changing lenses while in extreme conditions, and being careful for dust.

3. Posted by baluba (Respected Member 407 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I have a Canon 450D and although I have never tried it in extreme cold, it survived very well in Africa including the Sahara which was 53 degrees at the time and wet season rainforests.
I keep mine in a basic Samsonite camera bag which has a raincover built in...great in rough seas on a tiny boat! I also keep those little silicon gel packs in the bottom to soak up any humidity.
The 450 is a tough little beastie, I treat mine abysmally and it has never failed me. Sometimes I even skip the bag and wrap it in a sarong. The built in sensor cleaner is a definate plus too when changing lenses in less than ideal conditions.

Trust me, you are going to have so much fun with this camera!

4. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I travel with dSLR, compact digital and roll film 35mm. Advice I have picked up is that the memory cards need pampering more than the cameras. Apart from the battery/ies in the camera/s there is very little to overheat excessively to cause damage. However the memory cards can pop if too overheated. A friend recommended to me that when not being used a lot take the card/s out and store it/them in a day pack in a plastic bag with an ice cold drink of some sort.
Truthfully I go abroad a heck of a lot and I have never had a problem getting my pictures uploaded off the cards. I still use roll film as well. I could never part with my little downstairs darkroom and my films very rarely get damaged in either boiling heat or extreme cold either. Batteries are a worry generally. Its quite incredible the way people worry about cameras but dont think how much harm a damaged battery can cause. They can go crazy in both extremes, hot and cold. Rechargeable batteries actually have more chance of packing up in weather extremes than AAA's. I use both and stick to the rules. So far so good.

5. Posted by baluba (Respected Member 407 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I have never had a problem with my memory cards either, nor batteries. Travelling thru the Namib desert I was using a Fuji Finepix which takes AA's and..no problem!

Am I just lucky? I treat my equipment so badly..but it never fails!!??? Mind you, I drowned my little compact Panasonic and it never forgave me. Worked a treat when I put a claim in on my insurance, but died a death again when I cancelled the claim and the insurance ran out!!!

6. Posted by snoopy1985 (Budding Member 3 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi i just bought a canon dslr. i am puzzle on how to protect my cam in winter country. The silicon gel packs that able to get it from supermarket is it able to bring on plane? and is there still other way to protect it? Or the silicon gel packs are the best way? Like when i at outdoor what are the stuff i need to be careful with and when back to hotel what are the stuff to careful?

7. Posted by fastjava (Budding Member 4 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I have a Canon DSLR and last year up in mammoth I was having problems with the control surfaces, knobs, etc. freezing over. To be fair my Motorola radio was completely frozen also (it was -10 degrees w/ windchill) but I think these cameras are just not really designed for those temperature ranges...

8. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

your camera will take the cold maybe better then you
the problem you have to deal with are the batteries!they go low very fast.
keep some spare sets close to your body.
I carried my camera in Antarctica in a normal light shoulderbag,inside padded with a layer of foam (made it myself) to keep it warm as possible.

against dust and sand I carry my cameras allways in ziplock bags.
fine sand is the killer for electronics and lenses,so never clean the lenses with a pad,use the little airbrushes.

9. Posted by AKAmber (Budding Member 21 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I live in Alaska :) take picture of our beautiful scenery all the time...the first or second response is right, the only thing that can really damage your camera is extream CHANGE, becuase of the condinsation that can build up when you go from COLD/HOT. Gallon Ziplock bags are perfect for this! :)

you also have to watch your battery and memory cards, but I've never had an isue with my Rebel. :)

happy travels.

10. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Can't vouch for your particular Canon, but I also have a Canon D-SLR and it's been to both Russia in the winter and Greece in the summer.
If I remember correctly, in Russia it was around -35c and in Greece it was something like +40c.
Pictures fine, camera equally so.