Protect your camera whatever the weather

July 28, 2015

Whether your weather concerns are about where you live, or where you're travelling to, be safe with your cameras and keep them snapping those photos for years to come.

Protect your camera whatever the weather

Keep cameras warm in cold weather

  • Moisture can do more damage to photographic equipment than almost anything. That's why it's essential to always store a camera or a camcorder in a safe, dry place.
  • Be especially careful when bringing a camera indoors after using it outdoors on a cold day, because condensation can form inside the camera body when the cold camera encounters the warm air.
  • To prevent this, keep your camera warm while you are outdoors by tucking it under your coat or keeping it in an insulated bag when you are not using it.

Coping with condensation

  • If you notice condensation develop on the outside of your camera or camcorder, odds are good that it's also forming inside the camera.
  • As soon as possible, bring your camera indoors and remove the batteries and film or tape.
  • Then, open the film or cassette compartment and let it air-dry for several hours. If you're in a hurry, you can use a hair dryer on its lowest, coolest setting, using short blasts of air.
  • In the case of ice, however, it's advisable to let the camera air out for at least 24 hours before using it.
  • For a digital camera, follow the same procedure by removing the memory card and letting it air-dry; don't use a hair dryer.

Help cameras beat the heat

  • Excessive heat is bad news for cameras and film, and it can result in cloudy-looking images or malfunctioning or damaged equipment.
  • If you need to lock your camera inside your car on a hot summer day (or even in an non-air-conditioned environment for a prolonged period of time), wrap the camera and film canisters in a couple of tightly sealed plastic bags and place them in an insulated picnic cooler with a single cooler pack (one of those small, self-contained cold packs used for camping or picnicking).
  • Don't use more than one pack, and don't place the pack directly on top of the bag.
  • You don't want the camera and film to get so cool that condensation forms on them when the hot air hits them.

Dealing with sticky situations

  • Photographers in humid locales are at an increased risk of seeing condensation develop inside their cameras.
  • When pros head to tropical climates, they keep a few silica gel packets in their camera bag at all times.
  • The silica will usually absorb any moisture in the air before it reaches the camera. Once they're done shooting, many of these professionals also store their gear in airtight containers with several small silica packets inside.
  • You can follow the pro's example without spending a dime. Simply recycle the silica gel packets that come packed into shoeboxes and with small electrical appliances.
  • Replace the packets every three months or so in areas where the humidity is high year-round, or once a year in temperate climates.
  • Keep your recycled silica packets fresh and ready to use by storing them in a dark, dry location inside your home.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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