Using my camera in the cold

edited January 2015 Posted in » Canon T5 / 1200D Forum

I plan to do some outdoor photography tomorrow, and it's the first time I will have had the camera out in the cold (By cold I mean high 20's F to mid 30's F). I've heard that if you quickly move a lens from a cold environment to a warm one (i.e. take it inside a building after it's been outside for an hour), then condensation will form inside the lens and possibly ruin it.

The event is near my workplace, so I'll be bringing my camera to work. Should I just keep the camera in my car trunk before and after the shoot, or is it OK to keep it inside the building (and take it back in after the shoot)?



  • edited January 2015
    To prevent condensation, what you can do is to just keep your gear inside an sealed zip-lock bag. When you move from different locations, just keep your gear inside the bag until the temperature inside equalizes with the temperature of your surroundings.

    That said, I wouldn’t keep my gear in the car outside in the freezing cold. The cold isn’t going to cause any damages, but your gear would be so cold that it would take a very long time to get back to room temperature. It would be less of a hassle to just take your gear with you. I highly doubt that the difference in humidity between a cold winter and a heated office is great enough to cause any issues.

    A tip for shooting in the cold: The low temperature wreaks havoc on your battery life. So keep your spare batteries inside your inner coat pockets so that your body heat keeps them warm. Don’t leave your camera with battery outside in the cold.
  • edited January 2015
    I agree with @ohyeahar on this. At those sort of temperatures, condensation on the lens or sensor is unlikely unless you go from an extremely warm area straight into the cold. The place where you will get condensation is on the viewfinder glass due to the warmth of your eye. As said above, keep the batteries warm.
  • @JoshuaPK - The only time I've experienced condensation is going from a cool environment with no humidity, to a warm environment with lots of humidity. If humidity isn't a factor, you should be fine going from cold to warm.

    I second what @ohyeahar mentioned. The cold will severely cut down on your battery life, so be prepared.
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