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Thread: Can DSLR's.....overheat?

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    Member Royale's Avatar
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    Can DSLR's.....overheat?

    Sorry, I know it sounds like a silly question, but I was looking at purchasing one of those rubberized protective skins for my camera on top of using a kata rain cover for my canon 550d to protect it from impact from paintballs. Just wondering if giving the camera a heavy load with all these layers added will possibly effect the internals at all?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Camera sensors can over-heat, and the result will be increases in noise 'grain' in the photos. This generally only occurs during very long exposures, or repeated long exposures. So say taking a shot at night with the shutter open for an hour etc, or taking several shots with the shutter open for 15 minutes at a time, repeatedly. Otherwise camera's can generally deal with heat and cold fairly well.
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    As Rick said, yes, sensors can overheat.

    But in practice, this is unlikely to happen for a stills photographer (apart from the long exposure scenarios described by Rick already). As an amateur film maker, I do a lot of video shooting on my 5D Mark II, which involves constant use of "Live View". This uses the sensor continuously, and I try to turn Live View off as much as possible to keep the sensor as cool as possible. I haven't had too many problems with noise, even on 3-4 hour film shoots, working this way - despite this being a fairly extreme use of the sensor.

    I would suggest, therefore, that even with a protective layer over your camera, you are very unlikely to experience problems with an overheating sensor, provided that you aren't shooting on Live View continuously. If you're shooting with your optical viewfinder, or using Live View intermittently, you should not experience any issues at all. If you're shooting in an extreme environment, I would definitely advise protecting your equipment. There are also lens coverings you can purchase to help prevent your lens mechanisms from getting gummed up with paintballs.
    Last edited by ElectricImages; 05-04-2011 at 10:07am.
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    thanks guys! Read some mixed reviews on the skin but something is better than nothing!

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    I've only had it once. Shooting sports on a very hot day while using Live View to help focus. I turned off the camera for a minute and it was fine.

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    Account Closed reaction's Avatar
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    a low end DSLR will also tolerate heat less than a higher end one.
    now I don't know why your friend would shoot paintballs at you when you're holding a camera, but a skin is not going to save your camera from a direct hit.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is cold weather. Camera's will stop working in extremely cold weather. However this is not generally due to the camera, but rather the batteries. Extremely cold weather is harsh on batteries and they lose the ability to provide power. If you are planning a trip to somewhere like Antarctica, you will experience battery drain due to the intensely cold climate, but there are ways around this. One novel method is to 'wear' your batteries. Keep them on your person, under your clothing, close to your skin, and bring them out and put them in the camera when needed. Take the shots and then return your battery to its warm nest till you need to take the next lot of photos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Another thing to consider is cold weather. Camera's will stop working in extremely cold weather. However this is not generally due to the camera, but rather the batteries. Extremely cold weather is harsh on batteries and they lose the ability to provide power.
    Just curious - if a battery gets very cold, then gets warmed up again, does this affect the amount of charge originally stored in the battery? e.g. if I take a fully charged battery to the snow, and it gets very cold, but then I remember and put it under my jacket... will I still have a fully charged battery?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricImages View Post
    Just curious - if a battery gets very cold, then gets warmed up again, does this affect the amount of charge originally stored in the battery? e.g. if I take a fully charged battery to the snow, and it gets very cold, but then I remember and put it under my jacket... will I still have a fully charged battery?
    Not sure on that one, sorry. But I would guess that some of the charge would have disipated

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    Thanks Rick - I could always experiment with a full battery, the "shots left" counter, and the freezer I suppose.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Even though it is a bit old, its an interesting read and the section on this page about memory and batteries is good too

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    Batteries will dissipate their charge when very cold, and may seem to have no charge at all after prolonged exposure to the cold.
    However, if you then warm them up, you will get SOME of the charge back.
    This is because a battery works by a chemical reaction and heat will get the reaction started again.

    There is also an old trick with dry-cell batteries (normal type non-rechargeable ones) whereby you put flat batteries into hot water (not boiling) and let them sit for a couple of minutes, then you can get a bit more out of them.
    This is not recommended to do, but in an emergency, it could save you.
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    Cold

    I've only ever had the cold effect my camera.
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    Back onto topic:
    I'd be less worried about heat/cold so much as a direct hit to the glass!!

    Even with a uv filter on there, it could still proove to scratch the surfaces of your glass. if the filter smashes, it will smash inwards, and all those shards of glass will be heading directly toward your expensive piece of glass!!

    I'm thinking a lens hood would be a must! you could even get some camo ones from ebay
    Greg Bartle,
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    The thing I am not sure about is storing my camera in its bag in the boot of the car in the Queensland heat. I like to have the camera available at work but not necessarily carry it around to and from my office. Does the heat of a car pose any threat to the camera either immediately or over time?
    Alex Delaforce - Teacher / Education and Technology Manager, Gold Coast
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    Thata a good question and one that I have given some thought to. Subsequently I refrain from leaving my gear ( 50D also) anywhere it might be subject to extended periods of above average heat. [I]f its to hot for me, its to hot for my camera. However I also would like to hear from somebody with some good info on the subject.

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    Good question Alex, The temps in the boot get very hot up here in Qld !! I guess it's not a good place to keep it, I don't even like leaving it (I have a hatchback) Under the back window in the sun while driving , I usually put it on the back floor under a reflective thingy that goes across the Windscreen, Theory is it may reflect the heat away , I've heard of cameras overheating internally from doing 30min Star exposures etc Last poster beat me to it
    Last edited by William; 26-04-2011 at 3:32pm. Reason: Speeling Misteak
    Canon : 30D, and sometimes the 5D mkIII , Sigma 10-20, 50mm 1.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L , On loan Sigma 120-400 DG and Canon 17 - 40 f4 L , Cokin Filters




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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William View Post
    I usually put it on the back floor under a reflective thingy that goes across the Windscreen, Theory is it may reflect the heat away ,
    Hope it isn't the bit of floor next to where the exhaust pipe passes through, some cars can get quite hot in those areas in hot weather.
    Andrew
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    Hi guys, just got back from an easter camping trip and got yesterday morning, probably the coldest morning of the trip and went out taking photos. Quickly noticed the command dial wasnt functioning, I swapped to a fully charged battery and reset camera defaults and still no luck, so took most of the photos with the scene modes, whilst still trying to get it to work. I went back to camp about 1 hour later thinking warranty job, sat down and voila its working. It worked all day without any problems and still working now.

    Thing is, the minimum temp was only around the 10 degree mark maybe a bit less , but the camera wasnt in its it bag, just sitting in the tent. I wouldnt have thought that was cold enough to effect it, or is it possible there could have been condensation inside the camera?

    Not sure whether to send it back for a warranty check or not.

    Cheers , Neil

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