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Left Camera in Car Overnight ...17 Degrees

Lucky Stokes , Dec 26, 2008; 06:55 p.m.

Has anyone heard this one before? In the haste of Christmas shopping I forgot to bring my Canon 5D in from the car while unloading Christmas presents. The temperature dropped to 17 degree F that night. Well I remembered the next morning and brought my bag in and let it defrost. I expected the battery to be drained and put it in the recharger after everything warmed up but it wouldn't recharge. Not a huge surprise. But I went to Penn Camera and got a new battery and low and behold the camera was semi frozen (no pun intended) as well.
I had some functions but no LCD display, no menu ... only the display on top near the shutter release button. I fiddled around with it, tried to re-install the firmware from a flash card, but that was no use because I had no menu. I ended up leaving it off a Penn Camera to send to Canon for repair.
Okay, I know I shouldn't have left it in the car in that kind of weather. But on the other hand, my car is little more than computer chips these days and it was in the same weather. Does anyone have any insight or experience with this?


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Ronald Moravec , Dec 26, 2008; 07:05 p.m.

You should have wrapped uit up in a quilt for 12+ hours to allow a slow warm up without condensation. Condensation on the inside is enough to destroy one of these electronic marvels.

Puppy Face , Dec 26, 2008; 07:24 p.m.

"brought my bag in and let it defrost"
Do you mean you left it sealed in the bag for a few hours and let the camera temp equalize with room temp? If so, it really should be okay. I've never left my gear overnight in a freezing car but have spend hours shooting below freezing as well as hours sitting in a cold trunk. No problems other than short battery life and LCD spaz outs.

Well now you have a great excuse to buy a 5DII.

Lucky Stokes , Dec 26, 2008; 07:30 p.m.

I actually let the bag just sit on the dining room table for an entire day before trying to put everything back into operation. And yes, it was a good excuse to buy a 40D (sorry not a 5dII), but with a 17-55 2.8, while waiting for my 5D to be repaired. :)

Michael Sullivan , Dec 26, 2008; 08:16 p.m.

Seems odd. I've left mine in the vehicle overnight. Used it within a couple of hours of getting it inside.

Philip Wilson , Dec 26, 2008; 08:27 p.m.

I don't take new cameras out in the cold (Since I live in the Canadian rockies this is a frequent occurance). You must watch for the warm up and condensation - a quilt is a good idea, I use a cold (32F) garage. I use an EOS 1V down to -25C (approx -18F) and have never had a problem. Below this I use an old F1N which I have used happily in -40C (also -40F). I know Digital works fine as I know people who use the EOS1N IIN and II to shoot ski racing to about -25C. It sound like a water damage (condensation) problem. By the way the F1N is not supposed to work below -30C as the shutter mechanism oil is supposed to freeze but I have never had an issue with two bodies used in these conditions for over 15 years. They don't make them like they used to!

Lorne Hampel , Dec 26, 2008; 08:29 p.m.

I keep a zip lock bag in my car just in case this happens. I put the camera inside the plastic bag removing as much air as possible before I bring it into the house. I have never had a serious problem when I have done this.

Norman Valentine , Dec 26, 2008; 08:41 p.m.

I couldn't understand your problem. Here on the Falkland Islands we cosider 17° to be quite balmy. Then I realised that you meant Farenheit not Celsius. Ooh, thats quite chilly!

Joe Nash , Dec 26, 2008; 09:58 p.m.

Don't forget that when the camera's are shipped from the factory they are not kept in a nice warm place. I am sure they are subjected to freezing cold as well as blistering heat.

Milan Ilnyckyj , Dec 26, 2008; 11:49 p.m.

I regularly use my Rebel XS in temperatures between -20 and -30 degrees Celsius and have never had any problems as a result.
I have a ziplock bag with two little packets of silica gel taped inside. When moving from a cold to a warm place, I put the camera in, push out as much air as possible, and then close the bag.
So far, I have had no problems.

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