D7000 performance at sub freezing temps

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bruce_brown, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. No way to avoid it ... looks like camera and equipment (and photog) are going sub-freezing (temps from 10-20
    degrees F) ... for a few weeks. Batteries are not an issue (lots avaiilable), the question is what sort of
    performance can be expected from body and lenses at these temps ... sustained ... no warm-ups over the entire
  2. Will you be bringing a backup body (or 2?) just in case?
  3. We are discussing ... another frozen D7000 or ... a film body ... but then perhaps the issues are the same ... ?
  4. Meh, shouldn't be an issue. Although, I didn't have my D7000 last winter, I have never had a glitch from the D200 body all the way to -10F. Had a few from a lens, but never the bodies.

    And FYI, I shoot a lot of skiing/snowboarding, so yeah, I spend lots of time in the temps you are talking about. Outside of battery drain and one bad lens, it's never been an issue with any gear. Sometimes I think people are just overly paranoid....
  5. A film body usually has film in it ;-) Film gets stiffer as the temp drops which puts additional loads on the film transport mechanisms, and those mechanisms are also likely to have lubricants that may be effected by temperature. So, digital bodies should be less sensitive to low temperatures.
  6. Ok, and when you say sustained, are we talking backpacking, or just during the daytime hours?
  7. You might want to call Nikon technical assistance at, (800) NIKON-UX, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  8. General rules: The enemy is condensation. When you bring the cold body and lens back into a warm area, seal it inside a plastic bag and let it warm up there. The condensation will form on the bag and not the camera and lens. Same applies to all lenses or cameras that have come to a cold temp. As a general rule I kept my camera inside my parka in arctic conditions. But after a day out in the cold, it would cool down considerably and the plastic bag always worked. I think the original tip for this came from National Geo, but I don't remember.
  9. I wouldn't be concerned. I've subjected my Nikon DSLRs to those temps and less for prolonged periods, usually without a hitch. The displays in the v'finder and control panel may get sluggish and a little dimmer than normal but all else has usually worked properly. Lenses whose AF mechanism is laden with lube, esp older lenses, may also be sluggish. Sustained or intervals, day or night...it matters not. It is important to regularly exchange the cold battery for a warm one. Battery performance declines in these temps but quickly recovers once the battery is warmed. Aside: often overlooked in cold-weather shooting is a proper glove system (thin, liner glove w/ grip material on fingers for dexterity/shooting that will fit into larger gloves that are fat w/ insulation). Get your gloves dialed and consider bringing chemical hand warmers.
  10. I shot mine in 10 degree weather one day, all day, last winter with no problems. Snowmobile drag races...
  11. Listen, are you talking about 10F-20 ABOVE zero here? LOL, that's not cold. My Nikon digital cameras stay out in the car all winter long, and I use them for my winter night photos regularly. I'm talking temps of 10, 20, 30, maybe even 40 degrees--below zero. Keep one battery in the camera and one or two in your shirt pocket. Don't breathe on the LCD, viewfinder, or lens.
    Kent in SD
  12. Wouldn't be surprised if the D7000 went skiing and caught you a fish for breakfast Bruce ;-)
  13. There should be no problems using the D7000 (or any other Nikon DSLR) in temperatures moderately below freezing. Once it gets down to -10C or more then you should pack the camera with silica gel in a bag of some sort to prevent condensation on the camera. You might want to do that even before. Wait a few hours before opening it up. Take your memory cards out of the camera before going in so you don't have the temptation to open up too early. ;-)
    At temperatures <-20C you can start expecting batteries to drain quickly (or at least the voltage to drop). So you may need several batteries to shoot a whole day at those temperatures. Especially if you use live view. Still the camera should work fine.
    People sometimes mention film getting brittle in the cold but I've never experienced it. At -40C, sure, but I can't really shoot in those conditions due to the human component being more brittle than any instrument.
  14. Everyone, thanks for the responses ... Kent in SD (I suspected it was South Dakota, now I know for sure it is NOT San Diego!) ... just what I was looking for ... sustained ... no bringing the gear 'in' at all for 10-15 days. Thanks also for the tips on the plastic bags and condensation (and Ilkka the silica gel). We have a few weeks and are working on the glove issue. I am also noting what DIDN'T come in ... no reports of sticky buttons or 'unflappable' mirrors. We will be paying very close attention to breathing vapor on the gear, and will not hit the panic button if the LCD and displays slow a little. As space is restricted, JUST MIGHT try it with one body... Also, one last ... Simon ... I have trolled thru the "scene" mode on the 7000 and there IS both a dog and fish mode ... thing is, I can't get the dog to hunt and the fish won't bite ... perhaps 'my menu' is not set right ... please advise.
  15. Get your gloves dialed...​
    Lilly, can you please explain what you mean by this?
  16. Bill: 'Dialed In' in the other shooting sport is 'adj windage and elevation, FOR YOU'. In pilot talk, the same, but all your gear, and everything set to YOU, and then run thru again and again before the 'show'. Lilly perhaps will reply and tell us she is an F18 pilot ...(!)
  17. Thansk for the explanation, Bruce. It just seems strange to talk this way about an inert object that you don't adjust.
    Speaking of Lilly's post, I need to get my own glove liners. My glove/mitten system, which dates back to snow camping days long ago, is great for very cold temps but not for operating a camera under below-freezing conditions. I'll be back in the Sierra in another couple of months, and last time I was there in winter I got my fingers cold enough while shooting metal cameras at dawn to require remedial action. No harm done, but I could have missed some shots and it easily could have been cold enough for frostbite to be a bigger risk.
  18. Bill: That's the thing ... your previous gloves were good for cold, but not for camera ... not dialed in. We are looking at nomex or surgical ... but in any case she is right ... there must be a liner, with good tactile profile, OR a cold weather glove that has a good 'finger touch' profile without the liner. Then tested, not on actual location. When everything is checked and re-checked, tested and re-tested, you are 'dialed in' ... you have your 'game face' on, and you are ... ready.
  19. I winter camped (in a tent...) with a d80 down to 10 (C) below zero, no problems besides the LCD gets slow and angry. Anything colder and I bring a nikon FE.
  20. Never done a prolonged cold soak (+4 hours) in sub-freezing (-10C) , but apart from the potential for increased power consumption, my D60 and D7000 work fine. As others have said, the enemy is the transition from sub-zero to positive temps and the resulting condensation if the transition is too fast.
    That said, I have, rather stupidly, done just that to both my D60 and D7000, and although having a camera that is condensing continuously on every surface is definitely not recommended, both cameras have survived their ordeal and function perfectly normally. Would not recommend this experience.

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