Winter Camera Care Tips

The cold winter months are a time of solitude and peace.

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And an endless source of photographic inspiration.

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But before you head outdoors, there are a few things you need to know about caring for your camera during the cold, bitter winter months.

Winter Camera Care Tips

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Extend the life of your camera and protect your hefty investment by implementing these winter camera care tips:

Keep your camera dry when shooting outdoors. When shooting on wet or snowy days, use a camera sleeve or plastic bag covering with a built-in lens opening that shields your camera from the elements. Carry a soft, absorbent, lint-free cloth at all times and immediately use it to dry any water that might get on your camera or lens.

Keep your camera under your coat when not in use to prevent the shutter lubricant from freezing.

Carry extra batteries and keep them warm at all times. Nothing will drain your camera battery quite like the cold winter air. It’s a good idea to keep spare batteries on hand. Store them in a warm pocket close to your body. Extend the life of your batteries by swapping them out before they’ve completely drained.

Never place your camera bag, lenses or camera on an icy surface. The cold air could freeze any moisture that may have accumulated in your camera and cause permanent damage.

Invest in an insulated bag. Thickly padded insulated bags are worth the investment as they’re designed to protect your camera and gear from the harsh effects of extreme temperatures.

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Take care when opening plastic compartment doors. Plastic becomes brittle and easily breaks in extreme cold temperatures.

Last but not least…

Take preventative measures to avoid condensation when bringing your camera and lenses in from the cold outdoors. When bringing your camera in from the cold outdoors, you run the risk of condensation forming on the inner mechanisms and electrical components. To avoid condensation, you have a few options:

1.  Place your camera in an air tight plastic bag before going indoors. Condensation will form on the outside of the plastic bag instead of forming on the inner and outer parts of your camera. Allow your camera to sit in the plastic bag for several hours as it gradually warms to room temperature.

2.  Keep your camera in a camera bag or leave on a cold window sill in an unheated room.Use silica gel dessicant packs or bags of rice to wick moisture from the air and allow a few hours for your camera to gradually warm to room temperature.

Protecting your camera from the harsh winter elements is so very simple to do. Just take a little time out to take preventative measures, throw on a coat and get out there and shoot.

19 Comments

    • by Serendipity is Sweet on December 14, 2012  8:40 am Reply

      These are great tips! I hadn't thought about using the silica bags or rice. thanks!

      • by Kristi on December 15, 2012  11:00 am Reply

        Thanks! I keep a couple of silica bags in my camera bag at all times. :)

    • by Kristi on December 15, 2012  11:00 am Reply

      You never know! You might get to go on a ski resort travel press trip one of these days. I think you should bring me along with you! lol

  1. by Melinda T on December 14, 2012  10:06 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing these tips! It gets super cold here, but I'll be prepared this year...with my warm set of extra batteries! :)

    • by Kristi on December 15, 2012  11:02 am Reply

      You're welcome! I need to go pick up a few more batteries myself. I have two, but I think I should probably stock up on more. :)

    • by Kristi on December 15, 2012  11:09 am Reply

      Thanks Amanda! Hope you find them useful this winter. :)

  2. by Jenny on December 15, 2012  11:12 am Reply

    im to lazy for this so i wait for warm days to go outside :P

    • by Kristi on December 15, 2012  4:56 pm Reply

      lol Well if you ever rustle up the energy to get out there and shoot during the winter, you'll have these tips! ;)

  3. by Susi on December 15, 2012  3:01 pm Reply

    I never even thought of stuff like this. Great tips. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • by Kristi on December 15, 2012  4:56 pm Reply

      Thanks Susi! The snow is coming down like crazy right now so it looks like I'll be using some of these tips when I go out to shoot tomorrow! :)

  4. by Nicole P. on December 15, 2012  10:19 pm Reply

    Great tips! It doesn't get that cold here but the tip about avoiding condensation is a good one. All the pictures are lovely but that one is stunning!

    • by Kristi on December 16, 2012  1:52 pm Reply

      Thanks Nicole! Hope you're having a great weekend.

  5. by Melanie on December 16, 2012  11:07 am Reply

    Fab tips, thank you!! It gets pretty darn cold here in Oregon! My Canon & I thank you... I never would have thought of some of these tips!! xx

    P/S Hey Kristi.. Just curious, I tried to do another tweet today with the raffflecopter for the (AMAZING) Shutter Bag... When I clicked on the tweet box it popped up with "access denied?" Any ideas why? I've never seen that before! So sorry to bug ya with this, but I would prob give my right pinky for that bag! Lol) Sad but true!

    • by Kristi on December 16, 2012  2:06 pm Reply

      Thanks Melanie! I'm so sorry for the trouble. I checked into your entries and it looks like the tweets from 12/11, 12/13 and 12/15 are all showing up on Rafflecopter. Would you mind giving it another try today and let me know if you're still getting the message? Thank you! I hope it works this time. I'm wondering if it's just a system error on their end. Let me know what happens!

  6. by Felix Lee on December 17, 2012  10:22 am Reply

    These are great tips. I always try to be very cautious in handling my camera. I have to take care that they don't get condensation from the cold. I appreciate your tips and your pictures are wonderful!

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  8. by Tish on December 19, 2012  3:35 am Reply

    Thank you for these tips Kristi! I absolutely love shots of the snow!! I will definitely be using a plastic bag the next time I bring my camera indoors! and thanks for tip about the silica bags. I will be keeping some in my camera bag as well. That third photo is gorgeous!

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