2018-12-14

How to protect your camera in cold weather



Baby, it's cold outside... But how do you protect your camera from the freezing weather? When the frost starts settling regularly and snow is on the horizon, it's tempting to rush out and start snapping away to capture those picture perfect winter scenes.

With our guide you’ll be able to snap away happily, without worrying about your battery suddenly dying or condensation ruining your lens.


Camera batteries hate cold weather

In extreme conditions, camera battery performance can be depleted by up to 50% - they simply cannot hack the cold weather.


  • The obvious solution (and our number one suggestion!) is to carry a spare battery.  
  • Maximise battery efficiency – minimise screen time – 2 secs for image review times, shoot using the viewfinder, delete images when you’re back in the warm, turn stabilisation / flash  off etc.
  • Physically keep your battery warm – put it in your pocket (don’t underestimate the power of body warmth), strap hand warmers around the battery using an elastic band.

Condensation


Condensation can easily form on both the end of your lens and also the camera body casing when subjected to extreme changes in temperature. So be careful when leaving the warmth of a building / car into the cold, and visa versa.

  • Try and minimise the change – leave the camera by the front door / boot of the car when returning as these areas are colder than say the car seat next to you / near a radiator
  • Keep silica gel / dissicant cases in your camera bag
  • Put your camera in a ziplock bag while still outside in the cold. This reduces the rate at which the camera will then warm up inside, plus any condensation that forms will be in the bag rather than on the camera (take the camera out once at room temperature though)
  • Carry a towel to wipe off moisture (lens cleaning cloth or specialist moisture absorbing towels from camping shops).

Extra care required

We don’t want to sound like an over-protective parent, but be careful when carrying your camera. In the cold, plastic becomes brittle, so your camera is more vulnerable to break on impact. Combine this with less grip from gloves, and slippery / hard ground, and it’s easy to see how the risk to your camera is enhanced.

  • Carry your camera in a padded bag
  • Use your camera strap
  • Take extra care with your footing 
Read our guide on how to choose the right camera bag to protect your kit.


Shooting in the snow


  • Wrap up warm – it’ll be hard to concentrate on getting the right shot if you’re freezing cold
  • Bring some padding, or even just a plastic bag, for when you kneel or sit down to take a photo
  • Raincovers – in heavy snow this will protect your kit – see the range 

You may also like:

How to take great photos in the snow