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  1. #1

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    Do cameras die in hot cars?

    On many summer days in this part of the world, the temperature in a locked car can reach anything between 50 and 60 degrees Celcius.

    So if I leave a loaded camera in my car, out of direct sunlight and in the footwell, on these days, will it be OK or will it get fried. What sort of damage could it suffer? I wouldn’t leave my good camera in the car. It's moat likely to be a K1000 (or something else that won’t leave me heart-broken if it or the car got stolen) loaded with some colour film for those opportunities that turn up while you’re on the road. I assume that the extreme heat wouldn’t do the film in the camera much good but apart from that, will it be OK? Would storing everything in a cooler bag make any difference?

  2. #2

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    The camera won't "die" from the heat.

    Film might and might not.

    Personally, I've had to leave a lot of film in cars in the American desert with no huge loss of image quality.

    The insulated cooler bag is a very good idea.

    Also, storing it as low in the car as possible is important as well - hot air rises and the temperature in the floorboard will be significantly lower than in the "greenhouse" at your head level.

    In an airconditioned car, I have parked with the inside temp around 70 F and left the camera bag under a white pillow on the seat.

    When I returned, about three hours later, the camera was still cool to the touch even though the air temp in the top of the compartment was well over 100 F.

  3. #3
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    A cooler is a must. If the car is too hot for you, it is too hot for a camera. The lube can flow; the aperture blades can warp. The glue holding the covering on can soften. Trust me.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

  4. #4
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Heat can also damage any electronics, such as a meter or an electronic shutter. I left a handheld meter, a Sekonic L-398 Studio Deluxe, in a car in TEXAS in the summer for a mere one hour and it died completely. Even here in northern Indiana cars get hot enough inside to kill cameras.
    Chris Crawford
    Fine Art Photography of Indiana and other places no one else photographs.

    http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

    My Tested Developing Times with the films and developers I use

    Become a fan of my work on Facebook

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

  5. #5

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    You might try measuring the temperature in the cabin and in the trunk. The cabin temperature rises, in part, because of a greenhouse effect -- there's a lot of glass in cars, so a lot of sunlight gets in and relatively little heat can get out. The trunk doesn't have that problem -- but of course it's adjacent to the cabin, so I don't really know how much cooler it would be in the trunk than in the cabin. Hence my suggestion to measure it with a pair of thermometers.

  6. #6
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I strongly suspect that heat would cause distortion of the mirror box, discolouration (blacking out) of the LCD and possible battery leakage among other things.

    No camera is infallible to extremes of temperature.





  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Even if they don't die, surely they suffer!

    Matt

  8. #8

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    Cameras, electronics, firearms, purses etc are NEVER left in vehicles to avoid theft.
    That said, you bet high temps are going to affect your camera, both physically and electronically..-Dick

  9. #9
    eddym's Avatar
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    I would leave it in a small cooler, maybe with a "cold pack" in it.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  10. #10

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    I have no idea about all cameras...but I definitely killed a Seagull (TLR!) in a car that got up as hot as 50C and that was when it was in a leather case. The metal must have expanded and the focusing mechanism moved so far foreward it possped out of the body and jammed....:rolleyes:

    I now never leave a camera in the car...

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