When it comes to hot weather, keeping our camera gear cool is crucial to ensure optimal performance and prevent overheating. Photo and video enthusiasts know that capturing stunning shots often takes us to locations with challenging weather conditions, or we could just be experiencing a heatwave at home.
In this guide, we explore how to keep your camera gear cool during scorching temperatures, with tips for both photography and videography creators. So, why not grab a cool beverage and explore how you can keep shooting while others around you are sweating over their viewfinders.
Investing in a bag, which includes features to combat heat is a great starting point for hot weather shooting. When researching camera bags, look for insulation and heat-resistant materials that provide protection against direct sunlight. A well-insulated camera bag not only shields your equipment, but also prevents potential temperature damage.
All Lowepro camera bags with AW (all weather) protection will help to reduce the impact of heat, and bag rain covers (check our bag accessories) are often made with sunlight reflecting properties to keep your gear cool. The Tenba Fulton v2 14L All Weather Backpack Black is an excellent all weather backpack, which features a dual sided WeatherWrap rain cover.
Due to their 3-layer waterproof fabric technology, English bag maker Billingham bags also offer a degree of heat-resistant properties and make the perfect shoulder bags for hot city shoots or out in nature.
Whichever bag you work with, add reusable cooling gel packs to reduce the internal temperature while your gear is stowed away. Then, when it comes to shooting your gear will be cooler from the outset, but remember to watch for any condensation and remove gels as soon as you’re out of the heat.
Manfrotto’s padded camera bags incorporate features that are akin to insulated bags, providing protection and temperature control for your equipment. These are designed with thoughtful considerations to mitigate the effects of heat, for instance, some Manfrotto rain covers feature a reflective metallic coating, which helps deflect heat and maintain a cooler temperature inside the bag.
Additionally, many of their camera bag models are equipped with a foam layer that offers insulation, helping to regulate the interior temperature for a certain period of time. However, it's important to note that the overall temperature inside the bag will eventually equalise with ambient environmental temperatures.
By implementing these heat-deflecting and insulating features, Manfrotto aims to safeguard your valuable camera gear from the potentially damaging effects of excessive heat. Whether you're out in the sun or facing high-temperature conditions, these camera bags provide an extra layer of protection to help preserve the integrity of your equipment.
Check out the Manfrotto Pro Light Backloader Backpack M, which benefits from the features highlighted here.
Be mindful of where you place your camera during breaks or downtime when out on a hot shoot. Avoid leaving your camera bag or equipment exposed to direct sunlight or confined spaces with no ventilation, such as inside a closed car. Instead, seek shade or use a camera umbrella if you have one to hand for a session, in order to shield your gear from intense rays. By protecting your camera from excessive heat buildup, you minimise the risk of overheating and extend its lifespan.
Longer photography or videography sessions in hot weather can strain your camera's cooling capabilities. Consider using a camera cooling fans, which provides additional airflow to regulate the camera's temperature. Cooling accessories prove particularly beneficial for extended shooting periods or when filming in direct sunlight.
The Fujifilm X-H2S / X-H2 Cooling Fan (FAN-001) is a prime example of heat dissipating technology, which is able to extend your camera’s shooting time in hot weather. There are also third party cooling fans available, which can be rigged up to a camera cage when recording extended video clips during hot conditions.
Plan your shooting schedule wisely to avoid the hottest hours of the day. For outdoor shoots, aim for early mornings or late afternoons when temperatures are more favourable. The softer lighting during these periods can also enhance your images, while minimising the risk of overheating. By planning your shoots strategically, you ensure comfortable working conditions and optimal image quality.
Keep a close eye on your camera's temperature gauge or internal heat warning indicators, if available. Some more advanced cameras offer temperature sensors that alert you when the camera reaches critical levels. Additionally, adjust your camera settings to minimise heat generation, such as reducing continuous shooting mode or lowering video resolution and frame rates.
You’ll benefit from less overheating issues if you can record 4K at 30fps during a hot part of the day, rather than 4K+ 60/120fps. If possible, switch to recording with camera B when camera A is getting too hot and vice versa. While benched, wrap the hot camera with cooling gels in a shady location until it’s ready to come back into play.
Just as with extreme cold, extreme heat can deplete battery life more quickly than usual. Ensure you have fully charged spare camera batteries on hand and keep them in a cool, insulated case. You can swap out hot batteries with cooler ones as needed to prevent performance issues and potential overheating. Proper battery management is crucial for uninterrupted shooting and smooth video recording.
When venturing into hot weather for photography and videography, taking some simple steps to keep your camera and gear cool is essential. By choosing a heat-resistant camera bag, being mindful of camera placement, utilising cooling accessories and planning shoots wisely you can safeguard your equipment and capture fantastic images without compromising performance. Embrace the challenges of shooting in hot weather with confidence, knowing that your camera and gear are protected and create stunning imagery or footage in any climate.
Cover photo by Nick Dautlich featuring Claudio Bezerra
By Park Cameras on 16/06/2023
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