I’m often asked about how my camera functions in the cold. So far, in my practical experience, I’ve never really experienced camera failure from the cold with Canon’s 1D and 5D series cameras. I usually fail first. So, for the curious ones out there who own a Canon 5D III and wonder how it may perform in cold weather, I conducted a few tests recently to chime in on this subject. Fairbanks has been having some below normal temperatures for this time of year, so I thought I’d take advantage of that chill. Since my office is in the hills, where it is generally 15 degrees or so warmer, I escaped the -40 below zero temps of the low lands.
Test one: Camera function in the cold -20 degrees
I placed my Canon 5D Mark III outside on a tripod in -16 to -20 degree temperatures, with a fully charged battery and took one picture approximately every 15 minutes. After 10 hours, the camera worked fine and the battery still read a full charge.
No noticeable problems, other than a little slower reveal on the LCD screens.
Test two: Battery function in the cold -20 degrees
After the camera spent 20 hours in -20 temperatures, I put a freshly charged battery in the cold camera and plugged in a release cord and set it to take consecutive 15 second exposures (Long Exposure Noise Reduction turned off). The camera fired away for three hours until the battery ran out of juice.
The camera worked fine, but I did notice that after sitting outside for an entire day, the small buttons on the top of the camera did not activate the respective functions. For example, the ISO changing button did not work, so I changed the ISO using the back display using the Q button. Pretty impressive performance all in all.
If it get’s really cold in the hills, I’ll repeat this test again.