Using your camera in the heatwave: Top tips to keep your equipment safe
We have been blessed in the UK over the past month or so. This type of heatwave feels usually unheard of, and definitely in Manchester where the skies are usually filled with dark clouds and rain. The sunshine is fantastic and makes everything feel better and lends itself to getting some beautiful shots.
The downside of this weather, however, is it can definitely cause your camera and filming equipment to overheat. Which isn't fun for anybody. So, without further ado here's 10 tips you can implement right away to help stop your camera overheating and keeping your equipment safe.
1. Always check for condensation
This is super important. When moving from a cool, air conditioned environment to a hot one this might give your lenses a chance to fog up, forming condensation. If you find water droplets on any of your camera gear, lenses etc then I'd recommend taking a dry, soft clean cloth and removing all the moisture you can from your equipment. If condensation dries up inside your camera it could form rust, fungus and damage the circuit boards in your camera.
If you're going to be exposing yourself and your equipment to high temperatures (and with this heatwave set to carry on it seems like you will be) then take this handy tip. Grab yourself a resealable plastic bag, squeezing all of the air out of it first, and place your camera equipment in the bag with some silica gel packs before resealing. This will ensure that if condensation does form, it forms on the bag instead of the equipment.
Speaking of silica gel packs, I'd recommend having these stored in your kit bag with your equipment as a safety precaution all year round anyway. There's no harm in extra moisture control!
2. Use an umbrella
If you're going to be shooting a scene, or with a client outside or in the direct sunlight then this is a no-brainer. Keep a mini-umbrella in your kit-bag for this eventuality. Shading your camera (and camera operator) from the sun with an umbrella is a great way to help keep temperatures down, for your camera and your crew!
3. Use an external battery
Certain cameras are known for overheating, day-by-day, on a regular shoot - so during the summer months when it's supposed to be hotter outside, and it definitely is right now - thank you heatwave - you better believe they're going to out in the sunshine too!
To combat this, we recommend having an external battery source you can plug into your camera. Google External Battery Pack for 'insert camera of choice' and I'm sure you'll get a whole host of options.
Not only will this help you out in the hot weather, but if you shoot on a small body mirrorless like we do (I'm looking at you Sony a6500) then having an external power source will help you immensely because the battery life sucks!
4. Keep your equipment bagged up
This might seem like an obvious one, and I think it is, but when you're not using your equipment then keep it in it's kit-bag away from anywhere it can get damaged or broken but most importantly in the shade and out of the sun, wherever it can stay cool.
5. Use faster memory cards
In everyday shooting your camera will naturally get hot. From running the battery down to writing endless amounts of data onto your SD cards. The best thing you can do for your camera in this respect is get the most efficient, compatible batteries you can find, and the same goes with your memory cards.
At Popsicle, we shoot everything on SD cards. We feel our best cards to shoot on are our SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB and 64GB Class 10 cards. These run at 95MB/s and although these aren't the fastest on the market they are plenty fast for the shooting we do. If you're shooting 8K, VR or otherwise we'd say try the SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB Class 10 300MB/s.
In short, the faster your memory cards write speed, the more cool, calm and collected your camera will be as it won't take as long to write therefore less strain on the system and not as much time to heat up!