Does the E-M1 really mind a bit of cold weather?!

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by tomO2013, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    So I'm heading west over to Canada to live, travel and take some pics for the next while.

    I've bringing a full arsenal of lenses as I intend to shoot as much as possible.

    E-M1 + HLD-7 + extra battery
    12-40 Oly
    Pan-Leica 25
    Olympus 45
    Olympus 75
    Pan 100-300.
    + lens hoods for each lens etc...

    Right now, where I am going the temperature has dropped to minus 25 and fallen as far as -35 at night (celcius).
    I've never operated a camera in these kinds of temperatures before and while I know the E-M1 and all m43 lenses are freeze proof to -10, does anybody have any experience of shooting in such cold.
    Should I expect any performance impact - battery I'm thinking may be impacted or may not work at all??
    I'm also aware that the 12-40 is moisture and dust resistant so will prob be my mainstay if it is snowing when I'm shooting.

    I'm planning to pick up a plastic bag type of protector for when shooting the 25, 45 and 75.

    Any tips of advice is greatly appreciated - particularly from those who shoot in colder climates.

    Tom.
     
  2. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I was shooting at -30 C the other day no problem. The camera was thoroughly cold soaked by that point and it functioned fine. I was using a P14.
     
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  3. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    Did it impact your focus speeds / battery life ?
     
  4. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    Battery life is the biggest issue and that's even at like 30 F. You just keep your extra batts warm and switch out as needed.
     
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  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Yes for sure. Battery life in the cold is awful, with all bodies. Keep spares inside your inner layers and swap as needed.
     
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  6. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    813
    Jan 9, 2011
    Canada
    Your camera will be fine, I've shot in weather as cold as -45 Celsius and never had any issues other than shoertened battery life. Keep batteries(back ups in next to your body, the other thing you can do is get some of those reuseable glove warmers and keep one with the camera in its case. The biggest thing is finding an appropriate set of gloves that provide enough warmth, but that still allow you to be adept with the camera controls. Touch screen gloves can also be handy.
    The camera and equipment should be fine, it's you that actually may have issues with the cold if your not use to it.
     
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  7. langer318

    langer318 Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Sep 17, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I've had my EM1 with 12-40 in some well below 0F conditions in the last few weeks with no issues and even the battery has been pretty good when out for 8+ hours in sub zero weather. The only thing I've noticed is the autofocus is a bit slow.
     
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  8. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    When you say a bit slower, are we taking noticeable? Is there a reason for this?


    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  9. langer318

    langer318 Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Sep 17, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    It was noticeable for me. The conditions were pretty bad high winds and below 0f. I don't know any technical reasons but my fingers were a bit numb and there was some blowing snow which could have made it even more difficult. However I did not notice the same issue yesterday when it was around freezing and there was blowing snow.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  10. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    Yeah, because the lubricants in the lens start to gel up, forcing the lens motor to work harder (and if resistance is too much, slower too) to move lens elements. It's pretty hard to damage the linear motor in most lenses, but I'd be worried about the longevity of stepper motors under prolonged use in such conditions.
     
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  11. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    That's good to know. I'm heading over to Edmonton , then Jasper and Banff.
    I've been keeping track of the weather forecasts and some days it's been as low as -33 degrees celcius - with very low humidity - other days it's been a balmy -5 degrees.
    From your post, I'm guessing that primes would be less affected than the 12-40 zoom - ironically billed as freeze proof!
     
  12. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    ^Your assumption would be mistaken. The 12-40 is zoomed manually, so there's nothing extra being stressed while zooming it other than your hand. Both types still autofocus, which means you're putting stress on the motors. The 12-40, I believe, has a linear motor. Linear motors have an air gap between the two moving parts. You don't need to lubricate that, though there's probably a small rack to keep things aligned. Depending on the prime lens you're using, it may have a stepper motor, which as I said, could be more prone to wear.

    In fact, I'm not aware of ANY M43 zoom with a stepper motor.
     
  13. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Nov 28, 2012
    Toronto
    You should be more worried about driving under an avalanche in Jasper Banff than about whether the Camera will freeze.

    If the 12-40 is freeze proof use it. It's designed for it but maybe not below -10. Best to check olympus operating specs.

    Another point you should consider is even if the camera can, you might not be able to stand it. You have to take into account wind chill. IMHO unless you are the really big outdoor in the cold type with the right clothing you are not going to be seeing much issues with your camera gear. You are more likely to take shot hops in and out of your car, never giving enough time for the camera to get all that cold.

    It's -22 C where I am right now and I can tell you it bites even with winter coat, hat and gloves on.

    And one more thing... if you are driving when you are here and you aren't use to driving in cold weather or on icy/snow covered roads. Take the car out to some empty parking lot and find out how much grip you have. And AWD and 4x4 don't help with braking or turning, only help with getting you up to high enough speed to kill yourself on snow and ice.
     
  14. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I've had the E-M1 out in windy, rainy, freezing cold Denmark and Sweden, at night and in the early morning when it was -10C and I haven't noticed any problems. Holds up just like it was room temperature.
     
  15. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    313
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    Normally am in 20+ deg Celsius. Spent Xmas and new year in NYC, Niagara Falls area with the EM1 12-40. No issues at all. Had enough batteries with me but even then the bits that limited my phototaking ability were my own fingers! Difficult to operate things with gloves on and taking gloves off was a nightmare as fingers would become very stiff. With gloves on I could not work the touch screen.

    Two suggestions:
    If using gloves find some which are touchscreen compatible (yes they exist)
    Preferable to use mittens with foldable bit over the fingers. Bought one while in NY and was more comfortable.

    As some one has pointed out camera malfunction is the least of your worries. Have fun shooting but stay safe.