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How to Prevent Your Camera from Overheating

It's the #FirstDayofSummer, and we're sharing our top tips for keeping your camera cool on outdoor shoots. Because DSLR’s are so small and compact, there isn’t much room for fans or cooling mechanisms. In the middle of a shoot, the last thing you want is for your camera to overheat and shut down. Keep reading this week's blog for our top three tips on how to stop your DSLR from overheating.

3 Tips to Prevent Your DSLR from Overheating

1) Utilize Shade

This might sound like a no-brainer, but we can't stress how important this is. Even on a day that's not particularly sunny, the sun's UV rays can wreak havoc on you and your gear alike. While, technically speaking, air temperature in the shade is the same as in the sun, the latter can feel 10-15 degrees hotter due to solar radiation. What's more, a black camera body directly in the sun will soak in its rays and can rapidly overheat. To help stop your DSLR from overheating outside, keep it in as much shade as you can. If shade isn't available, use an umbrella to keep direct sunlight off of your camera.

2) Change Batteries Frequently

While it might be tempting to pack light for an outdoor shoot, you'll want to bring as many back-up batteries as you can. Batteries themselves can be a major contributor to cameras overheating, regardless of the surrounding air temperature or sun. Because of this, one of the best ways to reduce excess heat while filming is to switch out batteries well before they die. We also recommend using a battery grip, as it keeps the batteries themselves farther away from the inside of the camera (we also love battery grips because they make swapping out batteries faster and easier). We use this battery grip for our 5D MKIV, but be sure to get the one that works for your specific camera make and model. Along these lines, we also suggest you use a fast memory card. Memory cards with slower read/write speeds make the camera work harder, generating more heat. Keep extra high-speed memory cards on hand to switch out as well.

3) Keep a Cooler and Cold Packs on Hand

Obviously, you don't want your camera to get too cold too fast, and we are not suggesting you put your DSLR in a cooler. That being said, keeping a lunch box with cold gel packs on hand can help cool down your camera between shots. You'll also want to keep your batteries in a separate lunchbox or other cool, dry space. To cool down your camera's internal temperature, we recommend gently wrapping a cool gel pack around the camera body during filming. This is especially helpful when filming a live event like a conference or wedding where you can’t cut the camera. This method, however, comes with an important caveat: You don’t want any condensation on your camera, and you definitely don’t want your lenses fogging up from sudden temperature changes. To combat this, be sure the gel packs are not leaking. You can also wrap the pack in a towel or cloth to make sure it doesn’t get the camera wet.


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