One of my biggest concerns with taking the DSLR to Japan for the Sapporo Snow Festival was, how well will the camera cope with such cold conditions and what should I do to protect it?
After research it appears that the biggest concern with extreme temperatures is not necessarily the temperature itself as the camera can operate in some pretty cold conditions, but how the change in temperature may affect the camera. Rapid temperature changes can cause condensation – which on the outside of the camera isn’t so bad, but isn’t something you want to occur inside your camera.
To prevent this, when leaving a cold area for a warm area (or vice versa) ensure that your camera remains sealed in your camera bag for at least 30 minutes or so to allow it to gradually change temperature. The idea is to gradually raise or lower your camera’s temperature to the environment you’re currently in. After 30 minutes or so, your camera should be fine to remove from the bag.
Quick Tip: Allow your camera to warm up/cool down gradually to prevent condensation
It always pays to carry additional batteries to ensure you have enough power for camera (especially in the cold as it can affect battery performance). Personally I didn’t have any issues with the battery performance in Sapporo, but it’s always good to carry a spare battery just in case.
Quick Tip: Carry extra batteries in case battery performance is reduced by the cold
Finally, have fun. I found that common sense (e.g. protect your camera from snow and water with a cover etc) along with ensuring the camera wasn’t subjected to rapid temperature changes meant that I had no issues at all during our time in Japan where the Nikon was subjected to temperatures ranging from 2 degrees in Sapporo up to 25 degrees in Okinawa.