Well I finally took the plunge and purchased my first DSLR (a D600). I live in and do most of my photography in Colorado. The owners manual says to not operate the camera in temps below 32 degrees. That will just not work for me. Any suggestions?
I don't have a D600 but I do have or had a D70, D200, D300s, D700 and D800 and have never had an issue using any of them at -20 degrees celsius so I suspect the D600 would work fine at low temperatures as well. I assume you know the proper precautions to take when bringing a camera into the warmth after it has been in the cold.
I live in northern co and have had zero issues in temps below 32 degrees. I even left my d600 and my gear in my car for 4 hours when the temps were like 19 degrees..took it out, did a shoot, and went home. No issues
That's probably another example of failure to revise the manual.
I've used my D300 in Yellowstone at -46 F. With the bare camera it failed in about 45 minutes. Failure is a rapid drop in battery charge as the camera gets really cold, then a loss of the AF sensor indicators, and then finally a failure to fire. The battery is the main problem, but I also had problems with my breath creating fog and ice at really cold temps. It took some time for the interior of the camera to warm enough to work properly.
We used a combination of heat packs or The Cozy Camera wrap to extend life. With the Cozy Camera and a couple of heat packs, I was able to shoot all day on a single battery at -20 F or more. Taping a heat pack over the side of the camera near the battery does a good job and worked for others.
The D600 will likely be no different. You need to be careful of plastic cracking from impact in extreme cold, but normally there is no real problem.
You need to take a look at the movie Chasing Ice which chronicles melting glaciers. It was filmed mainly with 27 Nikon D200 cameras in Greenland, Icelnd, and Alaska. http://www.chasingice.com/
Thank you everyone for your answers. I went out today and photographed ice falls in western CO. In 11 to 18 degree temps. Shot for about 2 hours paying attention not to warm up the camera to fast when back at the car. Battery seemed to hold it's charge but I don't know what to expect because this was my first time out with the D600.
I remember reading an article about the D3 when it came out and a bunch of photogs used it at a Packers game in Greenbay....problem? Batteries. The temp was around zero and batteries were failing within 15-20 minutes, but the cameras performed just fine.
My ancient D200 - I shot it in Colorado at altitudes over 12000 feet in sub- freezing temperatures and just kept a spare, warm battery nearby. No issues.
D600 - it should have no problems, just keep a spare battery or two in you pocket next to your body and swap as needed.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan
Yes, batteries do respond badly to cold weather, but their charge returns to being available when the core temperature of the batteries increases. Most electronics has spec sheets that describe the temperature range and for cameras the lower limit is usually 32F. That does not mean the camera is damaged or becomes inoperative, it means that is the lowest temperature which the listed specs are valid. The camera still works below that temperature but they do not guarantee the specs below 32F. If you shoot high shutter speeds in the cold you know exposure is off a bit because the shutter is not quite as fast as it is above 32F.
It cuts both ways, the noise floor lowers also at very low temperatures so shooting long exposures in cold temperatures sees less noise and blooming. AF also is slower in low temperatures because the lubricants in the lens get stiffer(also, another reason battery lose their charge faster besides the chemical process in the battery becoming impeded by cold) Stan St Petersburg Russia
>Well I finally took the plunge and purchased my first DSLR (a >D600). I live in and do most of my photography in Colorado. >The owners manual says to not operate the camera in temps >below 32 degrees. That will just not work for me. Any >suggestions?