April 17, 2014, 09:49:40 AM

Author Topic: Condensation in my 5d MKIII  (Read 2198 times)

adhocphotographer

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Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« on: July 29, 2013, 12:36:08 AM »
I wasn't actually going to post this, but after reading the sad "my 5d mkiii is dead" story (http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=16121.0) I'm going to...

I was at altitude with my 5d MKIII over the weekeend, looking for tigers (with no success, great birding though). It was a lot cooler compared to lower-down, and humid as we were in the cloud layer. I got some mist and light rain on my camera, but nothing major. As we came down the hills, temp increased dramatically. On the descent i pulled out my camera to take a shot and noticed it was a completely misted photo! I had condensation INSIDE my camera!  I had changed lenses a couple of times, but not when it was wet/misty and always indoors, but that does not affect atmospheric humidity. We were in a car when i noticed the condensation, so immediately removed the battery, took off my lens and let the camera "dry" for a couple of mins. When I tried it again a few minutes later, It seemed fine.

This happened to anyone else? Should i be worried?

FYI - I live in Bangalore, India, and it is monsoon season, so to be honest, unless I don't change lens this whole season, there is always high humidity and temperature changes!
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Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« on: July 29, 2013, 12:36:08 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2013, 12:42:54 AM »
The camera isn't hermetically sealed - the sealing should prevent water drops from entering, not air...and therefore not the water that's dissolved in that air.  Rapid temperature change (cooling) cause that water in the air to condense - your best bet is to slow the rate of temperature change by leaving the camera in an insulated bag for a while when moving from humid outdoors to air conditioned indoors, etc.
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adhocphotographer

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 01:13:12 AM »
The camera isn't hermetically sealed - the sealing should prevent water drops from entering, not air...and therefore not the water that's dissolved in that air.  Rapid temperature change (cooling) cause that water in the air to condense - your best bet is to slow the rate of temperature change by leaving the camera in an insulated bag for a while when moving from humid outdoors to air conditioned indoors, etc.

I didn't anticipate the rapid temp change...  it should be fine though no?
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adhocphotographer

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2013, 06:36:17 AM »
in case anyone reads this and is interested, i spoke to canon services who said it should be fine, but to send it in for a clean/inspection anyway to be sure...  If there is damage i would rather know before it stops at an inconvenient moment. I'll let you know the findings when i get it back... 

In the future i will deffinately keep it bagged between conditions, but in this case, it was very unexpected!
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crank47

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2013, 10:59:04 AM »
Most people that I told my story to said that I had really bad luck. I wrote the story here to let people know that the mk3 isn't really bomb prof as it looks. It's an awesome camera, but you need to take care of it. I'm happy to hear that your camera will be fine.
Happy shooting!
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 12:08:03 PM »
Its impossible to seal a camera so that air and vapor will not enter it. 
 
When you are at a high altitude, air and water vapor enter the camera as you descend.  Then moisture condenses as the temperature drops.
 
The reverse can happen, at lower altitudes, hot humid air enters a camera, and when you climb to lower temperature areas, moisture condenses out.
 
Aircraft are designed to drain away the many gallons of water that condense next to the skin when they climb out of a warm airport with lots of water vapor in the air to a very cold high altitude.  Its literally raining behind those interior wall panels and insulation blankets.  The same thing happens to a smaller degree in a camera which changes altitude by a few thousand feet.
Dry it out with silica gel bags if it turns out to be a issue. 
 

adhocphotographer

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 11:45:12 PM »
Dry it out with silica gel bags if it turns out to be a issue.

Dried it out nicely in a climate/moisture controlled dust free and even sterile environment (the joys of being a scientist is that i have access to such places). :)
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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 11:45:12 PM »

adhocphotographer

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 11:49:36 PM »
Most people that I told my story to said that I had really bad luck. I wrote the story here to let people know that the mk3 isn't really bomb prof as it looks. It's an awesome camera, but you need to take care of it. I'm happy to hear that your camera will be fine.
Happy shooting!

I think you were unlucky dude...  it is a sad story.  good luck!
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kaihp

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 12:39:30 AM »
Dry it out with silica gel bags if it turns out to be a issue.

Dried it out nicely in a climate/moisture controlled dust free and even sterile environment (the joys of being a scientist is that i have access to such places). :)

Was it still sterile after you dried out the camera? ;D

Actually, I have access to a nano-coating machine in our manufacturing (it makes our products hydrophobic). I wonder if the camera should take a trip there. Not sure how it would affect the sensor, though :)

gbchriste

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2013, 09:01:38 AM »
I sometimes have similar problems living in Florida in the summer.  I take my camera from an air conditioned house or car out in to the 92 degree, 98% humidity and everything immediately fogs over.  Try to shoot a family portrait session at the beach one day and I hit upon this technique when I got out of the car and my lens and camera immediately fogged up and I couldn't wait for it to clear on its own.  Now I go through this sequence on a hot, humid day before I get out of the car.

1.  With car windows closed, run auto engine and air conditioning at max cool.
2.  Detach lens from body
3.  Hold lens and body up near AC vent to allow cold air to blow over surfaces.  For the lens, I alternate pointing the front and rear lens at the AC vent.
4.  Every 30 second or so, turn the temperature toward a a little warmer setting.  Continue to allow vent air to blow over body and lens surfaces. 
5.  Continue gradually adjusting temperature upward in small increments until it is tepid or slightly warm.
6.  Make sure lens and body surfaces get a good "bathing" of warmer air.  This will raise the surface temperature of your equipment so that water doesn't re-condense back on it when you exit the vehicle.

Sounds more complicated and lengthy that it actually is.  Usually takes me about 3 of 4 minutes.  If you've exited the vehicle first and you've got condensate in the camera and lens, this will clear the moisture almost immediately because the moisture is reabsorbed in to the cold, dry air passing out of the AC vent.

You might get a little warm sitting there doing this but it is worth it to keep you're equipment dry.

jabbott

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2013, 09:56:34 AM »
I've had this happen with my 5D3 in Nepal.  I also removed the lens to allow condensation inside the camera to evaporate.  Waited about 15-20 minutes until no signs of condensation were present, reattached the lens and all is well thousands of shots later.  YMMV...
« Last Edit: August 03, 2013, 09:58:07 AM by jabbott »

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Re: Condensation in my 5d MKIII
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2013, 09:56:34 AM »