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Canon 5DS R Protects Itself In Extreme Heat by Disabling Live View

Some photographic purposes encounter extreme heat or cold.

David S writes:

My 5Ds R had a partial thermal cut-out yesterday. I was at Valley of Fire state park in Southern Nevada. The thermometer was reading 107 deg. F. It was a clear sunny day. The camera was mounted on a tripod and all of my shooting was being done in live view mode with a cable release.

After about 40 minutes to an hour of shooting, a flashing red icon appeared on the rear screen. I was not sure what it was, and I was so engrossed in shooting an experimental focus stack that I mostly ignored it since everything else was working normally. About 5 or 10 minutes after that, the camera stopped live view and displayed a message on the rear screen to let me know that live view was being disabled due to the camera’s internal temperature being too high (presumably, this would also have applied to video shooting).

It would let me continue to shoot normally (without live view), if I wanted to do that. Since the camera was mounted on a tripod, I was somewhat unaware of how hot it had become. When I touched it, it was indeed very hot, almost too hot to touch. The black body had been absorbing a lot of the desert sun’s heat. I had no way of accurately measuring the temperature of the camera body but I would estimate that it was somewhere around 170 to 180 deg. F, maybe more.

I packed up, went back to the car for a drink of cold water and a quick blast from the AC. I then drove on a few hundred yards to the next point of interest and the 5Ds R was ready for live view again.

From that point onwards, I shaded the camera from direct sunlight with my hat and when carrying the camera around, it wore my hat instead of me. I was able to continue shooting in live view uninterrupted for the rest of the day.

Lesson learned: bring a spare hat for the camera (light in color) when shooting for long periods on hot sunny days. I liked how the camera’s software would still allow me to shoot, just not in live view. Lesser designs may have just shut everything down altogether or even worse just let the camera continue to operate to the point of damage being caused from excessive thermal expansion of the components.

DIGLLOYD: Graceful degradation under adverse conditions is one sign of a well designed product. It might also be a critical feature for some photographers.

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