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11-28-2009, 03:20 AM   #1
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Harsh Environments and the K10D

Hey all. My K10D is my first DSLR and has been my constant companion for 2 years. I bought it for business work doing home inventories and have since branched into portrait/event photography. Knowing I was going to be involved in heavily dusty environments and there might be a "little" banging around of the camera, toughness was important, and the K10D came highly recommended. I live in one of the dampest environments in North America, and never seem to remember rain shields, but she has never let me down.

This year I deployed to Afghanistan for 10 months. I took my K10D with a Metz flash and my DA 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses (rather than risk my bigger investments). The sand is talcum powder fine, gets into everything, and combined with the heat is the bane of electronics. A lot of soldiers take POS cameras and abandon them in theatre but I figured I bought the camera to use, so in my rucksack it went. Showing up with a "professional" camera got me seconded to every event in my area as a stringer in addition to my real duties so in 10 months I took almost 15000 pictures. I am home now and unbelievably pleased to say everything is still functioning perfectly. I can't say enough about the weather sealing on these bodies.

There was one failure though, in August I did a formation and about 200 pictures in the camera quit. Every light in the viewfinder blinked once and she just died. Changing batteries didn't work and the flash was too hot to touch, so I had to quit. I laid my rig in the shade while I finished the parade and by the time I got back she was again working perfectly. The only thing I can figure was the camera overheated, it was 59 degrees C (about 138 F). Is this normal for a DSLR or should I have it looked at?

11-28-2009, 06:20 AM   #2
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Just for fun, the camera measures its internal temperature and writes it in the pictures datafields, so with the right software you can check how hot the camera really was. I believe photome can read it out, (not sure though. It might be another software package and I might have confused their names.)
11-28-2009, 06:46 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gimbal Quote
Just for fun, the camera measures its internal temperature and writes it in the pictures datafields, so with the right software you can check how hot the camera really was. I believe photome can read it out, (not sure though. It might be another software package and I might have confused their names.)
You can get the temperature reading out of the exif data using Photome.
11-28-2009, 08:38 AM   #4
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I'd honestly be surprised if most SLR manufacturers tested it at 138F...the only thing that is temp stress tested is the K7 AFAIK.
I can't even imagine that...118F in Vegas heat was the most I've ever been in and it felt like an oven wearing wicking t-shirt and shorts. You guys doing this w/ 50-60lbs of gear on deserve our respect :-)

11-29-2009, 12:23 AM   #5
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Hmm - maybe I've been too nice to my K10d.
11-29-2009, 04:20 AM   #6
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around 60 degrees C is very hot. And if using flash as well, will increase temperature further. You've really put it through its paces. Surprised that things turned out this well, also considering you didn't use sealed lenses
11-29-2009, 12:53 PM   #7
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Thanks guys. I figured it might be something like that. I had it in for a cleaning yesterday and the owner of the camera shop was surprised it functioned in that kind of heat as well. He said he'd heard of cameras shutting down in the cold but wasn't surprised given the temps I was playing in. Everything checked out though, so I'm back on the road with the K10D. Any word on the K-7 toughness yet?
11-29-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
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Thermal overload protection?

Here in Ohio, we never get that kind of extreme temperature variations, so my K10D has never been stressed quite that much.

I find it very interesting that you were using the DA 18-55mm kit lens in that kind of dust. We've always heard that the weather sealing is only complete with the more expensive DA* lenses, or the new WR lenses, so I think it is significant that the kit lens withstood that kind of dust. Ever since the US forces entered IRAQ and Afghanistan, we've heard stories about that dust.

I wonder, since the camera has a temperature sensor, is there a built-in thermal overload protector? It would not even require any hardware. The firmware could do it, easily. The temperature information is available and the firmware could easily shut the camera down to help prevent damage, when the camera's internal temp gets too high. Does anyone know?

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