Prevent Cold Weather Camera Condensation Before Going Indoors

By beginnerphotography | Winter Camera Care Tips

Jan 08

If you live in a cold weather climate (or hot/humid) chances are you’ve experienced the frustration, and concern, about what happens to your camera when you return to the warmth:


Winter snow landscape on a cold day.

EXAMPLE: Out in the cold with your camera.

  • Your camera body becomes covered in condensation.


  • Your lens glass immediately fogs up with condensation.


  • It seems to take forever for the moisture to “go away.”



One simple solution…seal it in a plastic bag WHILE IT’S STILL COLD.

Cold weather care by placing camera in plastic bag while still outside.

EXAMPLE: A cold camera sealed in                     a plastic bag.


Tips for taking care of your camera and preventing condensation afterwards…

When it’s cold out I prepare my camera for the return to warmth ahead of time.

For example, if I head out in my vehicle:

  • I keep my camera bag away from the vehicle’s heat source.
  • This allows my bag to remain quite cool, which helps in the reacclimatizing later.
  • I make sure to have a plastic bag with me.


Here are steps you can take after a photo shoot, and while still out in the cold:

  1. Place your camera in a plastic bag, squeezing as much air out of the bag as possible.
  2. Seal the camera as best as you can, (wrap it up in the bag if it doesn’t have a zip bag fastener).
  3. Place the camera and plastic bag in a cool/cold camera bag (if you have one), and zip the camera bag closed.
  4. If you’re placing your camera in a vehicle place it away from a direct heat source. I place mine in the back of my jeep where it stays cooler.
  5. Upon entering a warm building keep the camera (bag) closed and away from a heat source, such as a heat register, fireplace, etc.
  6. Let everything warm up gradually.


If it is really cold it can be a challenge to be patient!

You can open the camera bag once it begins to warm up, but leave the camera sealed in the plastic bag if it still feels cold.

Use your best judgement but once your equipment feels warm and the chill is no longer evident I would not expect condensation to be an issue.

Worst case scenario…no bag.

You come in out of the cold and yikes! instant condensation.

  • Allowing your equipment to warm up at room temperature will eventually evaporate the moisture away.
  • You may choose to remove the moisture with a soft cloth, as it warms up.


Take care not to scratch or damage your lens glass and I suggest letting it dry naturally.

Now you can head out in the cold and have fun!





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