Cold Weather Photography


Picture from February 2012

I prefer to always have a camera with me, but the X-E1, while small with the 27 mm pancake lens on it, is still not a pocket camera.  This hasn’t been a problem for me in the summer, but it could be in colder weather.

When the weather gets colder two things happen.  First, batteries don’t last as long and second, my hands get very cold.  In the past I have kept a camera in a warmer pocket or hung it around my neck under my jacket, especially when it is snowing or raining so that it doesn’t get too cold or wet.  This keeps the camera and battery warmer.  I have tried various gloves to keep my hands warm but they only help a little.  I have found that I have jackets with hand warmer pockets that do a better job of keeping my hands warm.

My hands are always cold.  It doesn’t take but a slight drop in temperature.  As they get cold my hands turn white and I start losing the ability to hold and operate my camera.  I use to carry my K-5 in my hand while out taking pictures, but now I can’t hold any camera that way in colder weather.  As I mentioned previously, it takes two hands to really use the X-E1 optimally, but I can use auto focus and auto exposure, etc. with a prime lens and use the camera with one hand like I did to take pictures from inside the car.  What I can’t do though is keep it in my pocket along with my hand

I thought about buying another camera for a pocket camera, but there are several reasons not to.  First there is the cost, and second there is the switching back and forth between two cameras which have different controls.  I really enjoy using just one camera.  In addition, if I get a smaller camera it will by necessity have poorer image quality.  Smaller camera means smaller sensor and smaller lenses.  In the past I have always found that the lesser image quality ends up causing me to not use the small pocket cameras as much.  A fine example of this is my Lumix LX7.  It is an excellent smaller camera but it has a small sensor and the pictures have poorer image quality than those taken with the X-E1.  But, there is a new camera coming out which has a larger sensor than the LX7 but is smaller in size.

In Nov. Fujifilm should start selling the XQ1 camera.  It is smaller in size than the LX7 but is between the sensor size and image quality of the LX7 and the X-E1.  Also, some of the features are similar to the X-E1.  I’m still considering if it is worth it given that I rarely need a pocket camera.  There is also the issue of money spent on it means less money available for another lens for the X-E1.  I will wait and see what the reviewers say about image quality and see if I really need it.  The more I use the X-E1 the more I like using it for everything.  It is spoiling me and causing me to lose interest in any other cameras.

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