Many Pentax DSLRs are rated for operation down to -10 °C (14 °F). This is a selling point of these cameras, and they are specifically tested to operate reliably at this temperature (with a note on reduced battery life, recommending that the operator have extra batteries in an inside pocket).

I can't find any camera from Canon, Nikon, Sony, or Olympus rated to below 0 °C (to my surprise, neither the Canon EOS-1D X nor the Nikon D4 are rated to below 0 °C). Are there any other interchangeable-lens cameras designed to operate at below-freezing temperatures?

  • Note that the newer lower-price-level Pentax K-30 and K-50 are also rated down to -10°. This isn't really an answer; more an update to the basic premise of the question (Pentax keeps making newer models), except it's worth adding that these newer models are significantly cheaper, possibly opening up more options for people. – mattdm Jun 26 '13 at 13:56
  • 1
    Definitelly not Canon 5D Mk-I. It does not even handle humidity well. In my appartment that is not that humid there are a Pentax K3 and a K5 that handle that no problem but the 5D got humidity in the sensor. Absurd. – Daniel Mar 13 '19 at 16:12

Phase One IQ series digital backs for medium format cameras are rated from -10°C to 50°C (but not the older P+ series). These could be used with, for example, Phase One 645DF body.

The manual of Nikon F6 does not list the range of operating temperatures, but does list how many rolls of 36-exposure films you can expect to shoot at -10°C with fresh batteries, so it's supposedly a supported temperature.

  • Any other examples? It's odd that you'd otherwise have to go to medium format to get equipment designed to work in subzero environments... – bwDraco Mar 22 '12 at 21:40
  • This is the back only, are there any 'fronts' (not sure what the real term is) which are rated the same? Otherwise, there is not much point. – Itai Mar 22 '12 at 21:40
  • 1
    @DragonLord - No. My DB does not include Medium Format but you can see that there only two such DSLRs, the K-5 & K-7: neocamera.com/search_camera.php?mintemperature=-10%3Amax - There are quite a few fixed-lens ultra-compact point-and-shoots though. – Itai Mar 22 '12 at 21:42
  • @Itai: They are simply referred to as 'bodies'. – bwDraco Mar 22 '12 at 21:42
  • 1
    My Pentax K1000's manual says that it's good down to -20º C (!) but that in extreme cold tempertures resistance to cold could be "hampered by oil which has become dirty" and recommends an overhaul beforehand for that reason. (It also warns to protect the batteries and to use fresh ones for extreme temps.) – mattdm Mar 22 '12 at 22:23

I am not sure why most cameras are not rates lower, but the reality is that most cameras will work fine well below 0c. I have a Sigma DSLR and have used it many times at temperatures well below 0f (not c), without issue (other than keeping spare batteries).

  • For those following standards, zero Fahrenheit is -18 Celsius degrees. That temperature is not really a big obstacle, but in the question here it was asked about operating temperature ratings given by camera manufacturer. – Esa Paulasto Oct 24 '13 at 6:27
  • Sure, but in the end isn't it more useful to know what actually works rather than what the ratings say? Otherwise you are limiting what equipment you can buy based on an overly conservative estimate. Just because some camera makers do not test at lower temperatures does not mean it will not work - and there is no reason to think Pentax is doing anything in building lenses or cameras that much differently than any other camera maker. – Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Oct 24 '13 at 15:56
  • 2
    There are several questions with good answers about what to do and how to prepare when taking a camera to very cold weather. I live in Finland, here we don't hesitate to take a camera (any make or model) out into freezing cold, no problem whatever the official ratings were. – Esa Paulasto Oct 24 '13 at 20:53
  • The same is true in Colorado, USA - which is why I answered the way I did, that pretty much any camera will work below freezing. – Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Oct 27 '13 at 20:53
  • I doubt that. If it's not weather sealed and not rated to be operable minus 0 might have humidity or moist issues. – Daniel Mar 13 '19 at 16:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.