Hello all - do I need a camera heater for the Panasonic NP1004 camera in the winter - specs are ambient temp = -10 to +50 C (14 to 122 F)? The thing gets pretty hot and it will be boxed in a (POH1500HB) outdoor housing. I've seen 6 F here quite regularly on a really cold day.
The box is available with or without the heater blower.
Didn't you say it gets pretty warm? And what weather phenomenon is associated with the interface between warm meeting cold? Perhaps FOG? Get the heater blower and be certain to power it all properly; you know do the power calculation arithmatic. If not you'll have a big problem the first time it gets cold enough to need to kick on the juice.
Winter temperatures in NJ do occasionally drop below 14ºF. The lowest recorded temperature there was -34ºF. Definitely include the heater.
The highest temperature ever recorded in NJ was 110ºF. However, inside a housing with the sun beating down it can be much hotter than air temperature. Instead of a blower, you might consider installing a sun shield. They're usually enough protection for use in Middle Atlantic and New England states.
BTW, one winter day when I was a child the weather forecast for NJ was for light snow flurries. The "flurries" came alright -- 37 inches deep. :^)
Thanks both of you. I was not sure if those temperature specs were for an unenclosed camera. I can imagine a camera in a cold factory that's not in any box being a lot colder than an enclosed camera. But pretty much you're saying to just include the heater anyway - and since its not much different in price I'll d just that.
Good decision. BTW, the temperature of the camera in the enclosure at night will usually be within a degrees or two of the outside air. The electronics draw very little current and give off negligible heat. The real difference is during the day when sunlight can warm it up like a metal trailer. That's why the sun shield is recommended.
The heater in the enclosure isn't to keep the camera warm, it's to keep the glass from fogging up (or icing up, if it's cold enough). The "heater" often consists of little more than a couple of large, low-resistance, high-wattage resistors clamped directly against the glass. A blower is there to circulate air and further prevent fogging, not to keep the camera cool.
Most cameras of the type you're going to put in an enclosure run relatively warm on their own anyway, and their operating temperature range is pretty wide. In a sealed enclosure, they'll tend to keep themselves quite toasty in winter.
The heater is a good idea in those climates though, just to help keep the glass clear. The important thing is, you also need to make sure to seal the enclosure properly so it's not getting moist outside air in.