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Old 18-09-2014, 11:30 PM
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AstroJason (Jason)
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Canon 6D DSLR Cooler Box

Hi all,

For the past few days I have been working on building a Cooler Box for my DSLR (Canon 6D). Today I ran some tests where I shot 3 minute darks at ISO3200. I have to say I am pretty happy with the results. I have attached 8 frames (which are heavy crops so you can see the noise) with this post and created a gif here which contains a lot more frames.

The first 3 hours worth of frames where shot indoors during the day where it was a constant 22.5 degrees C. The cooler seemed to reach a limit of around 6.5C. So I put the cooler outside. It then dived down very quickly to 4C. I guess for one the ambient temp was only 17C and because there was a fresh breeze blowing over the heat sink.

I continued to watch the temp slowly drop and drop until it reached -5.1C. It was at this point I decided to stop the test as I began to think I might damage the camera. I know Canon recommends an operating temp between 0 and 40C. I have also heard of errors occuring at low temps. The cooler would have just kept cooling the camera down and I think it would have reached -10 by midnight at the rate it was going!

So I have 2 questions...

With all these cooling mods that get done to DSLRs, particularly Cooler Box mods, what is the limit people are running theirs at?

Also with Darks, I hear its best to keep your lights and darks within a 5 degree band of each other. I take it 2-3 degree difference is ok and won't impact images?

Many thanks,

Jason
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  #2  
Old 19-09-2014, 05:03 AM
SteveInNZ
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I've used my 70D at -45. The top LCD gave up the ghost, the rear display was slow and the lens lube was like treacle but otherwise, no problems (until I dropped it).
Contrary to net.wisdom, the battery held up well too.

Steve.
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Old 19-09-2014, 11:31 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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The lowest I've had my 1100d at was -19, in winter.
Summer time it averages at -10.
Got an astro buddy in Finland who's 550D froze up, and stopped working at -23.
My biggest problem is frosting/condensation across the front glass filter. A dew strap should help with that though.
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Old 19-09-2014, 11:38 AM
PeterEde (Peter)
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I got a peltier I might just have a shot at this also. Not going to any extreme of opening the camera though.
Tested it last night on 2. 1.5V AA chilled down well and no over heat with typical CPU heatsink.
Will try it with 6V power pack. Just strap it to the open rear of my 60D. should cool the CPU still quit a bit.
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Old 19-09-2014, 01:44 PM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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From your darks...and from what I saw with cold boxes. Canon sensors below ~5C don't have appreciably less thermal noise. So probably aim for ~5C. Being that it takes time to cool to this....you have to make decide on a temp at some point.

If you want a simple controller.... WH7016R. yes its a simple thermostat but surprisingly I found it could regulate sensor temp (I think its was sensor) within +/- 1 degree C (actually +/- .5C).

Edit: actually temp was inside box, not sensor. Exif temp test is are here.
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Old 21-09-2014, 05:19 PM
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AstroJason (Jason)
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Thanks for the info all. It appears from comments here you start to run into problems from around -20 onwards. I don't plan to run the camera that low so I think -5 will be safe. I hope!
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Old 15-02-2015, 08:14 PM
Mckechg (Grant)
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Hi - Have you shared your method of cooling your 6D as I have moded 6D and love it, my 10 min subs last night are a bit noisey

I think I want to cool now... :-)
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Old 17-02-2015, 10:53 AM
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wasyoungonce (Brendan)
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Grant...10 min subs...are very very long. Too long IMHO.

A simple rule of thumb...5 min subs max. Well it all depends upon sky fog and camera sensor (EXIF) temp.
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Old 17-02-2015, 06:22 PM
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rustigsmed (Russell)
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awesome result Jason. got to be happy with that!!

well done,

Cheers


Rusty
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Old 18-02-2015, 05:17 AM
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Jason, you say you have been building a Cooler Box for your camera. Myself and few others have been experimenting with this idea for a while and not acheiving anywhere near the same temperature results you appear to have reached.

Does your design include a cold finger to the sensor area ?

Anything I or others have created cools the internals of the box to below zero but the sensor takes ages to get anywhere near that and due to poor thermal conductivity and a very protective camera body as soon as any number of frames are run the temp climbs rapidly back upwards to near ambient.

Do you have another trick we are unaware of ?
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Old 18-02-2015, 06:26 PM
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Just seen that this post I posted back in September last year is back up. Sorry for not getting back to you guys sooner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mckechg View Post
Hi - Have you shared your method of cooling your 6D as I have moded 6D and love it, my 10 min subs last night are a bit noisey

I think I want to cool now... :-)
Hey Grant, the method I use for cooling my 6D is a cooler box design (not via cold finger). It is based on the same method Gary Honis uses here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rustigsmed View Post
awesome result Jason. got to be happy with that!!

well done,

Cheers


Rusty
Thanks Rusty, yes I am happy with the temperature although it is the temperature within the box, I am unsure what the temperature at the sensor is. Regardless, there is a VERY noticable difference in noise shown in the darks at the temperatures I recorded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroID View Post
Jason, you say you have been building a Cooler Box for your camera. Myself and few others have been experimenting with this idea for a while and not acheiving anywhere near the same temperature results you appear to have reached.

Does your design include a cold finger to the sensor area ?

Anything I or others have created cools the internals of the box to below zero but the sensor takes ages to get anywhere near that and due to poor thermal conductivity and a very protective camera body as soon as any number of frames are run the temp climbs rapidly back upwards to near ambient.

Do you have another trick we are unaware of ?
Brent, my design cools the internal air of the box, so not a cold finger. I have no idea what the temperature is like at the sensor. I have looked for this in the EXIF data but I don't think its recorded with the 6D (would like to know if someone can prove otherwise).

That said, I think the darks attached to this post speak for themselves. While the stated temperature on each image was the air temp inside the cooler box (not at the sensor) there is a huge difference in the amount of noise in the darks.

In terms of a "trick"... I think the body of the 6D might just simply be a better conductor than the lower spec range of DSLRs. This is mainly because the 6D has a magnesium alloy body as opposed to a plastic body for say the 1100D. The underside of my 6D comes into direct contact with the aluminium box plate so I think this is helping to cool the camera down to the levels where the noise is reduced as shown in my darks.

All this said, I am yet to image with my cooler box... Been too lazy to use it but I will next time I go out to Wiruna. I will post a photo of my cooler box when I get a chance shortly.

Cheers all,

Jason
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Old 19-02-2015, 06:51 AM
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ZeroID (Brent)
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Magnesium body .... that might explain it. And of course any internals will be attached to that, an inbuilt heat sink. 6D has a much newer and lower noise sensor as well. It would be interesting to compare 'warm' and 'cold' similar specced images.

My SONY A77v has an extremely low noise sensor at ambient. So much so I don't bother much with darks in many cases.

Are you not using BYE because that should give you sensor temp for each image. Highly recommended !! I bought the 450D secondhand because it was the first Canon DSLR that had liveview and support for PC control via BYE.
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