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How to Overcome Camcorder Condensation Problems

written by: Kumara Velu•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/1/2011

What do you when your camcorder stops functioning and there’s a condensation warning signal? How does the condensation problem arise and how do you overcome it?

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    How Does Condensation Occur?

    Condensation occurs when a camcorder is brought from a cold surrounding to a warmer one. For example, it could occur if you move your camcorder from an extremely cold air-conditioned room to a humid surrounding.

    Warm air around the camcorder causes moisture to form in the camcorder which has a colder temperature.

    Here is an analogy. If you pour a cold drink into a glass and leave it on the table, it will only be a matter of time before moisture forms on the glass surface. This is because warm air around the glass reacts with the cold drink and gives rise to the moisture.

    A similar thing happens in the camcorder.

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    What Can Happen to the Camcorder When Condensation Occurs?

    Tape can stick to the drum surface if the moisture level is too high. The result could be tape that gets tangled in the rollers.

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    What Do You Do When Condensation Occurs?

    In most cases there is no reason to panic. This is usually not a permanent problem. Once moisture is removed from the camcorder, it will start functioning normally.

    When the warning signal shows, it doesn’t mean you can’t operate the camera at all. Only the tape transport mechanism is shut down. You can still open the tape compartment door,

    If there’s a tape, remove it from the compartment. This is important because the tape will keep the moisture trapped for a longer time. You also risk damaging the tape.

    If a condensation warning occurs when the tape compartment is empty, do not load a tape into it.

    The next step is to leave the camcorder in a dry place and wait for it to return to room temperature. This may take up to an hour or more. Make sure you leave the tape compartment door open.

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    How Do You Prevent Condensation in Your camcorder?

    If you have to move your camcorder rapidly from a cold environment into a warmer one, have it sealed in an air-tight plastic casing. For added protection, you may want to throw in a few sachets of silica gel to minimize the formation of moisture.

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    What if the Condensation Warning Keeps Appearing?

    If the condensation warning keeps appearing even after the camera has returned to room temperature, it would be wise to send the camcorder to a service center. A faulty condensation censor may be the cause.