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Quick Tips for Maintaining Video Equipment Outdoors

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/7/2011

Field production is hard on video equipment, so here are a few tips for protecting them from the climate.

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    The Great Outdoors

    Half, if not more, of all video production moments will be taken outdoors. This means that you are taking expensive, sensitive video equipment and putting it into an environment that is by definition out of your control. To make sure that they can handle this on a consistent basis you have to follow a few precautionary and maintenance measures, otherwise your video equipment will not survive through the years.

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    The first thing to watch for is all metal video equipment. This is especially true with your tripod or stand equipment, which can heave large metal parts that must be able to move freely. They can be susceptible to rust or other kinds of decay, so make sure that these video equipment items are cleaned off thoroughly before putting them away. When you are in location and they are not in use make sure that they are put away and try to keep water away as much as possible. If you are in coastal air you are going to have an even tougher time and you should use rust removal.

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    Water Camera

    The video camera is the most delicate of all the video equipment, as well as the most important. Almost everything in weather can negatively influence the sensitive chipsets and lenses of the camera, but water is going to be its main enemy. If you are filming in even the slightest bit of rain you need to use protective equipment or at least a waterproof cover. If the rain is excessive and is accompanied by chaotic wind you should avoid it all together. Try shooting in covered locations into uncovered locations to maintain the same shot without actually having to put yourself into the elements to obtain the shot.

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    Using large portable light kits need to be toned down whenever possible. If you are in wet and cold environments the hot bulbs of your portable light kits may have a tough time. Try using a cover on all lights, especially your spots and keys.

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    You will likely be dealing with a number of different power cords, including extension cords. These need to be wrapped and protected, which should be done with thick plastic wrap and gaffers tape.