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When you first get a new piece of gear you are of course very careful with it and your proud of it and its great how clean it looks and all of that. Fortunately that wears off. I say fortunately, because your camera is actually quite durable and once you get over trying to keep it pristine, you'll be more likely to take it into more shooting conditions. The T3i manual lists the working temperature for this camera as 32 to 104 degrees farenheit that's 0 to 40 degrees celcius in 85% humidity or less. Now it's a good idea to follow these guidelines, but to be honest, I have always gone a little bit beyond them and I've never had any problems.
Now I'm not saying that you can absolutely go into extreme heat or deep cold and not have any issues, but my experience is that the specified temperature range is a little conservative. Fortunately, the camera will begin to exhibit certain symptoms when you start pushing the limits of its temperature range. If you're in extreme heat the camera will show you its temperature warning icons that we discussed earlier and the LCD screen on the back might start to discolor. Of course, the camera can look after itself pretty well in hot weather if it's too hot it'll just shut down. In cold weather, your LCD screen might start to discolor or exhibit a very slow refresh rate.
If this starts to happen just turn it off. In fact, go ahead and flip the screen background, so that it is no longer visible. Cold weather will also reduce your battery life don't worry there won't be any permanent damage, but you may find that your battery goes dead quicker. If it does lose its charge take it out and put in your pocket or against your body. If you warm it backup you may be able to coax a few more shots out of it. One of the biggest problems with cold- weather though is when you take your camera back indoors, a sudden warming of the camera can cause condensation to form inside the camera and that can mess up your viewfinder.
So if you've been out of shooting in sub -freezing temperatures for a while put the camera in a ziplock bag and zip it up before you come back indoors leave in the bag for a while, while the temperature equalizes before you take it back out and use it. Now, water and electronics typically don't mix very well, but just because it's raining it doesn't mean you should stop shooting. Light rain, splashes on the outside of the camera those want hurt anything, so don't use a little rain as an excuse to stay inside.
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