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I have a use case where I need to leave a pro-sumer camcorder, (Let's say a Canon XA10) powered 24 hours a day indefinitely. The HDMI out of the camera would be used for monitoring 24 hours a day, but no recording would be done, and the LCD and viewfinder can stay turned off. Additionally, other mechanical functions like auto focus can be disabled.

Are there any negative effects on the camera to leaving it on and powered for extended periods of time?

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While there would not be any immediate adverse affects in the long run it will "burn" itself out. On the prosumer varaiety (Canon XA10) was NOT made to say on 24/7. It was made for broadcast videos and "on/off" use like shooting documentaries or news-like vids. Like LCD screens if you have the CMOS sensor on a fixed static shot for an extended time you could literally "burn" the scene onto the sensor. Also, the generated heat [and there will be heat] could eventually wear out the C-chips [resistors and whatnot. . . ]. The ideal operating temperature for the XA10: 32-104°F (0-40°C), 85% relative humidity.

Instead I would suggest a "cheap" security cam instead. Not as big and not as intrusive. AND you can leave it on 24/7.

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There could be some consequences to using the Canon XA10 24/7, although I don't think they are very likely to happen.

I can think of two things that might go wrong:

  • Even tough the LCD is off, the CMOS sensor inside is still working. This can generate significant heat and cause an overheat. However, most cameras have a built in protection that shuts them down in case of overheating, so it's not a real risk.

  • Depending on what you will be shooting it is possible that the sun will shine directly through the lens on the sensor for a long time. There's some debate on this on the Photo.SE site, but some think this can damage your sensor.

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I don't think there will be any real consequences. Normally I would cite overheating, LCD life reduction, etc. as consequences, but since most of the functions (including LCD) will be off and no actual recording will be taking place, it would seem that the number of moving parts that would be active would be very few.

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Thanks for the input. Those were my inclinations as well. –  Oliver Holmberg Jul 22 '13 at 21:52

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