As winter is rapidly approaching in New England, I decided it was time to solve a perpetual annual problem: photographing in the cold. I went to EMS and had a look at the various gloves available that would allow me to wear them and photograph at the same time.
The obvious choice first appeared to be the North Face Etip glove. They fit snugly on the hand and fingers, potentially allowing good control of the lens and the camera dials and buttons. In preparation I had brought my camera along to test them out. The silicone grippies of the palm and finger help hold the camera in place, but I soon discovered that these weren’t going to be the best choice. Although they are designed to use with a smart phone, tablet, mouse touchpad, or similar device, the smooth silver material on the index finger and thumb proved to be too slippery for turning the camera dials, particularly the rear dial on a Canon 50D, 60D, 7D, or 5D type of camera.
The next pair was the North Face Powerstretch glove. The four-way stretch material allows the gloves to fit closely and comfortably around the fingers. I decided that since the size of neither the L or M wasn’t quite perfect for my hands, the smaller of these two sizes would be best since it would stretch a bit to fit and wouldn’t leave extra material at the fingertips that would impede camera control.
This choice, the Powerstretch, worked very well and was a strong contender.
EMS also offers their own thin, stretchy gloves called EMS Axial Glove Liners. They are thin, allowing good camera control, but intended as liners they possibly aren’t as warm as the North Face Powerstretch.
The gloves that I finally settled on, after trying on all these options in a variety of sizes, was the EMS Altitude 3-in-1 Gloves. For myself, this pair solved two problems: I wanted the thin gloves for working with the camera, plus I needed heavier gloves for the upcoming New England winter. The 3-in-1 gloves provide removable thinner gloves, appearing similar to the liners above, inside a heavier and bulkier insulated shell.
However, the inner gloves aren’t just thin and stretchy liners as above but are fleece lined inside and around the wrist – a very thin but hopefully effective fleece layer. So hopefully they will prove to be warmer than simple liners, and I can slip on the heavier shells when not shooting.
I am sure that there are many other options to choose from when it comes to gloves for cold weather photography. I know there are fingerless gloves, with or without removable mittens or fingers for full protection. Perhaps one of the liners combined with a knit fingerless glove will work well. You can also have a look at gloves intended for cold weather running or exercise, which may prove to work well.