Some unsupported expeditions never pick up the camera until at the pole. The reason is the grueling time schedule and the exhausting travel. In addition it’s downright painful to handle camera gear in the brutal cold. However, it is really worth the trouble. It only takes ten minutes here and there and you’ll arrive with the greatest footage to feed sponsors, family and your memory. Divide your time between the different systems. The dig cam should be ready in your pocket with the batteries close to your skin. The system camera and the video camera should be easy accessed, preferably packed on top of your sled. Shoot a 10 minute video every third day, high quality pictures once weekly and fast dig snaps daily. The procedure will steal only 10 hours out of the entire 60 plus day trip but be well worth it.
The video camera should be powered by expedition batteries on a separate cord. You can keep the batteries inside your jacket while filming, the expedition batteries are in addition very cold resistant in themselves. They last around 30 hours, which should be sufficient enough for the entire duration of the trip, but a backup battery is strongly advised. A small, 3chip Sony video camera or the equivalent is great.
The system camera too can be fed power from a long cord, but the original battery is small and effective enough to be heated in your hand before shots. The weight difference between expedition batteries and the system camera batteries is so significant, that you should opt for expedition batteries for your system camera only if you plan on extensive photo shoots.
Bring a wide angle lens and a zoom lens 29-150 or a fixed tele lens. Fixed tele linses are heavy and less convenient, zooms instead can freeze in position. Polar and UV filters are essential. Dig cams like the Sony P31 are excellent as they have a small zoom, OK quality shots and are small enough to carry on you. Store camera gear in padded cases if you like, we ended up just throwing them in simple storage bags.
Note: Video for Internet requires video shot by your digital camera and not the video cam. Make sure the format works.