Is Your Digital Camera Literally Freezing?

I thought consumer digital cameras had enough temperature operational margin to handle most situations this side of being stationed in Antarctica. Apparently, I was wrong, because I keep hearing reports on problems at low temperatures.

Case in point: A friend of mine bought a Nikon compact digital camera here in Spain, just before going back to Poland for Xmas. When she arrived to Cracow, she tried to make photos but discovered that all of them came up blurred. When she was at her family's home or in any other heated building, the camera would return to normal after some minutes, then take fine pictures.

But whenever she took it out on the streets, it would literally freeze. Not the glass outside, which was clean and shiny. Something inside was getting frozen and the resulting photos looked as if they were being taken through a frosted glass.

When I asked around to other friends in Sweden, they told me the same. Some cameras just do that. Our very own Andi had the same problem with her Canon Powershot in Canada. And her cousin had even worse problems with her cute—but useless under low temperatures—pink point-n-shoot.

Is this another result of the damn product beta culture? Have you experienced the same problem with your digital camera?

[Image above is simulated—because all my friends are shy to post their photos here—but that's the effect these users are experiencing]