Taking pictures in cold weather has always been a little problematical as nice warm gloves don’t really help when fiddling with DSLR settings. One fairly decent solution I found in 2002 was a pair of Windstopper lightweight gloves with a thin leather palm that is just sensitive enough to allow buttons to be felt through them which worked well in Yosemite in the spring with a compact digital camera.
Needless to say, this year I manage to loose them (since found in the pockets of an old coat, of course) and so found myself wandering around shops trying to find something similar, and not prohibitively expensive as I’ll probably be doing this on an annual basis when I ‘loose’ these ones too… For some reason, this seasons fashion is for hugely impractical (for camera use) ski gloves, so I’d pretty much decided that I just has to get used to cold hands when my eldest spotted an interesting pair of gloves in my local John Lewis: they are fairly standard looking knitted fingerless gloves with a Thinsulate lining and hence nicely wind proof, at least for the lowlands of Cambridgeshire (-9ft to 480ft ASL) but with an extra pocket (again, lined) stitched to the back of the knuckles that folds down to create a mittens and velcros to the back of the hand when not in use.
These are truly excellent for fiddling with the smaller buttons of a DSLR, and mine have the thumb tip permanently exposed so using the 8-way selector for direct AF-point selection on an EOS 20D is fast and unencumbered. When walking my thumb does get cold, but it can be folded around and tucked into the top of the mitten if I’m not carrying anything, so it’s probably the best compromise for camera work.
Having searched around online, I’ve discovered that they’re actually called Shooters Mittens and come with either a fully knitted thumb, or a fully fingerless one and start from very little money indeed: under 4 UKP without P&P was my cheapest find (the pair from John Lewis were 8 UKP (sadly not in their online store) and used immediately I left the shop, and so well worth getting !). I would strongly suggest looking for ones with a Thinsulate (or similar) lining as without that the wind would whip through the wool fairly quickly, and the small (fake ?) leather palm pads on mine are an advantage as it does help with grip over fully woollen gloves.
They are a little bulky, and I can’t quite manage to use them as gloves without without thinking of Fagin, but they are probably the most useful photographic ones I’ve owned.