Re: camera info
The cold can in fact affect cameras. As Mike notes, the chief issue is battery life, and there is also the problem of condensation after coming back indoors.
I took two cameras with me - one for still shots (though it also does video to the old US standard), and one for high definition video (though it also does poor quality stills). The still camera worked great. See below.
The video camera gave me problems, both at McMurdo at about 0 degrees F but a wind chill about -20, and at Pole at about -20 F (wind chill, maybe -40). On the latter occasion I carried the video camera with me on the Race Around the World, and tried keeping it warm under a couple layers of clothing - but it still failed after about 15 minutes. It wasn't the battery, because the camera would turn on and the screen would turn on, but an error message would pop up, telling me that the camera was too cold. Perhaps this had to do with the internal hard drive - I don't know.
My still camera worked great. Before going, I looked online to find if there were any cameras designed for cold weather - and I found exactly one. It only claimed to be good to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but I carried it with me everywhere - even in the ice tunnel at Pole where the thermometer read -65 F - and after an hour or more in the ice tunnel, it still took great pictures (as long as I didn't use the flash - the flash doesn't work well when lots of ice particles are hanging in the air). It is an Olympus Stylus 1000, 10 megapixel camera. I also carried it on further travels, and it performed well everywhere. That said, other cameras seemed to work well enough, most of the time, if kept warm.
As for the SLR type cameras - if you are really into photography, and your main purpose in being there will be photography, that's fine. Otherwise, you may want your SLR type camera, but you might also want a point-and-shoot type. One of my co-workers took only an SLR type to Pole, and near the end of the tour he said he had learned his lesson, because the rest of us could carry our little cameras with us all or most of the time, and any time we saw something interesting, we'd take out the camera and get a picture - whereas his camera was mostly back in his room, being too bulky to easily carry while working.