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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old June 28th, 2012, 07:12 AM   #16
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Hart View Post
There is likely a very thin space or even surface to surface contact between the LCD and a transparent layer. Capilliary effect is likely to keep the water there.

You might be able to shift it by wrapping the camera in a towel and putting it in a washing machine spin-dryer on slow speed (woolen cycle). Make sure you have the water hoses disconnected and run the spin/rinse cycle at least once to drain any water from the inlets before putting your camera in there. The LCD panel would need to be edgeways to the sides of the washer barrel.

After doing this you would need to put the camera back into the drying envrionment of the rice or silicagel packs as there will be some more water having come out of hidden spaces.

You could put the camera in a vacuum bell at a school or university science lab, pull vacuum for an hour or thereabouts so that the water boils off at room temperature. A refridgeration repair or automotive airconditioner regassing service might be able to help but the cost of making a custom enclosure might be more than the camera is worth.

These methods could be risky on other components like capacitors, can motors, shutter mirrors, memory batteries.

If anything, I'm learning a lot about cameras and water damage solutions. Thanks for the extra tips.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 10:56 AM   #17
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

OR - That's why cameras usually come with straps!
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Old June 28th, 2012, 11:19 AM   #18
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Yup.

In retrospect I can think of five dozen things I could have done to prevent the incident!
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Old June 30th, 2012, 07:20 AM   #19
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Alrighhht!

After a few more days of the camera restin' in rice, the watery spots within the LCD screen seem to be 80% evaporated, so I can only hope a few more days will do the rest. For the first time I can see reasonably clear imagery on the LCD screen. Definite progress.

This is going to be the most coddled camera in history once it's back in service.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:19 PM   #20
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

I tried to attach a photo following the "Manage Attachments" procedure and got nowhere. That's the downside. The upside is that I think the camera is definitely headed for full recovery. I didn't detect any water spots during the latest test.

I feel very, VERY lucky. But I still want to test it further in different situations. Away from water.
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Old July 4th, 2012, 01:33 PM   #21
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Okay, this is probably the grand finale of this episode. Took photos of a July 4th parade today--no problem. Did some video--just fine. I think the patient has healed.

Thanks again to those with helpful suggestions. Always keep a box of rice in the house!
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Old July 4th, 2012, 04:59 PM   #22
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

I've come a little late in the game, but if it had been MY camera that had taken a drop in the puddle, I'd have done the following:

AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, I would have washed the camera out with DISTILLED water, preferably BEFORE it had a chance to dry from the original dunking. The object is to flush out any trapped water with dissolved materials before they dry out and deposit themselves on the optics and circuit boards.

After a couple good rinses in distilled water, I'd have "slung" the camera around several times to shake as much of the remaining rinse water out of the works, followed by a thorough drying with lint-free towels. I'd probably use a hair dryer set on warm to get the camera above room temperature so any trapped water would evaporate. Moving a stream of air through the camera will also help eliminate any trapped water vapor that might re-condense later.

Then, with all ports and doors open, memory cards and batteries removed (you should have removed them BEFORE rinsing), I'd place the camera inside a closed container ON TOP of some desiccant (plain uncooked rice is good) and leave it for a couple days.

Electronic circuit cards go through water washes several times in their manufacturing process, and as long as you use distilled water, there won't be any deposits left behind. Soap or any kind of detergent is a BAD idea, as it tends to leave a film behind, plus will remove any oils or lubrication in the mechanism(s).

Probably the worst thing you could do is let the camera dry out without rinsing it first. Dissolved salts in the puddle water won't always go back into solution without leaving crud behind.

I knew one watchmaker who would "dry out" waterlogged watches by soaking them with the case open in rubbing alcohol, then letting them drain and dry out under a desk lamp. This, however, was to keep the watch movement steel parts from rusting, and was ALWAYS followed by a complete disassembly, cleaning, reassembly, and lube. Wouldn't be practical in this case for a camera.

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Old July 4th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #23
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Thanks for the belated advice; always worth posting.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #24
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

P.S. I now have a Pearstone pouch to protect the camera on location. It's the least I owe it.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 12:20 AM   #25
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Good luck Barry, A few years ago I fell into some rapids in Scotland and was swept over a small waterfaull. Before I was swept over the fall I was holding on to some rocks and after a few minutes realized my digital camera was in my shirt pocket underwater. I had one free hand (nothing for it to hold on to) so I threw my camera to someone on shore.

I was given the advice you were given here about letting it completely dry out, etc which I did. The good news is that the camera continued to work and out of over 400 pictures on my SD card only a handful mysteriously disappeared.

The bad news is that something happened when it was wet that caused it to drain the battery after less than five minutes of use. I thought the water had ruined the battery so bought a new one but it would be drained in the same amount of time.

(sadly the camcorder around my neck came off and was swept downstream and into the loch which was probably about 900 feet deep!)
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Old July 7th, 2012, 07:02 AM   #26
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

What a dramatic story. At least you got out of those rapids.

I'm still testing out the camera features, and the battery/duration seems unaffected.

The worst thing that ever happened to my camera equipment had nothing to do with water. Many years ago I absentmindedly left a telephoto lens on a library counter. I didn't know it was missing until the next day. I went back and it was gone, never to be found. I was so mad at myself I didn't use a camera for months!
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Old July 7th, 2012, 09:03 AM   #27
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Well, since we are sharing stories. This is in addition to the camera being dunked that I mentioned earlier in the thread.

I was hiking in the North GA mountains three summers ago along a steep creek bank. I stepped over a log into a deep hole that caused me to loose my balance and slide down a 30 foot embankment. My camcorder was around my neck. I tried to no avail to grab onto trees to stop my slide down the hill. What finally stopped me was the creek which was in flood stage due to recent rains. I went completely under water for about 30 seconds before I was able to pull myself out. I was ok but my camcorder was in serious doubt. I pulled the battery off and opened all the ports. It took me about an hour to get back to my truck where I called a K&M Electronics in Atlanta. They said bring it in asap. They opened it up to blow dry out the circuit boards, dry overnight and do a complete diagnostics. Sadly the lens was a loss and cost $1,700 to replace but the camera has worked great since then. The technician said he sees a few of these each year and it is the cams that they get from coastal news stations that usually don't survive.
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Last edited by Mark Williams; July 7th, 2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #28
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Wow, what a brutal fall. And costly.

For what it's worth, it's a furnace outside and it'd probably further dry my camera out big time, but I'd rather stay inside!
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Old July 10th, 2012, 12:24 PM   #29
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

I see this thread is still visited, so I might as well provide another update. Two weeks ago today my Canon SX260 had its unfortunate encounter with water, but today it was back for the second time to the nature sanctuary where it happened. I was testing out features this time, and nothing seemed off. I even duplicated some of the shots I did before the accident, to compare. At one point I came across a box turtle, who withdrew into its shell once it noticed me. If I could post the photo, I would. Box turtles used to be more plentiful in suburbia decades ago, but now I guess protected woodlands are the best place for them.

On a total sidenote, I've pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone, which comes with a generally well reviewed 8 megapixel camera. I doubt if it will challenge the Canon, which has a really excellent 20x zoom. Last week I photographed a blue heron at a distance with it.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 09:14 AM   #30
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Yes, the Canon is doing quite well. The other day at the nature sanctuary I also brought along the Samsung Galaxy III to try its camera feature. It takes excellent shots, for anyone contemplating a new smartphone.

It's good to see the Canon back to normal as if nothing had happened.
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