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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old June 26th, 2012, 10:14 AM   #1
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Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

I know this may not be quite the right thread, but it's a Canon camera and it takes video footage. Anyway, I bought a beautiful Canon PowerShot SX260 only a week ago, and I very stupidly dropped it on the edge of a puddle today. The camera kept taking photos, albeit with a fogged LCD screen. But then it started making funny noises and shut down; I glimpsed "camera error" on the screen before it shut down. It was wet, but hadn't exactly been immersed. I had wiped the camera off, but I know any moisture can be a killer. So, how screwed am I? Right now the camera is comatose, I feel TERRIBLE about this. Can Canon salvage this???

Thanks for any advice.

Last edited by Barry Rivadue; June 26th, 2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Depending on the exact content of of the mositure that entered the camera it might recover once it drys out. However, if the mositure contained disolved solids, mud, and crud, self recovery is much less likely.

Removing such things as you can from the camera (e.g., battery, memory card) and leaving the doors open should help the drying process.

Give Canon customer service a call to get a feel if they can fix it and what the cost might be. Ata certain point they are not worth fixing, just buy a new one. The phone number should be on the owners manual.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Thanks, I'm currently airing it out--it's gotten responsive again, which I'm glad for. I'll be monitoring it. Unfortunately even a little moisture plays havoc. In this case it was fresh water--salt would have probably been fatal right away. The irony is that I'm expecting a protective case to arrive today intended for this camera, and so here I go dropping it in water. Let that be a lesson to everyone--always, always keep your equipment safe wherever you go.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Do not turn it on until you feel it is completely dried out, I believe this is critical. Don't check it at all. I suggest leaving it completely alone for as many days as you can before checking it further.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 12:28 PM   #5
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Will do. Thanks; I'm just glad it seemed to revive itself. Now it can hopefully recuperate. If it was at the bottom of the puddle I would've been frantic; it was lying mostly on waterlogged grass on the edge of a puddle.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 12:46 PM   #6
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

I dropped an Olympus E-520 camera in a stream about 3 feet deep 2 years ago. It was completely submerged for about 30 seconds. I removed the battery, sd card and lens. When I got home I put it next to a dehumidifier with all the little camera ports open for about two weeks. I fired it up and it has worked fine since. Even the lens works ok. I have also heard setting a camera in a sealed bag of rice will help pull the moisture out.
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Last edited by Mark Williams; June 26th, 2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 12:51 PM   #7
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

The rice idea sounds very good Mark, good thinking.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 01:04 PM   #8
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Thanks, Mark. The Canon SX260 is now quarantined in a bowl of rice. I need to just leave it alone for awhile. When I got it revived earlier the LCD screen wasn't quite as clouded, so I hope it can all clear out. This can be a cruel business; a few years I accidentally destroyed a flash unit by idiotically putting it in a camera bag with what I thought was a safely secured liquid container. I need not elaborate on what was a tragic scene afterwards, beyond hope. I've kept the unit on display ever since as a reminder of avoiding such incidents again, but as with today, in half a blink something can go awry. If it was my cellphone I wouldn't feel half as upset.

One can never have enough threads as this one as both a precaution and learning lesson!
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Old June 26th, 2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Barry, I wouldn't power it up until about a week. Is the container sealed? Otherwise the rice is just absorbing the moisture from the room. Might even change the rice once during the week.
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Old June 26th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #10
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Noted. Thanks; I'll post a progress report in time. We can all learn from such sad accidents.
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Old June 27th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #11
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

I apologize for this in advance, but after 24 hours I just had to unearth the camera from the rice just to see if it was still alive. When originally found yesterday it was wet, though not crazy-soaked--it now felt bone dry on the outside, and dry inside the battery compartment. Strange thing--it works in every way EXCEPT the LCD screen is still an inner haze of water spots, like specimens under a microscope. This involves the sensor/mirror? So close, yet...however, the initial startup has super sharp text and imagery, so I reset the time and date. The camera is responsive and has its original vitality, which makes those watery splotches all the more irritating.

Anyway, it's back in the rice. I will not touch it for days, hoping the lingering haze will ebb. What else might I do later? Ventilate it somehow? I see tiny screws....is it possible to wipe anything inside? I know, I know. I shouldn't.

Thus continues the rice treatment. This camera so deserves recovery!!
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Old June 27th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #12
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Barry, give it time. My lcd screen on the E-520 I dunked did clear up enough to be usable. Sounds like you are having good luck so far.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #13
 
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Would rice be good to use instead of silica as a long term dissicant? Plenty of the stuff here!
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Old June 28th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #14
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

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.
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Old June 28th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #15
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Re: Can This Camera Be Saved? Please Help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
Barry, give it time. My lcd screen on the E-520 I dunked did clear up enough to be usable. Sounds like you are having good luck so far.
Knock wood, yes. I'm now confident the camera is generally alive and kicking and now in need of gradual healing. It takes pictures, the flash works etc. Only blurry images remain, so drying must continue.

Huge lesson learned: my big mistake was not considering the safety of my camera when confronting a large puddle. Without even thinking about it, instead of securing the camera better, I jumped over the puddle, dislodging the camera from my front shirt pocket, where it landed at the outer edge of the puddle on some sopping grass. Bad enough; at least it wasn't under the water, and its power was off.

I'll have an update in several days. Patience is the key now.
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