My XL2 Got Wet - I think its done - How to get it fixed? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 5th, 2007, 07:14 AM   #1
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My XL2 Got Wet - I think its done - How to get it fixed?

Hi!

I am on a feature, and on the last day of shooting here in the British Virgin Islands, the camera got wet from some really rough waves that came over the railing of the ship. The camera was covered, but unforunately it was not in a water tight enclosure. After several splashes of salt water... the canon xl-2 won't cut on.

I am facing the fact, that this camera, which my personal camera, is cooked and done. Has anyone been in a similiar situation and have any suggestions for bring it back alive?

What should be my first steps toward getting it repaired with Canon? Is it possible that I may have to get a whole new unit? The body won't power up so I have no idea if the 16x manual lens is shot as well.

Thanks in advance
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #2
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Bad news about your camera.

I dunked a video camera for less than a second in africa, It was ruined and cost more to repair than to buy a new one, the repair guys in Johanasburg said they don't try to do repairs on water damaged cameras.

an xl2 cost quite a bit, so reapir may be cheaper than repalacement, definitely will have to go back to canon!!
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #3
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Salt water is a killer for electronics. There's no way of knowing the cost without sending it to canon. IF it 'died' almost immediately, my guess would be that you had a short, blowing the main fuse. The cost of changing the main fuse is not high... but I'm guessing that salt water has been sitting on the circuit boards ever since it got wet... days? A week? So the main circuit board is probably going to need replacing as well.

This is where insurance pays off. Got any?

Otherwise, anyone here is only going to guess at what it will cost. Send it ALL in. Everything that got dunked. Body, viewfinder and lens.

Then bend over and grab your wallet.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #4
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The best thing for any camera or electronic device that has been submerged in saltwater is to immediately submerge it in a container of freshwater for several hours and then completely dry it out over several days with a hairdryer at first, then by hours of warm sunshine. The camera should never be turned on or any switches moved until the camera has been completely dried out.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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If you end up attempting to sell it in broken condition, I'd be interested. I'm looking for a broken XL2 body/lens to use as a prop. However, it's going to be used in a lot of close-up shots so it has to have started life as a real camera, not a true prop.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for the quick response!

Unforuantely I had it sitting for the last two days. It didnt not go out on the first splash, it took about 10 to 15 minutes after quite a few splashes before it was stowed away and then it fizzled out. I am kind of scared to wash it out with fresh water - I'm also scared of salt scratching the lens.

I don't have that kind of insurance, but it looks like the production will pay for the cost of the camera - of course, we don't know what that cost is yet, and I may wind up with the short end of the stick of my 16x or fu-1000 is damaged but it doesn't show up until a month later.

I have a FU-1000 vewifinder and 16x manual lens to go along with the XL-2 that I purchased all through ZGC in New Jersey. Hopefully I can get it resolved. I have to shoot again with a XL-2 again in the BVI in about a month. We already discussed them buying or renting the proper equipment to protect from water damage.

On this same feature, we rented a underwater housing and I've shot underwater - believe me - I wish I had that housing this past weekend.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #7
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Dude, I am so, so, sorry. I work on a sportfishing boat daily, and keep my XL2 in a KATA raincover come rain or shine... just the salty air, I feel is bad... and actually, my old panasonic has a lot of rust on it because it didn't have a rain jacket, and never got wet... PVG-S250... Still works!! Rust and all!

Anyway, man, I think the best thing for you to do is let it sit for a week or two, I've had cellphones and computers that after a week or two just decide to come alive again... but the problem with saltwater isn't the immediate effects... even if you get it working again, I don't think it will work properly or for very long because salt and air create a vicious corrosive mix that destroy things over time. So... I don't know... that's a tough one.

This is hitting close to home, as I think about the "what if's" daily...and I'm sorry. I would still be curled up in a ball on the floor crying.


PS - TO TONY - - - Can you really dunk electronics in freshwater post saltwater or is that just a really cruel bit of sarcasm?? I can't tell... but I guess it wouldn't matter right?? Have you tried that?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #8
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PS - TO TONY - - - Can you really dunk electronics in freshwater post saltwater or is that just a really cruel bit of sarcasm?? I can't tell... but I guess it wouldn't matter right?? Have you tried that?
Extreme times call for extreme measures...or something like that. No, its no joke - while it sounds pretty crazy it is theoretically something you would probably need to do if (a) its already soaking wet and (b) you were able to respond to the crisis right away.

The important thing in this case (since its already been soaked) is to eliminate the salt. As a corrosive it will do more damage to the unit than the water alone. (assuming the circuitry is not already completely fried).

Also, it is absolutely imperitive that there be absolutely NO source of electrical current going through the camera at this time - and that includes the little round battery that retains the date and settings info. In this case, the damage may have already been done in terms of blowing out the circuitry, but if the salt is appropriately washed out and the remaning water is allowed to be entirely evaporated (over days or weeks) to the point of no more condensation, the circuitry may actually still be intact (short of a simple blown fuse - which is less costly than the replacement of circuit boards.)

While this is not to be construed as a 'go-ahead' to use this method, it is certainly preferable to trashing the unit. I haven't experienced it myself with a digital camera, but I have resurrected flood damaged computer CPUs and high end audio decks with this method.

-Jon
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Old March 5th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #9
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To do that as safely as possible, use distilled water, which contains no minerals.. Otherwise when the water evaporates, there may be mineral deposits leftover, which can cause shorts or other various problems you're trying to avoid. :)

Last edited by Eric Shepherd; March 5th, 2007 at 09:05 PM. Reason: typo :)
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:29 PM   #10
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I'll take that one step further. Try to get distilled water as was mentioned. To salvage beyond that, buy isopropyl alcohol and immerse the camera in that. Isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol without the small amount of lanolin added.

Isopropyl Alcohol is not electrically conductive, removes rust deposits, and displaces water. As a solvent, it will completely evaporate after a period of time. It is used extensively for cleaning and degreasing silicon wafers in the semiconductor industry. Obviously, you need to make sure there are no sources of open flame nearby.

As was mentioned, remove the watch battery. Is the tape stuck inside?

My concern though, after sitting for two days, that this camera is not going to be salvageable.

-gb-
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:51 PM   #11
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Really guys, I think the best bet is to send it ALL to canon, fu1000, lens and all and have them check it out.

While fresh water will displace salt, and solvents will displace water, and that is the USUAL way for 'cleansing' electronics, it's not the best way for cleansing electro MECHANICS. Remember there are lubricants and rubber seals that are removed from the transport in that process.

Seriously, sooner sent, sooner done.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #12
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Good point, send it back in.. It also reminds me of what to do when you can't get rid of a dog.

Say you have a mouse in your house, so you bring in a cat to get rid of the mouse, then you bring in a dog to get rid of the cat.. Now you're stuck with a dog you don't want, and no natural predators to safely bring in..

Yes, this is somehow like displacing salt, then water, then fluids and lubricants in my mind. ;)

-Eric
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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #13
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This should be renamed the most irresponsible advice thread ever. I've seen some bad advice in my day but this has got to be among the worst. Hey bro once you're done soaking it in water put it in the oven on warm for a couple of hours until it's dry?????(SARCASM) Seriously. SEND IT TO CANON. A question for all you super soakers. How do you even get the salt out? Just dunking it once isn't going to work, and how do you clean the water spots off of the prisms and ccds, relubricate the tape mechanisms? FLAG.
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Old March 5th, 2007, 11:59 PM   #14
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This should be renamed the most irresponsible advice thread ever. I've seen some bad advice in my day but this has got to be among the worst. Hey bro once you're done soaking it in water put it in the oven on warm for a couple of hours until it's dry?????(SARCASM) Seriously. SEND IT TO CANON. A question for all you super soakers. How do you even get the salt out? Just dunking it once isn't going to work, and how do you clean the water spots off of the prisms and ccds, relubricate the tape mechanisms? FLAG.
I think some of that was already covered pre-rant. As noted, the mechanims, etc are a different matter, but in many cases can be less costly to repair than dead electrical circutiry. Let me RE-qualify my methodology as a preference to just ditching the unit, and only in the course of no other immediately suitable methods.

Dunking it once? Who said that? Ease up.

Having Canon giving it a thorough going-over would certainly be advisable, however it is reasonable to expect that killing the unit in a submerged environment won't be covered under warranty, the repair (if possible) could be comparable to a new unit depending upon the degree of damage. Who knows, maybe the first thing they'll do will be to dunk it in a tank of water...twice.

But seriously, I would get Canon's word on the matter first. If it is a goner, see what the other methods will yield.
-Jon
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Old March 6th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #15
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If it floats it's a witch burn it at the stake. If it drowns, it died a Christian. I am genuinely curious has anyone ever heard of anyone ever bringing a camera back to life by dunking it? Are we to assume that cameras can be baptized and reborn? Even more unlikely but even more fascinating is the question "Has anyone ever submerged a fully functional camera for fear of salt contamination?" I should've baptized my last car when the check engine light came on. Sonoma in the house. Word.
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