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Old November 17th, 2009, 03:26 AM   #1
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Water Condensation in Camera- Sony Warranty won't cover.

I have just had to send my Sony EX1 to Sony for repairs.

They are telling me that there's water condensation which has damaged a circuit on the board.

They refuse to cover this in the warranty.

Has anyone else had this experience and if so what was the cost of the repair.

Not very impressed with Sony on this one. Since I haven't had the camera in any extreme water conditions or places.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #2
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Just for the record, I use my camera on boats and outdoors in humid conditions a lot. Salt air, cool nights. Rain. The works. And I had it up in Alaska near Juneau for a week where I had moisture condensing inside the lens if I weren't careful. Had to keep the lens out of the wind or at least have sunlight hitting somewhere on the the wide angle adapter to keep it warm and clear.

I do keep the camera protected with a rain cover and when I'm camping it's in the tent next to me.

So far -- knock on wood -- I hadn't had any problems. The camera usually gets so warm that I wouldn't think moisture would accumulate inside. In fact, I've had the camera get unbearably hot a couple of times when shooting in harsh sunlight.

When in the field, and we're waiting for the fish to bite, the camera is usually never turned off except at night when everyone's asleep. Maybe the long hours of being powered up keeps the moisture out?
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Old November 17th, 2009, 04:01 AM   #3
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Personally, I'd be surprised if the warranty did cover this because the conditions are a bit more extreme than average use and it's not a manufacturing problem. Perhaps more a job for the equipment insurance, although perhaps they'd want extra cover for the increased risk.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 04:08 AM   #4
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Yeh Brain I probably agree.

Just is that 9mths ago I dropped the camera resulting in a slight crack at the back of the hand grip and Sony stung me 1500.00 to replace the actual lens.

I am waiting for a costing from Sony to fix this latest problem. I just hope they aren't going to hit me with another big bill.

Fingers crossed.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 06:53 AM   #5
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This can happen all too easily. Cases such as those from Storm or Pelican can be the culprit. I've opened cases and found everything inside wet. You close the lid with the case full of hot humid air and move it into a cold environment and that's what happens. You cannot blame Sony for that.

I always keep a cannister of silica gell in all my kit boxes and recycle the silica once the indicator changes color. Our kit that doesn't contain optics (grips bits mostly) is fitted with Vapor Phase Corrosion Inhibitors to help wrangle this problem.

My EX1 looks pristine. The other EXs that are not protected by silica gel in our fleet are all showing signs of corrosion around the screws.


I use the Hydrosorbent 40gm metal cannisters. They can be put anywhere inside the case and can easily be re-activated. It also pays I think to wipe the camera over every once in a while. I suspect salt from hands can buildup which adds further to the damage done by moisture.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #6
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Using silica packets... That is a really good advice Bob.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 03:28 AM   #7
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For long-term storage, and for the inside of underwater housings, I use "Drierite". It's an "indicating" dessicant. Starts off blue and turns pink when exhausted.

Baking it at somewhere over 400 deg. F will reactivate it.

I get it in a one-pound jar at Hawaii Chemical. Probably available at similar places where ever you might be.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 05:30 AM   #8
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I have seen many post about water condensation in the EX1 pm many forums. What I don't like with the whole issue is that before owning the camera you have to buy it. Who gives me the warranty that it wasn't stored in a humid location in stock or during transport ? The only problem is as you don't see through the camera housing, you cannot do anything unless it is failing an than it is automatically your fault. Ironically I would say perhaps we should send our cameras in for checking before even opening the box, as once the box is open, you can no longer prove the damage might have occurred before you got it.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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Sony response to water condensation

Well I recieved the bill from Sony to repair my water condensation issue.

They have to replace the main board.

The cost is 1831.65

OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #10
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Good old fashioned uncooked rice works as a desiccant if your stuck somewhere with a wet camera. I wouldn't use it long term but it works in emergencies.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Duncan View Post
Well I recieved the bill from Sony to repair my water condensation issue.

They have to replace the main board.

The cost is 1831.65

OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
That's more than 1/3 the price of a brand new EX1R!

Perhaps consider the camera "totaled" and buy new? Then you get the additional features including a better IR filter and a pre-record cache. Maybe the older camera can be sold for parts.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Duncan View Post
Well I recieved the bill from Sony to repair my water condensation issue.

They have to replace the main board.

The cost is €1831.65

OUCHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
At that kind of cost I'd be looking to get a second opinion as to what has happened.
Looking at the photos it does not look like the typical kind of damage I'd expect to see from condensation. I'd like to know what the black furry stuff is, it looks like a fungus to me. I don't see any corrosion which is the first thing that happens when water and metals get together. It's also interesting that the damage is so localised. The black furry stuff seems to have 'grown' in between the plug and socket and yet I'd not expect to see condensation happening in there.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 01:53 AM   #13
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Where would one get a 2nd opinion?

I actually contacted Sony PrimeSupport who said it must be sent to Sony here in France for repairs.

I can get Sony to send me the camera back not repaired but what then?

I can't afford to upgrade the camera.

I feel like between a rock and a hard place.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 02:49 AM   #14
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I just got my Ex-1 back from sony and that was a $2000 repair also of the main board ( I think it was the main board - DPR-289.).My camera failed to boot after a battery change - it would just cycle through would get EX-1 logo up on the screen then die and kept repeating that.

I never got a straight answer from anyone about what really caused it. The best theory was a power surge from perhaps changing a battery while the camera was still turned on. However every tech I've talked to has said that shouldn't cause any problem because people do it all the time. Also at one point a tech asked me if it had been exposed to salt water. That got my hackles up because it had never been near water. He may have only been noticing just residue from gaffers tape on the handle though, but maybe some kind of corrosion on the board also.

It made me also wonder about whether there had been some kind of prior exposure even before the camera was built. But I got absolutely nowhere even questioning the tech at Sony. He didn't pay any attention to why it failed , he just replaced the board. S---t happens seemed to be his POV. My serial number if it matters BTW is 100879.
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Old November 21st, 2009, 03:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Duncan View Post
Where would one get a 2nd opinion?
Look around for someone with expertise is corrosion and/or electrical engineering.

Even an industrial chemist should be able to help. You don't need someone who knows anything about video cameras. PCB assemblies are the same no matter what they're from. Corrosion is a well understood process that's not unique to video cameras.
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