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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old December 10th, 2008, 07:20 PM   #1
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Central Wet America

Wild life in the jungle.......$900.
Well, just got back from Central Wet America, and had a great trip, except for my A1 quit in the middle of the 10 days. I could not use any buttons on the left side of the camera. Also the rewind button was inop, So I kept shooting and said a prayer. Got home and sent the camera to N.J. They charged me $900 and replaced the pcb assembly, recoeder assy, lens assy.I called them and never got to speak to a teck guy, I asked and did get the parts back.

Today I called and talked with another rep, not a teck person, and she told me that the humidity caused all the damage. I keep it in a waterproof box, and try to be careful about rain. But what more can I do? All my tape came out great, so how bad could have the damage to the camera have been?

It is and was under warrantee. Should I be happy that I got my A1 back and working or should I be pissed that it cost me $900? I feel like I took my car in and it needed a spark plug, and they replaced the engine.

What would you all do?????
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 11:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kenneth Burgener View Post
Wild life in the jungle.......$900.
Well, just got back from Central Wet America, and had a great trip, except for my A1 quit in the middle of the 10 days. I could not use any buttons on the left side of the camera. Also the rewind button was inop, So I kept shooting and said a prayer. Got home and sent the camera to N.J. They charged me $900 and replaced the pcb assembly, recoeder assy, lens assy.I called them and never got to speak to a teck guy, I asked and did get the parts back.

Today I called and talked with another rep, not a teck person, and she told me that the humidity caused all the damage. I keep it in a waterproof box, and try to be careful about rain. But what more can I do? All my tape came out great, so how bad could have the damage to the camera have been?

It is and was under warrantee. Should I be happy that I got my A1 back and working or should I be pissed that it cost me $900? I feel like I took my car in and it needed a spark plug, and they replaced the engine.

What would you all do?????
Forget about it for now. Next time you should pay for a diagnosis and then compare the price among 2 or 3 stores. The thing is: you had a great trip. For some people, it is a once in a lifetime experience, for most of the people it is just a dream they will never achieve. $900 is part of the unforecastable. You are lucky because some people lose their life as part of the unforecastable.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 03:36 PM   #3
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You're upset because half the functions are your camera ceased to function while in a rain forest and you had to pay for repairs that were caused by your use?! If you drove your car into a lake would you expect the engine to still be under warranty?

Camera's are tools and like all tools they break especially when used (or misused) in environments for which they weren't intended. You probably wouldn't have had any problem with a broadcast camera but that's the difference between a $2500 and $25,000 camera.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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I like those cans of dehumidifying chemicals. If the cause was just humidity it was a cumulative effect due to the camera never drying out. In a damp climate I try to have enough batteries to keep the camera on most of the time when out. Some people in cold damp climates don't bring the camera into warmth to prevent condensation. I put the camera in a big plastic bag and let it warm up some and then let it dry out.
I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but I've never had a big problem with video or still.

In light rain I use towels and constantly wipe the camera down.

It's great your tapes are good. Imagine the repair cost plus ruined images.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 09:05 PM   #5
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Hi Kenneth....................

Must have been some pretty serious condensation to trash a camera in 5 days?

The most likely culprit if you were in an extremely hot and humid climate will be the usual suspect - a humble air con unit.

Almost a neccesity in some climes, but can wreak some terrible damage on electronics/ optics subject to repeated indoor/ outdoor movements.

Your most valuable weapons against this is common sense, large quantities of silica gel and a couple of cans of dry air spray (note: I did NOT say "HAIR" but "AIR" - must be the accent!).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's the disaster sequence:

Check into hotel straight off plane. Camera has been in air con environment all the way.

Hotel room is air conned to 21 C and about 50% RH.

You take camera outside, air temp, say 32 C, RH 95%.

Camera immediately starts to "sweat" as that moist air starts to flow over the body and deposit zillions of water particles on every available surface.

You open the tape or battery compartment, the interior cold air is replaced immediately with hot wet air, which starts dropping water particles everywhere as well.

This continues untill camera body has acheived the same temp as the air.

You then return to your hotel.

Camera is full of hot, wet air, room is full of cold, dry air.

Camera starts to cool and that water vapour inside the camera in excess of 50% RH deposits itself on every available surface.

Camera internals are now soaked.

Repeat every time you leave the hotel room.

Voila - one trashed camera.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The "Sweetness and Light" scenario:

Check into hotel room.

Remove camera from waterproof box, and immediately seal it into a plastic bag with a decent (large) handfull of silica gell, making sure you give the bag a good squirt of "Dry Air" from a can before hand, to remove any moist air in it.

One hour before leaving the hotel room, open window and park camera (in bag) on window sill to come up to temperature. If window won't open or there is no sill, you have to do this after leaving the hotel room, in which case you take camera outside for breakfast and do not remove it from the bag for a full hour, or it's warm, whichever comes sooner.

Once the camera is up to temp, go for it.

Before returning to the hotel room (or any air conned area) pop the camera back into the bag of silica gell but leave the tape & battery compartments open.

Grab can of "Dry Air" from bag and thoroughly flush all moist air from camera and bag internals (that you can).

Seal bag.

Camera is now good to go indoors for the night.

Repeat the entire sequence for every venture out.

Might sound a PITA but sure beats $180 a day on repairs ($900/ half your stay).


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; December 23rd, 2008 at 10:31 PM. Reason: Tidying
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Old December 25th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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I find that insight most revealing Chris. Still half-thinking of sweating it out in amazonas area of south Columbia just to get a snatch of a little bird called Musician Wren I'm wondering how my 70 y.old frame could survive those levels of humidity and then there's the camcorder and maybe there's no air-conditioning ... but then how would I sleep ... I think, like Fagin, I better think it out again ... apologies for butting in on this thread
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Old December 25th, 2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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Central Wet America

Well guys I understand about the a/c and all, but I did not sleep in a/c or have a a/c car. It was not that hot there, just some rain. I will do all the things mentioned here. I got a wet bag and will get some dry air and silica .

My main beef is with Canon who would not tell me what was wrong with my camera. They replaced the insides and I think it could have been fixed with out all the replacements.
No one who knew my camera would speak with me. I felt that I was pressed to spend $900 because it was faster to replace everything, and they make more money that way. Am I way off base here?
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Old December 27th, 2008, 07:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kenneth Burgener View Post
Well guys I understand about the a/c and all, but I did not sleep in a/c or have a a/c car. It was not that hot there, just some rain. I will do all the things mentioned here. I got a wet bag and will get some dry air and silica .

My main beef is with Canon who would not tell me what was wrong with my camera. They replaced the insides and I think it could have been fixed with out all the replacements.
No one who knew my camera would speak with me. I felt that I was pressed to spend $900 because it was faster to replace everything, and they make more money that way. Am I way off base here?
I believe you are not off base at all Kenneth.

From years of trying to get Canon (Canon UK - Home) to stop pretending that they offer customer help on a user-friendly website I am satisfied that it is Canon company policy
1. to make good products but
2. to avoid doing anything that would help the customer and the potential customer to apply our own brainpower to a Canon product WITHOUT being at the mercy of the Canon camera shop

That's how Canon get the shops involved in selling Canon products.

Do I have written evidence of my theory (which is not at all exclusive to Canon)? Yes, I do. It stares me in the face every time I open the instruction manuals for my Digital Rebel, EOS 40D, XM2, XL2 & HV20. I used to write bits of manuals in a previous life. I know when a writer's language is trying to be dry-factual. I also know when a writer is trying to be informative and helpful. Canon are not just dry-factual, they are stingy. Canon website is a carefully calculated blind alley to the point of being a mockery. They deliberately oblige you to rely on the "shops" as their salesmen, advisors and hopefully experts ... not original but a cunning marketing strategy.

So your Canon dealer follows the mean example of Canon and tells you as little as possible because by keeping you in the dark they can keep quoting to you from a litany that "your brake-pads need replacing" and next time "hairline fracture in your drive-shaft" and "slight wobble in the steering column" etc etc. And not just things you can't check but "Just to open this camera is going to cost a basic $250 OK?"

... so the dealer makes money and the Canon repairman makes money

... and you and I have to keep finding better questions to ask followed by better questions to ask in response to the half-answers we get and on and on.

You're lucky. You have an enquiring mind. DVInfo (incl me) needs people like you. Don't go away. Then we may all be a little more fortunate and interdependent in an adult way.
It's the only answer I know to vested interests.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #9
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Wet cental america

Well, thanks, I guess that was a kiss after I got screwed. I was thinking of another word but do not want to get thrown off the site.

Ken. Who will become Mr. Dry Freak.
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Old January 5th, 2009, 10:57 PM   #10
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Freaks Me out

Ken, just read your message about killing your camera in the wet. That's a scary thought. I'm headed down to Panama on a tight budget to do a volunteer project later this month with my personal Sony V1u. I've worked in climates like that before with still gear but never with a video cam with so many moving parts. I won't be spending much time in the A/C and hope your broken camera was an aberration. I'll be heading into the rain forest and already trying to determine how to cut down my kit to a bare minimum and had therefore decided against a Pelican as too bulky for even a short jungle hike. I may need to re-think my approach.
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