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TommyC 09-09-2007 07:52 PM

Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
I was dumb enough to be taking pictures in the rain today.

Part way through, the electronic viewfinder got what looked like a TV
test pattern, and then none of the buttons worked - only the on/off
switch.

I put the camera in a dry spot and took the battery out, and a couple
hours later it seemed to work. I even took a picture with it.

But then an hour after that, as I was putting it away, I tried it again.
It turns on, and the EVF works tracking what the camera is aimed at.
But the shutter release doesn't work, the menu doesn't work, and none of
the buttons on the camera work. The only thing that works is the mode
dial on the camera.

Right now I have the battery recharging (odd, it was fully charged
before, I took only a few pictures, and the battery seems to be taking a
long charge). I am hoping that leaving the camera airing out will
improve things.

But if it doens't what do I do for the camera?

It's a Pansonic Lumix FZ20.

Do This 09-09-2007 08:22 PM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:52:14 -0400, TommyC <m@nope.qrs> wrote:

>I was dumb enough to be taking pictures in the rain today.
>
>Part way through, the electronic viewfinder got what looked like a TV
>test pattern, and then none of the buttons worked - only the on/off
>switch.
>
>I put the camera in a dry spot and took the battery out, and a couple
>hours later it seemed to work. I even took a picture with it.
>
>But then an hour after that, as I was putting it away, I tried it again.
>It turns on, and the EVF works tracking what the camera is aimed at.
>But the shutter release doesn't work, the menu doesn't work, and none of
>the buttons on the camera work. The only thing that works is the mode
>dial on the camera.
>
>Right now I have the battery recharging (odd, it was fully charged
>before, I took only a few pictures, and the battery seems to be taking a
>long charge). I am hoping that leaving the camera airing out will
>improve things.
>
>But if it doens't what do I do for the camera?
>
>It's a Pansonic Lumix FZ20.


Don't turn it on again. Remove the batteries. ALL batteries, including the small
coin-cell used to keep the clock and circuitry alive. Running a current through
the circuits right now can cause damage. Open up all memory-card and battery
covers. Allow it to dry in a warm and dry location over a period of several days
to a week if need be. If you have a food-dehydrator with a fan and a thermostat
that allows you to set the temperature under 95 degrees that will be perfect for
this (I use mine to remove any moisture in my equipment after an extensive
venture into wet and damp conditions). Rain is nearly pure distilled water,
unless you are in the weather-pattern path of a manufacturing district where
acid-rains still prevail. Distilled water will not harm your camera permanently.
It just needs to dry out thoroughly.

In the future make a harsh-environment cover for your camera by embedding a
clear filter in the side of a zip-loc baggie and affixing the filter to your
camera inside of the baggie. Then seal it up before going out into the rain to
shoot those photos that other photographers fail to try to get. My
harsh-environment cover even saved an expensive camera from a dunking in two
feet of water in the bottom of a leaking crabbing-boat one time, when I went
along to document a subsistence living life-style in one region I was visiting.
I have no qualms about going out in ice-storms or on sand blown salt-water
beaches with my camera safely protected this way. I've done it many times, and
successfully obtained photos that no other photographers will ever attempt to
get.

ray 09-09-2007 09:17 PM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 15:52:14 -0400, TommyC wrote:

> I was dumb enough to be taking pictures in the rain today.
>
> Part way through, the electronic viewfinder got what looked like a TV
> test pattern, and then none of the buttons worked - only the on/off
> switch.
>
> I put the camera in a dry spot and took the battery out, and a couple
> hours later it seemed to work. I even took a picture with it.
>
> But then an hour after that, as I was putting it away, I tried it again.
> It turns on, and the EVF works tracking what the camera is aimed at.
> But the shutter release doesn't work, the menu doesn't work, and none of
> the buttons on the camera work. The only thing that works is the mode
> dial on the camera.
>
> Right now I have the battery recharging (odd, it was fully charged
> before, I took only a few pictures, and the battery seems to be taking a
> long charge). I am hoping that leaving the camera airing out will
> improve things.
>
> But if it doens't what do I do for the camera?


I see two possibilities:

1) send it to be repaired.

2) get a new one.


>
> It's a Pansonic Lumix FZ20.



Charles 09-09-2007 10:06 PM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 

"TommyC" <m@nope.qrs> wrote in message
news:m-90D812.15515809092007@news-server.rochester.rr.com...
>I was dumb enough to be taking pictures in the rain today.


Drizzle or a downpour?

> Part way through, the electronic viewfinder got what looked like a TV
> test pattern, and then none of the buttons worked - only the on/off
> switch.


Ooops ... Mr. Water is in there.

> I put the camera in a dry spot and took the battery out, and a couple
> hours later it seemed to work. I even took a picture with it.


So far, so good.

> But then an hour after that, as I was putting it away, I tried it again.
> It turns on, and the EVF works tracking what the camera is aimed at.
> But the shutter release doesn't work, the menu doesn't work, and none of
> the buttons on the camera work. The only thing that works is the mode
> dial on the camera.


Your camera is in deep trouble.

> Right now I have the battery recharging (odd, it was fully charged
> before, I took only a few pictures, and the battery seems to be taking a
> long charge). I am hoping that leaving the camera airing out will
> improve things.


Water creates additional current paths that might have discharged your
battery.

> But if it doens't what do I do for the camera?


It might be OK, after a long dryying-out period. Not likely, though. The
camera is most likely ....................



Ed Mullikin 09-09-2007 10:30 PM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
I don't know if this would work on a digital camera but I dumped my Pentax
35 mm film camera in a river by upsetting a canoe. I had access to a vacuum
oven in a lab so I heated it to 130F and pulled a vacuum on it. It took
care of the problem and I used my camera for years thereafter. The photos
showed a little damage when developed. I might suggest trying a school's
chem lab if you can get access to it.

"TommyC" <m@nope.qrs> wrote in message
news:m-90D812.15515809092007@news-server.rochester.rr.com...
>I was dumb enough to be taking pictures in the rain today.
>
> Part way through, the electronic viewfinder got what looked like a TV
> test pattern, and then none of the buttons worked - only the on/off
> switch.
>
> I put the camera in a dry spot and took the battery out, and a couple
> hours later it seemed to work. I even took a picture with it.
>
> But then an hour after that, as I was putting it away, I tried it again.
> It turns on, and the EVF works tracking what the camera is aimed at.
> But the shutter release doesn't work, the menu doesn't work, and none of
> the buttons on the camera work. The only thing that works is the mode
> dial on the camera.
>
> Right now I have the battery recharging (odd, it was fully charged
> before, I took only a few pictures, and the battery seems to be taking a
> long charge). I am hoping that leaving the camera airing out will
> improve things.
>
> But if it doens't what do I do for the camera?
>
> It's a Pansonic Lumix FZ20.




TommyC 09-09-2007 11:34 PM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
In article <nlk8e3t6bpfao5s3tq36tp3mlff5aa2770@4ax.com>,
Do This <spamless@anon.com> wrote:

> Don't turn it on again. Remove the batteries. ALL batteries, including the
> small
> coin-cell used to keep the clock and circuitry alive. Running a current
> through
> the circuits right now can cause damage. Open up all memory-card and battery
> covers. Allow it to dry in a warm and dry location over a period of several
> days
> to a week if need be. If you have a food-dehydrator with a fan and a
> thermostat
> that allows you to set the temperature under 95 degrees that will be perfect
> for
> this (I use mine to remove any moisture in my equipment after an extensive
> venture into wet and damp conditions). Rain is nearly pure distilled water,
> unless you are in the weather-pattern path of a manufacturing district where
> acid-rains still prevail. Distilled water will not harm your camera
> permanently.
> It just needs to dry out thoroughly.


This pertains to the circumstances of the original post:

The dry spot I used originally was an oven. I turned it on and let it
warm to 150 degrees (F), let it cool a bit from there, and then put the
camera in there, on a wooden paddle so the plastic camera wouldn't touch
the metal oven parts.

I had it in for 20 minutes, then let it cool, with the battery and card
still removed and the door for those areas open. It cooled for probably
90 minutes, I put the battery and memory card in, and took a picture.
At that time, the zoom toggle worked, the display window worked, and
obviously, the shutter release worked.

Maybe an hour later, I was putting the camera away, and when I turned it
on at that time, only the EVF worked. The display window on the back of
the camera didn't work, nor did most of the buttons (turn off the camera
display, change the shutter speed etc., burst modes, menu, and the menu
controls, and of course the shutter release). The only things that
worked were the mode dial and the on/off button. Interestingly, if the
mode dial was set for preview, the camera display did work. But the
buttons used to move among pictures did not.

====================

Since then, I left the camera with the battery/card door open and the
battery and card removed, for 2+ hours. The camera behaved exactly as
described above, mostly not working.

I'm distressed, of course, but I'd be more bothered if the camera
outright didn't turn on, or if some of the things that work now weren't
working.

Right now, the camera is getting another oven treatment. I'll do it for
an hour. I'd assume that, starting at 150 or so, the oven would be
basically room temperature an hour later.

So I have three more questions:

1. How much more oven and air drying time is enough? I would assume
that at some point, we get to returns diminishing to zero for any
additional time.

2. Obviously, applying no electricity while there is moisture in the
camera is what I want to do (even though I've applied a LOT of
electricity by turning the camera on probably at least five times since
I got in trouble). But how do I test the camera again without applying
electricity?

3. How do I find and remove the clock coin cell? I cant' find it
referenced in the manual.

Do This 09-10-2007 12:12 AM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 19:34:47 -0400, TommyC <m@nope.qrs> wrote:

>In article <nlk8e3t6bpfao5s3tq36tp3mlff5aa2770@4ax.com>,
> Do This <spamless@anon.com> wrote:
>
>> Don't turn it on again. Remove the batteries. ALL batteries, including the
>> small
>> coin-cell used to keep the clock and circuitry alive. Running a current
>> through
>> the circuits right now can cause damage. Open up all memory-card and battery
>> covers. Allow it to dry in a warm and dry location over a period of several
>> days
>> to a week if need be. If you have a food-dehydrator with a fan and a
>> thermostat
>> that allows you to set the temperature under 95 degrees that will be perfect
>> for
>> this (I use mine to remove any moisture in my equipment after an extensive
>> venture into wet and damp conditions). Rain is nearly pure distilled water,
>> unless you are in the weather-pattern path of a manufacturing district where
>> acid-rains still prevail. Distilled water will not harm your camera
>> permanently.
>> It just needs to dry out thoroughly.

>
>This pertains to the circumstances of the original post:
>
>The dry spot I used originally was an oven. I turned it on and let it
>warm to 150 degrees (F), let it cool a bit from there, and then put the
>camera in there, on a wooden paddle so the plastic camera wouldn't touch
>the metal oven parts.
>
>I had it in for 20 minutes, then let it cool, with the battery and card
>still removed and the door for those areas open. It cooled for probably
>90 minutes, I put the battery and memory card in, and took a picture.
>At that time, the zoom toggle worked, the display window worked, and
>obviously, the shutter release worked.
>
>Maybe an hour later, I was putting the camera away, and when I turned it
>on at that time, only the EVF worked. The display window on the back of
>the camera didn't work, nor did most of the buttons (turn off the camera
>display, change the shutter speed etc., burst modes, menu, and the menu
>controls, and of course the shutter release). The only things that
>worked were the mode dial and the on/off button. Interestingly, if the
>mode dial was set for preview, the camera display did work. But the
>buttons used to move among pictures did not.
>
>====================
>
>Since then, I left the camera with the battery/card door open and the
>battery and card removed, for 2+ hours. The camera behaved exactly as
>described above, mostly not working.
>
>I'm distressed, of course, but I'd be more bothered if the camera
>outright didn't turn on, or if some of the things that work now weren't
>working.
>
>Right now, the camera is getting another oven treatment. I'll do it for
>an hour. I'd assume that, starting at 150 or so, the oven would be
>basically room temperature an hour later.
>
>So I have three more questions:
>
>1. How much more oven and air drying time is enough? I would assume
>that at some point, we get to returns diminishing to zero for any
>additional time.
>
>2. Obviously, applying no electricity while there is moisture in the
>camera is what I want to do (even though I've applied a LOT of
>electricity by turning the camera on probably at least five times since
>I got in trouble). But how do I test the camera again without applying
>electricity?
>
>3. How do I find and remove the clock coin cell? I cant' find it
>referenced in the manual.


120 to 150 degrees F. is not a warm place, that's an oven. You may have done
more damage to your camera in trying to dry it out than you did by getting it
wet. I would never subject any digital camera to temps higher than 110-115
degrees for more than a 10 or 15 minute span. Even when it's warm and sunny
outside I walk with the camera in the shadow of my body to prevent the sun from
overheating it. The (stupidly) black-pro bodies of all newer cameras can get
dangerously warm just sitting in the sun.

Test the camera for functionality ONLY AFTER A FEW DAYS TO A WEEK of drying
time. At the first suspicion that water may have invaded your circuitry you take
out all batteries and get it dried off and into a warm dry place as soon as
possible. Trying to get it to still work in that condition can only do more
damage. A full accidental dunking in fresh or salt-water is another scenario
that requires further quick action, but I won't go into that here.

As for the clock-battery location I can't help you there. Look inside of the
battery compartment for a small slide-out tray or under a small screw-down cover
or other small latched area. Most all cameras make them accessible because they
have to eventually be replaced, though it may be years before needing to do so.
Inspect the camera carefully, you're bound to find where they put it.

Your impatience and drastic drying methods may have destroyed your camera. Do as
I said and leave it alone for a few days to a week before attempting it again.
And TAKE IT OUT OF THAT 150 F. OVEN! If you read that advice online someone was
intentionally trying to get you to destroy your camera. If you thought of that
on your own ... I don't think you deserve to have a camera.


TommyC 09-10-2007 12:38 AM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
In article <7129e3l9bvp1fl7s9j3rruic76mcfrp6ur@4ax.com>,
Do This <spamless@anon.com> wrote:

> 120 to 150 degrees F. is not a warm place, that's an oven. You may have done
> more damage to your camera in trying to dry it out than you did by getting it
> wet. I would never subject any digital camera to temps higher than 110-115
> degrees for more than a 10 or 15 minute span. Even when it's warm and sunny
> outside I walk with the camera in the shadow of my body to prevent the sun
> from
> overheating it. The (stupidly) black-pro bodies of all newer cameras can get
> dangerously warm just sitting in the sun.


I have no idea what the oven temperature was when I put the camera in;
just that it had not come to temperature yet when I turned it off, and
that I let it cool a bit before putting the camera in, and that it felt
like dry warmth to my hand - not hot, just warm and dry.

>
> Test the camera for functionality ONLY AFTER A FEW DAYS TO A WEEK of drying
> time. At the first suspicion that water may have invaded your circuitry you
> take
> out all batteries and get it dried off and into a warm dry place as soon as
> possible. Trying to get it to still work in that condition can only do more
> damage. A full accidental dunking in fresh or salt-water is another scenario
> that requires further quick action, but I won't go into that here.
>
> As for the clock-battery location I can't help you there. Look inside of the
> battery compartment for a small slide-out tray or under a small screw-down
> cover
> or other small latched area. Most all cameras make them accessible because
> they
> have to eventually be replaced, though it may be years before needing to do
> so.
> Inspect the camera carefully, you're bound to find where they put it.


I can't believe I can't find it. The camera body and battery area don't
have many visible nooks and crannies, so such a thing should be obvious.
But I can't find it.

>
> Your impatience and drastic drying methods may have destroyed your camera. Do
> as
> I said and leave it alone for a few days to a week before attempting it
> again.
> And TAKE IT OUT OF THAT 150 F. OVEN! If you read that advice online someone
> was
> intentionally trying to get you to destroy your camera. If you thought of
> that
> on your own ... I don't think you deserve to have a camera.
>


Actually, before I read your post, I had put the camera in the path of a
hair dryer going on the cool setting. So it has a stream of dry air
blowing over it, probably in the 90-110 degree range. After ten
minutes, the camera felt warm but not hot.

I know technical dolts and impatient fools can be a pain on usenet, but
I hope you were kidding about the "don't deserve to have a camera" bit.
I use that camera to shoot a lot of my kids sporting and scouting
events, and it means a lot to me and to several dozen other parents.
It's only a "thing," not a person, but that I broke it (likely) really
has me feeling down.

TommyC 09-10-2007 12:45 AM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
Since near consensus is forming that I hosed my camera, I am looking for
a suggestion on a possible replacement.

Again, what I had was an FZ20 from the Panasonic Lumix line. What I
liked about it, and have come to rely on, were:

- 12x zoom - I shoot a lot of sports
- hot shoe for an external flash
- threaded lens barrel, for lens hood and/or filters

It used an SD card, which I know is pretty common. The proprietary
rechargeable battery was always good for 500+ shots (many done in burst
mode). I think most of what else it had is common in cameras.

What are some good cameras to consider as replacements? I'm thinking of
around a $300 price point.

Jack Mac 09-10-2007 02:16 AM

Re: Camera in rain and is hosed - what do I do?
 
On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 20:45:54 -0400, TommyC <m@nope.qrs> wrote:

>Since near consensus is forming that I hosed my camera, I am looking for
>a suggestion on a possible replacement.
>
>Again, what I had was an FZ20 from the Panasonic Lumix line. What I
>liked about it, and have come to rely on, were:
>
>- 12x zoom - I shoot a lot of sports
>- hot shoe for an external flash
>- threaded lens barrel, for lens hood and/or filters
>
>It used an SD card, which I know is pretty common. The proprietary
>rechargeable battery was always good for 500+ shots (many done in burst
>mode). I think most of what else it had is common in cameras.
>
>What are some good cameras to consider as replacements? I'm thinking of
>around a $300 price point.


Once it has completely dried you'll probably have to do a RESET of the camera
to set it to all the defaults. I'm not familiar with your camera but most do
have the capability.

Jack Mac


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