View Full Version : Dooh!!! - Wet Digital Camera.

04-28-2004, 12:17 PM
Well, I'll post this question on the All-Knowing WoodenBoat Forum.

Well, I went paddling last weekend with the wooden canoe addicts. It was a beautiful spring day on the Squannacook River here in MA. I took my digital camera in a case on my hip, hoping to get a few good photos. I figured, heck I'll wear it so it's handy - I ain't gonna fall out of the canoe.

Well, we put in and I was on the river all of 5 minutes when the impossible happened. I fell out of the canoe! The water was just above the knee, but I kinda sat in and jumped up. So I was wet from the waist, or rather - the camera, on down.

Fellow Forumite Mr. Bruce Hooke had the distinct pleasure of witnessing this fiasco, from an upstream vantage point.

Anyway, I drowned the camera - but briefly.

It's been drying a few days, I gently used a hairdryer too. Unfortunately, I've since learned it's not a good thing to turn it on, until you are positive it's good and dry. Curiosity got the better of me and I tried it when it was still wet.

Anyway, it does everything now except shoot photos/mpegs and flash, I managed to recover photos, left on the camera etc. The LCD works, all the menu stuff works...

I'm about to take it for service and see what the pros say - unless the Forum has some good ideas..

My recent research on Wet Cameras suggests that the Prognosis is not good. It's a Sony DSC-P7, I believe.


04-28-2004, 12:31 PM
Mental note to self: Do not take new digital camera boating. There noted, Fitz, thanks for the warning. ;)


Joe (SoCal)
04-28-2004, 12:33 PM
Don't feel so bad I do this sort of thing all the time. Electronics have gotten better. Just last month I washed my cell phone :eek: .
Not Just oops it fell in, No we are talking a full cycle including rinse and spin. (which in hind sight may have been a good thing) Anyway I took the battery off laid it out on paper towels and tried to forgot about it for a few days. Let it dry fully and popped the battery back in turned it on and it worked. A few glitches to live with the Time is always off (strange since it gets the time from a cell signal ?? Any answers to this mystery would ease my mind) and the 9 key is a little sticky. But other than that it works fine. My personal opinion is see if it sorts itself out. Good luck and buy a waterproof camera case.

[ 04-28-2004, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: Joe ( Cold Spring on Hudson ) ]

Henning 4148
04-28-2004, 12:45 PM
The redneck approach:

-Take the battery out
-Wash and rinse the camera in dehydrated water, perhaps adding a little bit of Ethyl Alcohol or Isoprop.
-Let dry for a few days
-Put battery in, check battery is good, try the whole thing again.

I am not saying it will work and sensibly it might only be the last try after you had the repair cost forecast from the professionals and decided to give it a last desperate try yourself.

04-28-2004, 12:45 PM
Next time, spot clean the 9 key before washing. It won't stick then ;)

04-28-2004, 01:03 PM
I've had to do this with a couple of pieces of electronics/computer equipment and have met with mixed results. This is what I tried.

1 - take the battery out immediately
2 - disassemble it as much as possible in an attempt to open any reservoirs (places where water can hide)
3 - rinse everything with alcohol - alcohol is water soluable. You want to wash the water out of the equipment with the alcohol.
4 - put it in a warm place and leave it until you are sure it is dry
5 - pray
6 - reassemble the equipment
7 - put a new battery in it
8 - pray
9 - turn it on (hopefully)
10 - If it works - prayerfully give thanks

Good Luck.

I don't know if there are any optical parts that might not deal with the alcohol well.

04-28-2004, 01:03 PM
I too have soaked a Sony Digital Camera. Mine is a Cybershot 707. He got crushed by the wakes off of a pair of 26 deep vee's on Saguaro Lake in Arizona. Constructive wave interference at its worst. I placed mine under a lamp and checked it every day. 10 days later it worked. There are water spots INSIDE the lens, but fortunately they don't turn up in any photos. Great camera.

Where might I get some of this dehydrated water that you speak of? Do I need to add water to it like most other dehydrated items? ;) (Dehydrated, deionized...de-something.)


Mike H
04-28-2004, 01:11 PM
I haven't tried it yet, but I bought an aquapac for my camera. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000C1KMH/002-7961909-8785619?%5Fencoding=UTF8

04-28-2004, 01:45 PM
Although I own several particularly expensive camera, when canoing or caving I carry a seven-dollar plastic camera from Trash-Mart.
The Trash-Mart 35 mm. has been dropped in the water several times, buried in bat guano, sprayed in a car wash (the best way to clean bat guano from your caving clothes, but remember to remove the camera from your pocket first!), and dried on a flat rock in front of the camp fire.

It still works and takes pretty fair pictures.

Boomkin Joe
04-28-2004, 01:47 PM
As Mike says. It's a practical and affordable solution.
You can also build your own shock-resistent cam case from a cheap waterproof transparent box.
Glue a rubber patch at shutter release level.
Find some way to lock the cover.
Hold the cam inside with foam blocks.

Bruce Hooke
04-28-2004, 02:06 PM
Hi there Fitz! I can't help with the digicam, but I just wanted to say...

I'm not sure what it was about that trip, but I think about half of the people on the trip unintentionally went swimming at some point! There was certainly plenty to trip up on in that river. I had the good fortune to make my swim with less of an audience than you :D -- it was further down the river at a spot where I was trying to get past a log -- I leaned over a little too far and suddenly I was in the water with the canoe floating by my side.

None-the-less, it was a fine trip and I'm looking forward to more.

04-28-2004, 02:45 PM
Photo Salvaged from the WetCam: http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid114/p26caa6375ac1096020d1490f032d7bc4/f8d96cdc.jpg


Paul Pless
04-28-2004, 02:59 PM
Wash and rinse the camera in dehydrated water, perhaps adding a little bit of Ethyl Alcohol or Isoprop.
What the hell is dehydrated water?

Matt J.
04-28-2004, 03:34 PM
Perhaps Henning was trying to translate distilled water? I think dehydrated water would be, umm, air. Perhaps that was also what he meant?

Wasn't there a joke about "dehydrated water?"

04-28-2004, 03:36 PM
Actually, what I want is a Dehydrated camera!

(I've tried this too, but feared my food dehydrator was too hot)...

04-28-2004, 07:32 PM
HELLO !?! Am I invisible or something?


Paul Pless
04-28-2004, 07:43 PM

04-28-2004, 08:20 PM
Beowolf - I represent the Acme Dehydrated Water Co. Just deposit $100 in my Paypal account and I'll get it right over to you!

04-28-2004, 08:44 PM
Disassemble and remove battery and put in the oven with door open on lowest setting (150-170). This will take a couple days off your drying time ;) Partially working cameras I'd bake about 20 minutes. Cell phones need a couple of hours DAMHIKT :rolleyes:

Also, the isopropyl alcohol trick is pretty good. So good in fact that I kept noticing a spray bottle labled such in the box with the tools, paint and misc. dockside on a couple of projects.

Inquiring minds right?

So I ask my boss (who will remain nameless in case he reads this) what's the alcohol for?

Reply is something mumbled.

Later on as I'm cleaning I ask again.

Reply is, "Nothing."

Well two days in a row said boss goes to move the boat from one dock to another and both times neglects to unplug the various extension cords and tools we've got all over the place causing the whole connected business to take a plunge.

The guys that have been with him for a while worked like a well choregraphed machine, one catching the cords of the now sinking sander and drill, the other going for the alcohol. Both tools shaken out and swung around by the cords, sprayed with alcohol, and given another shake/swing.

"Ah, so that's what the alcohol's for" :D

[ 04-28-2004, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: Concordia..41 ]

04-28-2004, 11:58 PM
thanks for the photo

04-29-2004, 12:23 AM
I love dehydrated water! just add water, mix and drink! very tasty and good for you too! :D

John E Hardiman
04-29-2004, 10:16 AM
Do not bake a digital camera, not only will tempertures over ~150 F damage the electronics, but vapor pressure as the water vaporizes will cause the CCD's and LCD's to delaminate because they're porous.

Yes on a distilled water rinse and alcohol.

On a side note ;) ....

Never drink dihydrogen monoxide in the solid or liquid un-adultrated state. Dihydrogen monoxide is one of the deadlest chemicals known to man, that causes thousands of deaths directly every year, and everyone that ingests DHM will eventually die. The way to reduce the damaging effects of DHM is to cut it to <10% by weight with Ethyl Alcohol containing the distilled esters of various grains, vegetables, or grasses.

As to cans of "dehydrated water", there are such things and were part of every USN life boat/raft pack. There used to be a can of it in the office I worked at in NNSY and I need to hunt down a picture of one. What it really did was remove the salt and critters from any water the can was filled with, but if you shook the can it sounded like it had a little bit of sand in it. It was a pint can and you open the top with a church key, fill it up and let it sit for an hour. I understand it didn't taste very good.

05-06-2004, 08:37 PM

I sent it to Sony factory repair down in Penn. They turned it around in a couple of days. Repair receipt said they replaced a "switch", probably associated with the shutter button.

Anyway, the camera is back in time for the canoe trip in the woods next week so I'll have to remember not to fall out of the boat.... :rolleyes:

[ 05-06-2004, 09:58 PM: Message edited by: Fitz ]

Bruce Hooke
05-06-2004, 08:41 PM
Glad to hear it! Where are you going?

05-06-2004, 08:59 PM

05-07-2004, 06:40 AM
What's NORTH of Massachusetts? Tundra? :D
The Green river in Nefane is nice this time of year, as long as you stay out of it. It's about 34 degrees.

05-07-2004, 08:53 AM

Where on the Squannacook River did you paddle?

Bruce Hooke
05-07-2004, 11:01 AM
We put in at the Mason Rd. bridge off Route 119 in West Townsend and paddled down to Townsend Harbor. It's a nice run as long as you don't mind lots of short portages around downed trees.

Henning 4148
05-07-2004, 02:56 PM

you don't know dehydrated water in America? It's such a very common product around here ...

Well - ok, it's not. But demineralised water is ... Guess my english is flushing down the tubes, gargling down the drains, rushing out the gutters and floating down the stream, liquid-er-ally speaking.