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Beer damage on the GF1 - any solution?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by greg57, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. greg57

    greg57 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Gregory Dziedzic
    Hi guys,

    portable as it is, I tend to bring my GF1 around all day long... stretching into the evening 'cause I'm quite interested in documenting night life. But this has its risks and unfortunately an incident happened some 10 days ago: a friend of mine spilt beer on my GF1.
    I immediately took apart what could be put apart by hand (lens, EVF, battery, SD card) and sponged what I could with a napkin... and then it seemed to be ok and I didn't take any further steps... but the beer did do some damage which has become obvious a few days after:
    - slight oxidation of the mount - visible dark traces and very noticeable friction when mounting or unmounting a lens
    - oxidation of the upper dials (shoot mode and drive mode) which has become hard to operate
    - squeaky operation of the EVF articulation and integrated flash.

    Briefly said, a mild curse of oxidation and stickiness has struck the moveable parts of the camera, which I just bought two months ago...

    I'm about to buy isopropyl alcohol and basically bathe the whole GF1 in it in order to remove all the sticky beer residues. 'cause of course it's not possible to take the GF1 apart and access the dials (my biggest concern). However I guess that won't be much helpful against the oxidation.

    Can you advice on this? Any former experience and solution for this kind of incident?
    (please, as funny as the topic of beer on camera seems to be according to some similar threads on the net, let's keep this reasonably useful and matter-of-factly ;)  )
  2. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
    my heart aches for you ... i soaked my E-P2 in soya milk ... it took a bit of doing (thanks Mr. Mosely) but Olympus repaired for a price ... beer is full of sugar and acid and there's every possibility of long-term internal damage that won;t show up for a while is my guess ... good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. greg57

    greg57 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Gregory Dziedzic
    Thanks for the support :) 

    Well yeah I guess I need to bathe it completely in some kind of mild solvent then.
  4. greg57

    greg57 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Gregory Dziedzic
    Let's be rational...

    I think I'll go for professional servicing first thing tomorrow after work...
  5. Jimboh

    Jimboh Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    Damage control

    We had a camcorder in similar situation. Sent to manufacturer for service. Cost was reasonable, even though it was well out of warranty. Recommend you start there.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    This is exactly what you must not do, if you do not want to destroy your camera completely! Just send it to the manufacturer for service and hope that the camera can be repaired.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Greg, so sorry to read this. Good luck with the repairs. I hope that it will not be too costly and that you'll get the camera back soon. Please keep us posted. I feel for you - the way I felt for our friend pdh when his camera got soy soaked.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. JoeFriday

    JoeFriday Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I would suggest switching to wine from now on
    • Like Like x 1
  9. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    I was "also" out of luck.
    - The sister of my wife had our LX3 swim in the ocean
    - But they forgot to get the leather casing off

    - The camera effectively only had a couple of droplets on it
    - I took the battery out and had it dry for half a day
    - It still works (cleaned lens with clean water and soft cloth) and don't have to buy a new camera yet...

    Super small camera's are dangereous, I am probably going for Pentax K-r to extend my hobby (and keep the LX3 for swimming...).

    For the carpet beer is better, for camera indeed wine is probably better, what is best for you, fresh orange juice?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    I would recommend drinking very strong vodka. It has no extra sugars or anything and a lot less water than in beer ;D

    I hope it works out for you. I have had quite a good luck in drenching accidents, and have not had any permanent damage to various electronics. But the plenty of scares have teached me to be more careful.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. greg57

    greg57 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Gregory Dziedzic
    Thanks to all of you ;) 

    I brought my GF1 today to an official Panasonic servicing company in Istanbul. Will cost me around USD50 for a complete take-apart-clean-everything-put everything-back-together. Which is ok I think :) 

    Will let you know.
  12. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Sounds reasonable. I agree it will pay off in the long run.

    I disagree on the wine, it generally has more sugar than beer. Vodka is better. But I prefer scotch or bourbon.

    Maybe the answer is a small carry around "all weather" camera when you get into sticky situations ...
  13. greg57

    greg57 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Gregory Dziedzic
    43 rumors mentioned about a professional m43 Olympus for 2011. Hope this will be a small weather-sealed rangefinder with a metal chassis and note an SLR style stuff (which is already provided by Panasonic).
  14. duartix

    duartix New to Mu-43

    Feb 8, 2010
    Cheers Greg.

    Last week while on vacation on the Algarve I decided to take a swim in the Atlantic because my 5 year old was asking me to go with her. Can't say no to kids, and since the water was at 23ºC I probably stayed there for well over half an hour. Hey, I came out of the water way after her so it was a really long bath. That's when I reached for my swim trunks pocket and find that my Samsung Jet phone is inside.

    The time I was in the water, the fact that it was switched on when I went in, the fact that it was sea water and that I had limited resources at the beach, meant I got out of the water with little less hope to recover it than I would have on an upper Olympus µ43 camera for Photokina.

    I quickly took the battery off and ran into a mini-market where I bought distilled water and 1Kg of rice. After a few major dips in it I decided to renew the water and let it sleep there for the whole rest of the afternoon.
    Then I let the water run off and placed the phone inside a rice bag alternating it from the top of the TV at night, to full sun during the day.

    Two days later I almost couldn't believe that the battery still had full charge (even though there was a very minor oxidation on the contacts) and the phone was fully working!!! :bravo-009:

    Well it turned out the story wasn't over :frown: , one of the hard buttons wasn't working and another two are unreliable but since it's a touchscreen it doesn't impair the phone all that much. :cool:  I suspect the culprit might be fine sand but I haven't had the time to take it apart yet.

    After my first quick reaction I searched the web only to find out I couldn't do much more than what I did instinctively but the key points are:

    1. Always remove the battery.
    2. Never try to switch on the object before the full process of cleaning.
    3. If the ofending liquid has sugar you should use as close as possible to pure ethyl alcohol (never denaturated). It acts as sugar solvent and dries out very quickly.
    4. Leave the object to dry for 2-3 days in a warm and dry place preferably close to a desicant (silica gel is a good choice, but rice is a also natural desicant and is widely available)

    My Samsung Jet is now officialy a Samsung Jet Ski. :biggrin:
  15. petersandbach

    petersandbach Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 11, 2010
    Manchester, UK
    Greg that's awful. Do hope the repairs go ok.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Fiddler

    Fiddler Mu-43 Veteran

    Glad you found a solution :thumbup:

  17. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
    That is extremely good value ... lets hope it doesn't take too long and that they don't find anything too nasty
  18. greg57

    greg57 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Gregory Dziedzic
    It's the standard prices here in Istanbul I guess. Important electronic devices cost an arm and a leg but then local servicing tends to cost much less.
  19. antifire

    antifire New to Mu-43

    Sep 16, 2010
    ouch..good luck
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