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Gf1 + water

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by junk_space, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. junk_space

    junk_space Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 22, 2010
    I know there are a few water-damage threads out there already, but I cannot hold myself back from sharing this story.

    I took my GF1 w/ 1.7 pancake to North Carolina for the last two weeks. I left it sitting in the sand on the beach. Overnight. No case, nothing. Obviously not my finest moment. I am an idiot. It thunderstormed all night long into the next afternoon... very heavy rains. I woke in the morning, realized what I had done, and had a panic attack as I sprinted out to the beach late-for-the-job-interview-style.

    There was my camera, completely saturated in water and at this point half buried in wet sand. I immediately wrapped it in my shirt and ran inside knowing that it was ruined, never to experience even a faint glow of the "Lumix" logo on its screen again. Sick to my stomach, I hurried to dry it and remove the lens, battery, card, strap, and open every compartment possible. Even the LCD was full of water and fogged up beneath the plastic screen cover.

    Two different friends begged me to try the old "dropped the cell phone in the toilet" trick and throw everything in a big covered bowl of dry rice overnight. With nothing to lose at this point, I dried all the pieces the best I could and did. And waited. About 24 hours or so later I opened it. It was dry from what I could tell. I cautiously put the battery in and turned it on. The screen flickered a couple of times and then stayed black. The shutter button did not work. The menu buttons did not work. A couple random buttons would make the screen flicker and do nothing else. At this point I knew I was probably screwed, but I took the battery out quickly and put everything back in the bowl. I waited 48 more hours.

    I took everything out, took a couple hours to maticulously clean each piece up, and put it together. I flipped the power switch, and it kicked on immediately with the Lumix logo. Everything works perfectly. It's as if it never even happened. The lens and camera work greatly, and the screen does not even show a single sign of ever having been wet or foggy.

    Maybe I'm just one of the luckiest guys in the world in this case, but if this is not a testament to the build quality of the GF1, I don't know what could be. What a relief... thank you Panasonic for making good stuff.

    ps... I'm still getting occasional grains of sand dropping out from random openings and cracks. I imagine that will be happening for quite some time after this.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    Never having done this with a camera, but with many other pieces of electronics, I probably have some bad news for you....

    What you have now is a ticking time bomb....

    Although it may be dry enough to work right now, it is unlikely that all the moisture is gone from the internals, and is just a short away from frying a circuit....

    If you did indeed get all of the moisture out (Highly unlikely) the corrosion is your next best bet, and once again can and will lead to a short eventually...

    Obviously once again stating that I have never experienced this with a camera, but I have successfully saved several devices by letting them sit overnight in rice. The next morning I take the device completely apart, down to the internals, let them soak in isypropal for 10 minutes, then air dry, then re-build....

    the isypropal will evaporate any moisture stuck in the nooks and crannies, and prevent moisture related shorts later on....

    I am rooting for you on this one, but I feel like the first time you use your camera again in a very highly humid climate, you will experience problems....

    Good Luck!!
  3. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Yeah, not to be a pessimist, but you're probably not out of the clear yet. I would try to dry it for more than 24 hours..maybe 48-72 would be safer.

    Salt water, or any 'dirty' water=bad for electronics. When you say clean it meticulously what did you use to clean it?
  4. junk_space

    junk_space Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 22, 2010
    Thanks for the info - I'll post updates as I use it more. I've got my fingers crossed! Doubtful that I'll disassemble the whole thing and clean it with alcohol, but we'll see. The way I look at it - if either one of the two pieces survives long term after this incident (lens or body), I'll be happy!
  5. UnivTex34

    UnivTex34 Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    And just for anyone reading this in the future....

    Remove the battery ASAP, and do not put the battery back in for at LEAST 72 hours if not more. Sudden jolt of power, mixed with wet circuits, equals fried boards....

    I have waited more than a week on some occasions, just to be 100% sure. I know it will be hard not to try it out, you want to know whether it will work, but the longer you wait, the more likely it is to work....
  6. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    I wish I had the same luck as you with my iPod nano :smile:
    I hope your GF1 stays "well".
  7. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    I'll watch out for you market place ad, lol.

    Just kidding
  8. junk_space

    junk_space Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 22, 2010
    Ahhh, this reminds me. Is anyone out there looking for a GF1 w/ 20mm? :wink: Seriously though - if anything, curiosity will get the best of me and I'll eventually end up dissecting these things permanently for a closer look at how they work!

    Thanks for tips everyone.
  9. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Salt water = bad

    It has been 6 weeks after I dropped my Navitar 25mm 0.95 lens into the drink. Cleaned it twice so far and still keep finding new 'stuff' on the inside.

    EtOH (95% stuff) and a dessicant filled dry box notwithstanding there is still 'activity' from the gunk carried in by the water. Depending on the size of the dry box I'd say 100 hours is minimum for anything that is still partially assembled.

    I think the bulk of the stuff is coming off from between the iris blades (won't take that apart).

    Also into the drink (at the same time) was a cheapo battery charger that is easily cleaned. Even after EtOH and drying there is still corrosion showing.

    Everything still works but I'm certain the story is not over.
  10. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Definitely not in the clear.

    I'd stick it in a box with a portable dehumidifier for five days then sacrificially burn some film to the Lumix gods for good measure.
  11. dmc

    dmc Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    Dude, do we share the same DNA? So my story is a few years old, quite a few. I was out Salmon fishing off the coast of the QCI and took along a Nikon FTn to shoot the one that got away. Long story short, the boat was swamped and my whole kit was submerged in salt water. On shore, the guide suggested soaking the gear in fresh water overnight and then opening everything up and letting it dry for 2 weeks. I still use this camera today and the meter is dead accurate and the lens and shutter work like the day it was new. Maybe I'm too dumb to realize all the bad things that can happen. Anyway, thanks for sharing your horror story and best of luck. Just don't think too hard about it! :rofl:
  12. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    Just to share something to give you some hopes for a brighter future.

    As a former used electronics hoarder, I have found that water (fresh rainwater in this case) is not necessarily so bad on electronics.

    My favorite place for the best gear, was a electronics recycling yard. Where everything waited months for disassembly outside exposed to all of the elements. I got a lot of useful stuff from there, including vintage computers and consoles, synthesizers, cameras, amplifiers and computer screens and televisions, just to mention a few. About 70% to 80% of all the stuff that looked intact, would work more or less like they should.

    I actually made some money by selling the some of the stuff I found. The most common problem why people threw out stuff was a button that did not work as it was supposed to. Usually maybe just missing the plastic knob :) 
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