Help! Death by elephant?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dabbler, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. dabbler

    dabbler Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    Hello, today I went riding on an elephant across hillsides and then went down into the river with it, where it rolled me off its back and squirted with me with a lot of water.

    I gave my GF1 +20mm for safe-keeping to one of the elephant-mounted guides who wasn't going into the river. A few minutes later, as I was splashing about with the big pachyderm, the guide dropped the camera from his elephant. It bounced and rolled into the muddy river, where it stayed for about 30 seconds until the guide had got down to retrieve it.

    The camera no longer works, although possibly hopeful signs are that the SD card is still readable, and no water entered the sensor chamber.

    The camera and the battery are now sitting in an airtight box of rice grains, many of which are turning white.

    The tour company say they'll take it to the main town tomorrow to have it cleaned and give me compensation if it can't be fixed.

    Any ideas about whether the GF1 is likely to be able to survive such a torture test (I couldn't have imagined a worse one -- sounds like something warped Kai from DigitalRev might have devised!), and if so how long the repair is likely to take? I have to leave the country (Thailand) in four days, so time is pretty limited!

    Thanks for any help!
  2. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Really no way to guess. It took two injuries, the fall and the water, either of which could be fatal or not. If the fall just knocked one connection loose, it may be easily fixable. If the shutter is damaged, repair will probably cost as much as replacement.

    Good luck.
  3. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ

    Did the camera fall into the water, into mud, or onto hard dirt/pavement? Is there a mark when it impacted?

    Was the camera body itself wet?

    Hard to say if it is water damage or impact damage affecting the camera. Not being able to turn on suggests water damage. If you are able to dry it out, whether or not the sensor or shutter were damaged in the fall is the next thing.

    If you do get it started, take the lens off and test the shutter at all available shutter speeds. Test the ability of the camera to control the aperture of the lens at all apertures.

    Test everything thoroughly, because it sounds like this will be your only chance. Good luck.
  4. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    Let your card completely dry out - around a week or so - before trying to use it again. You should be able to get most of the pics from the card. If your camera was immersed in water for 30 s it may be dead. If you had water entering the lens then it is more likely a gonner too. Bummer.
  5. dabbler

    dabbler Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2011

    John, it fell onto fairly loose dirt. There is no mark from the fall (this thing is built like a tank!), apart from a corner of the LCD below the screen protector has gone white, which is probably more likely to be from water damage, I'd guess.

    It was in a soft cloth case that water was gushing off for several seconds when it was retrieved, and there is still a bit of mud on the body despite the guy who retrieved it cleaning it with his T-shirt.

    I'll follow your advice on testing it -- thanks!

    At least I learnt a valuable life lesson today: never give your camera to someone sitting on top of an elephant beside a steep riverbank.:smile:
  6. dabbler

    dabbler Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    Thanks for the tip, turbodiesel, although I've already plugged it into my SD card reader and it is both readable and I've been able to import all the photos on it onto my computer. I think I've got away with that one, at least!
  7. punkman

    punkman Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    SD cards are generally quite durable and water-resistant. I've dropped liquids on cards a few times and the cards always work after.

    Quote from Sandisk: "SanDisk SD, SDHC, microSD and microSDHC memory cards are tested to withstand up to 72 hours in 1m salt or fresh water."
  8. dabbler

    dabbler Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    Feeling a bit resigned about the loss of My Preciousss today... This was taken one-handed from a moving elephant about three minutes before reaching the River of Doooom. It's probably just about the last photo ever taken with my GF1. It served me well!:th_salute:

    • Like Like x 4
  9. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Nice pic! Sorry for your loss.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dabbler

    dabbler Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2011
    Well, well, well! The camera is back from the repair magicians and it works! Only problem I've found is that the microphone now sounds like it's permanently next to a waterfall. I rarely shoot video though.

    Apparently it's a bit of a 'dead cam walking' though - I had to really press the repair company to give the repair even a three day warranty. Still, that it can survive a high fall and half a minute in the drink is testament to the GF1 and 20mm's build quality, I think.
    • Like Like x 3