Water damage to E-M1? Repair cost estimate?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by thewtb, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. thewtb

    thewtb New to Mu-43

    8
    May 31, 2014
    Georgia
    William
    Hi everyone,

    So, I brought my Olympus E-M1 and 50-200 SWD lens along for a kayaking trip today, and the camera was, as expected, splashed sporadically and rained on briefly. It was never submerged, nor was it out in the open during some heavy downpours I encountered -- it was placed in a dry bag. The camera worked flawlessly during the trip, but as I arrived at my car and later at home, I noticed some anomalies:

    1) There was some condensation on the inside of the EVF housing; on the inside of the outermost glass covering. The EVF itself still works fine. Any cause for concern??

    2) The power switch now behaves oddly. I can still power the camera on, but the switch then either fails to power off the camera, or when it does there's a very noticeable delay until the camera shuts down.

    3) Seemingly related to the power issue, when the camera fails to power off using the switch, I can obviously remove the battery to "turn the camera off"...however, putting the battery back in and powering the camera on seems to reset the camera settings (i.e. my customized button functions are back to default settings, the RAW+SuperFine JPEG setting I had selected reverts to either RAW-only or the default JPEG size, etc). This seems so bizarre, and I've never experienced anything like this before today, so I can only guess it's related to some sort of water-related damage/corruption??

    Anyway, does anyone have any idea what something like this would cost to fix if I send it in to Olympus? My camera was purchased as a refurb direct from Olympus, but the warranty is certainly expired by now. Plus, the warranty doesn't cover water damage, if I recall, so I understand I'm looking at a total out-of-pocket repair cost here.

    Thanks!
    William
     
  2. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Olympus Service & Repair

    It is a flat rate for any repair and it looks like they have raised their prices for the E-M1 since I last looked. Now it is $194.59.
     
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Was it salt water or fresh water?
     
  4. thewtb

    thewtb New to Mu-43

    8
    May 31, 2014
    Georgia
    William
    Ah, good question. Fresh water.
     
  5. thewtb

    thewtb New to Mu-43

    8
    May 31, 2014
    Georgia
    William
    Ah, thanks for that link! So that's just a base price, so to speak for a basic checkup and repair assessment? I noticed this on the "Repair Information" page: "Actual repair cost may change after the product is inspected."
     
  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, it's often a flat rate, including some parts.

    However, I would first try putting it in Tupperware container with some desiccant packs or some rice.
     
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  7. thewtb

    thewtb New to Mu-43

    8
    May 31, 2014
    Georgia
    William
    Done. :)
     
  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Have tried with a different lens attached? Do you have a grip attached?
     
  9. thewtb

    thewtb New to Mu-43

    8
    May 31, 2014
    Georgia
    William
    Yeah, I tried with no lens attached and with my 12-40 f/2.8. No grip.
     
  10. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You should probably do the same thing to the 50-200. I will bet the water entered at the camera lens connection or more likely sucked in while zooming. I've had my 150/2 in nasty weather but have always avoided really heavy rain with the 50-200 because I don't fully trust zooming lenses to remain fully sealed. Not to mention the age of the 50-200 could be such that the seals have worn out.

    On a side note I should look at sending in both my lenses to be looked at and seals replaced.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Before doing anything drastic, I'd try to dry everything out very thoroughly. A freezer bag full of rice is one way to do it.
     
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  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I would not use rice. You'll just get nasty dust in all the cracks and crevices.
     
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  13. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Warranty would cover failed seals.
    From what I've read, looks like corrosion issues.
    Give rice bag a chance, just don't dig it in.
     
  14. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    649
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    Take off the lens. Take out the battery. Put camera and lens (not battery) in a warm dry place for 48 hours. For example an airing cupboard.
     
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  15. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    400
    Oct 12, 2015
    As a counterpoint the rice recommendations, there are some reports that indicate that fresh circulating air is actually significantly better. Proper desiccant is effective but only absorbs a relatively small volume of water before it becomes basically "saturated" (thus useless). Don't have the links, so this is just my recollection of the article.
     
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  16. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I have had very good luck with this method in general. I tend to suspend the item over the output of a dehumidifier. This provides a stream of dry but not hot air.
     
  17. blumoon722

    blumoon722 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Sep 7, 2015
    Sarasota, Florida
    John
    Hair dryer on low heat.
     
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  18. blumoon722

    blumoon722 Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Sep 7, 2015
    Sarasota, Florida
    John
    What happened with your camera?
    Did you get it dried out? If so, how did you do it?
    Is it working?
     
  19. thewtb

    thewtb New to Mu-43

    8
    May 31, 2014
    Georgia
    William
    It spent a couple of nights around the silica gel and a fan, but the on/off switch (i assume it's the switch and not trouble elsewhere) is still misbehaving. Sometimes it'll turn off via the switch, but it can then sporadically turn itself on while it's just sitting on the table. I've shipped it off to Olympus for repair. Fingers crossed that it's a simple repair and not major damage due to water, since Olympus quotes a full "Impact/Water/Sand" repair at around $730, and at that price I can straight up buy a second used E-M1 and have money left over.
     
  20. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    That's gotta be annoying!! I really would expect better from a flagship camera that is marketed as weather resistant. Olympus is trying hard to break into the pro market...this isn't the way to do it.

    By the way, I once shot pandas in the rain for 6-7 hours and my E-M5's EVF fogged up after about 4 hours (thankfully no other issues!)...I switched to LCD and kept shooting...the EVF ended up clearing up by the next morning and there have been no lasting ill effects.
     
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