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Digital cameras and water

by pjsoxfan / April 7, 2006 6:14 AM PDT

I have a Canon Digital Rebel XT and love it. Recently my sister bought a digital camera (not an SLR; not sure which brand) for her vacation to New Zealand. Halfway through the trip after a wet hike, the camera stopped working. The camera had never been submerged in water and she'd been careful about letting it get too wet from the rain. She brought it to a repair shop and the guy there said it was an extremely common problem with ALL digital cameras.

She couldn't really explain to me what the actual problem was - can anyone figure it out from my description? What about using a digital camera in the rain - are all of them destined to malfunction when exposed to just a little bit of exterior water? I live in a humid climate and travel to a lot of tropical locations where I'd want to bring my DSLR. In rainy conditions, normally I'd wrap it in a plastic bag and only expose the end of the lens, but am I doing enough to protect it? I really don't want my $800 camera to be suddenly rendered useless.

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As the cameras get more expensive, such as SLRs, they
by Kiddpeat / April 7, 2006 8:10 AM PDT

start getting additional features like seals to keep out dust and water. The Rebel is probably pretty well protected although not as much as a 5D for example. There are 'bags' available to protect them from rain. Basically, they are kept enclosed except for a lense opening.

They are NOT all destined to malfunction, but water in any electonic device is a problem. Her camera may come back to life after it dries out thoroughly. Note that ALL cameras these days rely on electronics.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / April 7, 2006 9:01 AM PDT
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If I were you,
by jump1127 / April 7, 2006 12:18 PM PDT

I wouldn't risk my DSLR or digital camera shooting out in the outdoor rain without any umbrella or waterproof cover. Even the best weather proof camera ( except Pentax's water resistant system ), such as Canon 1Ds Mark II, is vulnerable to the rain drop in between camera joints. For instance, the area of lense mounting where the electronic circuit operates, triggered by shutter button. Read the manual instruction carefully ! But, to me, I'd better not risk shooting out in the rain.

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My 20D has a rubber O-ring at that joint. My guess is that
by Kiddpeat / April 7, 2006 2:37 PM PDT
In reply to: If I were you,

the Mark II has even heavier protection. These cameras are made to be used by working pros. That means some exposure to water. I suspect that does not include exposing them to drenching rain or immersing them in water. However, some exposure is probably OK. Look at your camera, and judge accordingly.

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Sony DSCW1
by fdoddodson / April 9, 2006 3:30 AM PDT

I used mine pretty much anywhere i go and accidently dropped it in the lake(22feet deep)...a week later I retrieved it and let it dry (air) and put fresh batteries in it...never had a problem since(2yrs) ;-P

PS I did wipe/clean the lens!

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