Water Damage: Don't Loose Hope


Water damage is something that can be fatal to any camera at all if not dealt with properly. Any photographer's nightmare is to watch their recently purchased DSLR with a brand new lens hit the water of a muddy puddle.

This happened to me and you can read the entire story of what happened to it in the EOS1100 forums, but this article is for solving the problem.

Water damage can cause countless problems, including short circuiting, sensor damage, corrosion, fungal growth, jamming, and physical component failure.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are solving the problem of water damage is not letting it happen in the first place. Always carry your camera in a bag that will either prevent or slow the entry of water, any bag will do this.

Water damage is curable, despite what so many forums like to say. Numerous sources claim that as soon as your camera hits the water it is a writeoff.

Background On This Article

This article is written from experience and a lot of research. My experience is actually having a DSLR submerged for a decent about of time.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.


Total comments: 2
By lentguy (9 months ago)

My Canon DSLR 50D was exposed to heavy rain, when left unprotected, as I was multi-tasking. After wiping off surface water, I turned the camera on at least twice. Of course, it was blank, nothing working. Later online, I read the advice here and elsewhere strongly cautioning NOT to turn the camera on and suggesting the "rice trick". After removing battery, flash card, lens and opening all access covers, covered these openings with tissue paper to prevent rice from entering, camera body and the lens in separate zip lock bags filled with rice, for 5 days, doubting success.
The camera appears completely retored in every function including the lens. I will continue to test it with additional functions, but it appears totally restored, image quality included. I am very lucky; the "rice trick" works, even when I mistakenly turned the camera on...twice. Maybe the
exposure wasn't as bad as I thought, but it did lose all function after the

By Thorbard (Mar 1, 2012)

I would be very careful with any camera that has been in contact with significant quantitiy of water.

Drying the camera is no guarantee that damage will not be done, nor that it will not continue unnoticed. Contact with water has dramatically shortened the life of cameras with extensive weather sealing and sealed lenses.

Salt water is worse, of course, but any kind of water has some mineral content in it (except in a lab) and so corrosion can occur.

Total comments: 2