a850 "beyond economicaly repairable" from internal condensation

Started Dec 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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fastair
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a850 "beyond economicaly repairable" from internal condensation
Dec 11, 2012

OUch...  2.5 months ago, I was hiking in Big Bend Park from the desert to a mountain waterfall.  Camera was in a Tenba backpack.  It was Hot and dry, but quickly the climate changeed to hot and wet when a hail storm (I had bruises from it) came down on me with nowhere to get cover.  45 min later, I was at the base of the mountain, at a waterfall, the hail/rain had stopped and I took my a850 out of the tenba.   I could see that the change in temperature had caused the viewfinder to fog up both internally and externally.

I turned the camera on (was going to use "cleaning mode" to lock up the mirror to allow the air to defog it quicker, rationalle being the more natural air flow, the quicker it would dry out.)   Immediatly, the camera made grinding noises, wouldn't turn off, the upper LCD did't display anything other than an orange glow, and it failed to recognize any lens.

I removed the battery and left it on a rock with the lens mount cover off in the sun for about an hour.  After this time, the viewfinder was clear, so I attatched a lens and reinstalled the battery.    Nothing...rinse and repeat, and evenutally it tuned on, but still, orange glow from upper LCD, no shutter release and fails to recognize any lens attatched.  I removed the battery and packed the camera away in the tenba (note, there was no water in the tenba.)

Over the remaining days of the week, I kept it in my hotel room with all covers off to aid in drying any remaining moisture, but to no avail in getting it to work.

When I got home (Chicagoland)  I brought it to United Camera.  They are close to me, and I have have used them before for my a700 with no issues.   Well, 1st they say that it is a bad gearbox, and that happens to be the most expensive fix they do at around $400.   They needed to backorder parts, so that took over a month.   Then when the parts came in, that didn't do anything, so they sent it to Sony (my guess is Loredo.)   I just called United camera for an update (it has now been 2 months since they received the camera from me) and they said that Sony said it is "I have contacted Sony my self in regards to your unit and I was told that your unit is beyond economical repair because most of the components on the unit have corrosion damage."

Wow...My initial guess was there was moisture that had condensed and there was a short(s) on the electronics, but corrosion damage from freshwater (humidity) condensation to the point of making the camera unrepairiabel?   A repacing of the main board on the camera at United Camera is less than the gear box, so what could be corroded that would make it unrepairable.  There clearly was moisture in it, but even after a few days, there never was sbough that you could hear it when shaken.

Any suggestion on my next option.  Times are tight and replacing (or upgrading) is not currently an option.  Do you think I should try to talk to Sony myself, and if so, who?  I need to check and see if this would be covered on my homeowners insurance and if so, the impact to me.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony Alpha DSLR-A850
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