A friend of mine travelled to Venice, and he was falling into a channel. Yes, with the camera in his hands… The camera was under water only a few seconds and only partially (the battery side).
After drying out the camera keeping it on a warm place, he tried to start it. Some repeated shots, then nothing. After 2 months he decided to bring it to me.
Here are the results:
On the contacts You can see some salt and corrosion.
This is the flex cable from the backside panel.
And this is (this was…) the main board.
The camera is fully dead. It has no sense to repair it – some mechanical parts can be used as sparepart – thats all. Interesting, that the lens (Canon EF 28-200) was repairable. Salt water on the inner lens, some corrosion, but the electric contacts, board were not damaged.
Seawater is very corrosive. Tapwater (or lakewater) is corrosive too.
What to do, when Your camera falls in water
In the camera You have 3 voltage sources. The main battery, the battery for the clock and the capacitor for the flash.
Take out immediately the big battery, try to take out the small button type battery too. The capacitor is a bigger problem. You will have no access without a screwdriver.
If You have no tools
If the camera was full with water, You have nothing to loose. This case pour out the seawater (the fishes, small animals too), then immerse the camera immediately in tapwater. Pour it out and repeat it again. It’s important to have less salt in the body. Go to a petrol station, by some distilled water (2-3 liters) repeat the procedure. After this go immediatelly to a workshop (in hours, not after days), let them to disassemble and continue the rinsing with distilled water. The remaining water You can take out immersing it in alcohol (70% concentrated, or more). After that, blow out with compressed air.
If You have a screwdriver (PH00)
Disassemble the body. You will find some screws on the backpanel, on the front panel. After disassembling, You will have access to the flash capacitor. Be careful, it is charged on 300 Volts (!). You need a resistor, 1 kohm is OK, but 100 ohm – 10 kohm is good too. Discharge the capacitor very carefully – handle the resistor with an isolated tool. It’s probably better, to splatter some tapwater on the area, if it’s wet from seewater.
After this rinse the camera, and bring it to the workshop.
PH00 screwdriver (it’s very difficult to buy it when You are on the seaside or the mountains)
Microfiber cloth (for lens)
Brush (for the lens)
2-3 plastic bags
Small air pumping ball
1 kohm / 1watt resistor
A screwdriver costs about 4 euros. A resistor 0,2 euros. It’s the worlds cheapest insurance.