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A7 unresponsive after wet weather; repair advice/stories?
Old 01-24-2017   #1
rhl-oregon
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A7 unresponsive after wet weather; repair advice/stories?

It was drizzling at the Women's March in Eugene 1/21, and I had packed 3 cameras: Ricoh GR, Kolari A7/55 1.8, iPhone 6s. I planned to expose all 3 as little as possible to the drip and drizzle, each performed well, and each went back into the waterproof Domke or jacket ASAP.

After working my way to the Federal Courthouse steps, close to the heartbeat of the rally, I used the GR and A7 more freely. Yes, they got wet, not stupid-soaking-water-balloon-fight wet. Yes, I know they're not weather-sealed or the Nikonos I left home; I took chances I considered rational over a period of 20 minutes. Each tool did what I asked of it, no hiccups.

As of 1/22 the GR is fine (what a champ!), the iPhone 6s is fine.
The A7 will not wake up.

So now, I'm seeking positive advice and relevant experience about nonwarranty A7 diagnostics, repair, etc. including postmortem conclusions.
Maybe it's time to invoke DNR (do not resuscitate), and budget for a tried/true WR body. Suggestions in that spirit gratefully considered too. Thanks!

(PS: Of course I should have taken the Nikonos V or the M4 instead of the A7!
No need to belabor the obvious or pour further cold water on me. )
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Old 01-24-2017   #2
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At least while you wait for real advices to come in, maybe you can put the A7 (and probably GR as well just in case) in a box or bag filled with uncooked rice to suck any remaining water out.
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Old 01-24-2017   #3
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Have you tried a hair dryer on low setting? Remove the lens, battery, and SD card first.
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Old 01-24-2017   #4
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I have no direct experience on this, Robert, but ......

If the water did not cause a short and fry a chip (or whatever) while the camera was turned on, I believe it will come back to life when it dries out (may take days unless the internal moist air can easily get out of the camera).
I personally would worry about creating a static charge with a hair blower, and frying something. But this may be ignorant fear on my part.
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Old 01-24-2017   #5
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Hi Robert - after trying the DIY methods, call Sony to ask them if they would charge for a diagnostic consultation to get confirmation on the problem, and get an estimate on repair costs. Then you can make an informed decision re: what to do next.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2017   #6
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Robert,

"Time is your friend."

I would wait a while for the moisture to get fully evacuated. Follow the good advice mentioned above, but give it some time for residual moisture to leave before passing judgement. Hopefully there will be a surprise. I expect patience to be rewarded.

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Old 01-24-2017   #7
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Yes, I would wait. Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2017   #8
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I'm sorry for your A7. Coelcanth's rice idea is worth a try.

Since you brought it up and you are aware.. the Nikonos would have been perfect. I use mine at rallies, pretty much anywhere a tough, waterproof camera would be handy. Last year I took a serious fall off my skateboard and the camera skidded across the road like a hockey puck. No dents, just a few scratches and it still works perfectly (even though I am bummed cuz before that it was in mint shape!). It is the ultimate street photog camera - AE, zone focus, super tough, water proof.
I know hindsight is 20/20 and you most prob took your A7 as you did not want to wait on film etc.

Shot at a Bernie rally with my Nikonos V:



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Old 01-24-2017   #9
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My cheapo minolta-5 fell in the kitchen sink once. I removed the battery and let it dry next to the windowsill for a few days. Then i put it in a small room together with a dehumidifier and left it there for a day or so.

It did switch on eventually.
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Old 01-24-2017   #10
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Once I had a Nikon F4 fall into a mountain tarn. II pulled it right away. It started to short and shoot exposures. I removed the batteries and when I got home I put the camera in a Ziplock bag with silicone crystals in it. It took a week, but after that the camera behaved like new.
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Old 01-24-2017   #11
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Robert, hope it comes back to life again, I like the A7 a lot.

Put it in Ziplock bag and add those little bags that come in the box with your new sneakers indeed. Any shoe shop will likely have them in abundance. I always keep them and my sister also collects them for me, three nieces get a lot of new shoes over time... I toss them in with the gear in my plastic storage boxes
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Old 01-24-2017   #12
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When I shot the A7 in Iceland I learned how loose the term "weather sealed" was on the a7 and I thought I had bricked it for 3 days until it came back to life once I got back. I did the usual rice and silica gel in a bag and left it. Beyond that once I got back I used different batteries in it just to be safe the batteries werent damaged.

As for sony Customer service:
good luck, in the UK it is awful and I havent heard great things from the rest of the world. Sent it in to get the shutter looked at as it was malfunctioning after 20k shots they said the repair was free it took 3 weeks and they ended up charring me.

Try the above and pray it ended up better than my experience (veritical grip died on that trip due to shooddy sealing). Personally Im planning on selling all my sony stuff and going to a used 5D body which I can actually rely on because my A7 has thrown a fit too much when I needed it
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Old 01-24-2017   #13
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The only time you are toast is if the camera gets dunked in salt water. Unless it is a Nikonos of course! (and then you need to make sure its seals are ok before doing so)
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Old 01-24-2017   #14
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Hopefully it comes back to life

for travel - lately I've been using the Olympus E-M1 (original and now mk 2)
I also love the little olympus TG-2 ( now available in updated TG-4) for when it's pouring out or at the beach or when I occasionally hike in a wet environment.

I'm very happy with the resilience.

in the family, we've dunked 2 iPhone 7's fully submerged with no ill effects

I really like waterproofing!
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Old 01-24-2017   #15
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Did you have the flash receptacle open?


100/3.5 by unoh7, on Flickr

Never, ever use your A7 like this. I did not know, but it started seriously acting up in a light drizzle. Later on research, I discovered it's a no no.

Besides that the A7 has zero weather proofing. None. None of them. But they are used in the wet and people get away with it.
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Old 01-24-2017   #16
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Ugh, sorry to hear.

If you can't find silicone crystals at walmart check gun stores. Folks use them in their gun safes to help reduce the instance of rust. You might find them at a Home Depot or Lowes in large plastic container for basement clean up/water removal.

B2 (;->
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Old 01-24-2017   #17
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One thing to try if you have not already is to remove the battery, leave it out for a while perhaps with the camera in a box containing a silica dessicant pack and then replace it. You may also wish to try another battery when you reboot - it could also be a battery issue. Back in film days a common problem with the Nikon D801s was that it would short out in high humidity and the camera would lock up and become unresponsive. Removing batteries thereby rebooting the camera always was a remedy that worked. Its worth a try.
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Old 01-24-2017   #18
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You can also order silica gel online but I'd just go with rice. Old silica gel packs from shoe boxes etc are not likely to be much help because they do continually absorb humidity until they are saturated, then they absorb no more unless you dry them out. The disposable silica gel packs are not made to be reactivated / dried out. Good luck. Sony service is dismal. Not an A7, but my NEX-7 got wet with nothing more than sweat from my brow and died. Sony claimed internal corrosion from getting wet and said it was not worth fixing. Offered me a refurbished body which promptly died just after the 60 day warranty expired.
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Old 01-24-2017   #19
rhl-oregon
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Friends, thanks so much for the collective wisdom/experience. I'm gratified by the support.

I have not been active on RFF since my wife's ovarian cancer became critically serious, and since her death in late September I have been actively mourning and grieving whenever grief came and still comes--grief is like weather, mourning is a spiritual practice--and truly I did not know how to raise that deeply personal life changing matter here. But since I asked for advice on an apparently dead camera body, I remember and understand how much I value the community here. Thank you for being who you are, and for your kindness.

I've been occupied all day and much of the night with other things before getting back to this thread, but you give me hope and some testable procedures. The funny (ha ha oh feck) thing is that this is not the first A7 I have knocked out. The other one is mangled from a six foot fall on a boat ramp. EVF is dead, like Quasimodo's eye, and no more AF lens control. But it can shoot OM lenses held on with gaffer's tape.

I have the rice (tried once on an iPod that took the toilet plunge, alas, and did not revive) and I have some silica and will get more. Once I have news, good or bad, I will share it. In the meantime, take care of your own gear and cherish your loved ones. Some things, some people, some opportunities never return.

Best,

Robert
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Old 01-25-2017   #20
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I would dry it in an oven. Sadly you have no one around to tell you not to, so it could be seen as an opportunity to save your camera. Best of luck reviving it, and if all fails, at least you have spares!
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Old 01-25-2017   #21
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Take a good sized plastic bag and get a box of rice. Dump the rice in the bag, add the camera and seal it. Leave it there for two days.

Rice, right out of the box, absorbs water vapor. Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2017   #22
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You can get silica gel at hobby stores, should be more efficient than rice. I saved my Nikon D90 many years ago this way when completely submerged in a lake when I flipped a canoe. Funnily enough I also submerged a Nikon F5 and it died totally.

Make sure the body cap is on...
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Old 02-08-2017   #23
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Two week update: time was my friend. All functions present and unimpaired. Two weeks in a ziploc with 3 silica packets was the panacea.

Thanks to all the wise ones, and in general to all the concerned ones.

Robert
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Old 02-08-2017   #24
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Great to hear!
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Old 02-08-2017   #25
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Robert,

Time isn't your only friend. Anyways I am happy for you.

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Old 02-08-2017   #26
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Yay, Robert!

Time does indeed heal many maladies and wounds, as I hope it does for you. Not talking camera anymore now
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Old 02-08-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhl-oregon View Post
Two week update: time was my friend. All functions present and unimpaired. Two weeks in a ziploc with 3 silica packets was the panacea.

Thanks to all the wise ones, and in general to all the concerned ones.

Robert
Great news. For future reference, if 3 silica packets = 2 weeks, you could have been done in one week if you used 6...
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Old 02-08-2017   #28
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Late to this thread. Good news , Robert.
As Robert knows my DP2M suffered a similar fate and Robert very kindly donated his DDP2M to me.
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Old 02-08-2017   #29
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Good to hear, Robert.
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Old 02-08-2017   #30
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Great news Robert

+1 on time not bring your only friend.

Last edited by j.scooter : 02-08-2017 at 14:08. Reason: Emoticons not working
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Rice works
Old 02-08-2017   #31
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Cool Rice works

Too late as usual. Glad to hear the A7 is fine. Rice worked for my iPhone 5s.

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