“Hey, we have some time before the flash mob thing starts, let’s run through the (water art thing)!” And I snapped a photo “before.”
And shortly after I got back to my chair, my Nikon N40 wouldn’t power on. It got a little wet, but not the worst I’ve done. Still: crap.
Once home, I set the camera on one of the floor heater vents to air out. The next day, it still wouldn’t power on, nor was it responsive to plugging into a computer. Judicious Googling yielded nearly universal advice: take it into a repair shop. A simple estimate was about $125.
Both of my readers know that I have a past history of taking things apart, just in case I could actually fix them. Furthermore, since I had received an awesome toolkit from my kids for Christmas, I was morally compelled to at least take a look inside, right?
Prepared for the worst, I started with the basics: pulled off the lens, memory card and batter. Popped the case open and noticed a really teeny, tiny indentation on the side:
My camera’s owner’s manual [page 108], mentions this as a hardware reset switch to use if “a strong external static charge [causes] the camera to stop functioning.”
What the hell. To my surprise, the camera powered up (with all its settings lost, of course). I blew dust off the mirror before reassembling everything (not much, as it turns out), and it’s functioning again.
So in summary, for a wet camera situation:
- Move to southeastern Utah so the camera won’t get wet in the first place. For my current living situation, this is not a cost-effective solution, so…
- Remove the battery and air dry the camera. I saw a recommendation for putting it in a bag with a silica packet or a bunch of white rice, on the theory the rice would absorb moisture.
- Hardware reset is your friend. In this case, the worst thing it would have done is nothing. The button is nearly invisible. If it was painted red with a giant “Do not press” sign nearby, I would have tried that first.
- It helps to have a good set of tools.
- If all else fails, make the repair or replace decision. As much as I would have loved to get a Nikon D700, it’s just not something I can spend money on at the moment. Had the reset failed, I would have probed further. A motherboard costs about $80 from eBay. For $40 more, I can have United Camera repair it – something they do every day. In the worstest of worst cases, I would rip out the sensors for use in some wacky Arduino project.