October 26, 2007 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Did Charleston, SC kill my digital camera with its southern hospitality?

Took my digital camera down to Charleston, SC. It was humid, but my camera has been to plenty of other humid places. Today, two weeks after my trip back, I turned it on. The screen turned on - went white (briefly) - and then the whole thing turned off. I've tried recharging the battery and attaching it directly to DC current, but the darn thing won't turn back on. Am I SOL? Have you ever heard of humidity frying a camera before? It's a Panasonic DMC-FZ10 if that helps. No, I didn't drop it.
posted by Eringatang to Technology (7 answers total)
It's probably not the humidity. The specs sheet that come with it would say so, but besides that, Panasonic would be leaking blood over such a bad product design if it were true.

SOL? Well, maybe. Call Panasonic and tell them about the white flash. I don't think you have to worry that they'll ask, "Uh oh, have you been in the South lately?" Butter them up with praise for the camera and I suspect they'll fix it for you.
posted by cmiller at 3:08 PM on October 26, 2007

Not your symptoms, but extreme humidity in S E Asia did I think cause whitish patches to appear on images taken with a Sony digital camera; the camera began behaving properly again when back in the temperate zone. So I wouldn't rule it out.
posted by londongeezer at 3:56 PM on October 26, 2007

Humidity usually isn't a problem for electronics but condensation is. If you flew down and the camera was checked, it would go from the freezing luggage compartment to the humid air and instantly gather a coat of water everywhere. Even from the overhead bin might be enough to cause problems.
posted by chairface at 4:09 PM on October 26, 2007

If you come to the conclusion that moisture (condensation, humidity, whatever) is indeed the problem, don't trash it immediately. I had an older digital camera (Canon S110) resurrect itself after 5 days recuperation time... after it was in a Bangkok storm sewer.

When it died, the symptoms were similar to the ones you describe. Just open the camera up somewhere dry and leave it for a few days. Cross fingers.
posted by whatzit at 4:25 PM on October 26, 2007

Response by poster: Okay, I will go buy a tiny little screwdriver.
posted by Eringatang at 4:54 PM on October 26, 2007

I didn't mean open it that far - I meant open up the flash card slot and remove the battery. Sorry, should've been more specific!!

Really, I don't recommend opening it any further than that for 2 reasons:
1) it's too easy to contaminate the electronic or mechanic parts with foreign crap
2) if it's at all wet inside, there's potential for shock, and camera flashes are quite a wallop (big capacitors)!
posted by whatzit at 5:32 PM on October 26, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, you're right whatzit. I do know better. But, the tinkerer in me, the one that fixed the ipod with the business card, is hoping for some such solution.
posted by Eringatang at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2007

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