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Canon T4i Took a Bath


I was photographing a friend fly fishing in the Sierras today when my daypack containing my T4i and 18-135 mm lens slipped into the river.  I jumped in after it and retrieved it within 5-10 seconds and it didn't seem terribly wet, but it won't start up.  I did remove the battery and SD card immediately.


I was wondering if the trick of storing the camera in a bag of rice would revive it.  The Canon tech support person said only sending it in for repair would fix it, but I was wondering if anyone else has faced this problem.  Any suggestions would be welcome.



It needs to be dried out.  Dessicant bags are excellent -- if water can find a way in, dessicant can wick it right back out again.  I've never tried rice.  


I have never taken a camera swimming with me (well... at least not a camera that wasn't inside a dive housing) but I have a phone go swimming and the dissicant packs brought it back after a few weeks of drying out.  


I might leave the camera with the lens and body cap OFF for about a day in a nice warm dry spot just to let the air dry out any moisture rapidly (since you can't really stuff it in a rice bag without the body cap attached or the camera will be full of rice).


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da


I haven't had to do it on a camera either *knock on wood*, but I've done it for various electronics over the years.  Hopefully you already have it in rice.  But I'd go out and buy some dessicant (hardware store), it's far more effective than rice. In the future, I would take out the battery and not even try to turn it on until after a couple days of supplemented drying.  Just to minimize your chances of shorting something.


If it still doesn't work after a few days you have to choose to either send it in, or try to fix it yourself.  I'm a fix it yourself kinda guy, so I'm probably the wrong person to ask, but from what I've read online Canon usually just ends up sending back water damaged cameras.  Seems to me that you have nothing to lose, but that's your choice.


If some of the electronic components were compromised than there's nothing you can do.  However, what frequently happens in these situations is that the water dries and impurities that were in the water, especially salt, are left behind on the circuitboard.  These impurities can conduct electricity and cause shorts between contacts.  If you see hazy white film then just wipe it down with IPA, let it dry for a bit, and repeat.  I've brought several iPods back to life this way.


Try the rice and if you have a dehumidifier set the rice/camera bowl in front of the dehumidifier exhaust (warm dry air). It will keep drying the rice/camera.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


The most common thing a person does after a disaster, like submerging a camera in water is turn it on.  If the water bath didn't kill the camera the turning it on probably did.

If the drying, howerver you do it, doesn't work, forget it and move on.  The drying can take a long time.  Very long.  A month is not too long nor is two or three.

The repair cost will be very expensive.  Check with your home owners or a Visa card if you bought it with a card.

Speaking of cards, the SD card is still probably OK.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

Good news so far.  I had immediately removed the battery and SD card after the dunking.  When I got home I placed the camera body in a ziplock bag with two pounds of rice.  The next day I set the bag outside in the hot California sun to expedite evaporation of the water.  By last evening after 24 hours I tested the camera and, lo and behold, it started up.  I did a lot of tests and the only thing that did not work was the button that switches between viewfinder mode and screen mode.  Oddly, the only way to get the screen mode to engage was to partially disconnect the lens, at which point it switched to the menu.  If I turned the camera off and back on it once again showed the viewfinder view on the screen until I once again partially removed the lens.


This morning I received a package of silica drying pouches from Amazon and replace the rice with them,  After a day in the sun in the ziplock, everything seems to be working again.  Hopefully it will continue to do so and I plan to continue with the drying process for a while to ensure that all of the water has been removed.


Next step is to buy a dry pouch for the camera as I do a lot of photography while fly fishing in rivers.  Thanks to all for you advice.



That's great Phil, always happy to hear success stories when it comes to damaged gear.


FWIW, people always talk about the Rebel cameras as being delicate because they don't have the metal chassis of the higher end cameras.  But my old 450D took many, many beatings over its lifetime and still works to this day.  They're tough little cameras.