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EOS R EVF & LCD screen not working, but otherwise camera functional. Can I get EVF or LCD to work?


Hi all,

With great sadness, today my camera fell onto rocks and into very shallow (fresh) water. It was on a tripod and made a very unpleasant noise, but for better or worse, didn't seem to be anything that hadn't happened before. No significant marks or physical damage. 

However, every time I turn the camera on now, the LCD screen flashes for under one second, then goes black. The viewfinder just doesn't work at all anymore, any time, even for a second. So I have two blank screens. Otherwise, the camera is fully functional, and I can blindly take photos that appear on the SD card when I upload to laptop. I can see and change shutter speed and aperture using dial and Mode ring, and I can scroll through Modes on the top screen, but that's all I can do. The camera still takes photos - I just can't see anything anymore. 

In searches earlier today I found some similar issues with people suggesting to connect the camera via HDMI cable to a TV or laptop and then change settings on that screen. I will try to find a mini to HDMI cable tomorrow in local shops to try this out, but I'm skeptical about what difference this will make. Will changing any settings on a laptop change what is happening with the camera? 

Any other time I'd send it off for repairs asap, but in the worst case of bad timing possible, I leave on Thursday for a photographic destination I may only ever visit once and I'm currently devastated that it's looking like I won't be able to bring this camera. 

Would be ever appreciative if anyone has any hints, suggestions or tips about how and if I can get either my EVF or LCD screen working again, or preferably both. 

I should add that following the incident, after turning it off and on repeatedly and getting the same results as above, I did turn it on a couple of times where just the LCD screen worked for a minute or so and I was able to take photos this way - but this was only once or twice, before neither the LCD or EVF worked again. 

Thanks so much for any help. 



It's best to send the camera to Canon for repair since it fell into water. But get a quote first before you proceed with repairs.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D & Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM

Thanks for the reply. I mentioned the water as I didn't want to leave anything out, but based on previous incidents I've had with the camera, the brief fall on it's side into fresh water seemed an insignificant part of the incident, compared to several previous instances where the camera has been drenched in salt water, and thankfully, been okay. 

I'm guessing, but hoping I'm wrong, that a circuit or something has come ajar due to the impact of the fall. 

Sending it in for repairs seems most likely what will happen, but I was just hopeful there was some type of even temporary solution that could get the camera working by Thursday this week, even if only for the weekend. 

Cameras and water don't mix. Doesn't matter if it's salt, brackish or fresh water.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D & Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8 EX DC OS HSM


First, I'm very sorry to hear this.  This is every photographer's worst nightmare.  A fall and water?  When water happens with any electronic device... you don't try to turn it on until you are certain no more water is present.

Unfortunately, even fresh water has contaminates.  Damage caused by impact could be hidden, even with no marks.  If you love the camera, it should go to Canon.  Otherwise, its time to consider a new body.  

Oh....  Going on a once in a lifetime trip on Thursday.  Time for a trip to Best Buy or local camera shop, or B&H overnight.  Bite the bullet.  Or you can rent something... Lens Rentals.  

Unless you R again you'll be at a slight disadvantage due to new camera learning curve but you'll get some great pictures.  If you buy, CarePak up when you return.  You have 90 days.  

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Haha, thanks. I do have an old 70D which I can hopefully resurrect for the trip (though I'm sure there was a reason I had to stop using it), as I can't afford a new camera, especially considering the EOS R is only a couple of years old (well, with me as it's owner). 

Definitely appreciate what you guys are saying about the water and ideally it's not something I want to interact with my camera... but a chief reason I have never bought anything bar Canon in terms of photography gear is because of how resilient their cameras are. As a landscape photographer, I have been blanketed by waves and sometimes even shoot in the rain, by choice, so much do I trust these cameras in the wet, within reason. On those occasions where I have been subject to rogue waves and heavy soakings, I do always let the camera dry out well, and thankfully it always goes on. But this reaction is one I've never had before and my very ill-informed guess is that it's not got much to do with the water, but as mentioned, the impact. That said, the camera has had two bigger drops than this before and not skipped a beat. 

So to be honest, I'm at a loss as to exactly what caused this... was just hoping there might be a few possible fixes.

For one, is there an official, proper factory reset for the EOS R? I couldn't find that anywhere. Holding the shutter + Menu button when turning on doesn't work. 

Cameras are not waterproof.  At best, they are moisture-resistant with higher-end bodies/lenses having a higher degree of such resistance.

If you're often shooting in such conditions, you should invest in other protective equipment to keep the camera as dry as possible.


EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x


Quick update to this one. Took camera to a camera shop today and they've managed to get the video function working. So using the Mode button, I can select video and use the video function as normal. But when I switch back to Camera Mode, the EVF and LCD are still completely black. 

In theory, I guess I could frame the photos in video mode (albeit the 16:9 crop), then go to camera mode and shoot in Av and blindly take a decent shot? Only issue is I can't set the focus point, nor can I bracket or any other type of common alteration I might want to do. Would be way to risky to do this for a whole shoot, but an option. 

Anyway, I was wondering if this advancement might give anyone else any ideas? How would it be possible for the video function to work properly, but when I switch it to Camera mode I cannot see EVF or LCD screen? Had us all stumped, but curious if anyone here might have a gold nugget of info? 

Please note, my intention is to send it off for repairs, just trying to give myself any possible chance of having the camera workable for upcoming weekend trip.  


Really sorry, but there is no way we can do anything but speculate.  The camera has serious issues.  No magic bullet for this one.  

I do not think its realistic or even plausible to take the camera anywhere for use.  Doing so sounds like a weekend of misery filled with uncertainty.  What if you get there and it stops turning on all together?  I don't see how this could be enjoyable. 

You have described several miraculous my camera has fallen, gotten hit with waves and walked away unscathed scenarios.  Your luck may have finally run out.  I would try and find a way to turn this into an upgrade opportunity.   

If you think your 70D is viable and this is acceptable to you, go on the trip.  You said it might have issues also?  If not, and you can't afford any level of replacement, even on a CC, I might postpone the trip.  Maybe use the money to get my camera repaired.  "Live to shoot another day".  You'll have to make this choice.  

Bay Area - CA

~R5 C ( ~RF Trinity, ~RF 100 Macro, ~RF 100~400, ~RF 100~500, +RF 1.4x TC, +Canon Control Ring, BG-R10

~DxO PhotoLab Elite ~DaVinci Resolve ~Windows11 Pro ~ImageClass MF644Cdw ~Pixel6 ~CarePaks Are Worth It

Thanks Rick. Yeah, I think I've accepted that the EOS R won't be making the trip with me. The trip is booked and happening regardless of my camera situation, and it's cool.. There's plenty of other things to look forward to about the trip... was just hoping to capture some awesome landscapes while I was there, possibly only once in my life. 

I played around with the 70D today (even after only two years since using it last, it's like using it again for the first time). I remember what the issue was, and it's an annoying one. Every now and then, without any consistency or rhyme or reason, the camera just starts taking completely over-exposed photos. No matter what the settings, it just over exposes the shots (and by over-expose, I mean almost pure white). Makes no sense to me. But I think I'd just shut the camera down and remove the battery and it'd be temporarily "fixed," until it happened again. Obviously not ideal for photography when time is of the essence, but I guess it's still better than shooting blind with my EOS R. 

I actually found a thread with the exact same issue and the repair cost seemed pretty decent, so crossing my fingers it's similar here too. No way I could bring myself to replace the camera after only two years of ownership, within financial reason. 😉