Shooting pictures on a cliff in Hawaii when a wave crashed into the side of the cliff, and the resulting splash gave me and my T3i a good shower. The camera was never submerged at all, it remained in my hand the entire time. However some water from the wave did splash on the camera. As soon as we dried the camera off, it would not turn on.
We went to the hotel and tried the rice in bucket trick for a couple of days. The camera did come back on, but only for about 60 seconds. We left it in the rice for a few more days. The camera came back on again, but while trying to set the date, time, etc it went off again.
Put it in rice for another week, just pulled it out, and now its not coming on at all.
Is it repairable?
If not, does it have any salvage value? I hate to just throw it in the trash.
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Well, with anything electronic, if a drop of water gets inside in the wrong place it can short out the circuitry. That can happen whether it's salt water or not. Salt water does cause more corrosion though.
I had two 30D, a couple lenses and a pair of flashes all get soaked badly in a sudden downpour some years ago. I was stuck out in the rain with the cameras for some time before I could get to any cover and didn't dare open my bag to try to stow the equipment inside... more stuff would have gotten soaked inside the backpack.
I immediately turned the cameras off, protected the gear inside my jacket and with my arms as best I could, then when I was under cover I wiped off the worst of it and removed all the batteries so that there would be no power to short out circuits (hopefully). Back home later I disassembled everything and let them sit open for several days, dried further by occasionally using a hair dryer on low temp. After about three days I reassembled, reinstalled the batteries, and then very nervously powered up the cameras and flash. Everything worked fine.
I was very lucky. I think immediately turning off the power had something to do with it, too.
If it had been salt water rather than rain, corrosion would have been a big problem too, even after drying and I imagine everything would have been ruined.
You probably didn't let the camera sit and dry long enough before trying to power it back up. But the fact that it was salt water might have made matters worse, too.
I'm afraid it would likely cost more to repair than the camera costs to replace. If you can get anyone to try to repair it at all. Many repairers won't even attempt a repair when salt water is involved. It doesn't hurt to ask, though.
Salvage value? Well, I don't know it it's still in effect, but there used to be a Canon Loyatly Program where you could exchange an old/dead camera for somewhat of a discount on the purchase of a new one at the Canon online store. You then sent your old camera in for recycling. You might Google Canon Loyatly Program to see if you can find any info about it.
You also might check your homeowners or renters insurance, if you have it. Sometimes those insuranges cover camera gear (up to some limit, unless you have an additional rider). Also, some credit cards cover the losses of items like cameras, if used for the original purchase.
Water and a camera in combo is usually a bad situation but salt water and a camera is the kiss of death.
BTW, the rice thingy rarely works. Plus you have rice dust or rice itself in places where it shouldn't be. A warm heating pad is better. It does take several days. In either case all openings in the camera must be opened.
From now on, remember the worse thing you can do to a wet camera is turn it on.
Ok just for kicks I tried to turn it on again, and it came on. I took a few pictures with it. but it still acts erratic. Certain menu items wont work (ie when I try to get the date by pushing the up and down arrows, the numbers dont change) Also, it turn off when I try to take a picture in P mode. But when I turn it over to sports mode for instance, i was able to take pictures.
This makes me wonder if this thing is fixable, or if this is just a final breath on the way to that big camera store in the sky......
No amount of drying, with rice, or other "proper" dessicants, will truly work, as the salts that have gotten into the camera will re-absorb atmospheric moisture as soon as the camera is again in the open air. Salt water that has reached circuit boards and other electronic components really is the kiss of death for cameras. While it may be technically possible to rehabilitate the camera, the cost to do so would, likely, exceed the value of the camera.
Moreover, every time the camera is switched "on" while the salt is still present, inside, makes things worse. Even the presence of the battery will likely allow destruction to occur, as salt plus moisture will conduct electricity, allowing short-circuits to occur.
Cameras can often recover from amazing large deluges of relatively clean rainwater, as corrosive, electrically conductive salts are not present.