Question about Canon PowerShot SX210 IS Digital Camera

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My cat knocked my Canon SX 210 IS in his bowl of water. I'm afraid that the camera spent most of the night under water. Is it dead? Thank you, Andrea

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Go and take the battery out of it RIGHT NOW and then come back and read the rest of this answer. In my experience, water by itself doesn't harm electronics much, but what usually kills small electrical equipment is corrosion of the parts due to the battery voltage. Think of it as a kind of 'accelerated rusting' process. Unfortunately, some of the components and circuit board tracks on miniature equipment are so small, that they can 'rust' away in a very short time.

Your task, if you're going to recover it, is to dry it out before it corrodes. The reason I told you to go and take the battery out is because of the accelerated corrosion process that takes place in the presence of a voltage. With the battery removed, you have a much better chance of having it dry out before too much corrosion takes place.

Your best bet to dry it out is to vacuum or blow according to what you have available. You want to remove the water if possible, partly to speed the drying process, and partly to eliminate the salt residue caused by simply waiting for it to evaporate. Depending on what you have, try to vacuum through the device - use the battery compartment opening - to sukc out whatever water you can. When you've exhausted that, also blow if possible, to blow out any remaining dampness. I wouldn't sukc too hard on the lens cover, because the pressure might bend it out of shape.

Try the battery briefly - any good? If not, leave it for a while, preferably in a place that has some air movement. Try it again after a few hours, but don't leave the battery in, for the reason I mentioned.

If it's not working for you, how do you feel about opening the device up? I confess I don't know how this opens, so I can't help you (yet) but obviously opening it will speed up the drying process. Most cameras of this type use an array of small screws, and then pry open.

I have to say that it's probably bad news. You don't want an answer from "Bad News Guy" - I confess I maintain this secondary login for the purpose of answering 'bad news' questions with answers the customers are not going to like, without risking my rating. And I don't think your camera is going to work again, so you're not going to be happy. I've repaired several digital cameras (usually with bent lens mechanisms and so on) but the one that fell in the lake was a gonner. Oh, and if it does eventually dry out and start working again, you'll probably have to clean the sensor off somehow because it'll have deposits on it - not pretty. But I don't think you'll even get that far.

Posted on Mar 23, 2011

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