Sounds like a joke right? Well, it’s not and it started on a rainy day, literally coming down sideways, a great day to get some shots here in Yokosuka, Japan or so it seemed… I had recently purchased a great waterproof hat, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants, and waterproof shoes, almost all of it on sale and in anticipation for a day just like this. was prepared, again… so it seemed. Within an hour of my rain day outing, water was running down the inside of my glasses and down my neck from the inside the hat, my body was soaked to the core and my feet were wet and freezing. All my clothing had failed and even my weather sealed Canon 6D Mkii’s buttons suddenly stopped working. Even though the camera was weather sealed and had a protective cover, the rain had somehow gotten inside. The first thing I did out there in the rain was to take out the battery. Who knows what could have happened when water inside the camera came in to contact with a power source. There I was, wet and cold, and to top it my camera didn’t work, so I went home.
It’s funny, but when I purchased my Canon 6D Mkii I’m pretty sure it said “weather sealed,” I was sure of it. Now, with my wet jacket in the dryer, I was drinking a cup of coffee after taking a hot shower to warm up, I was reading related articles, but now I saw things about the this camera, something to the effect, “weather sealed, but …” Now what to do? The camera would turn on but most of the buttons weren’t working and the ones that did weren’t doing what they were supposed to do. The next thing I search for online were suggestions and solutions to repair a wet camera. From what I read, these simple solutions could work, but if they didn’t, I’d likely be sending the camera to a Canon repair tech. This would either be a cheap fix or extremely expensive. Not to mention that I live in Japan so I’d be without this camera for a month, minimum. Yes, I do have a backup…
Many of the articles said to carefully place the camera in a ziplock bag with dry rice for a couple of days and some said to put that bag in a warm place. Since I love to bake sourdough bread, I also need keep my starter for the batter in a warm place. I keep it in the oven with the door cracked and the oven light on, this seems to create the perfect temperature for sourdough starter. So I placed the bag of rice with the camera in the oven next to the sourdough starter with my fingers crossed (see the above photo). The 6D was upside down with the card and battery covers open with a lens cap attached to the body. I left the card and battery covers open in hopes of giving the moisture multiple ways to evaporate from the camera. There it sat, next to my sourdough starter, for three days… Finally, I carefully opened the ziplock bag and took out the camera. As a precaution, I used can of air to blow out potential rice dust that may have settled in the card and battery slots. Then the moment had come, I put in a card and fresh battery, powered up my trustee 6D and to my surprise, everything worked! It was as if nothing had happened, everything was in good working order and life was once again good in my little spot in our universe.
I fully realize that I was extremely fortunate, there was probably just enough water inside the camera to affect the buttons. Had there been just a little more water, this ziplock bag and dry rice solution may not have worked so well. Then again, if there were more water, could it just have taken more time in the bag? I highly recommend giving this a shot as a first step should your camera get wet and hopefully you’ll experience the same results. I would also recommend not buying rain gear on sale and just shell out money for the good stuff. Lastly, if you do get water inside the camera, it is not going to get better with the battery attached, get it powered down asap. An expensive trip to repair tech was avoided this time and I’ll definitely be more careful taking my camera out in the rain.