Friday 19 May 2017

I Fixed My Water-Soaked Sony Camcorder

    Readers of this blog will remember the episode I had in the canoe when I tipped and fell into the Fraser River.  When that happened, my Sony HDR-CX550 camcorder that was on my hip was also submerged.  I figured it was toast because afterwards it was dead.  I didn’t give up on it though.
    I immediately detached the battery and when I got home I opened the viewer and lay it out in the wind and the sun to dry out as much as it could.  I remembered reading that submerged iPhones could be resuscitated by placing them in a closed bag of rice which helps to slowly dry them out.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it on my camcorder, so I put the camcorder and battery in a plastic bag along with about 3 cups of rice and sealed the bag.  I left it that way for 2 weeks.
    I opened it the other day and when I installed the battery I was surprised to hear the little jingle that indicated the camera was coming to life.  It was not all a good story, because when I looked through the camera I could only just barely make out a blurry light rectangle which in fact was a window.  Everything was extremely blurred with no identifiable details.  I checked the camera lens and saw that there was condensation on the inside of the lens that was causing the blurring.
    I felt I needed to take the camcorder apart to somehow clean the inside of the lens, but could see no way to open up the camera enough to get to the lens.  In the end, I unscrewed the tiny screws and removed a panel on the side of the camcorder adjacent to the swing out viewer and using a hairdryer, blew hot air into the camera.  
    After a while I checked the lens again, but it still had the condensation.  Frustrated, I put the panel back on the camera and gave up, didn’t know what else to do.
    Yesterday, Alec, a friend was over, and I told him about my failed efforts with the camcorder and he asked to see it.  When I opened the viewer to demonstrate the blurring, I was amazed to discover a clear image--my camera was back to normal.
    Of course, I had already bought a brand-new replacement camera which is far superior to this old one, so now I have two camcorders.  I am though very happy I got the old one to work again.  I would hate to have just thrown such a precious piece of equipment away.

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