Yoshizen's Blog

Dust, Water seal ? — on Canon 5D

As I’ve disassembled and checked the inside of several Canon 5D cameras, I noticed

some peculiar points, the way how those cameras were designed and made. 

Canon 5D-open 1-001There was an almost legendary story, how Canon camera was survived when all

the Nikons has stopped to work under the sand storm in the first Gulf War which

made the press photographers to change their camera like an avalanche.

I heard a first hand witness story from a photographer who was one of my pupil

(who became a staff photographer of Reuters and went to the desert.) — What he

told me was that many other photographer’s Nikon were breaking-down while the

Canon kept working~~~ (in fact, before his camera break, he part-exchanged his to 

Canon. = so, I didn’t actually see how Nikon machine was clogged.) — Since this 

event, camera makers are keen to appeal “the Seal against the Dust and the water”

in their camera design. = So as the 5Ds are no exception = claim to have the Seal.

THOUGH, when I opened their body, I saw very little such measure.

Canon Open 5D_MG_0005= this photo was a 5D Mk-III inside, as you can see, there was no seal or gasket kind

of material on their jointing edge.  = It’s mean, once the body was dropped in the water

the camera has no resistance to it.  — May be what Canon was saying was, “In the

normal situation”, such as a light rain splash = not soaked into the water which IS

regarded as the user’s fault.

Canon 5D OPEN-344-001If you closely look at the 5D body, such as the Battery cap. (Photo left)

You can see the gasket on its edge which might be giving you a sort of comfort.  

Though, it was just a show-off window display. = If you are serious, have look 

battery chamber of the memory retaining battery on the right-bottom of the body.

(right under the cable connectors = Photo center and right ) = situating the same

bottom of the camera, this opening has no protection against the water at all. =

When the camera was on the table and if the beer was spilt, it seep deep into the

camera body. —– Still, sound strange to you though, today’s DSLR camera is 

quite resilient to the water which is not because of the special design, but the 

nature of its electronic components. (but the image sensor get smear easily)  

Canon 5D OPEN-2-001Those components and the Circuit Flex are waterproof, which was designed to 

be washed by a solvent and the shutter switch has closed structure. (photo left)

Seemed to be the weakest-point against water is the Dial on the Grip (photo center)

= But the Dial was in a small chamber, separated from the electronic encoder

therefore the water wouldn’t go into the circuit easily (photo right).


You may not believe though, on my experience, I saved number of  TVs and

electronic goods, mobile phones, soaked under rain water, dropped into toilet,

and so-on, so that, they were even splash washed under the running water.

After completely drained the water, then dry it with hair-drier. (60 deg’ C Max)

(Don’t put the battery and switch-on before completely dry.)

= the most of the case, they recovered the function. = Same can apply to the  

DSLR.  (Hi-zoom compact camera may be much harder to save because the

mechanism is too small and compacted). — So, if you dropped your DSLR into

a water (cleaner the water, the better chance —– muddy water’s sand particle

reduce the chance) = grip the strap and swing, rotate the camera like a gyro 

in the air (if it was 5D camera, remove the memory battery to open the water 

escape.) = with a centrifugal force the water would be shaken off from inside.

(In an old day’s wisdom, put the wet camera into a pure alcohol = replace the

water by alcohol first —– a bottle of vodka may work as well)  🙂

Then try dry the camera as quick as possible. — place the camera in a box and

blow-in hot-air = otherwise a written-off camera could be saved or last few shots

of the assignment could still be taken.    (Though, if you couldn’t succeed, don’t

blame me = As I don’t presume any responsibility here.) Just Hope Good luck.    🙂



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