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Saving a Camera and lens damaged by water

I’m the kind of photographer who tend to broke is photo equipment, call it bad luck or i’m goofy but it happened to me on some occasion over the last 25 years. But i outdone myself this time, i dropped my 3 months old¬†Canon 7D and 400mm/5.6L in the water ūüė¶

I was photographing frogs and just put my 7D with 400mm/5.6 L and with an Extension tube on my tripod, i put my camera bag on the ground and saw my kit falling in the pond , i quickly grabbed my lens by the hood but the ext. tube unlocked from the lens and my 7D did fall back in the water and was now fully vulnerable and making bubbles ūüė¶

The first thing i did was to turn the camera OFF, remove the battery and CF card. I was about at a¬†10 minutes drive from my home, so i was able to put my camera and lens quickly in plastic bags with silical gel. I went to my local¬†camera store and they said that Canon wouldn’t repair them because¬†of the water.¬†After that i got help from forum members (DPReview and Nature Photographer Network) that suggested rice, so i put rice also and transferred the lens and camera in separate plastic containers. I also removed the back cover on my 7D and unscrewed the lens mount on my 400mm lens to help air circulation.

I changed the rice everyday, and after over 48 hours i decided to try my 400mm lens which looked dry (no more water in the scale distance window), it didn’t get deeper than the scale distance window in the water.¬†To my surprise the AF worked like a new lens, i tested it on a Canon XS, here¬†is one of¬†my first test shots:

This is a 100% crop from a shot taken in JPEG on a Canon XS.

After testing it i put it back in the container with rice to be sure that any remaining humidity would be eliminated. I didn’t touched my 7D for a full week, the top LCD was half filled with water, it took 3 days to completely dry out, even after 5 days there was still water droplets in the VF.

Well tonight i looked at my camera and the VF is now fogged, so i decided to try a battery in the camera (in fact 3) ….. well nothing happened. I declare my 7D officially dead ūüė¶

I’m now waiting news from my insurance tomorrow, after that even if they don’t pay i will have to buy another 7D. At least i saved my lens, the camera took too much water to survive.

Hope that my post will help others save their equipment if it ever happens.

I found some tips here a couple of days later:



Green Heron hunting tadpoles .

It’s 5:00 AM, it’s windy, rainy and cold¬† (around 8 degree Celcius), but i decided to go anyway and visit a pond close to my home to photograph Frogs. You can see how the pond looks like, it’s a Beaver’s pond with lots of trees fallen in the water are still up.

Pentax K-01 with DA35mm Macro Limited, tripod.

There was not much Frogs because of the cold, they were mostly all hiding with just the head out of the water. After walking along the shore i finally found a Bullfrog and was able to take it’s portrait.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L with Extension tubes, tripod and remote release.

ISO 500, 1/6 sec. at f/9.0

After that shot i decided to do another walk along the shore of the pond to see if i could found more frogs. To my surprise there was a Green Heron that was now hunting for it’s lunch on the fallen logs ! My experience with Herons (Great Blue Heron, Green Heron and Black-Crowned Heron)¬†around my home, is that they are difficult to get close enough to take good photos. So i stopped and waited to see if it would fly away, it stayed there and continued to hunt, it was catching frogs and tadpoles with ease.

Since he seemed to accept me i made a move and walked right to the shore where i would get the best view to take photos, he didn’t even mind and was walking on the logs and catching more tadpoles.

Walking to another hunting spot.

Windy up there !

Another Yummi tadpole !

Taking a break to digest all those Tadpoles !

Last one for the road .

I was really happy to take photos of that Green Heron for more than an hour even if it was cold and humid, it was worth it. All photos were taken with my Canon 7D and 400mm/5.6L on a tripod, ISO 800, 1/125 sec. to 1/160 sec. at f/5.6. The shutter speed was low because of the low light level, so getting sharp photos of action shots was not easy, but i managed to get some sharp ones.

Visit of a new Frog pond.

This morning i visited a ¬†pond where i’ve never been for photographing frogs, i hoped to find at least 2 or 3 species. After that first outing i can say that there is at least the following species: Leopard frog, Green frog, Spring peeper frog and Bullfrog.¬†

Here is a video of the pond (sorry for the bad quality, i’m a photographer not a videast !)


I took some shots but the light was becoming harsh, i will go again earlier in the morning or on a cloudy day. I think i will like that pond, with old tree trunks in the water with vegetation growing on them will make great shots if i can find frogs resting there.

Bullfrog .

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L and 65mm of Extension tubes, tripod and remote release.

I think this one is a Green frog.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L and 65mm of Extension tubes, tripod and remote release.

Leopard frog, not the best shot but i wanted to show that there is also Leopard frog in that pond.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L and 65mm of Extension tubes, tripod and remote release.

Canada Goose, there is also many bird species that live there. 

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L, tripod.

I can’t wait to go back at that beautiful pond !

Beavers are back at the pond, good for Frogs !

My favorite pond for photographing Gray Tree Frogs and Spring Peeper Frogs is a Beaver’s pond, but sadly 2 years ago the beavers were killed by humans. Since there was no more beavers for the last 2 years the water level of the pond was very low and last year it was completely dried out by mid summer and a lot of tadpoles died before having time to complete their metamorphosis.¬†So last year was not a good year for the frogs and for my frog photography sessions, it didn’t last long.

One of the 3 beavers that i’ve seen this spring, a blurred vision in low light. ¬†I panned with my camera as the beaver was swimming close to me.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L, ISO 800, 1/25 sec. at f/5.6, tripod.

I had a surprise last week-end when i went to see if i could find some frogs and saw 3 beavers and a big pond full of water, and to top this i heard some frogs singing even in the cold morning (it even snowed later in the day). I was more than happy for the little frogs, hope that the beavers will not get kill this year.

Here is a video i made last summer (2012) of that pond, where i walk to take that video this year with the water level i would be walking in waist level water . You can see the result of a very dry year and no beavers present to maintain the water level.


Beaver’s pond¬†are important for frogs and insects, it’s a great place for reproduction and make that place home. If everything goes well it should be a great year for frog reproduction, especially for the Spring peeper and Gray tree frog because at the edge of the pond there is a lot of vegetation and small trees to hide in. At that pond in past years i also saw Leopard frogs, Green frogs and American Toads.

Leopard Frog on moss on the shore of the pond.

Pentax K-01, Pentax DFA 100mm Macro WR, handheld.

Young Gray Tree frog in a tree along the shore of the pond.

Pentax K-01, Pentax DFA 100mm Macro WR with TC 1.4X, tripod.

Damselfly are another resident of beaver’s pond.

Pentax K-01, Pentax DFA 100mm Macro WR with TC 1.4X, tripod. 

I’m looking forward to see how the season will go, hope to make some good frog shots and now of beavers also !

Canada Geese out of the water.

Canada Geese during spring migration can be found eating grass and can be photograph even if it’s not the best looking environment. Try to make the most out of the situation by doing close-ups or getting interesting interactions.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L, tripod, RAW.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6 L and TC-1.4X II, tripod, RAW.

At the end of my photo session the 2 Geese were quite close.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L and TC-1.4X II, tripod, RAW.

Not my sharpest shot but i like it.

Canon 7D with 400mm/5.6L and TC-1.4X II, tripod, RAW.