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Taking Apart a $10,000 Mirrorless Fuji Camera Damaged by Saltwater

Taking Apart a $10,000 Mirrorless Fuji Camera Damaged by Saltwater

LensRentals has shared a number of images of the inside of a Fuji camera after staff took it apart when it died without obvious explanation. The customer had used it underwater within dive housing, and despite appearing fine on the outside, LensRentals discovered that inside, there was evidence of saltwater damage.

The Fuji GFX 100 medium format mirrorless camera in question, worth around $10,000, recently landed in the care of LensRentals after it was concluded by Fuji that there was no way of saving it. The customer it came from reported it had died unexpectedly and without justification.

Taking Apart a $10,000 Mirrorless Fuji Camera Damaged by Saltwater 1

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LensRentals founder Roger Cicala tells PetaPixel how removing 4-8 screws on the camera body allows for removal of the tripod plate:

If there has been water, you’ll almost always see corrosion under it; water tends to wick up along metal, often traveling a good way from where it originally entered.

The condition of the I/O ports is the usual giveaway as to whether the camera is beyond help or not. Cicala explains:

Once you’ve seen that it’s considered not repairable for very good reason – replace the corroded stuff you see, and something that looks OK fails in another month or so […] That’s the general rule of water damage; it’s always worse on the inside. This should be a great example of what even a little saltwater does inside a camera. Seriously, everything we know about the incident indicates there was just a tiny bit of salt water that got the camera wet. It wasn’t immersed or anything. The camera worked for a couple of hours after that before going belly up.

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Upon investigating the inside of the camera, Cicala found corrosion throughout the body and wires. He pinpoints a noticeable gap around the command dials that would allow water in  — perhaps the culprit.

Cicala’s incredibly detailed guide to taking apart the Fuji, complete with images, is definitely worth checking out, and you can find it here.

All images courtesy LensRentals.com and used with permission.

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