Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT10 "tough" camera. I got it as a backup camera and to use for underwater and in bad weather, etc. Plus it's easier to carry around all the time than the dslr.

On occasions I have noticed that some condensation forms on the inside of the lens and I've now noticed there seems to be a blemish in the lens, like that is left from water when it dries out. I've cleaned the lens on the outside to no effect so I am thinking it must be on the inside.

I was wondering if anyone has taken apart a camera like this to clean the lens or anything like that and if doing so would affect it's waterproof capability. I think as long as it's carefully put back together with all the seals in place and the screws tightened enough then it should be okay but wanted to ask for opinions before I did anything.

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If nothing else, that's bound to void your warranty I would expect... – John Cavan Sep 21 '13 at 0:35
It's well past the end of the warranty period anyway. In truth I will probably just replace it soon with a newer model. – Tim Sep 21 '13 at 4:54
Probably not. Besides, if there's condensation inside, it isnt waterproof to start with! – Digital Lightcraft Sep 21 '13 at 8:17

Water proofing in cameras (and other goods like watches) degrades with time, the main reason is deterioration of the o rings. If you have decided to take your camera apart please consider doing the following:

  • work in a dry environment, when you re-seal your camera, some amount of air and the moisture within it will be trapped in your camera. That moisture will condensate on the lens when you bring the camera into a colder environment, like water.
  • replace hardened/ deteriorated o-rings with compatible ones.
  • use a tiny amount of silicon grease on o-rings. That will help keeping the water out and lenghten the life of rubber of the rings.
  • do not overtighten the screws, that will flatten the o-rings and adversely affect the waterproofing.
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If you put it back together exactly the same as it was before you took it apart it should be as waterproof as it was before. This includes any seals that would need to be broken to be replaced with fresh materials.

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