My over eagerness got the better of me, and I went out this evening taking some photos in the snow.

The camera in use is a Yashica FX-D Quartz, which has an electronic shutter release and LED meter.

As I should have expected, the snow built up the camera was on the tripod and, as most people would be able to predict, the camera stopped working.

Given that this camera uses a couple of button cell batteries at 1.5v each, how much damage can occur with water ingress into the top of the unit?

I'd like to say that we're not talking about a lot of water, but I just don't know. It was a pretty long exposure on a very dimly lit street, and totalled some 40 seconds or so - a lot of snow could have gotten in during that time.

The camera got very cold, and I'd hoped that the batteries just dumped a lot of energy, but they read 1.48v and 1.5v respectively so the issue is definitely the camera.

I got the batteries out as soon as I came in, and the camera is now in a sealed plastic box with about 2 cups of rice and a pack of silica gel.

I've managed to recover fluid damaged laptops and phones before using this method, but I'm not sure what sort of damage can occur when devices such as cameras are concerned.

With laptops and phones, the current from the battery (and the voltage) are reasonably high, and corrosion can occur on the surface mount components on the board, especially if water ingress isn't discovered as soon as it happens.

I'm not sure what the current draw on an older SLR is, so can't say what sort of damage could occur. Annoyingly, this camera has an elector magnetic shutter release, so I can't use it sans battery like I can with my Fujica (which I really should have taken out with me in the first place).

If anybody can shed some light onto what sort of damage I could expect to see, or even point me to a service manual for the FX-D which would help in fixing it, I'd be grateful.

I know I'm not the first person to accidentally knacker a camera from rain/snow, but I have no idea if the comparatively simple electronics in older SLRs make them easier to repair, or more likely to survive if throughly dried out.


2 Answers 2


Looking at the manual for that camera it appears to be a pretty sensitive camera;

"Salt air, sand, dirt and other foreign matter will damage the camera's internal system if allowed to penetrate inside. Take care to keep the camera clean when using it at the seashore or in sandy areas. Shocks from dropping or bumping are another major cause of camera malfunction. Always handle your camera with great care to ensure years of trouble-free operation. "

It seems like you'll have to hope for the best and see how the rice method works, worst situation you'll need to have the camera repaired and at worst replaced. It wasn't built using a weather sealed body so it's pretty much a coin flip on the amount of damage the melting snow would have done to the camera.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ The Canon 1DX Mark II manual (see e.g. page 23) contains very similar language, but in fact is built like a tank. That language is there so the camera manufacturers don't get sued, not because it necessarily represents reality. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 14:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that many devices have a disclaimer akin to the one with the Yashica just to cover warranty exemptions, but in this case, it does seem pretty accurate. It's a sturdy camera, but in no way weather proof. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 15:53

Assuming there is no debilitating damage to mechanical parts (steel parts rusted until broken or seized or similar):

A camera of that age at least won't have a big multilayer PCB - as long as the legs of hard to replace electronic components have not corroded off completely, and no integrated circuits or actuator coils have burnt out due to shorts (not likely given the small batteries and low voltages, but some 1970s tech integrated circuits are suprisingly sensitive in that regard...), the camera COULD always be repaired. Possibly not economically. This might, in a bad case, involve a lot of alcohol and cotton swabs, a lot of surface mount soldering, and a lot of mending damaged flex circuits with magnet wire, conductive paint and more soldering. With really, really soggy luck, actuator coils will need to be rewound. But it is possible in one man or woman with a workbench and $200 of tools environment.


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