Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Underwater housing fail (and an attempt of camera repairment)

The first time I was in Egypt the idea of having a underwater housing for a camera didn't occur to me, so by the time I've got a chance to visit a decent sea I was prepared. I ordered a cheapest underwater case I could find to fit not the smallest lens of my Lumix TZ5.

First day I was shooting only pictures (not much to see). The second day I've tried to shoot a short movie, and that is what I've got:

- the truth that there's nothing to shoot (unlike the depths of Egyptian Red sea)
- decent underwater video. Here it is:

- and the fact that I need to do something with the water in my camera

I must admit that actually it was my mistake, because I somehow left underwater case not properly sealed before diving. I'm sure had it been rightly sealed it would've been watertight. But never mind.. just be careful.

Shown movie clip is only a half of the actual footage that I managed to repair from broken *.mov file (when water came in, I was still filming).

Funny thing.. I always wanted to disassemble my camera, and sadly I've got a reason to do so.

I remembered about necessity of capturing whole process when my old TZ5 was disassembled into pieces.

As far as I understood camera contains 4 or 5 lens, and only two of them are movable.

The actual sensor with one lens on it.

One of the boards with water corrupted sockets.

And the other one. Luckily breach was shortly identified, and battery pulled out on the spot. So there was little harm to majority of components.

Metal body seams to be undamaged at all. Just a little bit dirty.

Sophisticated, as for me, lens movement system, but I'm sure it's a typical one for such type of cameras.

Sockets soldering was damaged the most, and yet is has the least distance between legs. Tricky.

Flash capacitor. Nothing interesting.

Fully assembled lens. Turn it, snap it, click it, move it, then again, again and push it. I wonder who are those people who had the idea of such construction?


A lot of oxidized sockets. Solution? Cotton swab, alcohol, tiny needle and some sort of magnifier.

Density of components is quite impressive.

Card reader surrounded by a bunch of jacks.

Skeleton of a camera.

I didn't want to remove the screen, so here is just a photo of it's back.

One piece left (which is on the right)

Only top cover with the screen left.

Kinda ready. Lets try to switch it on...

It was the first time it launched after drowning, and it made me happy, but the stained from inside screen made me totally unhappy.

I was forced to completely disassemble the screen, I literally peeled it on the individual layers. Backlight, reflector, diffuser, other layers I don't know, the TFT screen itself and the protective layer.

Interesting.. would I be able to put it all together again? I was thinking, but nevertheless continuing to peel.

Some sort of diffuser.. I guess.

Due to complexity of screen inner structure I was unable to capture the whole process, and I'm afraid if I had tried, I wouldn't have fulfilled the task at all.

Now the screen works properly, alongside with the rest of the features.

Am I happy now? I guess yes, cause after all I peeked inside my camera, and I've still got it working.

by Over 2012.08.28