What can happen to your camera in the rain

We take lots and lots of photos as we travel, and our cameras may be our most essential travel “tools”.  We also take them for granted.  When we hiked in blowing sand in Nevada or pouring rain in Iceland, we tried to protect our cameras, but most of the time they are out and ready to snap the next photo.  Maybe we need to reassess that practice….

We arrived in Cape May, located at the southernmost tip of New Jersey.  Cape May is most famous for its grand painted Victorian homes.  The homes are lovely, but we were here to see another attraction: birds!

We were walking down to the Nature Conservancy’s South Cape May Meadows when we saw the yellow-rumped warbler’s lifeless body on the roadside.  We’re not sure how it died, but had to admire how absolutely beautiful this bird is when seen close up.

The day before, it had rained for most of the day, and now there was a lull until the next storm was due to arrive.  The conditions were less than optimal for bird watching.  Still, we walked on and hoped for the best.

Everything around us was damp or dripping wet.

We spent over two hours walking and watching birds in the preserve.  We think we were the only ones there….

…until we saw the raccoon prints on the path.

One of the more “exotic” birds we saw were mute swans.

Identifying birds is still not easy for us.  We learned to start the identification of swans by looking at their bills.  This photo was taken to ID the bird.  With a better look on the computer screen and with the bird book in hand, it was easy to figure out just which swan this was.

Photographing flowering plants and bushes along the boardwalk delayed our return.  The little dots of water were a nice touch.  And then it happened….

Beth’s Sony RX100 II camera froze.  The camera died with lens extended.  The on/off switch didn’t respond.  The screen was solid black.  We contemplated what to do.  Nothing worked.  The camera, like the little yellow-rumped warbler, had died with no explanation.  Beth carefully tucked the camera in her bag with the extended lens protected, and we walked home.

We’re not sure what happened.  It wasn’t raining.  Could it have been the moisture in the air?  The camera has been laid in a dry place with battery removed, and we’ll see what happens.  Stay tuned.

(Always trying to think ahead, we had saved our last camera, a Sony RX100 I, as a backup if anything was to happen to our newer model.  Cousin Susie was in possession of that camera, having used it on her African safari six months ago.  Now she’ll return it when she comes to see us in three days as scheduled.  How lucky is that?)


November 2018

About simpletravelourway

Beth and Joe enjoy simple travel.
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16 Responses to What can happen to your camera in the rain

  1. Pingback: What can happen to your camera in the rain — simpletravelourway – Site Title

  2. Marge Abbott says:

    Your blog brought up memories of my last trip to Cape May– a few days after my mother died. She had been in dementia for several years and being in Cape May was full of awareness of my childhood trips to FCG’s Cape May Conferences, much happier times. Not long after I attended a Quaker history conf held at Friends School in Baltimore where I attended kindergarten. At lunch I sat with a man who remembered my parents and could talk of mom as a bright, happy young woman. Both were wonderful ways to break through the pain of her recent years that I could also share with my family.

    Do let us know when you will be out this way.

    • Thanks, Marge, for those memories. We experienced Cape May in a very different way on this visit with long walks and birdwatching – and in off-season. It hardly seemed like the same place we had visited many times before.

      No trips planned to the northwest any time soon. We’ll definitely see you when we do!

  3. Lady Caladium says:

    I had a camera do that in while photographing the aftermath of an ice storm. Sadly the camera ended up not being able to be repaired – it was a Nikon N80 that I had taken everywhere with me. It survived a fair bit of abuse up to that point!

    • We had a camera die after many days taking photos in a windy desert. Guess too much sand got into the camera and that was it. For this camera I bought a sturdy leather case. I usually am more cautious and didn’t think non-rainy humid conditions would be so tough on this camera. Guess I was wrong. Lesson learned.

      • Lady Caladium says:

        If you end up replacing the camera, there are some good all weather options out there. They tend to be a bit more expensive, but that could be worth it if it means not worrying about potential weather issues.

  4. Probably over use ;-( My experience is that wet weather, water, falling off bikes, sand, and myself, have not been great ‘mates’ to my camera’s. I looked up how many images a digital camera should be good for – it was well into the six figures but with the caveat that nobody really knows as the technology is still relatively ‘young’.

    • How long have you had your most recent camera? Wasn’t the camera you brought with you on our trip to Laos and Cambodia a relatively new one? I had hoped to have this one for many, many years but as you say, one fall, a patch of rain, or a a bit of sand can end its life prematurely.

      • Got it in Amsterdam in 2015. It has had two trips for repair and I suspect I am on a “final warning”. It is about to head off on a week of cycle touring. Not a good combination.

  5. leggypeggy says:

    Oh bummer. Hope you can get it repaired. At least there’s a back-up.

    • That idea of a backup came from reading about a fellow in southern Patagonia, getting ready to leave for his trip to Antarctica, whose camera broke. No backup, no way to repair, no way to buy a new one. We’ve all traveled to places that if that happened, we’d be devastated. We decided to always have a backup camera an express delivery away.

  6. That’s not good news. Hopefully it’s a temporary shut down. We saw mute swans in their hundreds at Abbotsbury in England. It was an amazing sight. https://theeternaltraveller.wordpress.com/2016/11/13/swanning-around/

    • Oh, my! When I clicked on to your post I couldn’t believe how many mute swans were there! I read that mute swans are a native in Eurasia and are now considered an invasive species in North America. Still, they are lovely to look at. Thanks so much for the link.

      • I guess when number build in an area they’re not meant to be any species quickly becomes invasive. I thought it was interesting they are called mute swans because they are actually very noisy in large numbers.

  7. plaidcamper says:

    Here’s hoping the camera recovers!
    Cape May is a pleasant little town to visit. I met my brother there for a weekend, over ten years ago, and we had a great time wandering the beach, looking at the lighthouse, admiring the houses, stopping for coffee and eating in some great restaurants. I hope you enjoy your stay there.

    • It’s a fine place to be but we came mostly for the birds. November is an iffy time to be here – for the town or the birds. Still, there’s enough to enjoy (beautiful beach, very good food, interesting architecture) that we’ll be back someday….Hope where you are doesn’t have such a cold wind and you’re enjoying being out and about.

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