How Dry Rice Saved a Digital Camera

July 29, 2009 | By | Comments (5)


Scenery on the path to Dominica's Emerald Pool

I celebrated my birthday yesterday – a year after blogging about my great present. It was a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ4K,digital camera with a wide angle lens. Now it’s available for under $175.

I’ve put it through quite a workout the past year, hauling it from Chile to California, but I almost lost it last week. I was hiking through the incredible Caribbean island of Dominica, climbing through rainforests and crossing a field where volcanic-heated water bubbles to the surface.  It was the Boiling Lake hike, one of the highlights of the island.

I was crossing a river, picking a path across slippery rocks, when my boots slipped from under me. Next thing I knew I was in the (nicely heated) water and my camera, which was tucked in a pocket, was soaking wet.

I jumped up and pulled it out, but it seemed too late. The camera wouldn’t turn on and the lens was permanently extended. I finished the hike with a heavy heart. But I had a plan. When I had a water mishap with my cell phone, my son told me to put it in a bowl of dry rice. I thought he was nuts, but the rice absorbed the moisture and a few days later the phone was fixed.

Would it work for a camera?


One of the last shots before I took a tumble

I bought some rice, and tried. The first few days nothing happened, but once I got home, the camera powered up, although it wouldn’t take a picture.

Last night, however, it was capturing images again.

What a great birthday present! It was like getting a new camera two years in a row.


  1. Alexis

    The same thing happened to me…my phone went for a swim in Lake Tahoe. I found out about the rice a few days later…after I bought a new phone!!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:19 pm
  2. Bil Coleman

    I’ll remember that tip. I’ve had two cameras fall in he water. The first was OK once it dried out. The second was never the same again.

    September 8, 2009 at 8:14 am
  3. replica tiffany jewelry

    Love, love, love this fan!

    November 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm
  4. Stuart

    My Lumix just got wet actually, and some water is inside the lense area – was the shutter open when you had it in the rice bowl? The rice won’t affect the lense will it? Thanks…

    July 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm
  5. wedding photography

    That was a very fortunate event. I am glad that the camera was undamaged and for you take pictures.

    December 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm

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