Lensrentals tears down a $10K Fujifilm GFX 100 corroded by saltwater

What happens when even a splash of saltwater makes its way inside a $10K Fujifilm GFX 100? Just ask Roger Cicala, Founder of Lensrentals.

For their latest teardown, Roger and his trusty teardown assistant Aaron took apart one of Fujifilm’s medium format cameras that had been damaged during a rental, wherein it was used inside a dive housing. Fuji Service told Roger a ‘repair [was] not possible,’ and the insurance claims were already paid out, so the dynamic duo took it upon themselves to salvage what components they could.

That is not how a PCB should look.

The general rule of water damage, according to Roger, is ‘it’s always worse on the inside.’ And, unfortunately, in the case of this GFX 100, that tidbit proved to be true once again. While the outside looked mostly unscathed, the inside was riddled with corroded screws, flex ribbon cables and solder points.

A literal hands-on look at the massive sensor inside the GFX 100.

Roger and Aaron salvaged what they could — namely the LCD panel, hot shoe and a few other pieces — but as much as the teardown was about getting any functional pieces, it was also about being able to take apart a $10K camera without the risk of damaging it.

In the words of Roger, ‘The IBIS unit looks like it could stabilize a small child, and certainly is strong enough to support this big sensor.’

In that vein, Aaron and Roger came across plenty of interesting engineering decisions and components inside the camera. From the robust IBIS assembly to the spring-mounted shutter mechanism, the GFX 100 proved to be as well-engineered as Roger had hoped for a camera of its size (and price). That said, the weathersealing wasn’t quite as impressive as is suggested, so whether it’s freshwater or saltwater, don’t press your luck too much when out in the rain or near the sea.

You can read and view the full teardown on the Lensrentals blog.

What happens when even a splash of saltwater makes its way inside a $10K Fujifilm GFX 100? Just ask Roger Cicala, Founder of Lensrentals.
For their latest teardown, Roger and his trusty teardown assistant Aaron took apart one of Fujifilm’s medium format cameras that had been damaged during a rental, wherein it was used inside a dive housing. Fuji Service told Roger a ‘repair [was] not possible,’ and the insurance claims were already paid out, so the dynamic duo took it upon themselves to salvage what components they could.

That is not how a PCB should look.

The general rule of water damage, according to Roger, is ‘it’s always worse on the inside.’ And, unfortunately, in the case of this GFX 100, that tidbit proved to be true once again. While the outside looked mostly unscathed, the inside was riddled with corroded screws, flex ribbon cables and solder points.

A literal hands-on look at the massive sensor inside the GFX 100.

Roger and Aaron salvaged what they could — namely the LCD panel, hot shoe and a few other pieces — but as much as the teardown was about getting any functional pieces, it was also about being able to take apart a $10K camera without the risk of damaging it.

In the words of Roger, ‘The IBIS unit looks like it could stabilize a small child, and certainly is strong enough to support this big sensor.’

In that vein, Aaron and Roger came across plenty of interesting engineering decisions and components inside the camera. From the robust IBIS assembly to the spring-mounted shutter mechanism, the GFX 100 proved to be as well-engineered as Roger had hoped for a camera of its size (and price). That said, the weathersealing wasn’t quite as impressive as is suggested, so whether it’s freshwater or saltwater, don’t press your luck too much when out in the rain or near the sea.
You can read and view the full teardown on the Lensrentals blog.Read MoreArticles: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)

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