Replacing Gaskets - Cameras

Another posting asks about problems with a Pentax Optio camera. In that thread, it’s mentioned that the gaskets need to be replaced every year at a cost of $50. So you pay a few hundred dollars for a camera, then have to spend another $50 every year on it!? Does this apply to all waterproof cameras – specifically, the Olympus waterproof line? Is this only necessary if the camera is used repeatedly underwater or even if you never do more than get it splashed but buy a waterproof camera “just in case” it goes in the drink?

first I’ve heard of it
This is the first I’ve heard of replacing gaskets. Where did you read about this?

Maybe I am risking things, but my 3 year old W20 is holding up fine (knock on wood).

That thread is about an older model
I also have a W20 which is 3 years old and going strong - I’ve never heard of changing a gasket. I think the current model is the W60.

Per Olympus’s Owner’s Manual

– Last Updated: Dec-15-08 11:12 AM EST –

In order to preserve the water resistant feature, as with any underwater housing , it is recommended the waterproof packing (and seals) are replaced annually. For the Olympus distributors or service stations where the waterproof packing can be replaced, visit our website for further details and a location near you for an authorized dealer.

I have an Olympus Stylus 790SW camera.

I just called up their "less than helpful" repair center customer service department. She seemed new to her job because she repeatedly put me on hold to obtain basic answers to my questions.

She told me at the end, that it would PROBABLY cost about $100 to do this procedure. In that case, I will NEVER do it b/c I only paid $109 for the camera to begin with. Makes it into a DISPOSABLE camera if and when it breaks!

I also just sent in my question via email to their website. I will let you know what I hear back from them in the "next 48 hours".


Same in my 1030SW’s manual
I was thinking, “What does this cost?”

If I keep this camera (not real thrilled with it), I’m just going to keep it clean, salt-free, and out of the sun when not actually on the water.

BTW, I dunked mine in tap water to test its waterproofness. The owner’s manual stated that there might be water drops in the battery compartment after immersion, and sure enough there was. I wiped them off, but this is not what I’d call waterproof, if water drops are inside!

Mine’s still waterproof
My Olympus 770 SW has spent the last two summers in my PFD pocket getting contantly dunked,rained on and used for underwater photos and it still works fine.

However I’m not spending any money on the gaskets as I suspect they should last a few years and by then I’ll want a new camera anyway.

Compression set
Even with a high-end underwater camera like a Nikonos, it’s reccommended that o-rings and gaskets be replaced regularly.

Great article by Nikonos
Of course that is a bonafide scuba camera subject to constant and higher pressure. The Olympus is only rated for about three metres underwater which puts it in a lower catagory regarding waterproofness.It has two gaskets which don’t look too difficult to change but they suggest you send it in each year for replacement.$$$$

I suppose leaving the access covers open when in storage should relieve some of the compression set on the gaskets.

That’s what Pelican recommends to slow down gasket compression in their boxes.