Your lost/destroyed camera/chase equipment stories

Jeff House

Jun 1, 2008
Chattanooga, TN
Some of these $1,000+ losses are straight horror stories. Do you laugh, cry or both?

Mine is quite minor. Left a weather radio and map on top of a payphone circa 1995 before many cell phones. Remember the old school?

After library data check and/or watching Walmart TVs, the chase is on! If one needed an update, call a friend from a payphone. Friend was probably looking at radar on a home dail-up connection. Pain!
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Reactions: John Farley
Aug 9, 2012
Macomb, IL
I guess the other one I can add to the list technically was my FDR-AX100. I had been in about 4 different hurricanes with it (Dorian being the last) and it had (to be completely honest) gotten beyond drenched during that time in both wind, rain, and surge flooding. The power button developed an afinity for turning on and off rapidly when not plugged in. I continued to use it for the rest of the 2019 winter with no issue. I swapped the battery out and the problem went away for a month or two only briefly reoccurring.

Ended up posting it for sale on Marketplace over the winter and still ended up getting more than I needed out of it. The guy that purchased it said he didn't care about the water damage and was more than happy with the purchase upon following up with him, so that was good.

I'm glad I got rid of it as it likely wouldn't have lasted another hurricane chase and the prospect of a $1500 paperweight didn't resonate with me, but then again I'm also sad because they are actually more costly now than when I bought mine in 2016 on discount (I had indeed looked into another as I loved mine). Sort of a horror story I guess with a good ending?

I'm not too keen on getting my equipment wet anymore with having all mirrorless bodies now. Any hurricane video I shoot will likely be with Iphone or Galaxy phones as they are cheaper, shoot 4k 60p still, and rather expendable compared to a professional camcorder.
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May 25, 2014
1999 - Some gigantic JVC over-the-shoulder VHS camera took on water and let out the magic smoke and ate my footage from Hurricane Dennis is VA Beach.. I got it at a thrift store for $50.

2003 - Put a 1993 Pontiac Sunbird through a fence in Virginia on an F0 tornado intercept. Punched the oil pan, and destroyed the oil pump instantly. I only paid $350 for the car, and got $400 at the scrap yard, so $50 profit?

2018 - Ruined a crappy JVC Everio 720p handicap, shooting snow of all things. $90 Used.

2021 - Went to Ohio for MRGL storms and accidentally knocked a drink over on a 2nd gen WxWorx box. Oops. $25 from Ebay. This was replaced with another 2nd gen unit that I had, and then a WR10 3rd gen WxWorx unit from Ebay for $80 on a desperation sale.
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