24th Jan 2006
Digital Camera Repair
Digital Camera Repair can be daunting. Your camera may have a sticker on it saying:
No user serviceable parts inside
While that might be true, there are some parts of digital cameras that can be repaired by the user. What those parts are depends greatly upon the camera that you own and what, exactly, isn’t working.
Pop open any digital camera and you’ll encounter a motherboard that looks suspiciously like a mini PC. That’s because it is, in effect, a mini PC. A digital camera is pretty much 100% electronic. As such, if you develop a motherboard problem there isn’t much you’ll be able to do besides bring it in to a digital camera repair facility. If you were fortunate enough to have purchased an extended warranty, or in-store service plan, you can likely bring the camera back to the store where you purchased it. Otherwise, you’ll need to refer to the camera’s web site, or manual, for the nearest authorized camera repair location.
So what CAN you fix yourself?
As I said, that depends upon the camera and what’s not working. Here are some of the most common do-it-yourself digital camera repair options:
Snap-in items such as card doors, battery doors, lens covers, shutter release buttons, carrying strap, and battery trays can be user replaced in most major brand cameras. Anything more than that and you’re probably off to the digital camera repair guy.
What Can the Repair Facility Fix?
The term “fix” is a misnomer in this case. Typically, a digital camera repair really means digital camera parts swap. Printed circuit boards and notoriously hard to repair, and board-releated problems are just as hard to diagnose. Generally, the technician will simply remove the entire mother board and drop in a new one. The net result to you is that the camera is “fixed” and you can get back to shooting your favorite scenes, people, and pets.
If your original and extended warranty (if any) are expired, then it might be a better choice to ditch the broken camera and treat yourself with a brand new one. Prices are down, and features are up. What used to cost a thousand dollars now costs only a few hundred. If your digital camera repair bill is more than $50, or so, you might want to look around for a new camera first. And remember, never pay retail! There are a lot of Internet and Brick-and-Mortar discounters around. Comparison shop and save.