Why dog? Why did you eat the camera?! Bad dog.
May 10, 2006 10:19 AM   Subscribe

My dog ate my brand new digital camera. It's a Panasonic Lumix FX-9, and is pretty much a goner. The LCD is cracked and since the camera is a ultra-compact, it has no analog viewfinder to fall back on. The lens housing is also a little bent up and doesn't seem to extend all the way.

So what do I do with it now? I assume that dog damage isn't covered under the limited warranty (although I did buy it from CostCo, so I might try to return it there), so what value can I salvage from this (once) nifty little device? Can I part it out (battery? what else?) on ebay? Are there any cool parts inside I could make something out of? Art project? Projectile?
posted by maniactown to Technology (10 answers total)
Does it still actually take pictures? Maybe you have the newest magic camera.
posted by sevenless at 10:24 AM on May 10, 2006

I dunno if it can be parted out. But if you determine that it is a complete goner, at least take it apart.

I had a very expensive zoom lens that I dropped onto rocks and broke (the main body of the lens snapped off of the lens mount).

I just threw it away. I really wish that I had taken it apart and looked at its insides, to learn more about lenses. And I'm sure the glass elements would have been fun to keep as novelty items. But at the time, I just wanted to get rid of the object of my pain.

You might check with your homeowners insurance to see if such a thing is covered (and if it would make sense to file a claim, if it is covered).
posted by teece at 10:46 AM on May 10, 2006

You may be able to sell the whole thing on ebay (sell battery seperately though) to someone who dropped theirs in a martini and is trying to fix it but needs a replacement lens motor. (or to someone who is afraid they might drop theirs in the future). Or you could buy one that someone dropped in their martini and use the screen to fix yours.

I sometimes buy broken gadgets for repair or modding parts, and there always seem to be people bidding against me (damnit! :). But with so many bazillion models of digicam around today, I wouldn't know. If you do go that route, I'd probably set the starting bid price to 1/3 the used price if the camera doesn't work, and 1/2 the used price if it still takes pictures.

Also, this will probably not help, but for peace-of-mind I'd open it up and see if you can find any identifing numbers or model type for the LCD screen, and then do a websearch to see if you can buy one from somewhere like farnell or digikey, or a surplus electronics place. Chances aren't that great that it will be available, but then at least you know you couldn't have done anything other than either sell it or buy a broken one for parts.

If you can find a replacement screen, but you don't think you know enough to try and fix it, you probably know someone who might tinker with it for you.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:50 AM on May 10, 2006

I dropped my FX-9 about three feet onto carpet within a few weeks of getting it and the lens jammed -- wouldn't extend or retract and just made a grinding noise when the camera was turned on. I was miserable. I've since learned that the lenses on these particular Panasonics are very delicate and prone to being knocked out of whack. Although the drop was entirely my fault, I packed it up and sent it to Panasonic's service center (which happens to be in Illinois, regardless of where in the US you live) and they repaired it free.

They might charge you for a new LCD but they might fix up the rest free if its still under warranty. It's a fantastic little cam, but it is delicate.
posted by The Bellman at 11:31 AM on May 10, 2006

Have you tried hooking it up to a TV? My FX-7 displays everything that's on the viewfinder there, so you should be able to get a better idea of what condition it's in.

Dog damage might be covered by your household insurance.
posted by cillit bang at 12:08 PM on May 10, 2006

...although I did buy it from CostCo, so I might try to return it there..

Do it. Costco has a lifetime (except computers), no questions asked return policy.

If for some reason even they won't take it back, call the customer service dept of whatever credit card you used for the purchase. May cards do free extended warranty on your purchases.

Last resort: your homeowners/renters insurance. It should be covered there, though possibly your deductible is higher than the camera's price.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:58 PM on May 10, 2006

Costco has a lifetime (except computers), no questions asked return policy.

He brings back a brand new camera that's been half eaten by his dog? Oh, there will be questions.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 1:15 PM on May 10, 2006

I think that is also pretty lame. This is a reason that most return policies have been drastically reduced.

As said above - check homeowner's policy & credit card extended warranty policies. You will most likely have more luck with the later if it happened pretty shortly after purchase.
posted by gnash at 5:58 PM on May 10, 2006

If you're going to turf it, check it thoroughly for miraculous images of Jesus first.
posted by flabdablet at 6:03 PM on May 10, 2006

To tie this question up for the sake of posterity, CostCo's awesome return policy strikes again. I informed the customer service person at the returns desk what happened ("My dog ate it.") and she said, "Oh no!" and refunded my entire purchase price. I love CostCo.
posted by maniactown at 1:12 PM on June 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

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