Can I fix my broken camera screen?
March 18, 2008 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Can I Frankenstein (repair with another of the same camera) my Fuji F20 or am I out of my league?

My fairly new camera got shut in a door and the view screen cracked. I found a guy whose same model camera won't power up to take pictures but will display the next picture in memory when he holds down the preview button. So his screen is fine and he will sell me the camera for $10.

I work on computers a lot, and have no qualms about collecting broken ipods and making a working ipod out of dead ones. But I have never opened a digital camera before.

I know that this might be really simple once you get inside, but I also understand I may be facing a obfuscated nightmare of solders and weirdness when I get inside the case. What has been your experience opening up digital cameras?
posted by spartacusroosevelt to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't personally taken apart any digital cameras of that size, so I don't know how hard the operation will be. The fact that the camera is relatively inexpensive says to me that it probably wasn't designed with repair in mind, so opening it may be hard. The price also means that a new screen for it will probably cost as much as getting a new camera, so you don't have a lot to lose. If it were me, I'd give it a shot, making sure to be extra careful not to disturb the optics or sensor. Since you'll be working on the back of the camera, that hopefully shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The display will likely be connected by a flat flexible cable that slips into a socket on the camera's logic board, or have a socket that connects directly. There is a small chance that it will be soldered to the board, so you may want to try taking apart your current camera to see how it's connected before buying the donor.
posted by zsazsa at 3:37 PM on March 18, 2008

I opened up a Fuji FinePix 3800 a few months ago. The little flat ribbon cable zsazsa mentioned just slipped out. When I was putting it back together I just slipped the cable back in and everything worked fine.
posted by Yorrick at 4:24 PM on March 18, 2008

I can't see a downside to going for it, except losing ten bucks. Go for it. Just steer clear of any capacitors, those flash capacitors can be nasty.
posted by chairface at 4:53 PM on March 18, 2008

Oh, wow, I missed the part about the donor camera being $10. You should buy it and try taking that one apart first.
posted by zsazsa at 5:54 PM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: I figured it was worth 10 bucks to find out. Now I just have to track down a triwing screwdriver.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 6:00 PM on March 18, 2008

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