Oh no! You've dropped your digital camera. And it's out of warranty. And repair costs more than the camera is worth. What to do short of tossing the camera (or selling on ebay)? Well, believe it or not the average person has a good chance of diy fixing that camera themselves. All they'll need for most cases is some patience, and a little background knowledge. The intent of the posts on this blog are to help provide that knowledge.

But now for the WARNINGS! Many of the repairs posted here should only be considered as a last resort for a broken camera that would otherwise be considered for disposal. Also please consider those repairs that require removing the camera case to also require some electrical background and knowledge, and should not be attempted by anyone unfamiliar with basic electrical components and safety precautions.

Make sure you read this post and are aware of the potential DANGER OF SEVERE ELECTRICAL SHOCK should you decide to proceed with a "do it yourself" repair that involves removing the camera case.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Canon A550/A560 Lens Assembly Repair

Now for the lens assembly repair. First of all, unhook the spring from here:

Next, you have to dislodge the main flexible cable assembly. For this, you'll have to remove the tape (red arrow). Then slightly push up the flexible cable assembly (blue arrow). This is held down with some sort of sticky glue. You should be careful, and it will come off easily. Then, slightly push from under using a watch flat screwdriver (yellow arrow) to make this part of assembly come. It is held down by plastic tabs (visible in the pic). Next, the assembly will have to be taken out from under the plastic tab (grey arrow). Since the cable is flexible, you should be able to do that very easily:

Tape off:

And cable assembly removed from under the plastic tab:

Next, take off the five screws:

And slightly push the tab slightly, to make it come off:

Only the slightest wiggling will make the top and bottom part separate. They're still connected through the cable assembly, so don't try to take the two halves apart:

This exposes the problem. Broken gears in the gearbox:

This is not a difficult fix. This pair of gears is available on ebay for $12.50, including shipping. Seems like in this case at least, the root cause was dropping the camera, and not sand from the beach, as I'd initially thought, though the sand particles are still there.

The lens assembly can further be taken out to clean up the dust and sand particles etc.:

Now to bust an urban myth. The camera with a stuck lens does not repair itself by blowing air through it by using a compressor, or thumping it, or throwing it against the wall. In this case, severe thumping/ buggering has resulted in not just the tabs on lens cover to be broken (red arrows):

but also in other cosmetic blemishes from the "thumping":

Right now, I don't have an incentive to order these gears and repair the lens assembly, since I've already used the parts from this camera to repair the other one, but next time, I know what to do if I come across a camera which lens issues.

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