Camera Doesn’t Turn ON

by Cory on

On & Off

**Disclaimer! Disclaimer! Because it could be perceived that I am either endorsing or defaming the given manufacturer, I will steer away from specifics of this repair, like make and model. Regardless of this omission, this particular encounter rings true for many digital compact camera models.**

Many cameras come in with a simple problem description of “will not turn on” or something to that effect. The first obvious fix is to change the battery because not everyone thinks of this or has the ability to do so. In one particular recent instance I recall, the camera would not turn on. It was not the latest generation of its series but it was pretty darn close. It was a more advanced compact point-and-shoot camera with manual features, with the capability to add lenses, accessories, and a hot shoe for an accessory flash.

The screws from the top cover had fallen out and found their way into the camera’s circuitry. Having experienced this many times with many different models, I knew it shorted out either the main circuit board, DC/DC, or both. The first order of operation was to locate the screws that were loose inside. It may go without saying, but I had to completely take apart the camera. Disassembly is a difficult and laborious task in and of itself. Going in, I know how many screws are missing based on where they should have been but I have no way of knowing if they all stayed in the camera, so at times it can feel a bit like a wild goose chase. Luckily I found them all relatively quickly.

Next, and probably the most difficult part, is figuring out which component(s) have failed. Unfortunately, since the camera doesn’t power on there is no way to hook it up to diagnostic software nor any test equipment to test it; there usually aren’t any physical signs either. Using a series of test components, I replace each one and determine if they make the camera work. It is most often the fuse on the DC/DC unit, so that is where I generally begin with repairs Fuse from a camera compaired to a dimelike this; in this case it was in fact the main fuse. Replacing the fuse is much different than replacing a fuse in your home, car, or similar items. Fuses on this particular component are the size of a grain of sand and it can be pretty frustrating to replace. It takes a very steady hand, a lot of patience, and a good set of tweezers.

In order to prevent reoccurrence, when I reassemble cameras with this kind of repair, I apply a little glue to the culprit screws as well as any other screws that are notorious for causing this kind of failure. Doing so will ensure that the screws don’t work their way out again.

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