Think Twice Before You Toss That Broken Camera

Broken Camera Battery Door or LCD Can Be Fixed

I wrote awhile back about accidentally dropping my little Canon point-and-shoot and breaking the lens, which was fully extended. I copped out and bought a new camera (a Panasonic Lumix ZS20 which I love, especially the 20X zoom).  Looking back, it’s possible that my camera wasn’t doomed, I could have probably replaced the lens for a lot less than buying a new camera. (But did I tell you I love my new Panasonic?)

Usually if you go to a big electronics store and tell the guy at the counter you broke your camera, he will tell you it’s not worth fixing and try to get you to buy a new one. But many times it is worth at least investigating alternatives before you fork out a wad of cash on a new camera. Even if you don’t have a problem right now, this is something to keep in the back of your mind so you don’t have to learn the hard way, like I did.

Here are some tips on a couple of common camera problems and what you can do.

Broken Battery Door or  Memory Card Tab

camera battery doors can be replacedThe battery door hinges are often on the flimsy side. This is one of the biggest complaints about digital cameras.  If the door breaks off it can’t hold the battery tight to make the connection. Or maybe the little plastic tab that keeps your memory card in place broke off. That is so frustrating!

You have a perfectly good camera but you can’t get it to turn on because the battery won’t make contact or the SD card won’t stay in place.  Short of taking the Tim Allen (remember Home Improvement Tool Time Tim?) duct tape approach, try going  to eBay and search for your camera model + battery door. You may be surprised to find a whole market out there of camera parts that you can pick up for a song versus sending your camera in to Canon or Nikon to have them repair it. That battery door replacement could cost you less than $20 instead of $100 ore more if you  sending it to the manufacturer for replacement. In fact, I found a replacement door for my old Canon SD1200 for $14 and a lens kits for $24.99! Boy do I feel dumb now that I didn’t check eBay before I trashed my camera after breaking the lens (but did I say how much I love my new Panasonic Lumix ZS20 with 20X zoom?)

LCD Screen

A cracked screen can occur easier than you think. This is the screen where you view your pictures. It is very thin and on many cameras it has no protection.  If the screen is flat and blends smoothly with the camera body, it probably has glass over the LCD, which provides protection, but if it is slightly recessed it probably doesn’t. In this case you should get a good quality screen protector for it.

If you break your LCD, it CAN be repaired and is probably worth your while. Again, on trusty eBay I found a repair service for $40 and a new LCD screen for an SD1200 for $16.98.

To avoid accidental LCD cracks or breaks:

  • Never put your camera in your pants pocket. You’re liable to sit on it.
  • Don’t leave your camera in your car in winter or summer. Extreme cold can cause the LCD to freeze and extreme heat can cause the liquid in the LCD to expand and it could crack (who knew?).

Oh, and ALWAYS put on your camera’s wrist band so you don’t accidentally drop your camera with the lens extended.

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