Flutterby™! : Fixing an S100

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Fixing an S100

2002-08-04 21:34:53+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

Should you have a Canon S100 digital camera, and should you ever drop it, and should the zoom stop working, and you decide that opening it up to fix it is preferable to sending it off to the service center where it will languish for two months, note that the screws holding the case on are not identical. Make a note of where each came from.

And even though it looks like it's just a pointy scriber, the smallest Wiha Philips Head screwdriver is perfect for such a task.

[ related topics: Photography Dan's Life Fabrication ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 00:51:41+00 by: meuon

the joys of good and proper tools are immeasurable. Oh.. yea.. they make a tool for that also. It's called a wallet, and the emptier it is, the better the tools.

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 03:15:13+00 by: Diane Reese

The first day I was in Japan, I went to take my second photo outside with my Kodak DC240 Zoom and heard a grrrrrinding noise, after which the zoom would work, but not in concert with the viewfinder (I had to turn on the display and try to compose photos using the little window, which had the effect of wearing out a set of batteries every day, and made it really challenging to use outdoors). Is it actually worth taking these things apart to fix them? I figured at this point it might be an item whose planned obsolescence had arrived. Advice appreciated.

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 03:52:49+00 by: krebby

Recommend do NOT take your camera apart and try to fix it!

I've actually lost two this way -- maybe I'm a klutz or just had bad luck, but I deal with miniature electronics every day on my job but once I got the case open, the keeping track of the maze of meshing circuit boards, springs, haphazard interboard connectors and mechanical interlocks was a real bitch, and there sure as hell weren't any user- serviceable parts in there. Piles of screws. Managed to get them back together again in presumably same broken order, but there was no fixing anything. Little buggers are fragile. Had to replace the camera both times. C'est la vie.

Lesson learned: don't drop the $$ camera...

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 13:47:18+00 by: ebradway

My S100 never made it back from the repair center - and Canon wanted $168 to fix it. I had the same problem - sticky zoom. As well as lack of focus (such was my life). Canon said it wouldn't be covered under warranty and claimed to have found sand and a yellow sticky substance inside (most likely beer).

I now have an A10 - which lives inside a carrying case. It's bigger, made of plastic, and gets treated much better. Plus, it cost less than $200...

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 16:16:11+00 by: Jeffery

A few months ago my little Olympus D-510 slid off the engine hood of my car onto soft pavement. I'm still holding my breath, but the images are still clear and the zoom still works. Still holding my breath ...

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 16:55:57+00 by: Mars Saxman

I dropped my Fujifilm MX-500 probably half a dozen times. The case started to split a little bit after a while, but it took nice pictures until the day I left it in a restaurant. I'm sure it continues to take nice pictures for the customer of the pawnshop visited by one of the waitstaff the next day.

Maybe it's because I bought it for Burning Man, expecting it to be full of grit and inoperable by the end of the week... temporary solutions have a way of becoming permanent by default.

Eric: how easy is it to turn the flash on and off with the A10? That was one of my peeves with the MX500.

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 18:04:10+00 by: Dan Lyke

In this case, the problem was just readjusting the slider contacts on the zoom dial. I took the case off, plugged the battery in, found I could zoom by shorting those pads on the top circuit board, and then just readjusted the spring. No problems at all.

But I'm reasonably good with small stuff, I love working in brass and styrene.

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 22:45:29+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Eric: how easy is it to turn the flash on and off with the A10? That was one of my peeves with the MX500.

I'd like to know the answer to this one as well. I borrowed my father in-law's Fuji (don't know the model) a few weeks back and didn't realize that the flash hadn't been operating until I returned the camera and had downloaded the pictures. I had assumed the need for a flash was automatically detected since I didn't see anwhere on the housing to turn it on/off. Only later did I eventually figure out that you have to go into the on-screen menu to turn the flash on and off. Yuck!

As for dropping cameras; I drove away with my Pentax (in the bag with my zoom zoom and regular lenses) on the top of my car once. The mechanisms weren't damaged (that I could tell) but it developed a light leak after that. Cost as much as the original purchase price to get it fixed but I still have and love it. (And since it was originally a gift, I didn't feel out the money as much as I might otherwise have.)

#Comment made: 2002-08-05 23:04:34+00 by: ebradway [edit history]

Turning off the flash on the A10 is exactly the same as the S100 (but the button is a little bigger). There is a dedicated button for changing flash modes. The camera also has distinct manual and full auto modes. But full auto really only affects white balance and some other more esoteric functions. I use the two as a quick-change between resolutions, flash, etc. There is a knob that toggles modes on the back.

I haven't gotten the A10 to let me manually focus yet. I'm sure there's a trick to it. This picture would have been much better with manual focus:

For comparison, here are two shots with and without flash:


No Flash

#Comment made: 2002-08-06 07:38:10+00 by: meuon

I have taken my Sony CyberShot apart majorly 3 times. I drop things. Of course, I have things like torque measuring screw drivers, and have a soldering iron rigged with a hypo needle for really small work. Each time I have figured it would be an excuse to get a new CyberShot (I love that camera!) but it is very fixable. Minor repairs include adjusting the pressure needed to take a pic (I made it very light, so the camera is easier to hold still) and the battery door latch (now broken, but it locks into position and stays there with out it..), Major: After a really good drop I did take the lenses apart and reseat them.

It's possible.. but not easy.