When your camera malfunctions or breaks down, you have to make a decision about how to repair it. Should you try the repair yourself? Or is it time to call in a professional? These tips should help you decide when it’s appropriate to try to repair your camera on your own.
- First, check for all of the “easy” to fix items. Is the battery fully charged? Does the memory card have empty space for storing more photos and videos? If you’ve removed the memory card, make sure internal memory isn’t full. Make sure the battery and memory card are inserted properly.
- You’d be surprised how many problems with a camera occur because the photographer doesn’t know how to use certain features of the camera. For example, if you constantly have blurred photos from camera shake, be sure you know how to use the camera’s image stabilization feature. Some problems with a “malfunctioning” camera can be fixed by referring to the user manual.
- Make sure you’ve checked the manufacturer’s Web site for your camera, looking for any known problems and firmware and software fixes that the manufacturer has provided.
- If you have a particular error message that shows up on the camera, look through the user guide or perform an Internet search of the exact error message to see whether an easy fix is available.
- If the problem with your camera is hardware related -- such as a cracked camera body or a broken USB connector -- be very cautious about trying to fix it yourself, as you may do more damage. Sending in the camera for repair is probably a better option than attempting any repair on your own in this type of situation.
- A few hardware problems potentially can be fixed easily. For example, a jammed lens housing may have sand or grime causing the malfunction. Carefully clean the lens housing. Or, if you’ve dropped the camera and the body has sprung open a tiny bit along the seam, you sometimes can carefully squeeze the camera body, snapping the pieces back together. However, further damage to the electronics inside the camera is a possibility.
- Finally, before sending in the camera for repair, take the battery and memory card out for anywhere from one to 24 hours, allowing the camera to reset itself. If the camera still won’t work, it’s probably time for a professional repair.