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Troubleshooting a Dropped Digital Camera

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Dropping a digital camera can be a sickening feeling.

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It's easy to associate digital cameras with happy feelings and good times. After all, when you're using your digital camera, it is usually at a special event or when spending time with friends and family.

However, there are two times when that digital camera can cause sickening feelings. The first occurs when you realize that your comedic brother-in-law was making an obscene gesture in the background of every family photo that you snapped over a three-day holiday visit. The second occurs when the camera is halfway to the floor -- having slipped through your fingers -- and a collision with the ground is imminent.

After picking up the dropped digital camera, your natural instinct is to press the power button immediately, checking to see whether the digital camera survived the fall. If the digital camera doesn't work, keep the panic at arm's length for a few more seconds, and look at these items for potential easy-to-fix problems.

  • Check the battery compartment. Is the battery still in place? The camera won't work if the battery popped loose in the fall, which commonly occurs.
  • Is the memory card seated tight? As with the battery, a jolt to the camera could pop the card loose.
  • Check the buttons and dials. Are they set correctly? A bump to the camera could twist a dial to a setting you never use, making it appear as though the camera isn't working properly.
  • Is the camera body sprung? Some models are designed to absorb a major shock by popping an exterior panel slightly loose, which you then can snap carefully back in place.

Once you have checked for common problems, go ahead and try the power button again … with your fingers crossed.

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