Archive for July 3rd, 2011

Casio EX-Z850 Camera Button Failure

The Casio EX-Z850 camera living in my pocket finally developed a problem. Two buttons on the back select the Review and Camera modes; the former stopped working, which means I can’t see pictures after I take them. The Camera button may still work, but because I can’t display pix, that’s pretty much moot.

Taking the camera apart require a Philips 00 screwdriver bit and some care, but eventually you’re confronted with this:

Casio EX-Z850 camera - opened

Casio EX-Z850 camera - opened

The buttons and the mode selector dial all connect to the same flexible PCB substrate, which ends up in this connector. You should ease the black pressure bar (seen edge-on here) upward to release the flex PCB:

Casio EX-Z850 button connector

Casio EX-Z850 button connector

As it turns out, the two buttons have a common contact that’s the second trace from the top in the flat cable. Both buttons have good snap action, good conductivity, and seem to work fine. That puts the problem deeper inside the camera, where I don’t see much point in going; I can certainly make things much worse and likely not make them any better.

In fact, it turns out that the two buttons on the USB/charging cradle don’t work now, either, which implies that the camera buttons run in parallel with those. So there’s something blown in the camera’s guts, which is definitely Bad News.

Back in the Bad Old Days, you used to take a picture and wait a week or two to get the results back from the drug store. Perhaps it’s fashionably retro to have a digital camera without a Review mode?