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?

9 thoughts on “Casio EX-Z850 Camera Button Failure

    1. What the Casio has that the Canon doesn’t is full manual mode: I can fight the automation to a standstill and tell the camera what to do. That turns out to be vital for through-the-microscope shots, where the depth of field is razor-thin and the exposure isn’t what it seems; automation intended for happy faces all in a row doesn’t come up with the right answer.

      I’ll admit the lack of Review mode is getting bothersome, particularly for weird photo situations. Mostly it doesn’t matter, but when it matters, it matters a lot.

      Alas, the combination of specs I want may intersect to produce the null set of cameras…

      1. Ed, there is one Panasonic Lumix model that has manual mode and setting the aperture and speed is by touch screen sliding controls. Neat!

      2. My primary (initial) reason for getting a DSLR wasn’t even image quality but more control. As it turns out the DSLR’s presets and quality were so much better that manual control only tends to go into little tweaks of one part of the settings and total fringe cases.

        1. My larger Sony cameras fall a notch or three below the DSLR range; given their wide zoom range I really didn’t want the additional complications of removable lenses & clattery mirrors. Most of my pictures seem to have weird composition / subjects / exposures that the automation just doesn’t handle, which probably means I haven’t spent nearly enough to get the right automation…

          The key attribute of the pocket camera: it’s always in my pocket. The fact that it has manual controls worked out very well for use with the microscope, but I suppose I could eke out a miserable existence with a full-auto camera. Of course, those seem to be a vanishing breed, as phones suck up that function.

  1. By reading so many of your blogs I get the idea that you also need to do a fixit for the power finger of yours! :-))

    1. I agree that you need a camera thats with you always. DSLRs are out, phone cams are not there as yet with features and results. My current favorite is Sony HX7V, pocket size with wide angle and macro + GPS. I Miss the wide angle in most Bridge and pocket cams. Touch screen will be a nice feature instead of knobs..

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