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How To Replace & Repair A Camera LCD Screen For Cheap

written by: •edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/28/2009

The LCD screen is one of the most vulnerable parts of the camera - and probably the most commonly broken. Here is a guide to how to get your camera LCD screen replaced and/or repaired for cheap, either by taking advantage of the warranty, or even doing a DIY repair job.

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    The LCD screen is the most commonly broken part of a camera: while most of the gizmos and circuitry of a camera are kept within a protective, rugged shell, the LCD is exposed to the elements; sand, rain, even those metal buttons on that coat of yours can scratch or break your camera's LCD screen. Here's a quick guide to repairing & replacing a broken LCD screen.

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    By the time you read this article it might be too late, of course, but there a number of preventative measures you can take to reduce the chances of your LCD screen getting broken. When you hold your camera, try not to hold it by the LCD screen, as the combined pressure and oil & dirt from your hands can seriously harm it over time. Make sure that, when not in use, you keep it in a soft case that is kept clean, without any dirt or potentially scratchy bits inside. If it has a cover, keep it on! If not, a plastic cover for your LCD is advisable. Regular cleaning of your screen with a soft cloth will also help prevent issues before they happen. Check out this article for more information on daily care and protective LCD screen accessories.

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    Before You Begin

    Give your camera warranty a full reading. Has it expired? Does your camera qualify for repairs? And of course: Will it cost you any money? Though you'll probably have to pay shipping, having your camera shipped off to the factory for repairs and replacements is probably the cheapest and most guaranteed fix job you can get.

    Even if you can't get it shipped to the factory for cheap-cheap, calling the technical support line is another good idea. We all hate the long waits and often repetitive advice, but they often have useful advice that is specific to your camera that might not involve an invasive repair job.

    Reading through the troubleshoot section of your camera manual might also be of help. If you've lost or otherwise misplaced your camera manual, it is often the case that they are available online, or that the company website will have an even more detailed troubleshoot manual on their website.

    If none of these provides a cheap, easy fix for your camera and you know your way around a screwdriver, you might want to consider doing a DIY job. Please be aware, however, that it is likely to ward your warranty if it hasn't already expired.

    If none of the above at least gave you an idea of what's wrong, you'll need to determine what precisely the issue is. What caused the LCD screen to stop working? Was it the result of gradual damage over the course of its lifetime, or was it a sudden, discrete accident? If there is obvious damage to the screen itself, say, a large gouge or an edge peeling off, then chances are it's an external problem and the screen itself will need to be replaced. If there is no obvious damage to the exterior, then chances are that it's a problem with the circuitry inside.

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    LCD Screen Repair

    This will vary considerably by camera: there is no universal way to approach this, so a little research will be necessary for detailed instructions. Fortunately, however, there are many DIYers who fix their own cameras and put detailed guides for doing so online: a quick Google search will likely yield fruitful results. For instance, here is a useful index to various camera LCD screen replacements, with an emphasis on Canon cameras.

    There are some fixes that don't require a complete replacement. If the issue is, for example, a nasty dark blotch from having left it out exposed to the sun for too long, here's a quick repair guide that requires only desktop supplies. Again, puzzle out the exact issue beforehand, so that you can more easily find the correct solution online.

    Also, it should be taken into account that you will have to order the replacement screen yourself, which may be more expensive than having a professional do it. Typically you'll have to order it from the manufacturer, but it's a good idea to scout out sites such as eBay for the appropriate broken camera with an intact LCD screens.