DIY Servicing Kodak Easyshare Z700

Written by: NetworkError, on 20-09-2008 14:42
Last update: 20-09-2008 14:42
Published in: Public, Technical Wootness
Views: 8897

I recently took my Kodak Easyshare Z700 down the green river. I took some amazing pictures and managed to keep from dropping my camera in the drink. Unfortunately, what I didn't plan for was the sand. The wind picked up on several of the evenings and blew sand into every nook and cranny of my gear. Sand got on my camera even though it was in it's case.

This brought a quick realization that this model of camera is not very sand resistant. In fact, a few fine grains of sand can pretty well destroy this camera. It survived the trip, though the zoom stopped working intermittently. As soon as I got home, I set about fixing it.

If you're planning on servicing your camera, I should preface all this by saying "these cameras are not very user-serviceable." You can clean some sand out of it. You could fix buttons, replace the flash capacitor (it's under the front-grip), etc... Basically, you can service anything right on the surface, but everything else is inaccesible without going to extreems.

If you plan on taking yours apart, remember to keep track of which size of screw goes where. (There are two lengths of screws.) Also remember that most of the inner-workings are screwed and soldered together into one big brick of gadgetry. Also keep the battery door closed while you work on things. The hinge-pin is held in place by the tension of the door's spring. If you let it swing loose, the pin can slide out very easily. Also, remember to avoid touching circuitry (especially when the batteries are installed) and avoid touching the LCD or the inside of the LCD or view-finder windows on the housing.

One other note. Sorry about the poor quality of these pictures. Since my camera was obviously out-of-service for this project, I had to shoot all these with my BlackBerry's camera.

When taking one of these cameras apart, simply unscrew all the little screws along the seam on the outside of the camera. Pull the back of the housing off, then unscrew the screw to the right and down from the shutter button and remove the front housing. (See the picture below. It's the shiny blob under my index finger on the extreme right side of the camera.)

Once you have the housing off, you should remove the batteries (if you haven't already). Only replace them when you need to turn it on. (It's easy to acidentaly short the ON switch. Or any other portion of the circuit board for that matter.) You can turn it on by shorting the gap between the two gold circles behind the shutter button. The two parallel pieces second from the left of the 12:00 position is the "off" position. Third from the left is the "auto" position. On the far end is the "video" position. The easiest way to turn the camera on and off is to put the tip of you screw driver between the two gold strips at whatever position applies - off, auto, etc... Be sure to hold the screw driver there until the camera's lens is fully extended/retracted or it will revert to the previous position.

You can see the gold circles on the pictures below.


I couldn't get the lense assembly apart. As you can clearly see, it's sandwitched inside several layers of circuit boards all screwed and soldered together.

To fix my dust problem I used two methods:

  1. Blowing/sucking air through the lens assembly.
  2. Manually cranking the lens in and out the grind the dust out of the way.

I put my mouth over the outermost gap between the telescoping lens and the main portion of the camera, formed a tight seal, and blew. (The seam is where the silver meets the black in the picture below.) Naturally this fogged the inner-workings up something fierce. So I sucked air through too. This cleared the fog out and moved more air through.

Next, I turned the camera on and zoomed in until it hit some sand, triggered an error, and turned off. As soon as I heart the 'pop' of the sand I pulled the batteries out. This left the telescoping lens partially zoomed. I gripped the outer-most part of the telescoping lens assembly and gently twisted counter-clockwise and pulled out to zoom it back out a little. Then I rotated it clockwise and pushed in and got it to skip over a little of the sand. I rotated it back and forth, working the sand out of the gears. (If you hear a plastic clacking sound, you're either bound up in sand or forcing it too hard. That's the sound of plastic gears skipping teeth.)

I alternated between the above methods until the telescoping motion felt fairly smooth. Then I turned the camera back on and tried it out. It took about 20 minutes of tinkering, but eventually the zoom worked. It still sounds just a bit rough, but not too bad.

I also pulled the LCD screen and CCD assembly. There wasn't anything broken here, but I thought it would be fun to play with the CCD chip.

To remove the screen, just pop it out of the springy bracket that holds it in place. Then swing the LCD out of the way and remove the two screws that hold the bracket in place. (Be very careful of the FFC when removing the lower screw.) The small circuit board underneath this braket is the CCD chip assembly. Remove the two screws and swing the circuit board out of the way.

Be very careful when tinkering with the CCD circuit board. There are several layers of glass seperated by rubber bumpers covering the chip. They'll stick together pretty well, but if you jossle them at all, they come apart. (I recomend not letting this happen. It's a pain in the neck to fix.)

At this point you can look through the telescoping lens assembly from the back, and try pointing the CCD chip at stuff to see what it sees. (To do the latter, you'll have to balance the CCD circuit board and the LCD that's dangling off the bottom of the camera. This is where you're likely to loose a glass panal from the CCD assembly. Not that I did that or anything... I'm just guessing... Embarassed)

Reassembly is the reverse of dissasembly. I hope you remember which holes take which length of screws. Also, make sure the battery door and memory door work before you screw the housing on.

That's it. Camera fixed. I even cleaned up some dust that had worked its way into the LCD area.

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