March 31, 2007
My digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7,
abruptly stopped working. The menu buttons seemed to be jammed and the
camera would not take a picture. I decided to take it apart and, in the
process of doing so, ended up fixing the camera.
Along the way, I took pictures.
Model: Lumix DMC-FX7
Problem: camera won't take a picture
and most of the menu buttons are stuck.
Figure: the camera (left)
wouldn't take a picture because
the menu buttons (right) were jammed and would not click.
Solution: take apart the camera and allow buttons to "unstick."
Once the buttons are no longer depressed the camera will function
Required Tools: a really small
Phillips head jewel screwdriver.
with your camera may void your warranty! If your camera is currently
covered I strongly recommend you have a professional fix your camera.
Warning!!! You may
cause further damage to your camera or to yourself. Play at your own
risk. Do not touch electronics as they are fragile and may shock you.
I make no warranty, express or implied, about the procedures described
herein. You and you alone are responsible for yourself and your
Caution! For best
results, always remove your battery and memory card from the before
opening the system. Ideally, ground yourself with a static strap.
If you are having the same problem, or if you just want to take apart
your camera, here is how to make it happen.
Before you start, though, be sure to remove the
battery and memory card from your camera.
You will need a really tiny jewel screwdriver to open the camera.
They should come out without too much effort.
There are three short screws on the sides of the camera (two on the
left, one on the right) and three even shorter screws on the bottom.
Remove them all and put them somewhere safe.
Figure: remove the screws on the sides
and bottom of the camera.
Open the Back of the Camera
The backside of the
camera may now be opened.
Caution! There is a cable connecting the LCD and
the main part of the camera. It is fragile so don't pull the two
parts of the camera away from one another and be careful when
opening the camera.
Pull the black area of
the LCD (back of the camera) away from the body of the camera. It should
pull straight out. Remember that there is a very short cable connecting
the part you are removing and the body of the camera. It does not come
Figure: pull the back
of the camera straight off (left)
but remember the cable connecting the two pieces (right).
Observe the Menu Control
Behind the menu buttons is a strange looking metal grid
that is pushed down into the actual body of the camera to activate your
Figure: when the butons on the menu are pressed, the
metal grid on
the left sinks down to push the little lumpy buttons on the circuit to
This is where your buttons are going to get stuck.
This mesh/button combination is where the menu is going to get stuck. If
your camera is having any problems with the menu buttons, it's almost
certain to be here.
Look and see if the metal is bent or otherwise damage.
Check and see if the lumps on the circuit appear
In my case, just opening up the camera allowed the metal
grid to release and I didn't have to do anything to fix the buttons.
Put it Back Together
Hopefully this will have fixed your camera and you
should be ready to go.
The LCD should slide into place and the plastic fit
snugly around it (may need a little wiggling)
If the front ring came off the camera while you
worked, replace it first. The screws on the bottom hold this ring in
The longer screws go in the side, short screws in
the bottom. They should drop down easily into the holes. If not,
The camera is now ready to have its battery and memory
card put back in and continue with your picture taking.
Compared to some products, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7
is surprisingly easy to take apart and inspect. With the removal of just
six screws I was able to open up the casing and fix the stuck menu
problem and fix the camera.
After I had fixed the camera I decided to do a bit of
Once the bottom screws had been removed the "Mega
O.I.S." ring on the front of the camera was free to come off with a
Figure: once the screws on the bottom of the camera
are removed this ring on the front of the Lumix will twist off.
Underneath the ring are three more screws. By removing these we can gain
access to the front of the camera.
Unlike the LCD side, the front panel is just a plastic
plate with no cable attached. However, is can be a bit tricky to remove
as is requires a push up and turn to remove.
Figure: the front panel can be removed, but it is a bit
tricky. Note that there are little plastic
hooks on the edges and the top of the camera frame likes to hold onto
Beneath the plate is a small plastic
card that may can easily be detached to expose the interesting circuitry
of the camera.
Figure: the inside-front of the camera is revealed.
Finally, I set the camera up and turned it on to show that, even opened
up, it was still functioning.
Figure: the camera could still operate while disassembled.
So that's about it. Originally I thought the camera was dead and I was
going to completely dissect it. However, when I realized my work had
fixed it, I decided to not press my luck too far. There are a few more
layers inside the camera but exploring deeper would risk the integrity
of the camera.