It's just a coincidence that this thread should come up when I have a photographic random thought probably not worth its own thread.
So while I'm busy being too poor to afford me a new DSLR (new as in the camera itself being new, and I don't have any SLR to begin with) I decided to find an old kicker that I can modify and such later when I have a shiny new SLR. So off I went to the internet and I got an old 300D (rebel nomenclature is annoying and I choose to use the logical naming scheme) with busted auto focus. Turns out there's a fatal design flaw in the 300D: Canon decided to use a plastic pin in the mirror box to flip the sub mirror into the main mirror - the same system they used on older entry level film SLRs. Well, wouldn't you know it, digital cameras get far more use and that plastic pin doesn't hold up over time, ~10K actions and it breaks (my camera's around IMG_8000, so I don't know if that's 8000 or 18000 pictures taken). I love to fix things and make things and such, so this little repair sounded like a fun little project on a camera that is otherwise perfectly fine if a little scuffed up (hey, I'll take a deal when I get one).
So, on with the show. I didn't take too many pictures because I wasn't trying to document everything I did, just felt like preserving some of what I did. For an in depth documentation of the process with super duper macro shots, look to this guide
. I'll be linking to pictures from that guide to clarify what I'm talking about. I took the effort to "save for web" the pictures, so they should be half the file size that they normally would.
For posterity, the camera before I potentially destroy it (as a side note, I love IS; picture taken with the trusty old Powershot S3 IS with a 1/4 sutter speed)
Ok, I've got my tools out, camera ready to go, let's do this! (not pictured: "dammit, I need a needle and a paper clip, brb.... k, back, let's rock")
The back came off easily, just a few screws and a ribbon
for the info lcd. I didn't understand how to disconnect the ribbon at first, but then I got it, just pry the plastic clamp up with a finger and gently pull the ribbon - plyers work fine for ribbon removal as long as you're gentle.
Front cover was a bit harder to do. The screws in the battery compartment
were a bitch. My screwdrivers weren't quite long enough and the plastic handle was getting in the way so I ended up filing the plastic down - oops, wrong screwdriver, have to file down the right sized one... k, got it this time. Also visible is the growing collection of screws (looks like 2 rows, is actually 1 - lolblur).
And the top cover is now dangling by wires and the flash circuit board
has been removed. The hardest part of the whole repair/(dis)assembly was that retarded flash board, wriggling it out must have taken twenty minutes of massive frustration and electrical shocks from the huge capacitor, which was the whole reason why it was so hard to get out in the first place.
Ok, let's see. I remove the broken plastic pin
and stick a paper clip in the hole. Wait a second, why the hell does the mirror get jammed up when I try flipping it with my finger? *cue a while of wtf wtf wtf wtf wtf... google* Ok so the camera wasn't having the 75% black problem
of the sub mirror staying down when you take a picture, so that must mean... ok, well the sub mirror seems stuck to the main mirror... I look for a way to pry it off, find a little sticky outy bit on the bottom and with a little pressure it comes free. WHAT!? The dumbass previous owner glued the sub mirror to the main mirror! Look at the glue residue for yourself!
Well that solves that problem. Stick paper clip in hole, mirrors flip like they should. Good. Bend, cut, glue. Repair complete. Now just have to wait for it to dry, make sure it holds up, then reassemble.
The final collection of screws and a couple brackets.
And the clutter I eventually amassed.
One note: Putting that damn flash board back in was down right impossible so I looked for something else to detatch to make it more doable. Going back in it wasn't so much the circuit board getting in the way as it was something stuck on the bottom of the board. The board is restricted by wires going to the top cover and flash, but mostly by a bunch of ribbons with one bit attached to the board (ribbons clearly visible in this picture
). One part of the the ribbon goes around back near the viewfinder, this is the pivot point holding the rest of it back. I unscrewed a bracket holding it in place and found out that this ribbon wasn't attached to anything, it just has a chip and wants to be out of the way. Freeing this allowed me to move the board further away from the metal chassis and slide it in (or slide it downwards if the camera was oriented normally).
So, if anyone's looking for a cheap camera to modify or whatever, and if you don't have useless arthritic sausage fingers, a 300d with broken auto-focus is a good investment. I got mine off ebay without any opposing bids because who the hell wants a camera that doesn't auto focus, right? For a cheap old camera, IMO it's a better investment than a 10D since it has the same sensor, lots of the same parts, and features "only" on the 10D that are unlockable with hacked firmware.
/probably just did more work on a camera on the first day of possessing an slr than most of you have/will ever do yourself.
So what's next? The removal of the IR blocker. I still don't know what I'm going to do overall, so that's the tricky bit. Ideally I want just clear glass on the sensor and interchangeable ir blocker/visible blocker/nothing. I don't know about my strategy for doing this yet, but I sure as dick don't want to spend $150+ on lens filters.