Digital Camera Repair: How to Replace Camera Flash Capacitor

The camera flash capacitor is charged by the camera's battery so that it can release a sudden burst of electricity to fire the flash. This involves huge voltages, which is why you must be careful when working inside your camera. A capacitor can break over time for a number of reasons.

If you are confident that you can complete the project yourself, then it can save you quite a lot of money. However, due to the voltages in question, it's a good idea to hire a professional if you're not sure.

Equipment Needed

  • Soldering Iron
  • Resister
  • Replacement Capacitor
  • Screwdriver
  • Solder

Step 1: Prep Work

Before you can dismantle your camera, you first need to do some prep work. First, start by removing the battery and memory card. Then, lay the camera on its back so that you have easy access to the screws underneath.

Step 2: Unscrewing Housing

Unscrew the housing using the right screwdriver and set all the screws aside somewhere safe. Once you have done this, you should be able to open the case up and see inside. As the flash capacitor is normally deep inside the bowls of the camera, you will need to do some digging.

Step 3: Identifying the Capacitor

If you have any experience in camera repair, then it should be pretty obvious where the capacitor is. If you do need some help, though, the Internet is a helpful resource. Search for images of flash capacitors so that you can get an idea of what it should look like. Whatever you do though, do not under any circumstances touch the flash capacitor.

Step 4: Discharging the Capacitor

Now comes the nail biting part of the project. The capacitor can hold huge amounts of electrical charges for very long periods of time. Before you can do anything, you first need to discharge the capacitor. This is done by connecting a resister of at least 100 ohms between the legs on the capacitor. You must be very careful when doing this because it is dangerous. The resistor can also get pretty hot.

Never short the pins out using metal or a pencil lead like suggested on some sites. This may work in some cases, but in others it will blow the capacitor and could give you a nasty shock.

Step 5: Removing the Capacitor

Remove the old capacitor by heating up the solder on the back of the board and pulling it out. This is fairly time consuming and you need patience when doing it. Pull the capacitor away from the board once the solder is hot. Try to clean up the solder so that the holes are exposed.

Step 6: Replacing the Capacitor

Now, you need to put the new capacitor in position and solder it in place. Make sure that the cap is inserted the right way around, otherwise it might not work. With the new capacitor in position, you then need to cut off the legs so that they are flush with the back of the solder.

Step 7: Reassembly

Now, reassemble your camera and check that everything works as it should do. It's not a good idea to test the camera before reassembling it because the voltages involved are very high.

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