Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

Somehow the screen on my digital camera got busted. Since the ill-fated, and mysterious demise of the back display, I’ve been limited to using the viewfinder. Last week, I finally got fed up with not being able to take a picture without my eye jammed into the cup. Since I use my left eye to compose, and just about every camera on the planet is designed for right-eyed people, it has never been convenient to look through a viewfinder anyway. Add eyeglasses to the mix and external screens definitely work better.

The camera is a bit old, and doesn’t have the highest resolution by today’s standards, but it’s still pretty decent, even with the external screen out of business. While I’m shopping for another digital camera, it’ll be handy to have this one working properly as a backup shooter.

I ordered the part on Amazon, and it arrived in the mail a few days later. There were no instructions, and not much to be found online either. Mostly, it was a tightly organized manufactured 3D puzzle. I got it apart okay, but was happy to have taken pictures of the teardown when it came to reassembly.

It took a few hours to do, while catching up on The Ben Heck Show on Roku. It got a bit frustrating putting it back together, as the parts were very thin, tiny and unforgiving of incorrect reassembly. Having a few photos of the teardown definitely helped. For less than fifty bucks, and a bit of time, I can finally use the external screen again.

Chris Connors

Making things is the best way to learn about our world.


Related

Comments

  1. I only use the viewfinder. Composing a picture by holding the camera at arms length is a) unnatural. :) but b) is a bad technique anyway. having your arms in close with the camera “Jammed into the cup” provides better stability and control. IMHO :)

    1. Anonymous says:

      After years of shooting through the traditional viewfinder, I found that external screens changed the way I was able to compose pictures. Yes, holding your camera close with your elbows braced on your knees or against your torso stabilizes the camera much better. However, looking at the screen, or better yet folding it out like this one does allows me to place the camera way above my head or down by my feet for shots that would be inconvenient or impossible.

    2. Anonymous says:

      After years of shooting through the traditional viewfinder, I found that external screens changed the way I was able to compose pictures. Yes, holding your camera close with your elbows braced on your knees or against your torso stabilizes the camera much better. However, looking at the screen, or better yet folding it out like this one does allows me to place the camera way above my head or down by my feet for shots that would be inconvenient or impossible.

  2. I’m curious about little screens like that and those found on cell phones.  How much to they cost as replacement parts?  I’m asking because I want to assemble an instrument panel for a Flight Sim rig and want to use the small screens to replace the various dials and indicators wherever I can.

    1. Scott Morrison says:

      The screens (bare LCD panels) are relatively cheap, and available as surplus from many sources (earthLCD.com being one off hand.)  The problem is most of them have a proprietary and undocumented interfaces to drive them.  They are not just little teeny LCD monitors that you can just plug in a VGA or DVI interface into and display whatever you want.  I’m not trying to discourage you, just let you know its not as easy as you may be thinking.  Whereas a small servo motor with a home-made gauge face and pointer can be driven simply by a couple of (well documented) arduino pins.  Good Luck

    2. Anonymous says:

      Cell phone/camera LCDs frequently do have weird interfaces, but sometimes people take the time to track down datasheet and figure it out. Check out the LCDs available from hobbyist-oriented companies like SparkFun (http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/76) and Seeed Studio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/display-touch-c-163.html).

    3. Anonymous says:

      Cell phone/camera LCDs frequently do have weird interfaces, but sometimes people take the time to track down datasheet and figure it out. Check out the LCDs available from hobbyist-oriented companies like SparkFun (http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/76) and Seeed Studio (http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/display-touch-c-163.html).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m not the only left eyed one here!!!! :)

    1. Anonymous says:

      It doesn’t seem to map to ‘handedness’. My right hand is dominant, but I’ve used my left eye to compose pictures for as along as I can remember. Every now and then I notice somebody else using their left eye over their right, but it seems pretty rare.