Replacing a defective digicam Sensor

Some cameras have a (probably?) builtin CCD self-destruction mechanism... is one of them. After a couple of years (actually warranty had ended only some time ago...) this camera suddenly stopped working - well no, it worked but it showed shifted colours and colourful stripe patterns, too. Sadly I had no camera around before I started to repair this camera - therefore I have no evidence photos...mhhh.

Okay let´s get started. The reason for these image errors becomes only visible under a microscope. At first we have to get the camera´s image sensor out. This is were it was located...

...and here it is - in all its iridescencing beauty:

Just as I promised we have to use the microscope - and right in the middle you can see the prob. There are two wire bonds on the sensor - uhmm - they are actually not on the sensor but keep their heads up in the air. No this cannot work of course and it cannot be fixed - at least not on this chip (I assume you already guessed that *smile*).

To get this solved it is necessary to replace the CCD/CMOS completely. Doing this will require either the whole image sensor assembly (that is the whole module which normally consists of sensor and flex cable or even more parts of the cam´s objective). Otherwise, if you´re a proud owner of a SMD rework station and some advanced soldering skills - you could possibly replace just the sensor. You can purchase a huge number of image sensors and camera replacement parts via ebay (just search for the cam model together with keywords like CCD or flex cable). Most of the items will be offered by Chinese or import sellers.

That said, I want to make you aware that you have to repair your camera on your own responsibility. I´m not responsable for everything that happens to you or to your camera during the replacing procedure. You might as well brick the cam even more. Soldering a sensor like this is fairly tricky as the glass above the chip can burst while heating and especially cheap flex cables tend to melt away. I really can´t give you many tips here, it highly depends on the camera model and you should know what you´re doing. Be also sure to wear an eye protection during soldering image sensors. Okay - ALWAYS protect your eyes during every soldering...).

The last picture shows the desoldered image sensor as seen from its intact brother in the repaired camera...

Keep in mind that other cameras with faulty wire bondings sometimes show no picture at all or completely different effects. It just depends on the affected chip connections. So if your cam behaves strangely or if it produces images that seem more like some Modern Art, be sure to check the cam for this issue (especially if the camera´s shutter unit is okay).

Merry Christmas, btw...and please feel free to comment...

greetings noq2