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By combining my broken camera with parts from another broken camera purchased on EBay, I was able to combine them into a single working camera! The issue my particular camera had was the image CCD sensor was detecting a black image all the time. (However, my approach should work to fix anything, such as the common Lens Cover error.)
Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk! Also, don't forget to use anti-static precautions.
Step 0. See if Nikon will honor warranty without a receipt. Answer: Nope, the repair will cost over $100. (And, to buy a new refurbished one is only $139 at Amazon.)
Step 1. Buy a broken camera on EBay, but choose one that still will have the working parts that you need. In my case, I needed the main core of the camera (CCD, lens, mainboard) to be working. So, I bought a camera that was the same model as mine but with a cracked LCD screen. Cost was about $30.
Step 2. Now we have the original broken camera plus the new broken camera from EBay. Examine cameras, remove batteries, memory cards, wrist straps.
Step 3. Remove all the screws from the bottom, including the ones that are not shaped like normal Phillips head screws. For the unusual ones, I was able to get them off by jamming a flat-head screwdriver into the hole and holding the screwdriver at an angle so that it would catch on the screw. I used a set of watch/glasses screwdrivers for this task. In order so that you don't mix them up, I recommend drawing a diagram on a sheet of paper showing where each screw came from, and keeping the screw at that spot on your diagram. Here is a picture of mine:
Step 4. Open the back like a door, being mindful of the ribbon cables on the right side.
Step 5. Lift the LCD (display) and flip it over to expose the ribbon cable.
Step 6. Repeat the above for the second camera.
Step 7. Disconnecting the LCDs: Finally, we want to swap my good LCD into the EBay camera that was good other than the broken LCD. Connecting and disconnecting the LCD's ribbon cable is the most challenging part of this project! The plastic piece where the ribbon cable mounts to the camera, operates like a clasp of sorts. There is an inner hinged piece of plastic on the top which locks the ribbon in place. We will need to lift this piece to release the ribbon cable, the flathead watch screwdriver may help with this. Once opened, the ribbon cable will come out with a minimal force needed.
Step 8. Connect the working LCD into the working camera core by reversing the prior step. You may need to push gently on the ribbon cable to get it back in place while you re-clasp it.
Step 9. Time to test the connection. Place the LCD into it's normal position and close the back cover most of the way. Reinstall the battery. Turn it on, the moment of truth: it works! (Don't forget to lift it off the table so you can see an image.)
Step 10. Put the rest back together: Get the LCD and back cover into the correct position, and reinstall all the screws. Done!
Hopefully this article helped you and things turned out for the best :-). Otherwise, sell the parts on EBay. Cheers.
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