Canon A70 CCD replacement/repair

Looking for an underwater camera setup, [Imsolidstate] picked up a Canon A70 and a Canon water-tight housing on eBay for around $45. Unfortunately the camera arrived with a non-functioning CCD. Another trip to the online auction site landed him a replacement CCD which he set about installing.

We have this exact model of camera with a cracked LCD display. Being that we like to hack around on things we’ve pulled it apart in order to replace the screen and believe us, there’s no extra room inside that thing. The video after the break shows the teardown, and you can see what a pain it is to get the unit apart. That process in only eclipsed in difficulty by the reassembly itself.

In the end it wasn’t a problem with the CCD itself, but with the connector on the PCB that received the flat cable. It wasn’t holding the contacts tight, but [Imsolidstate] fixed that with a strategically placed piece of foam.

18 thoughts on “Canon A70 CCD replacement/repair

  1. I used to own this camera model. Now it’s part of harford hackerspace’s roto-photo setup:

    http://harfordhackerspace.org/2010/11/haha-wins-first-place/

    The picture quality was ok for it’s time, but what a horrid battery-sucking vampire it was…

    Canon held a recall on some of these cameras because when left in a hot environment like a car, the cmos (or perhaps this connector) melted and detached. I believe you can still take advantage of this recall program if you happen to suffer from this issue. In my case, it put a bunch of lines through the image and gave what was visible a tan/purple hue.

  2. Great disassembly video. I had one of the cameras on the list of affected Canon cameras. Was tempted to DIY, but sent it in because I was still within the eligible timeframe.

    Unfortunately for me, the jostling during shipping must have “fixed” the loose connector, because I received the camera back a couple of weeks later with a notice saying they disassembled it, fixed the problem, and sent it back to me, yet it failed in precisely the same way as it had when I sent it out.

    (I don’t fault Canon for this: I’d already proven to my own satisfaction it was a mechanical fault; flexing the camera fixed the problem for a few seconds. It was just bad luck that during shipping, the camera’s connector had been jostled into a “fixed” position when the Canon tech received it, found himself unable to reproduce the problem, and presumably declared it “fixed” before putting it back in the box. :)

    The reason I didn’t DIY was because the original advisory said “connecting parts of the internal wiring of the CCD used in affected products may become disconnected, especially if the affected products are stored or used in high-temperature and high-humidity environments”, which I misparsed as “oh, some sort of chip-to-substrate binding problem that I can’t fix”, rather than just a routine crappy connection fault between a connector and a flexible PCB.

    I retired the camera with the idea of trying it some rainy afternoon, but never got around to it owing to the innumerable screws and flexible PCB bits surrounding the CCD, as well as the lack (at the time) of a good teardown.

    Thanks, Imsolidstate, for the inspiration to solve this problem and resurrect my old point-and-shoot cam. I can see why Canon decided to dissuade end users from attempting it themselves – never mind the flash cap, one fingerprint in the wrong place and the CCD is presumably toast.

  3. Anyone run into this problem with the Fujifilm Finepix series?

    I have one here with obvious blue lines on the CCD on the top third of the picture.
    had a look online but the CCDs seem to be made of unobtainium..

    thanks!

  4. The second video has the dude from the Shop Lighting post :D.On the Camera hack,its quite impressive how the build those things :D.Equally impressive how he disassembles it.

  5. I have beat the crap out of my Sony (only sony things i will ever buy are cams) and my Nikons.

    The nikon SLR series has been through a war, I think thats enough for me. I take them in -40′F weather drop them in the snow, mosh pits in metal shows full of sweaty, beer flying events. Into the sand during tractor pull shooting…

    Lame.

    I love imsolidstate though, awesome hacks.

  6. Canon was replacing CCD for this camera (an other models) for free even long after warranty period. There was a problem with CCDs in many Canon cameras.

  7. I have the A85 which suffered the same problems with the CCD. I contacted a local Canon authorised repair centre and they fixed it for free. I still get the odd line so not 100% sure if it’s been replaced with a new one :s.

    I did a teardown on it first and with the help of an online service manual, managed to piece it back together :)

  8. Sorry folks, this video contains some not really nececessary music (ahem) – and now we can`t have it in Germany – since it is blocked for lacking rights conerning that music!!! Could anybody upload another file without that music or give away another link than that one on youtube?

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