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Mode selector of my DSC W610 started to change the modes for no reason and I want to "correct" it but I am afraid of breaking the camera.

I have heard opening cameras will literally fill the sensor with dust and break it. Is this true for my W610?

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    The odds depend highly on how you open it. Carefully, with appropriate tools, gives much less favorable odds of breakage than a sledgehammer... – twalberg Mar 20 at 18:48
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    I assume that people are voting this down so harshly because "literally fill the sensor with dust" sounds obviously not the case. Do you have a reference for that? – mattdm Mar 20 at 22:58
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    I you have to ask here, the odds are pretty high you'll never get it back together properly without breaking something you didn't even realize you broke: a solder here or a ribbon cable there, etc. – Michael C Mar 20 at 23:27
  • Also, selector switches are one of the things not easy to repair without some electronics repair experience. Also, a main source of "lost the @##!! ball bearing" problems. – rackandboneman Mar 21 at 11:19
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Digital cameras are not made to be end-user reparable. It is likely that there are tiny ribbon cables and other small connectors, pieces fit into place just so, and even things glued together in a way that makes working very inconvenient.

If you are used to working with this kind of thing — and I have many D.I.Y. electronics-enthusiast friends who are — the challenge level is moderate. You can open it up and poke around and put it back together. The camera isn't going to "literally fill with dust". It's something to be aware of, but hey, if you miss something and can open the camera again to clean it out, no problem.

If, however, "oh, I'll just desolder and replace that capacitor" isn't something you might say in casual conversation... I'd suggest to not bother.

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    For what it's worth, even lensrentals does not do anything requiring soldering. If a solder is loose on a board, they either replace the board (which they likely already have from written off "parts" bodies of the same model), write off the body and use it for parts, or send it to factory service for warranty repair (where the factory service center will install a new board rather than repair the solder). – Michael C Mar 20 at 23:31
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If you have to ask, the odds are high that you'll make it worse. If you consider the camera useless in its current state, the XP you gain by trying to fix it may be worthwhile.

The camera will fill with whatever is in the air around it, which likely does include dust, but there's probably already dust in the sensor compartment because zoom lenses create negative pressure that pulls air in.

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Dust is far less a destroyer of cameras than, say, amateurish attempts at sensor cleaning.

ILC owners can attest that dust is simply something you learn to live with.

That being said, your W610 is not an ILC. There is no normal method for cleaning the sensor (I realize that you can pull the camera apart. This isn’t SOP for the majority of W610 owners).

So, if you decide to open it up, be prepared to give it a sensor cleaning before reassembling...or forego the cleaning altogether and just see what happens.

So, what’re the odds you’ll break the camera? Who knows? You could break a plastic connector in pulling it apart or something else entirely. As with all electronics, as an amateur, feel free to explore and attempt fixes but be prepared to replace the device should you make things worse in your attempt.

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