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After class, as I was grabbing my backpack from the table, my camera (Nikon D5100) dropped to the floor from the desk. I picked it up, and it looked okay. It still takes pictures. but when you look into the viewfinder, what you see is a lopsided square. When i removed the lens, the upper right part of the image sensor was pushed back. It seems like it was pushed out of place.

Is my camera going straight to the trash or can it still be repaired?

Please help me. I'm on a student exchange program in Japan right now - and I am leaving and going back to my country in 18 days.

  • If you are in Japan, then you should take it to Nikon. Only Nikon can fix sensor problems. At a minimum ask them the same questions you are asking here. – Emacs User Jun 24 '15 at 13:31
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    Are you sure it's the sensor that moved? You wouldn't be able to see any change in sensor position through the viewfinder. The "lopsided square" could be a dislodged focus screen. And when you remove the lens and look into the body of the camera, you're looking at the mirrorbox. – inkista Jun 24 '15 at 18:12
  • Yes - my mistake! The mirrorbox is pushed back. It seems as though the mirror is popped out of the circles that hold it in place. – Isabelg Jun 26 '15 at 8:40
  • I tried making using the live-view of my camera and then it displayed a message that said : error:press shutter and release. or something like that.... – Isabelg Jun 26 '15 at 8:42
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  1. Cameras are nothing, pictures are everything. The most important thing to do is to keep taking pictures. Rent a replacement unit. Get some disposable cameras if necessary.

  2. Verify the usability of the pictures that your camera now takes. But you see how this is point two right? If you haven't got a replacement for it, don't even bother investigating any further. Chances are your subconsciousness is convincing you that "these pictures look ok", btu when you are back home and look at them on a big screen, they all look horribly wrong because some parts of the camera got misaligned.

  3. Try to locate a Nikon store/service center in your area and get an estimate for a repair, make sure they check your lens, too. The only reason to ask for how long this will take is to know if they are finished before your departure. You do not want to rely on them. Getting your camera fixed there is a "nice to have". You definitely do not want to be surprised by how long it takes and wondering what camera you should use in the meantime. This is the moment when you want to pull out the replacement camera out of your bag and say "thank you, I decline your overpriced replacement offer because I prepared for this situation and am under no pressure to accept your offer". I don't want to give a bad rep to Nikon service. They might make you a good offer. But if you look for replacements first, you know what the regular prices are and calmly compare their offer to them. If you as a foreigner (I guess?) aka tourist enter a camera store, have a broken camera, need repair as quickly as possible and a replacement while it happens, you might see this symbol show up in their eyes: ¥

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With the information you are giving, it's hard to tell if the camera can still be repaired, but it is likely still repairable.

1: When you look through the viewfinder, you don't see parts of the image sensors. Also the sensor can not really move as far as I know. It's more likely that either the shutter moved or the mirror moved.

2: When you remove the lens, you don't look at the sensor, but at the mirror and shutter. There is a setting in the camera to open the shutter and clean the sensor, if you try that setting you can see how the sensor is doing.

If you are lucky it's only the shutter or mirror that has moved and it's probably not very hard to replace. If it's only the mirror you can even keep on taking pictures without any loss in quality, using the live-view mode of your camera (and maybe turn "mirror-lockup" on).

You can try to move the mirror back in place as it is fixed with clips only (as I remember correctly). I'm not sure about the shutter, but thats a very delicate thing, so be careful...

Hope this is of any help!

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