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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 28 Dec 2015 (Monday) 02:20
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50D shutter button - clean or replace?

 
Buzz-01
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Dec 28, 2015 02:20 |  #1

Had my 50D since mid-2009 and am still very happy with it.
As of last week, I noticed that sometimes the shutter button's full-press function fails. Half-press AF works fine, but when full-pressing, the picture is not taken. This appears to be a common problem in the xxD models and I've found several videos online on how to clean the button.
Since I'm an electronics engineer, I should be perfectly capable of openening up the camera and repairing this problem myself.

However, I need some advice on whether I should clean or replace the switch.
Cleaning the switch should be not too difficult, I have the cleaning solutions readily available. (IPA (external link) & Tuner 600 (external link))
Searching on ebay for a replacement switch, I've found them available for $10 - $15 shipped.
Since most (all?) listings are from China, I'm not sure whether I would receive a genuine Canon switch (or at least the brand that Canon originally used) and what the expected lifetime of such a switch would be.
I live in the Netherlands, where (afaik) it's not really easy to obtain genuine Canon replacement parts locally.

What are your experiences in this?
Did any of you clean the switch or have it cleaned, and did it fail again after a (short) period of time?
My concern is not in the cost of replacing the switch, but in the quality of the replacement switch I would order on ebay.


50D | 10-22mm | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 18-135mm IS STM | 100mm 2.8 Macro | 70-300mm IS USM | 430EXII

  
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Dec 28, 2015 04:31 |  #2

When I had my 50D I also had a shutterbutton with this behaviour.
I was asking myself two things:
1: When I flushclean the shutter, I still have a dirty compartment. How soon will the shutter fail again?
2: A new shutterbutton does not contain remainders of the filth (duh ...) so it gives me more confidence towards the future.

I went to RoFa Repair in Den Haag to bring the camera and let them install a new shutterbutton.
I did not send it in.

http://www.rofarepair.​nl (external link)

According to the bill, they replaced the shutterbutton, checked the electronics, cleaned the camera and tested the camera.
All this for about 130 Euro's.
It was totally worth it.

But because you are an electronics engineer yourself, you can call or mail them if you can buy a shutterbutton from them.
They are very willing to help you.


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MalVeauX
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Dec 28, 2015 05:04 |  #3

Heya,

Get a new shutter button. Clean it yourself. Replace it yourself. Doesn't matter if it's genuine Canon. You'll find that shutter button is just a piece of plastic. It's not made of a more special polymer nor filled with a more exotic metal for electronic contact. It's a piece of plastic with gasket that drops on a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor itself is the thing that may be "sticking." But you won't know until you open it up and find out if it's just the button is dirty and not smoothly depressing, or if it's the pressure sensor under the button just worn out or something. Check it out. $10~15 for a part seems like a no brainer to me.

If you royally botch it, go to RoFa Repair as C.A. pointed out! ;)

Very best,


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Buzz-01
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Post edited over 4 years ago by Buzz-01. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 29, 2015 02:12 |  #4

Thanks for your replies. Indeed $15 (ebay listing) would be a no-brainer, provided that the replacement switch would be of good enough quality.
I'd hate to need to open the camera within a few months again because the replacement switch would already start failing caused by poor quality.
Buying it off ebay is a gamble however, I've been both positively and negatively surprised in the past.

That's where my question about cleaning the switch comes from; with the Canon switch I know what I have. With the replacement off ebay I don't.
If other people have had good and long lasting success by simply opening and cleaning the original switch as shown this video (external link), then this would definitely be the way to go for me.

I've heard of Rofa being one of the two better known Canon Service Centers in the Netherlands but I have never done business with them.
I think I'll just open up the existing switch and see if there is any visible wear on the contact plating. If not, then I will simply clean it and see how long it lasts.
If so, I will try and obtain a replacement switch through Rofa.


50D | 10-22mm | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 18-135mm IS STM | 100mm 2.8 Macro | 70-300mm IS USM | 430EXII

  
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gjl711
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Dec 29, 2015 02:54 |  #5

I always look for the least invasive method first before moving on to other options. The alcohol method is so easy and so inexpensive that it just makes sense to try it before opening the case and replacing parts. I'm not sure what videos you have looked at but this (external link) is the one I first saw when a friends camera started exhibiting the sticking shutter problem. We performed the fix and it worked and as far as I know, the problem has not returned.


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DreDaze
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Dec 29, 2015 03:03 |  #6

using the alcohol to clean it is so simple...it doesn't take long at all, and works a charm...no need to buy any replacement shutter buttons and open anything up...all you have to do is remove the battery, and pour it in there...i'm sure you've seen the videos...i did it with my 40D, had to do it twice...but it worked great

just looked at the video you posted...yeah, don't bother with all that...follow gjl711's video instead


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Buzz-01
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Dec 29, 2015 03:24 |  #7

Seen the videos about pouring the alcohol into the battery compartment. Read about lots of people having success with it.
Also read about people complaining that their top LCD got diffused/damaged because of this action.
To me it feels better to apply the chemicals only where needed, that is inside the switch.
Opening up the switch would also allow me to really remove the gunk from the switch, rather than just moving the gunk around inside the switch.
I don't mind spending the extra hours needed for opening up the camera, but I would mind if the fix would only be temporarily... :-)


50D | 10-22mm | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 18-135mm IS STM | 100mm 2.8 Macro | 70-300mm IS USM | 430EXII

  
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Dec 29, 2015 03:34 as a reply to  @ Buzz-01's post |  #8

just pulled out my 40D, and i hadn't noticed before, but i guess i did get some into the LCD...it's not noticeable unless you're using the light though


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Buzz-01
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Dec 29, 2015 13:56 |  #9

That's what I'm afraid of, so my camera's going to be opened up anyhow. Either for cleaning or for replacement.
Good to hear that it's hardly noticeable in your camera though!


50D | 10-22mm | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 18-135mm IS STM | 100mm 2.8 Macro | 70-300mm IS USM | 430EXII

  
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Dec 29, 2015 14:28 as a reply to  @ Buzz-01's post |  #10

I had the same issue with my 40D a few years ago. I went with the "clean the switch" option and it's been working fine ever since. I agree with the other poster saying to go with the least invasive option first. I like tinkering with stuff, but given all the micro-screws and other small components on these cameras, I just wouldn't feel comfortable attempting to service the camera myself! Would be interested to hear of your experience though after you've had a chance to clean/replace the switch.




  
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marchboom
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Jan 01, 2016 13:07 |  #11

I have a 50D (2009 circa) and had the same problem 2 years ago. After a lot of research and learning that the cost to have a switch replaced would cost $165, i decided to do the alcohol method. Very easy and the camera has worked great since. I used a tripod (reverse the center section so it enters the tripod from the bottom and the body hangs from the mount) to hold the body in a position where the alcohol would run into the switch area then out the space surrounding the button. This minimized the chance of alcohol getting into any other areas. Also used a hair dryer (on low heat) to blow out and dry the parts.

Good luck




  
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gjl711
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Jan 01, 2016 13:26 |  #12

marchboom wrote in post #17840272 (external link)
I have a 50D (2009 circa) and had the same problem 2 years ago. After a lot of research and learning that the cost to have a switch replaced would cost $165, i decided to do the alcohol method. Very easy and the camera has worked great since. I used a tripod (reverse the center section so it enters the tripod from the bottom and the body hangs from the mount) to hold the body in a position where the alcohol would run into the switch area then out the space surrounding the button. This minimized the chance of alcohol getting into any other areas. Also used a hair dryer (on low heat) to blow out and dry the parts.

Good luck

I used a tripod as well but I had read that using a hair dryer is not such a good idea as it can blow alcohol into areas you don't want it to go. Patience is a much better way. Alcohol evaporates pretty quickly.


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Buzz-01
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Jan 02, 2016 01:16 |  #13

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
I have noticed that the switch has become less of a problem since the last few days. Yesterday and the day before the camera didn't fail even once.

The problem will most likely return so I will have to fix it eventually, but for now I think I'll just leave it be. :-D


50D | 10-22mm | Tamron 17-50mm 2.8 | 18-135mm IS STM | 100mm 2.8 Macro | 70-300mm IS USM | 430EXII

  
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Jan 02, 2016 02:14 as a reply to  @ Buzz-01's post |  #14

I bought my 40d 2nd hand 2 years ago, after about 2 weeks it started to have the intermittent shutter button delay/nonfire. The thought of pouring any type of liquid directly into my camera body scared me so I opted to dismantle it and clean the shutter button asembaly and terminals with alcohol and a pencil eraser pad. I had never taken apart a camera before, but I had built many R/C kit cars and delicate models in the past. It was a bit unnerving at first but I did find 1 or 2 helpful videos on the Web. Just go slow take your time and remember where everything goes for re asembaly. If I remember correctly the side terminals for usb/audio/cf come off first, than front plate, than rear plate (gently disconnect cable for lcd careful not to damage pins) than you can unscrew and lift the top plate up enough to get to and pop out the entire shutter button assembly. BE CAREFUL WHEN LIFTING TOP PLATE NOT TO RIP WIRES CONNECTING TO POP UP FLASH. I made that mistake and had to re solder a broken wire. Clean shutter button and the metal terminals they sit beneath it with alcohol and eraser pad than follow steps in reverse to free assemble ;)

After I performed surgery my 40d worked flawlessly for damn near the past 2 years. Only recently in the past 2 weeks I have been getting I'd say maybe a 1 in 500 shutter button failure to fire. Keep in mind I shoot surf photography and I'm on the beach in the salt and sand and rain with the 40d almost daily so I'm happy I got 2 years of 0 shutter failure to fire. I'm at the point where I'm just going to upgrade my camera body and delegate 40d to my backup. I can live with 2 frames out of 1000 not firing for my back up body. Any way hope this helped and good luck!


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50D shutter button - clean or replace?
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