6. D-I-Y Sensor Cleaning
You don't want to risk damaging this part of your camera. "The smartest way to clean the sensor is to not do it all," says Kevoe. Leave it to a technician.
7. Wiggling Wires
Don't muscle the USB cable if it doesn't go in or out smoothly. The connector is only faintly soldered to the camera's circuit board.
While putting film into your 35mm SLR, you press it into place atop the shutter assembly, and…oops, something's bent or broken.
9. Flange Failure
Pulling on a lens as you change it can snap a flange that holds it in place on the camera. "When the first flange breaks, they don't send the lens in for repair," says Kevoe. "When the second flange breaks, they do, because the lens falls off."
10. Door Busters
"Damn that battery door," you mutter, as you're forcing it shut or prying it open. Snap! "Sometimes it's not just the door," says Menkin. "You can also break the camera body."
"Ten to 15 percent of the cameras that come in here aren't really broken," says Mack Camera & Video Service's Melvin I. Kevoe. That's a big number, considering that each year about 14,000 cameras make their way to Mack's repair facility.
Here are some common complaints that accompany "not really broken" cameras, along with simple fixes for them:
"There's a soft spot on all of the pictures." You have a thumb print on the lens. Clean it off.
"The camera is sluggish." You loaded it with new batteries, but they were cheap, low-power cells.
"The pictures are pixelated." Check the menus-the camera is probably on a low-resolution setting.
"The view through the viewfinder is blurry." Try adjusting the diopter.
"Every single shot is either way underexposed or way overexposed." Do you want to bet that you once put a two-stop over- or underexposure into Program mode, and now you're activating it?
"It won't take any pictures." The memory card is full.