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Sally Jane Photographic Art

Nikon Coolpix P5100


Replacing LCD on a Nikon P5100

My Nikon P5100 developed an intermittent fault about 6 months after I bought it. I bough it second hand so I could not take it back for a replacement and as it was originally a grey import I could not send it to Nikon for repair either. The fault consisted of the LCD flickering and sometimes turning off unexpectedly. The camera still functioned in all other respects but I couldn't see anything on the screen. Pressing parts of the back of the camera sometimes restored it but not always. Eventually the fault became permanent so I found a repair guy on the internet and sent it off to him. He was very good and told me it was just a loose connection which he fixed and sent the camera back to me after billing me a nominal charge. The work was guaranteed for 6 months. OK, so that was fine.

Last week the LCD started acting up again. It was now over 6 months ago that the repair was carried out. I was faced with either sending it back and paying another repair fee and postage or trying to do something about it myself. I figured, if this was likely to be an ongoing problem with this camera I ought to learn how to fix it myself. I searched on the internet for a solution but found nothing so it was down to trial and error and below are the steps I eventually took to fix the problem.

Although I did not need to replace the LCD I have indicated what you would need to do if you do need to replace it. However, one thing I did discover while searching the internet for a fix was that a number of P5100 owners appear to be having problems with bad connections on their LCDs so it is likely a replacement will not be required.

All images were taken on my mobile phone but I think they are clear enough. If you need to see any of them larger just click on them for a full size version to open up in a new window.


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Any DIY repair you make you do so at your own risk. Bear in mind that by doing so you may invalidate your warrantee. I am not a qualified camera repair person and I will not be held responsible should you damage your camera as a result of trying to follow my instructions.

Before you start

It is important you make sure you are properly prepared before you start taking your camera to pieces. Ensure you have a clear work area with good lighting. If you wear reading glasses make sure you have them on as the parts are very tiny. If you don't wear reading glasses, unless you have perfect close vision, you may need a magnifying glass.

The screws are particularly small and can be easily lost so make sure there are no nooks, crannies or gaps they might fall into and get lost. If your carpet is dark place a white sheet under your work area as you will certainly drop a screw at some stage. don't leave any draws open at the desk where you are working as they will be sure to fall in there. Have a little dish ready to place them in once you remove them from the camera.

You will need a small precision, cross head, screw driver and possibly a small pair of tweezers.

A lens cloth is a good idea too to make sure you remove any fingerprints from the LCD once you put it back.

Step one

Remove the battery from the camera or you will find it will keep turning itself on as you try and handle it especially as you try to remove the back.

Carefully remove the screws. You do not need to remove them all just the ones I have highlighted with red circles. The green crosses show screws I took out but need not have. Do not remove all four screws around the tripod mount.

There are four screws to remove on the base of the camera. There are also some screws on the sides and one on the top.

Remove the camera strap to reveal the silver screws there. Remove both these screws. don't worry, the strap holders won't come off with the screws out. On mine the top one was slightly longer than the others, this may have been because the previous repair agent had lost one and replaced it or it might be longer for a reason. If any of yours are different lengths take care to remember which holes they went in. There is also another black screw just above the A/V Out socket. Remove this too. Once again this screw was slightly longer than the rest of the black screws on my camera so I took care to remember which hole it came from.

On the opposite end there are 3 silver screws under the strap attachment. Remove all three.

On the top of the camera there is just one screw next to the flash hot shoe. Remove this.

Step 2

Now you are ready to separate the back of the camera from the rest of the body. This will not be easy and you will need to take care as there is a fine ribbon lead that is attached to the underside of the Navigation Button and connects to the main body of the camera. If you are not careful you could rip this away as you pull the two pieces apart. See images below to check out what I mean, I have marked it with a red arrow. The case fits very snugly and at first you might think there is a screw you have forgotten to remove. You will need to carefully but firmly tease the back away from the front working each side at a time. Mine seemed to stick most near the battery compartment. Once off you will see this view.

You probably won't see the strip of black tape indicated by the green arrow above on your camera. I think this was placed here to fix the loose connection by the previous repair guy. For me, all I needed to do was to stick this down better. If it starts playing up again I will try and replace this strip of tape with a new and slightly larger piece.

To separate the back cover from the rest of the body you will need to disconnect the ribbon. You can get away with leaving this in place if you are very careful but you will find life a bit easier if you take it off. To do that you need to carefully lift the blue tab up and over. The ribbon is just held in place by this clip. If you have big fingers or no fingernails you might find a small pair of tweezers helpful.

The ribbon will release from the connector and you will see it has a hardened end. When you come to re-attach it simply line it up square with the connector and push the blue flap over and down on the end of it to hold it in place. It sounds more scary than it actually is but as long as you can see clearly what you are doing there should be no problems.

Step 3

You can remove the LCD by carefully prizing it away from the tiny metal grippers top and bottom and it will lift out. It is attached by two ribbons. Check to make sure these are securely connected at both ends. Mine had a problem with it coming loose at the point where the ribbons connect to the LCD, hence the black tape.

The wide ribbon is connect by a straight forward push connector while the thin ribbon has another of those blue flip up connectors. If you need to replace the LCD this is where you can detach it and re-attach a new one.

Step 4

Once you have either replaced your LCD or checked all the connections are secure you can test it before putting it all back together. First reconnect the ribbon from the navigation control as explained above. Now replace the battery and turn the camera on. The LCD should work fine. Use the navigation control to get the flash setting and focus options up to make sure that all works fine and the ribbon has been reconnected OK. If you still have a problem with the LCD try gently pushing on the connectors to see if it makes any difference. On mine, as I mentioned, the problem was where the ribbons attach to the LCD itself. This is not a connector that should come apart which is why the previous engineer simply taped it down. Try gently flexing the ribbons here to see if the LCD flickers back on. If so you could try taping it with insulation tape as mine has been or simply get a replacement LCD to fit.

Once you are happy you have either resolved the problem you are ready to put the camera back together.

Remove the battery. Use a lens cloth to polish off any finger marks you may have left on the LCD screen. Replace the back cover. It goes on much easier than it came off. Now carefully replace all the screws taking great care not to drop any. Once done, replace the battery and it should all be working fine.


Here is a mail from a P5100 owner that might be of interest.

Hi Sally- Your instructions to open up the camera were perfect- I have sent some jpegs with additonal notes regarding the different screws as there are several types of threads and slightly different lengths etc - the piece of tape inside the camera is also factory installed.  Maybe you can add my notes to your document- Once again thanks for this  Tim Babin :) New Brunswick Canada



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