What the Inside of Your Camera Looks Like

My trusty Nikon D3000 finally gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago. The shutter now jams and it looked like a lot of work to repair it, so I replaced it with a used D200 I bought for about £200 with battery grip. The D200 is old but was a professional-level body, and if it was good enough for Zack Arias to own two, then it's good enough for me (I love Zack Arias's street photography). So what to do with the old body? Well dismantle it, of course!

Why I need a stronger camera body

Tools and Health Protection Notifice

I just needed a small watchmaker's screwdriver to dissect my camera. Before you think about opening your's up though, be very, very careful. My camera body contained a capacitor (probably for the on-board flash) that keeps its charge even after you've removed the battery and can deliver quite a nasty shock. You have been warned.

Tools required: camera to disassemble and watch maker's screwdriver

Processors and Electronics

I'm not an expert, but I assume this board contains the camera's main processors, accessed after removing the back.

(I assume) the camera's image processor

TFT Display

TFT display


You can see the pentaprism and viewfinder in the following image (as well as the capacitor which looks like the black battery at the right of the image).

Pentaprism, viewfinder, and body

Shutter Mechanism

This image shows the shutter mechanism. On the back is the shutter plane, and the side is the hinge that opens the shutter before it is sprung back after the shot is taken.

Shutter mechanism


Finally (at it took long enough to get at it), the camera sensor.

Image sensor

So there you have it, a whistlestop tour of the insides of a DSLR camera. I had a lot of fun taking it apart to see how it worked, and I hope these photos have been interesting. You can see the full sequence in the flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/phil-jones/sets/72157645547829134/