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Jan 07, 2007, 04:43 PM
fortune favours the bold
gjestico's Avatar
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Hacking the shutter switch on a A620

I was never happy with the "stick-on" servo style method of shutter triggering for cameras, So I decided to delve into the innards of my new A620 to see if I could wire directly to the shutter switch, and bring out the wires to where they could be connected to an electronic e-switch, such as the one Mr RC-Cam shows how to build.
The A620 is discontinued now, but there are still a few around new, I got mine for $200 bundled with a printer. I have only seen pics on the net of its lates replacement, the A640. They look to be identically built so I would hazard a guess this would work on it too.
Caution : do not try this at home unless you have good eyes, good patience, small screwdrivers, and good fine point soldering iron.
After removing just about all the exterior panels on the camera to see how it was built, I found how just the top section could be removed to gain access to the switch.
First step :
End panel comes off with the removal of 3 small screws. remember to keep all screws with their respective panels, as there are several types here.
Last edited by gjestico; Jan 07, 2007 at 08:53 PM. Reason: speelling
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Jan 07, 2007, 04:46 PM
fortune favours the bold
gjestico's Avatar
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Second step :
Lifting the tab uncovered by the last step, and also the 3 screws accessed through the battery compartment. need long philips screwdriver. Then a little prying(there are a couple of little tabs that interlock) and the top panel will lift up to reveal a small ribbon cable connector, Which is released by pushing back the tiny black locking tab.
Last edited by gjestico; Jan 07, 2007 at 08:54 PM.
Jan 07, 2007, 04:49 PM
fortune favours the bold
gjestico's Avatar
Thread OP
At this point the panel is free and another small screw will release the switch circuit board. Watch out for a tiny spring and the lens for the "ON" light as they will become free to escape under your workbench causing you to grope around on the floor with a flashlight.
I used a micro-style servo extension made of 26ga wires. There is not a lot of room inside the camera so wires need to be as small as possible. I drilled a small .07" hole close to "on" switch for the wire to exit. I considered other spots but this was the simplest. If the camera was ever desired to be returned to stock the hole is all that would remain.
Jan 07, 2007, 04:50 PM
fortune favours the bold
gjestico's Avatar
Thread OP
Here comes the tricky soldering. The shutter switch is a small surface mount device, and the solder tabs are tiny. If the wire is tinned properly, holding it against the tab and re-heating it will bond it instantly and securely.
There are 2 pics below, I changed the wire I used (and the colours) The first pic was clearer so I have included it as well as the final version.
On the second pic, Green wire is common (ground I assume), White is focus (half-press),and Red is shutter (full-press).
Connecting the white wire to the green focuses it, then adding the red wire to the green fires the shutter.
Last edited by gjestico; Jan 07, 2007 at 04:59 PM.
Jan 07, 2007, 04:51 PM
fortune favours the bold
gjestico's Avatar
Thread OP
Ready to go back together!. The wires have to be routed carefully to avoid being pinched.
Last edited by gjestico; Jan 07, 2007 at 05:00 PM.
Jan 07, 2007, 05:03 PM
fortune favours the bold
gjestico's Avatar
Thread OP
All done. I used some 3M double tape to adhere the connector to the top of the camera. This will then connect to the E-switch.
Jan 07, 2007, 07:03 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Gjestico you are a braver man than I !!
Maybe when I relegate my A620 to second string I'll be willing to risk hacking it.

Jan 07, 2007, 07:04 PM
Suspended Account
Zaviation's Avatar

Very Nice Hack

Thanks for the information gjestico. I was going to delve into mine but didn't want to go on the initial search. I think while I have mine apart I will attach another E-switch for power.

Regards, John
Jan 07, 2007, 11:25 PM
by Alary Design
Photoship One's Avatar

Same for the A640

did my A640 this evening. Thanks for the motivation to get this done!!

On mine I have the wire exiting the camera next to the video out connector
Jan 07, 2007, 11:50 PM
Registered User
Did I miss something? Does this require the use of 2 switches to trigger the focus first?

Jan 08, 2007, 12:04 AM
by Alary Design
Photoship One's Avatar
There are switches available with two triggers for this purpose. Askman has some.

But what I found was for my A640 if the shutter trigger wire is shorted to ground it auto focuses and then fires the shutter, so the 3rd wire would be unnecessary unless for some reason you wanted to focus only, unlike my Nikon L1 which needs to have the focus AND shutter shorted to ground to take the picture.

I would guess the A620 is the same
Jan 08, 2007, 12:09 AM
Registered User
Cool, so the two functions are:

1. Focus
2. Focus then shoot.

Good to know, thanks.

Jan 08, 2007, 12:17 AM
Professor of Wood
kd7ost's Avatar
Originally Posted by mdelzer
Did I miss something? Does this require the use of 2 switches to trigger the focus first?

Just an FYI. If you just hit the shutter only, it will first focus, then shoot. No need to hit a focus function first. Try it on the ground and see. Just mash that button all the way and see what happens. It will focus first then shoot.

The problem with that is there could be a slightly longer delay. Depends on how fast your camera will autofocus.

Here's a better trick. If your camera allows manual focus, set it to manual then adjust it to infinity. Then it doesn't need to focus. It's already set for anything beyond 15 to 20 feet. We usually shoot that distance anyway.

Jan 08, 2007, 12:23 AM
Destroyer of G-10
askman's Avatar
make the a620-640 even better. good job.
Jan 08, 2007, 07:43 AM
Rank Amateur
cadmonkey's Avatar
The innerds of the A540 are almost identical too, slightly different disassembly, but same soldering job.

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