On this past New Years Eve, someone decided to do a NASCAR themed celebration with a champagne bottle, and unfortunately my "weather sealed" Sony A77 was present. The sticky residue jammed the main menu navigation button and I decided to replace it.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to replace the rear panel.
To get the part number, try to make the Sony operator sympathize with you and give you a technical manual. I wasn't able too, but luckily, I was able to describe the part which needed replacing and the operator gave me the correct part number.
This goes without saying, but doing this will most likely void your warranty, but you know what? It is a hell of a lot cheaper than paying shipping and the $120-ish assessment fee Sony charges to trouble shoot your camera.
You will need a very small phillips head screwdriver. Something small enough to take apart a cellphone and a thin plastic business card or a mini pry bar.
Here we go:
I used just the small green phillips head screwdriver and the green-plastic-bar; but any thin piece of material will do.
This is the rear button panel that we will be replacing. My main navigation button is what really needed replacing.
This is the new, rear-button panel replacement part. The part number is 1-884-620-11. I purchased this from Andrew's Electronic. Look them up online. It was about $65.
Time to open up the Sony A77
I recommend doing this over paper that's taped down. This way you can tape down the loose screws and write notes as to where they go. This helps when you are trying to remember where everything goes.
First, remove the eye-cushion piece.
Unscrew the two small screws and also the screw in the center of the focusing wheel. Remove the focusing wheel along with the screw.
Labeling the pieces helps organize everything so nothing is forgotten.
Now, remove one screw on the right side of the camera, just above the memory card door.
Remove these seven screws. The screws circled in RED are larger. The screws circled in YELLOW have a finer thread.
Feel free to use double sided sticky tape. If you place the screws on the tape, they don't roll around. Go ahead and draw a diagram if that helps.
On the left side of the camera, lift open the remote and mic doors. Then remove the two screws circled in RED.
More hand-drawn diagrams to help organize the process.
This is the last screw to be removed before carefully removing the back piece from the camera's main body.
Carefully use a small pick to work open the seam just above the memory-card door. Once started, gently separate the back from the camera's body. BE CAREFUL OF THE RIBBONS. There are two ribbons that connect the camera back to the camera's body.
These are the main data ribbons that connect the back to the main camera body. Remove these by gently pulling down on the ribbon. Grab the ribbon as close as you can to the connector and gently pull down. The brown ribbon is the shortest and the blue ribbon is the longest. It is easier to disconnect the brown ribbon first.
The camera's back is completely separated from the main body. Next we will remove the screws securing the button panel we are trying to replace as well as a metal bracket that secures our LCD screen.
Flip the camera back over and lift the LCD screen. You will see two screws.
Remove these two screws.
The metal bracket is now free. First remove this and then remove the old button panel.
Insert the new button panel first and then now we begin to screw everything back together. After screwing the button panel in, screw in the metal bracket.
This is what the camera back should look like (minus the green-plastic-pry bar).
This is by far the hardest part, as the ribbons are very thin. I've found that it is easier to insert the blue ribbon first because it is longer. This will make it easier to insert the brown ribbon as you will have more room to work with.
There you have it. Now it is just a matter of screwing everything back together. Do not forget to re-screw the two LCD screen screws.
Now your button panels should be as good as new.