The articulating LCD screen on my Sony A77 camera recently stopped working properly. The LCD screen still functioned when it was up against the camera body, but when I extended and rotated the articulating LCD screen away from the body it only displayed artifacts.
After some research, I found out that the flex cable in my A77 was broken. By buying a new flex cable and studying the parts diagrams that I found online, I managed to repair the camera for a lot less than what I would have paid at a Sony service center.
From what I found online, having the camera repaired at the Sony service center would have cost somewhere between $200 and $400 total for the assessment, shipping, components and labor.
An other option would have been buying a replacement body (a Sony A77 Mark II), but that would have set me back about $1200.
Clearly repairing the camera was the way to go, as this only cost me ~€50 for the replacement flex cable.
Before showing you how to repair the Sony A77 screen, I will give some more information on the problem and what usually causes it.
Why does the Sony A77 screen start showing artifacts?
There are two main reasons why this problem occurs:
The primary reason is that the flex cable that connects from the main PCB to the LCD wears out. When this happens, the cable develops one or more hairline cracks in the wires. The LCD is then not able to receive the correct signals anymore, and it displays artifacts instead.
In the case of my Sony A77, when the screen was positioned against the body the traces in the flex cable managed to make contact well, but when the screen was moved further from the body the connection broke.
A broken flex cable seems to be the most common cause of the artifacts, so when attempting to fix the screen, this is what I recommend to try to fix first.
The second reason for the artifacts is a defect LCD screen. This can either be the LCD screen itself or its control electronics.
Some possible causes for this are:
- Liquids making their way into the LCD casing.
- A sudden impact.
- The LCD screen is at the end of its life.
The last reason does not happen too often, as the flex cable is usually first to go.
If replacing the flex cable does not work, then the LCD screen itself is likely the culprit and needs to be replaced.
How do I fix the Sony A77 screen?
You will need to disassemble the camera, replace either the flex cable or the LCD screen, and then reassemble everything.
This may sound like a daunting task, but it is relatively straightforward. All the steps you need to take are listed further down the page. With enough patience and care there is not much that can go wrong.
What do I need?
Some common tools and a replacement LCD flex cable (or replacement LCD screen). Everything is listed below.
Can I also use this guide to repair the screen on the Sony A77 II?
Yes! The A77 Mark II is not very different from the A77. The same exact procedure can be followed to repair the both LCD screen of the Sony SLT-A77, and the screen of the Sony SLT-A77 II.
I have not repaired any A77II’s myself, but I have had people contact me and telling me they successfully followed these steps for their A77II. So I am certain that this works for the A77II as well.
Can I do anything to prevent the A77 LCD screen from breaking?
Only if you never move the articulating screen. The primary reason for the artifacts is the flex cable that develops fractures. Limiting the strain on the flex cable will extend its life.
Aside from that, handling the camera carefully and storing it safely.
Read on to learn how to repair the Sony A77 and find out the exact tools and materials that you need.
- A Sony A77 (or A77 II) camera with the same or similar issues as described above
- A replacement flex cable
If you are certain the LCD screen (instead of the flex cable) is broken:
Sony A77 body disassembly
Sony A77 LCD screen disassembly
Flex cable removal
Some tips for reassembly
This was a great project for me to do, as I always enjoy extending the lifespan of products. Especially when the alternative is spending a lot of money.
The repair was not as difficult as I thought it would be. The Sony A77 is a complicated piece of technology, but it seems to be designed so that it is relatively easy to repair.
If you liked reading this article or have any questions about this project then feel free to leave a comment or check out some of my other projects linked on the all projects page.
Last update on 2019-11-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / Affiliate Disclosure