So today I finally bought a set of jeweler's screwdrivers small enough to take my video camera apart. About 40 screws later, I was finally able to get at the record switch. It was a sealed unit, not meant to be serviced. I tried to track down the part online. Of course I couldn't find it. Fuck it. I pried the switch open. Inside, the delicate electrodes were obviously a little dirty. I abraded them a little, reassemblem and reinstalled the switch. At this stage, the camera was still in (connected) pieces, like some kind of dissected animal. I connected the power and put it a tapel. Well, it still turned on... then success! The record button works again! I reassembled everything (somehow managed to get all the right screws back in) and powered it up again... still good. Canon in Taiwan would've charge me four grand for that. That made it all the more satisfying. Fuck you, useless Canon Taiwan.
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