Repairing a Lumix GH1 strap lug

One evening I opened my bag to pull out my Lumix GH1 and much to my horror, I found the camera strap lying at the bottom of the case! Inspecting the body more closely, I discovered that the camera strap lug had somehow fallen off the camera body. I picked up the camera, gave it a quick shake and lo and behold, there was a rattle inside. Alarmed, I did some emergency surgery.

Now, I don’t recommend taking a GH1 body apart. Period. Don’t do it; I was stupid enough to try and although I did manage to fix the lug and put the whole thing back together, it was a headache I’d like others to avoid (including myself). If you feel you must take apart the body to find the little nut that attaches to the camera lug so it doesn’t fly around inside the housing and short out the electronics, here are a few tips:

  1. Remove the battery and memory card. I’d also recommend letting the body sit for a day or two in case the flash capacitor is charged. I didn’t, but I was a bit paranoid about accidentally shorting out the capacitor.
  2. You will need to remove all of the body screws on all sides of the camera including the two screws in the flash housing and the screws under the viewfinder. Remember, there are SIX sides to the camera, not four.
  3. The body separates rather easily, so if it seems to be stuck check to make sure you’ve removed all the screws.
  4. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT pull the front plate from the body. I made that mistake thinking the front plate was the way to go to get access inside. Take it from me, it is not. Work with the body sensor down (face down) and carefully lift the back plate (monitor and all) away from the body. If you pull the front half of the shell away, you’ll have a heck of a time reconnecting ribbon cable for the camera trigger button in handgrip back onto the circuit board. If that separates, then you’d better have a fine point needle-nose pliers handy and a lot of patience. The ribbon cable isn’t particularly long and the slot it needs to connect to is buried deep inside the main part of the body.
  5. Be very careful when you remove the back plate. There are two fragile ribbon cables that need to be disconnected (and are a pain to reconnect) along with a two wire power plug between the circuit board and the monitor.
  6. If, while holding the front plate flush to the body frame, you gently shake the body, the nut should fall out and you should be able to reattach the lug. It’ll take a while, but it can be done.

If you decide to resort to this path to DIY repair your GH1, do so at your own risk! You can really screw up the camera as everything inside the body is really, really tight.