What I’d expected to be a simple camera replacement ended up being an interesting little battle. Rear camera was a completely black image. On inspection I could see that one end of the camera connector was damaged:
So, step 1 was to replace it:
As is often the case in phone repair, that wasn’t the end of the issue. It still didn’t work. Often connectors are damaged by someone plugging & unplugging multiple parts hoping somehow this alone will fix the problem. Measurements at the connector were all normal. I then plugged in the camera & screen with the board out of the housing, and strangely enough it started to work!
But if i flipped the board back over again- black! Turns out, there was a loose capacitor which normally was used as a path to communicate between the camera & the cpu of the phone. Solder it down tighter- problem solved. Capacitors being used to transfer data signals is quite rare in iPhones.