Question about Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera

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No image in viewfinder or on screen

My husband was taking pictures in the house with no problems. He put the camera down and when he went to take pictures again, there was no image on the screen or in the viewfinder. All the menu items still appear on the screen and the screen seems to be ok. I am hoping that the problem is a simple one of resetting something rather than a shutter that just froze up.
I just want to take pictures

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  • lcroft Oct 19, 2008

    I have the same problem happen to my camera. When it first started happening, I could turn the camera off and on repeatedly until the immage would appear, but now that oes not work.

  • mvprap Oct 26, 2008

    I have the same problem. Viewfinder is dark, LCD is dark, but functions show up on LCD and in viewfinder. Turned off and on a couple of times and it would work until a picture was taken and then it would be dark again. It is like the lens cap is on (but it is not) or that the shutter is stuck. PLEASE HELP ME!!!! Thanks,

  • Anonymous Oct 26, 2008

    Same thing! Solution please!!

  • oclvframe Oct 30, 2008

    Yep! same deal....used to work after turning on and off a couple of it's just dark.


  • rddr2003 Oct 31, 2008

    All options appear on the screen, view thru view finder is black

  • Anonymous Nov 12, 2008

    Same thing.  Camera is not very old and both screens are play back on pictures either.  I can see the menu though.

  • Anonymous Nov 15, 2008

    I've had the same problem as the others. No image on viewfinder but stored pictures, videos, and the menu can be viewed.

  • waldschrat Nov 24, 2008

    I encountered the same problem (no image on screen when shooting, menu options and old pictures show up OK). Canon said on the phone it was a bad CCD sensor. Tried the "set Tv mode and 15 seconds, press shutter, open battery compartment"trick several times with no luck, finally tried holding shutter button down until opening battery compartment and that gave a temporary fix; the screen went black again on my next shot. I then tried same again but switching to "auto mode" while battery compartment was open and that gave a better fix, I was able to take several shots OK. THANKS!!!



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I found this solution on a different page and it fixed my camera that was having the same problem.

In the case where you get a black image, the following may be of help:

This is a common problem in older Canon S2 IS cameras, especially ones that have not been regularly used. What happens is that the lens iris gets stuck at a small aperture. Most often you can get function back. Here's how:

Turn the camera on in shooting mode.

Turn the mode selector to shutter priority ("Tv").

Use the four-way button on the back to set the shutter speed to 15 seconds. That's right, 15 seconds. (To do this you keep pressing the left direction on the four-way button until it goes from 1/1600 or whatever it might be all the way to 15")

Press the shutter release. Count to seven, then pop open the battery compartment.

Wait several seconds, then close the battery compartment.

You may need to repeat the above sequence several times to unstick the iris. If that does not accomplish it, you will likely have to send the camera in for repair.

Once you have it working again, you should use the camera regularly to keep it from sticking again.

This sounds like a pretty ghetto solution but it worked for me and I know it has worked for others. So before you go wasting your time writing letters, give this a shot.

Posted on Nov 09, 2008

  • linkolng35 Nov 09, 2008

    I had the same problem but posted a possible (and probable) solution under the username linkolng35. Scroll down and check it out and give it a shot.


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The TV mode on 15 secs works sometimes but eventually it will stop working alltogether. If canon can't help, might try this:


Posted on Feb 11, 2009

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Nice, it worked !!! Thank you, linkolng35 !!!

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

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I also tried your solution - TV setting, 15 secs, etc. - and it fixed the problem. Has this resulted in a permanent fix for you or have you had to do this again to solve the problem? You're right, it did sound like a ghetto fix, but it worked! Thanks for your help!

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

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The earlier solution (set to TV mode, set shutter speed to 15 sec...etc.) FIXED my "black screen"problem that I had for the first time this weekend. My S2IS was bought in Aug 2005 and this was the first such problem I have had with it.
Thanks for bringing this fix to my attention....

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

After reading so many complaints on this site and others about the 'black screen' problem wth our PowerShot S2 IS cameras and trying to communicate with Canon, I finally sent an e-mail off to my state's Attorney General's Office. I would advise the rest of you to do the same. They are the ones who deal with consumer complaints and require recalls when warranted.

Posted on Nov 04, 2008

Well kids, I sent an e-mail to Canon linking this page. This is clearly a Canon problem and we paid enough for our cameras that if this is as common a problem as it appears, they should be fixing it at no cost to us.
I can tell you are as frustrated as I am.
I would encourage all of you to e-mail Canon if you have not done so already.

Posted on Nov 02, 2008

I banged the camera a couple of times on soft bed and the iris now opens ok.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008

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