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If you say that the camera was making a grinding sound before it quit working the grinding noise should have been looked at then, cameras do not make grinding sounds if they are working properly. the sound is the drive unit going bad and that is why you are now getting the focus error because the drive unit has quit working completely !!!! It is now time for the shop.
The S9600 camera is a fixed lens camera and the lens ca not be changed not like a DSLR with interchangeable lenses. Your camera has the equivalent of 28 to 300mm focal length which is pretty respectable. One thing you could do is purchase an adapter but the quality of your pictures will suffer. Going to a full DSLR with the focal length you have now wouldn't be to cheap either.
It's better not to, Les.
Fuji suggest using AA Ni-MH batteries or simply alkaline. Others [e.g., Ni-CAD] can cause the camera to overheat and give real problems. Given the relatively low cost anyway, higher capacity Ni-MH batteries and a good charger unit seems the way to go - and will keep the camera healthy!
i have a Fuji S9600 which seems to have a faulty On/Off dial. When swithing the camera on, the playback screen is displayed without any problem. However when selecting the picture taking mode, the LCD or view finder becomes a very faint grey colour and is dimly illuminated. When switching the camer off, this grey screen still remains until the batteries run out! The only way to switch off completely is to open the battery compartment. has anyone any ideas?