Question about Canon PowerShot A720 IS Digital Camera

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Canon A720is turns on, but lens will not extend

My Canon Powershot A720is powers on but will not extend lens to take pictures. It automatically goes to picture review mode. No error messages come up. The report from my significant other is that there may be some sand in the lens mechanism.

Seems as though there would be some sort of error code or noise to indicate the camera was trying to open the lens.

Any suggestions?

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  • broge Dec 07, 2008

    I called the Canon tech desk and they suggested I send it in because it is still under warranty (two more weeks). I sent it in on Monday and had it back on Friday. They said it was an bad electronic board. Have to say I'm impressed with the service. The only cost for me was the $10 to ship it.

  • Anonymous Apr 29, 2009

    I have exactly the same problem. Unfortunately, mine is no longer covered under warranty. This seems to be a common problem with these. Perhaps there's a defective board.

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I had the exact same problem. Since my camera is out of warranty, I decided to try to fix it myself; figuring the cost of repairing it would be close to the cost of a new, better camera. If yours is still under warranty, let Canon fix it for the cost of shipping.

I unscrewed all of the screws and carefully pried open the back of the camera. Part of it will come apart easily, but for the part that wouldn't, I slid a razorblade into the crack between the pieces and used it to separate the pieces.

I was shocked by what I found. The "mechanism" for switching between picture and review mode, appears to consist of a tiny black piece of something (doesn't look like metal, but I assume it's conductive). The physical switch that you operate on the back of the camera, appears to push this away from the circuit board. When that happens, the camera goes into review mode.

I assume that over time, this flimsy piece of whatever begins to wear out and eventually won't return to the circuit board. I slipped a small screwdriver under this piece and bent it back towards the circuit board.

That did the trick, The camera now functions as it's supposed to with one exception. Now, when I go into review mode, the lens won't retract (although it will when I power the camera down). Personally, I'm fine with that, because the lens going in and out is a huge waste of battery.

One thing I learned from this is that when you leave your camera inactive for long periods of time, make sure it's in picture mode, as this should reduce the strain on the flexible "switch".

Posted on May 01, 2009

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I had the same issue. Changed the batteries and it worked fine. My diagnosis was low battery power, sufficient to power the electronics but insufficient to power the mechanical lens.

Posted on Feb 03, 2009

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