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Lens errors are fairly common. Usually it's sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism. Or the camera's been dropped with the lens extended. Or the camera has been powered on, but the lens had been blocked preventing its extension. Or the battery ran down with the lens extended ...
Unfortunately, many cameras that fall prey to this can only be corrected by professional repair. But, here are some things that you can do that may correct it. They only seem to work for less than 40% of the lens errors, but if the camera is out of warranty, they're worth a try.
This is probably THE single most common failure among digital cameras. There's a halfway chance of fixing it yourself, described here: http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/2007/12/fixing-lens-error-on-digital-camera.html
You can try to "fix" this problem by holding down the shutter release button as soon as the camera power up.If this does not work you will need to replace the lens assembly. This should only be done by a qualified tech.
This is usually caused by one of two circumstances. (1) The user dropped the camera while the lens was extended causing a mechanical failure. (2) The lens attempts to extend while in a pouch or pocket without the user's knowledge. This usually happens when the user is carrying the camera with the battery in. When/if the REC button or power button is pressed accidentally, the lens will attempt to extend but can't. This causes the servo motors to "smoke".