We had the same exact problem with our camera.
Tried calling Samsung for help,but customer service hours are limited. We took our camera back to the Walmart, showed them the problem, and they refunded our money.
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This happens a lot. Gears inside the lens assembly can get dirt in them, or be damaged by pressure on the assembly when it's extended. Here is a blog which details the things you can try to get it working again. They say if you follow their steps, you can get the camera working again about half the time. http://camerarepair.blogspot.com/2007/12/fixing-lens-error-on-digital-camera.html
The blog is about a lens error, but it applies to your problem also.
Good luck, and hope this helps!
i had exactly the same problem with my camera and have just managed to fix it. turn the camera on, and as as the lens extends remove the battery so the lens remains extended. then make sure the lens barrel is correctly aligned. press down on the front of the lens, when you hear a click that means the lends guiding pins have been re-aligned. BE CAREFUL as this could permanently damage your camera, so do as a last resort if out of warranty. check out link for more
The lends on my camera will not open. The light comes on in the view screne and shows Error 3 on it. I have no idea what it means. What I meant is that it will not open is that the lends will not open out completly it opens to about a 1/4" to 3/8" and is stuck there. How can I get it to open completly or must I sent it to your shop to get open?