Question about Casio Exilim EX-S500 Digital Camera

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Cannot take pictures / lens does not retract

So it seems this is a common problem, but most of the solutions appear to be "buy a new one". I want to see if I can still salvage this one, as I like the camera. Here's the details: When I turn the power on, the lens will come out, and make the "focusing" noise. Bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz bzz. It goes on way too long, then beeps and shuts off. In this time, I can hit the "playback" button and it will go to that mode. The lens will autoretract as it should after some delay. I still cannot take pictures, but I can access old ones and all the menu options. I believe this happened when in my pocket and it tried to turn on, the lens came out and hit resistance, and went "click click click" and then retracted itself. However, this has happened 4 or 5 times before with no problems. I'd assume the lens is able to handle things like that without breaking the mechanism, but who knows, it could be shoddily made. I just took the battery out to see if I can let it "rest" and perhaps it will somehow reset itself and suddenly work. I'm not above buying a new camera, but if anyone can offer me any idea of what I can do, let me know. I know my way around electronics, and if this is scrapped, I'm not above trying to fix it by tearing it apart. Thanks in advance

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Re: Cannot take pictures / lens does not retract

When it makes the noise like it's trying to focus and then beeps and shuts off you need to send it into casio to have it fixed. That sound you are describing sounds like what they call "lens error". Contact their repairs dept and they will give you a good idea of what it would cost to fix it and the closest place you can send it.

Posted on Jul 08, 2007

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Lens error, cannot focus, lens not retracting

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:

Mar 21, 2010 | Canon IXUS 860 IS Digital Camera


After reading SteveGorak's experience, I placed the vacuum end of my...


This is a tip explaining how we can try to resolve a lens error.
Firstly you will need to understand what exactly the lens error is, and how it came to happen.

The most common cause for a Lens error:

  • Misaligned Lens rings
  • Sand and grid wedged in between the lens and the barrel.
  • Dropping the camera
  • Ran down battery
Here is the Fix:

  • Batteries
Firstly you can try removing the batteries and replacing it with a new set of fully charge ones(2500mah).

  • Memory card
If the batteries ran down while you were taking photos with the lens extended, you might also get this error. Remove the the memory card and replace the batteries with a fresh recharged set. Try to power on the unit with the fresh set of batteries while the memory card is removed.

  • USB cable
Connect your camera to your computer using your USB DATA cable which came with the camera. Once the camera gets power in this mode, the screen should stay off, hence, supplying the lens with more power to push or pull out/in.

  • Barrel Guide Pins
Place the camera on a sturdy table with the lens pointing to the ceiling. With a fresh set of batteries installed(Do this without a memory card) hold down the shutter button while you power on the unit.

  • Compressed air and Vacuum
Now, you can either use a compressed air canister to blow around the lens area. This will result in the sand or dust particles to be blown out of the area between the lens and the barrel. Or, you can use a vacuum and and carefully place the nozzle around the lens to **** out the particles.

The following Fixes will be done at own risk and can even further damage you camera.

  • Tap your camera with the palm of your hand a couple of times to displace the lens into the original position, or to dislodge particles in the lens barrel.
  • Try gently pushing/pulling/wiggling the lens while powering up the unit.
I hope this can help you to resolve this problem, and send you well on your way to experience that Legendary Kodak moment.

Kind regards

on Sep 06, 2011 | Digital Cameras

1 Answer

Lens won't retract completely. Picture is blurry.

I wish I could offer some simple solution, but the lens has somehow gotten damaged and is no longer able to focus or withdraw into the camera body. It could be as simple as some sand in the lens, but even that will require a trip to a camera repairman 

Sep 12, 2009 | Kodak EasyShare V803 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Camera won't turn on - makes strange sound

This is a very common issue with digital camera on either the lens gears have to be replaced or the lens barrel need replacing. I rebuild these lenses all the time for 75.00 plus shipping and the turn around is normally less then a week. if you still need help fell free to contact me at

Feb 26, 2009 | Casio Exilim EX-S600 Digital Camera

1 Answer

When I try to zoom, screen goes black and "E18" appears in bottom corner

I won't say this is a solution but to prevent the lens retraction E18 message which seems to be common with Canon zoom lenses, I put the extension tube on mine. Sometimes I put a polarizer lens on it but usually I just leave it on to protect the lens when it is on. I have dropped it (on the carpeting at home) and never had a problem. If you have a Canon with a zoom lens, get a lens hood for it ASAP!! My wife's A520 has one on hers too. No problems.
There are lots of other places on the web with suggested fixes. Keep looking and keep enjoying this camera. Merry Christmas all.

Oct 31, 2008 | Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera

1 Answer

The lens will not retract. When in picture mode er18 appears on the otherwise blank screen. It will switch to allow me to view the pictures on the card

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 ...

Here's some things that you can do to try to correct it. They only seem to work for less than 50% of the lens errors, but if the camera is out of warranty, they're worth a try:

Oct 10, 2008 | Digital Cameras

1 Answer

Error 18 Lens retraction problem

The lens mech has been damaged (likely by being dropped or bumped). If it is not VISIBLY crooked or twisted, odds are that you have a broken gear or other internal. The only fix is a new lens assembly, which tends to be rather expensive ($80-$200), just for the part.

Please rate this solution.

Aug 30, 2008 | Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera

1 Answer

Lense will not extend, or if it does it retracts after a short while. Batteries appear to be OK

After talking, without any success, to your expert I tried experimenting. It seemed like the sliding lens cover was the main reason for it to behave as it did. It turned out that the lens cover had a worn track and did not always operate the lens motor switch to open it, or pressure on the cover caused the lens to retract. All it needs is a new sliding cover.

Jul 18, 2008 | Olympus Digital Cameras

2 Answers

E 18 problem

the E18 means the lens system has a problem. I had it with my S2 and sometimes it worked, sometimes not. Eventually it stopped working. The only solution was sending it to repair, they changed the lens system.

Best Regards

Nov 19, 2007 | Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera

1 Answer

Similar problem to Green Can't take a picture

Hi there, resoldering the focus motor contacts on the lens unit might be the solution. Replacement of the optical (lens) unit is the ultimate solution. If you want more info please contact me at LIVE Expert Assistance. Best regards, Arpi

Aug 28, 2006 | Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W50 Digital Camera

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