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The sensor or logic board in the camera must be fooled, or one of them is defect.
When removing and reinserting the battery does not change this, contact a Canon certified repair centre and ask what it will cost to repair this error. Then decide if you want to spend that money for repair or as a start for a new camera.
The flashing low battery symbol is the way Canon film cameras showed that the camera has had an error and has stopped functioning. It can have multiple causes - but for a quick check remove the lens, turn off the camera and then turn it back on - see if the symbol stops flashing. A problem with the lens can also cause this problem (usually a failure of the aperture unit)
It might seem too obvious, or be something you have already tried, but low battery power can cause this. The camera may appear to be 'on', but the batteries lack the power to drive the servo motor/mechanism to open the lens, as this is the most power hungry function when firing up a lensed digital camera. If new batteries fails to fix it, take it to your supplier, the mechanism that operates the lens may need replacement...
My camera does the same thing. It is getting progressively worse. To get it to work, I have to open the battery door and push the battery a little and finally the camera will turn on and lens will close. Something is wrong with the connection at the terminals and I don't think its something that the owner can easily fix, but at least you can jump start the camera working again. Its just a pain to have to fiddle with it sometimes and it scares me that it might not start again one of these days. If its under warranty get it turned back it quickly.
Most cameras will reset or restore to original settings if batteries are removed for at least one minute.
Clean, charge, and insert batteries again then restart the camera. Remove extra memory to eliminate this as a possible camera problem.
The secret to making digital cameras work better is having good electrical contacts between the batteries and the camera.
Electrical contacts in the camera and on the batteries must be cleaned properly. Digital cameras are high drain devices. Batteries may have a full charge, but will be viewed by the camera as low if electrical contacts are not really good.