Question about Canon PowerShot A70 Digital Camera

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Lens motor will not retract lens completely. Is it worth trying to repair?

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Fixing a Lens Error on a Digital Camera

This has to be THE most common failure mode for a digital camera. Some common error messages that might show up on the LCD's of cameras with this problem include “E18 lens error”, or “lens error, restart camera”. Some cameras might show nothing at all, but merely make a beeping noise as the lens goes out, then in, then the camera shuts off. Sometimes the lens won't even move.
The problem is actually quite common throughout all camera brands. 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. Believe it or not, one BIG contributor to lens errors is using a camera case. Sand, gunk, case fibers, etc... accumulate at the bottom of the case. These materials love to cling to the camera by electrostatic build-up from the camera rubbing against the side of the case (especially those cases with soft fibrous intreriors). Once these materials work their way into the lens mechanism, that's all she wrote. I have many Canon's, and NEVER use a case for this very reason.
A camera owner that suffers this problem may have no recourse for having the camera repaired. Many camera makers will not honor repairing this problem under warranty as they claim it is due to impact damage to the camera, or sand or debris getting into the lens gearing mechanism (neither of which is covered under warranty). The quoted repair cost is usually close to or more than what the camera is actually worth.
Fortunately, about half the cameras that suffer this failure can easily be fixed by one of the following methods. None of these methods involve opening the camera, although some have potential to cause other damage to the camera if excessively done. If the camera is still under warranty, before trying any of these, please please first contact your camera's maker to see if they'll cover the repair, or to determine how much they'll charge for the repair. Who knows, you might get lucky. But if they quote you a number that's higher than the value of your camera, you may want to consider the following methods.
The methods are listed in the order of risk of damaging your camera. Thus make sure you try them in the listed order. And remember, these fixes (especially #6 and 7) should only be considered for a camera that's out of warranty, who's cost of repair would be excessive, and would otherwise be considered for disposal if unrepaired:
Fix #1: Remove the batteries from the camera, wait a few minutes. Put a fresh set of batteries back in (preferably rechargeable NiMH 2500mah or better) and turn the camera on. If that didn't work, try pressing and holding the Function or OK button while turning the camera on.
Fix #2: Remove the batteries, then remove the memory card. Then install new batteries, and turn on the camera. If you get an Error E30, it means you don't have a memory card installed, so turn it off, slip in the memory card and turn it on one last time.
Fix #3: Insert the cameras Audio/Video (AV) cable, and turn the camera on. Inserting this cable ensures that the camera's LCD screen remains off during the start process. Thus extra battery power is available to the camera's lens motor during startup. This extra power can be useful in overcoming grit or sand particals that may be jamming the lens. If the AV cable doesn't fix the lens error by itself, consider keeping this cable installed while trying fixes 4, 5, and 7 as a means to provide extra help to these fixes. But note that I DON'T recommend keeping the cable installed during Fix 6 as you may damage the AV port while tapping the camera. Reinsert the cable only AFTER tapping the camera.
Fix #4: Place the camera flat on its back on a table, pointed at the ceiling. Press and hold the shutter button down, and at the same time press the power-on button. The idea is that the camera will try to autofocus while the lens is extending, hopefully seating the lens barrel guide pins in their slots.
Fix #5: Blow compressed air in the gaps around the lens barrels with the idea of blowing out any sand or grit that may be in there jamming the lens. Other variations include blowing with a hair dryer in “no heat” setting, or sucking the gaps with a vacuum (careful with this one).
Now we're entering into the realm of potentially damaging your camera in conducting the fix. There is definitely some risk here, so take care when conducting the following two fixes.
Fix #6: Repeatedly tap the padded/rubber usb cover on a hard surface with the intent of dislodging any particles that may be jamming the lens. Other variations include hitting a side of the camera against the palm of your hand. A lot of people have reported success with this method. HOWEVER, there is also some potential for damaging or dislodging internal components with this method, such as unseating ribbon cables, or cracking LCD screens.
Fix #7: Try forcing the lens. More people have reported success with this method than with any of the other methods. HOWEVER, there's obviously some potential for damaging your camera by using this method. Variations include gently pulling, rotating, and/or twisting the lens barrel while hitting the power button. Attempt to gently straighten or align the barrel if it's crooked or twisted. Another variation includes looking for uneven gaps around the lens barrel, and then pushing on the side of the lens barrel that has the largest gap (note pushing the lens barrel all the way in is NOT recommended as it may become stuck there). While doing any of the above, listen for a click that indicates that the lens barrel guide pins may have reseated in their guide slots. If you hear this click, immediately stop and try the camera.

Posted on Dec 10, 2009

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1 Answer

Lens error


Hello,

Please allow me to explain what a lens error is.

A lens error is when the units lens motor gets stuck into position and cannot retract or extend. The units motor is what pushes and retract the units lens in and out of the unit. When this motor is past its prime meaning about to become defective this is the result.

Here is the possible cause:

1. Dirt or debris in the lens housing.
2. The camera has been drop-ed or damaged.
3. Sticky substance got into the lens housing.
4. The motor has given out.

Here are some solutions to try before spending your hard earned money at a camera shop.

1. Take the battery out
2. If the lens is out try to gently push it back in.
3. Put the battery back into the camera and power it on.

Please do the above steps if those steps do not help please do not shoot the messenger. Please take it to a shop and have them give you a appraisal on the value of the camera and a estimate of what it would cost to fix.

In most cases it is worth the repair. Please get back with me if you have any questions or comments, Thank you for using Fixya.com "we have solutions for everything"

Oct 29, 2010 | Konica Minolta DiMAGE E500 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Dimage z6 lens will not extend/retract after dropping. camera starts ok but then shuts down.


That would indicate damage to the lens motor or the extension tube. When the camera sees the motor using more power than normal it figures that the motor or the lens is sticking and shuts down to protect the battery and the rest of the power circuit.

That model should have a replaceable lens if I am thinking of the right one. If you take the lens off (twist the base ring about 45 degrees) then try starting up the camera. It should still fault but give a different error code. That would tell you if the problem is the motor or the lens tube. If its the tube just replace the lens. If its the motor then it gets tricky. The repair costs on this are a real **** shoot. On some models they will be worth doing and on others it will cost more than a new camera. So you need to check out the repair costs and get estimates and have a good idea of what a replacement camera is worth. Then you will know if its worth fixing or cheaper to replace.

This type of damage is very common on all cameras with retractable lens or hoods. They do try to build them to take a bit of abuse but sometimes that isn't enough to protect it.

Oct 11, 2010 | Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z6 Digital Camera

1 Answer

I try to take pictures and it wont take. The screen works, the battery is charged. The camera is making a clicking sound.


Where is the clicking sound coming from. It sounds like it could be from the lens. All cameras which use lenses which extend and retract are very prone to sand or grit becoming lodged between either the lens elements or the lens and the camera body. The other very common problem is when the lens get either a sharp knock such as falling to the floor and landing on the lens whilst it's extended or sometimes just a knock against a wall or table edge again whilst extended. The noise you hear could well be the small motor which drivs the mechanism which extends or retracts the lens not being able to reach the end of it's path. Usually it will make a noise for a while and then the camera tells it to close down.

Both of these problems are, I'm afraid to say non repairable by anyone but a qualified Tech. The repair requires the entire innards of the camera to be removed to get at the offending part. If it's a piece of sand or grit it can be rmoved , cleaned and reassembled and evrything is OK. The bigger problem is when the lens has been knocked out of it's guides. It could be repaired but more often than not the lens may have to be completely replaced if the damage is somewhat worse. This could end up a very expensive repair. Most techs charge a deposit to be lodged and that fee deducted from the repair cost if you give the go ahead. If you decide not to have it repaired you lose the deposit and end up with a useless camera.

This is where you have to make a decision whether it's worth proceeding. Either way it's a trip to the repair shop. Many people recoup some of their loss by selling the camera on Ebay as a non-worker. If the camera is popular you could be surprised how much you get for it.

Apr 20, 2010 | Nikon COOLPIX S230 Digital Camera

1 Answer

The lens will not retract. A message says "lens error, restart camera," but the camera will not restart. The camera is a Canon PowerShot S3 IS. I can hear a "whirring" or motor noise when I try to start...


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 simple things that you can do to try to 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.

Feb 17, 2010 | Canon PowerShot S2 IS Digital Camera

2 Answers

Lens will not retract completly on sony cyber shot DSC-W55 after being dropped while lens extended


Only try this if your camera is out of warranty. Turn camera on, and extend lens fully, now grab outer most element and pull out. Sometimes you can reseat the lens in the track at the correct point. I used to do this all the time to my older digital cameras.

Nov 28, 2009 | Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W55 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Lens stays out


E18 is lens error. When the lens will not retract and camera is not functional (no picture on display, and does not shoot) , and you already tried replacing batteries with a new fresh set (ensure please) , and then restarting camera with no memory card inside, then camera is faulty.

Try an easy fix by pushing gently the lens (do not force them, just help them) while you turn off camera at same time. Try also switching the mode selector.

If still no luck , then the camera must be disassembled to fix the problem.

Possible reasons are :

  • Faulty lens mechanism or jammed lens (camera usually turns off by itself in this case)
  • Main board faulty.
  • Ribbon cable to main board broken or connector defective.
  • If there is no power at all it is the connector from batteries to main board, this is also a ribbon cable.

If the camera is less than one year old will be replaced by manufacturer.

If your warranty is expired you can get an estimate for repair from manufacturer, or from a third party like Advance Camera here :Advance Camera Repair you can book the repair online.

Jan 10, 2009 | Canon PowerShot SD200 / IXUS 30 Digital...

1 Answer

I dropped my camera and now the lens won't retract


get written estimate - should be free and then cost new camera -expect they will say about 2 mos to get repaired

Sep 11, 2008 | Kodak EasyShare C330 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Dropped while lens out


No repair option is likely- though check out a repair shop or Kodak.

Jul 28, 2008 | Kodak EasyShare CX7430 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Olympus Camedia C5050 Zoom


The unusual beeps usually occur when the lens cannot be extended or retracted, often due to dirt in the gearing or the lens cap being left on.
Try using canned air to blow around the outside of the extension cylinder, and, putting a fresh set of batteries in the camera (it probably got stuck on since it couldn't fully retract the lens and didn't complete the shutdown).
If that doesn't work, try taking it to a camera store with repair technicians and having them take apart and clean the lens extension/retraction mechanism.

Aug 19, 2007 | Olympus Camedia C-350 Digital Camera

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