Its probably broken but the black slides that cover the lens if you play with it alot or push them in when the camera's turned off the lens mess up or if you've dropped the camera too much the lens break on the inside.
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Everytime I try to turn it on, the lens comes out for about a second,
the camera beeps 3 times, the lens retracts and the camera shuts off.
The battery is completely charged and the camera is only 4 months old.
This is probably THE 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
I have a 3 year old Canon PowerShot SX100 IS. While testing an external battery power supply I built, the external power connector pulled out while the lens barrel was extending just after I turned on the camera. Power to the camera was lost before the lens barrel fully extended and wouldn't reset when I repowered the camera. The dreaded error message "Lens error, restart camera" appeared and the camera shut down. I restarted the camera over and over and over again but the lens wouldn't reset. I was extremely lucky to find the information here and read various fixes. I didn't want to take the camera apart so I tried various fixes others have successfully used. I first tried smacking the bottom of the camera hard with the palm of my hand just after pushing the on/off button but that didn't work. The one which worked was smacking the camera on the side immediately after I pushed the on/off button. I smacked it quite hard twice with the palm of my hand then, suddenly, the lens barrel began to move and the lens reset itself back to its starting position. Thanks to everyone who has posted here!
sounds like a lens error, does the lens extend or retract? You probably have to get the lens back on track, use gentle pressure wiht the camera face down on a towel covered table and turn on to see if the camera tries to retract the lens. I really dislike these types of cameras that extend the lens everytime, if it turns on in your pocket, your doomed!