Question about Nikon Coolpix S3000 Digital Camera

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My Nikon Coolpix S3000 has a lens error and now wont turn on at all even when i tried to charge it.

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  • Bekah O'Connell
    Bekah O'Connell Jun 17, 2012

    My did the exact same thing! I don't know how to fix it! :P

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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 Aug 07, 2010

  • 4 more comments 
  • pblum1 Oct 09, 2010

    Wow - I went through your list and got to fix #7. It took multiple tries but I eventually heard a click while manipulating the lens, the zoom feature on my Nikon Coolpix S3000 was restored and the lens error messages were gone. Thank you for sharing this information. My local camera shop indicated this would take $150 to fix - about what the camera cost. You rock!

  • Ty Price Oct 09, 2010

    I'm glad I could help.

  • coolpixfix Mar 20, 2011

    Hey...Mine does not look bent... the lens barrel comes out and then goes back in again while makin a strange buzzing noise! Any idea what i could do to fix that??

  • benicia888 Jul 11, 2011

    Fantastic,I held the lens from going back in,gave it a little twist,and pushed it back in,powered back on and it was fixed just like new!

  • Karolina O Feb 17, 2013

    Mine says "lens error" and the lens wont come out! help?!

  • donpavoone
    donpavoone Apr 02, 2013

    Great, I had a lens error problem occurring with a Nikon S3000 pocket camera. So, I followed steps 1-7 and got it fixed :)! I think what helped most was steps 5 and 6. Be careful and have patience, though. Good luck and many thanks for the advises!.

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Hello Ken,

The lens error in many cameras are caused due to sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism. Sand, gunk, case fibers, etc... accumulate at the bottom of the case. These materials stick to the camera by electrostatic build-up from the camera rubbing against the side of the carrying case. To resolve the lens error remove the battery for some time. Then insert the battery again and charge the battery completely. Then try pressing and holding the Menu, Function, Function Set, or OK button while turning the camera on. Also try the factory reset option. Also try the on/off button many times after battery full charge.

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Nikon coolpix S3000 - lens error! - appears after turning on camera, lens goes out then in, message on screen will not go away, camera will not do anything at all except turn off. Does this mean the...


I got a same problem with different mode.

I planed to send it back to manufacturer, before packing it, I just knocked the back of camera with my palm in switch ON mode... the lens just retracted into normal position...

It can work for you to......

I am not an expert, it is just my experience I am sharing here.
If Lens struck with Lens Error!! on the screen, charge the batteries, switch on the camera, when the lens tries to move, feel free to knock a bit hard at the back of the camera with ur palm...... you cant hurt it any more than it already is., it might help the misplaced gears to aline back in if it is a minor problem.

Sorry about this un expert advice but it worked for me...

Just try it before sending in...

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Hi,

Checkout this tip about digital camera error messages


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You shouldn't have to try to fix a new camera. Take advantage of the warranty.

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