Question about Canon PowerShot A70 Digital Camera

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My A70 was grabbed by one of my classmates, and the front lens twisted. The auto-focus does not work and when turning off the lens does not retract properly. Can anyone help me to fix this simply? I am willing and confident to open the device and alter the hardware if necessary. Thanks in advance.

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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 cameras, 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 Nov 04, 2010

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If you are replacing just a bulb, then there are screws that hold the lenses on. You remove the lens, push in gently and twist the bulb until it popps out. Push the new bulb in and twist it until it is firmly in place. Replace the lens and check to be sure it works, before you're done.

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  • 1. Begin by turning the power on and off 4 times. If this does not work, remove the battery with the power still on, wait about 15 seconds and replace the battery. Once you have installed the battery, turn the power on. You can plug the audio/visual cable into the camera preventing the LCD screen from powering up. This will allow for more power to be directed to extending or retracting the lens.
  • 2. Try using compressed air to clean around the lens barrel area, this may dislodge the debris that is preventing the lens from extending or retracting.
  • 3. Gently tap on the bottom of the camera while holding the camera with the lens facing the ground. Try using the palm of your hand or the rubber pad on the USB compartment. You want to dislodge any dirt or debris that is lodged within the camera.
  • 4. With the power OFF, place the camera flat on the table with the lens facing the ceiling. While holding the shutter button down turn on the power, this will cause the lens to auto focus hopefully seating the lens barrel guide pins.
NOTE: The next step is the most forceful procedure, therefore use extreme caution when performing. Remember, if a click is heard during this step then stop and check to see if the lens error has been resolved. Clicking sounds may indicate that the lens barrel guide pins have reset.
  • 5. While turning the power on GENTLY twist, pull or push the barrel while the lens is extending or retracting. You want the barrel to move in or out evenly. The idea behind this step is to overcome the friction that is caused by misalignments or dirt within the barrel.

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On the front of the camera body, below the lens release button you should find a two position switch labeled "AF" & "M" This is the "Auto Focus - Manual" selector switch. Make sure the selector is set to "AF" for auto focusing.

Your lens may have a similar focus selector switch on its barrel. There are two types of switches used - depending on the lens. The first is labeled "M/A" and "M" The "M/A" position indicates it is in "Auto Focus" mode with a "Manual" focus over ride capability. You can simply twist the focus ring to change the focus to a point other than that chosen by the camera's auto focus system. The "M" position is Manual Focus mode. No focusing operations will be performed by the D80 auto focus system - focusing must be done by the photographer.

The second type has "A" & "M" positions. These represent Auto and Manual focus. The difference between this type switch and the "A/M & "M" switch is that when in "A", the camera will no allow the focus to be changed manually. There will be opposition to twisting the focus ring in the position. Forcing it will likely result in damage. The selector switch must be changed to "M" to change the focus.

If either switch is set to manual, the auto focus system will be disabled, so it is very important to have them both set to "A" or "A/M".

I hope this helps. Please rate my reply - thanks!

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its not junk, prob too expensive to fix. but makes a nice fixed focus lens. Quantray were on the same level as vivitar, sigma. So they are now that expensive to replace

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Same thing happened to my camera. I have the same camera. I fixed it though. I know what I'm about to say sounds idiotic, but bare with me. If you turn the power to the camera on, and catch. or grab the lens when it has fully extended and don't let it retract. Wait until it has stopped wanting to move than the fun part happends. Atleast for my camera it felt as if something got in around the lens. so if you twist the lens you will have about a fraction of play to twist the lens back and forth. This fixed mine. Try this with yours. But don't be too rough. gentle. I mean. these camera's are expensive afterall aha =)

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The other switches and settings would result in auto focus not working with any lens you put on.

If you have problems with other lenses, or if the 18-70 is your only lens, drop a note here and I'll go into more detail on the other settings.

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a powershot A70 for me personally is worth it to be repaired, but like they said, it is not economical because it will cost you.

now the blurrish images may be caused by a bad lens or a bad focus mechanism.

usually, for others, you may try to check if the focus is set to "auto-focus" "macro" or infinite", just make sure it is on focus and the ISO settings to auto as well.

for shutter speed, put it to the fastest, if playing around with the settnigs did not work, then you go to "hardware" part of the issue.

if you have other questions just lemme know okay.

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Have read of same problem from numerous users on the internet. One person said this may be caused by a twisted/jammed lens. Apparently the "telescoping" lens mechanism can sometimes jam due to a drop and/or from dirt that gets in the telescoping hardware. The solution that someone gave that I read about involved telling the user to try to gently twist and/or wiggle the extended lens parts counterclockwise to try to "unjam" them. Of course that would also require having fully charged batteries, etc, before you try that, since from my experience, low battery charge results sometimes in the lens not retracting (or extending) properly also. It's worth a try anyway, since apparently your camera isn't functioning properly anyway now with its lens extended. I have a problem w/my On/Off switch not working properly, and in checking w/the Canon USA website, they wanted a minimum of $87 to "start" to attempt to fix it (whatever the problem is), and required that I pay them that much "up-front", and that I agree to whatever it then would cost in toral. I backed out and went and bought some new cameras instead, since I felt that was way too much to invest in my A70, that's already 5 years old now. Good luck w/your extended lens problem.

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