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I wonder if your autofocus is having problems. It may never get a distance number and is just sitting there waiting for it to figure out how far things are.
There is no other real difference when taking close or far just the focus. If you take the camera and set it to manual focus to try and take some distance shots. If that works then that is the problem.
As far as fixing it that depends on the value of the camera. Unless it is one of the higher end cameras the cost of repairs will be more than a new replacement camera. If you have warrenty this is covered. So check out your warrenty, check out the repair cost estimate, and check out what a new camera will cost. If you don't want to spend the money then your only option will be to learn how to do a manual focus for distance shots. It isn't hard just take a little practice. Unlike close photo's distance ones are not that picky for focus.
Usually those symptoms indicate that the lens extension drive motor or gears are jammed or failed. This means you will need to take it in for repairs or replace it.
Unfortunetly the repair cost on this is not cheap and can come close to what a new camera is worth. If you have warrenty then get it fixed it will be covered but if you are paying for it then get an estimate and check it against the cost of a new camera.
Two things. One is the lcd is out and needs replacement or hopefully you accidently turned it off or the batteries got too low and the camera turn it off to save power. I don't have the manual in front of me so you will probably find out how to turn it back on under the config menu.
The display going out is common but the repair cost is not cheap so if you don;t have warrenty make sure the repair cost isn;t going to be more than buying a new camera.
I just recently found out that you don't always need the warrenty slip, in order for you to still have the warrenty permissions on the device.
All you need to do is do go to the store where you baught the camera, tell them that you lost the warrenty slip. THey can look at the serial number on the camera and will be able to determine when and where you baught it.
My friend had that hapin, the lens got stuck and the camera wouldn't turn on. I first asked if she still had warrenty on it. When she told me the warrenty was probebly long over, we concluded that there would be nothing to lose by try ing to fix it.
I carefully forced the zoom back by hand, after that it worked fine again.
It is eathe the bulb or the flash circuit. if you are going to fix it yourself watch out for the flash compasitor. If you are going to send it in watch the cost. It sould be fairly cheap to have fixed.