I had the same problem a few days ago. I tried two different camera shops and they couldnt help and could only offer to send the camera back to Canon. I then decided to try changing the back-up battery (£3.50) and the flashing red light was the back up battery, that has now gone however I still have the black screen or a series of vertical coloured lines, which is obviously a different problem!
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It is known problem of ccd imager chip failure in Canon ZR85 camera and ccd imager chip will be replaced to fix the issue. Local camera repair shop will help you to replace ccd imager chip because solder work is involve. Thanks.
This is the infamous CCD sensor problem I think. Only way to fix is to install new CCD block . The job itself is easy to carry out even though you will have to open the camera ( CCD sensor sits behind the lens underneeth the main PC board. The problem is to get hold of the new component. I would find out from your agent who imports the camera wether they replace and carry out the repair free of charge ( Sony and Canon do repair this particular problem free of charge ) so contact them.
This sounds like CCD sensor problem ( especially if the picture is "noisy" ). Canon and Sony fixes this particular problem free of charge since the CCD device installed in your camera should last + - 15 years if it is properly manufactured. Contact your agent and find out what their policy is.
Yet another CCD sensor problem ( in your case it is outputting nothing so you get blank screen as opposed to heavily distorted picture which is also very common). Properly manufactured sensor lasts 10 years + so you should have this repaired free of charge if you can.
Replace CCD block.