I can view all pictures taken, but when i go to any camera mode (i usually use auto) the lens extends and i hear a dull beep. the lcd remains black and i can't take pictures. i can only close the lens and turn off by returning to play mode......????? what the?????
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A stuck shutter is another common failure mode for digital cameras. The symptoms of a stuck or "sticky" shutter are very similar to CCD image sensor failure. The camera may take black pictures (for shutter stuck closed), or the pictures may be very bright and overexposed, sometimes with lines, especially when taken outdoors (for shutter stuck open).
To confirm a stuck shutter, put the camera in any mode other than "Auto", and turn the flash OFF (you don't want to blind yourself for the next step). Next look down the lens and take a picture. You should see a tiny flicker in the center of the lens as the shutter opens and closes. If no movement is seen, then you likely have a stuck shutter. If so, please see this link for further info and a simple fix that may help.
It sounds like the focus element inside the lens is stuck. This is usually either due to an impact knocking the elements out of alignment, or to sand/debris entering the focus motor's gear drive and preventing it from rotating. The buzzing sound you hear is the focus motor attempting to rotate, but buzzing up against some obstruction.
When the lens extends, you hear a buzzing sound, and then the lens retracts - this is usually the cause of the issue.
Unfortunately there is not much you can do externally to fix this problem. The camera will need to be taken apart and repaired by a professional or by the manufacturer.
If your A360 only extends the lens partway when you turn the camera on in picture mode, there is an easy solution that requires no technical knowledge whatsoever. Mine exhibits this behavior most of the time, and I've experimented it with it and found that these two things help:
1. Hold the power button down the entire time the lens is extending. For whatever reason, this seems to help.
2. If your lens extends only partway (if this is the case the screen and all pictures you take should be blurry), simply hit the macro mode button (the little flower to the left of the zoom) twice. This works because when you go into macro mode, the camera automatically brings the lens to its lowest zoom, which is meant to bring the lens back from a high zoom, but also works in reverse. You may have to repeat this procedure a couple times each time you start the camera (you'll know it's fixed when you no longer hear the motor whine when you press the button).
One last tip: if you've had this problem before and you start up your camera and it seems fine, use trick number 2 anyways, just to double check that the lens is indeed in the correct position. I've made the mistake of assuming, based on the fact that the picture on the screen looked sharp, that the lens was fully extended. When you look at your pictures, you may find that all of them (even those taken with a tripod!) may be blurry.
Lens errors are fairly common. 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 ...
Here's some things that you can do to try to correct it. They only seem to work for less than 50% of the lens errors, but if the camera is out of warranty, they're worth a try:
Use the audio-visual cable that came with your camera and connect your camera to your TV. Now turn-on your camera and switch to "view mode", e.g., to see a already taken picture on your LCD. You will not see anything on your LCD but may see an image on your TV, even if the image is "F18".
I used the above trick to clear an F18 error on an A75. Right now I am trying to get the camera to focus properly, but somehow the above cleared the F18 error.
If the above does not work, try connecting your camera to your computer's USB port using the other cable that came with the camera. Your camera will want to be on, and in the "view mode". I have read that this trick can reset an F18 error.
Good luck. At least it costs zero to try these two tips.
It sounds like the focus element in your lens is not functioning properly. Does the lens retract completely when you turn off the camera?
When you push the button does the camera attempt to focus the image? If you do not see any change in the image when you push the button, and do not hear any sound - then your focus motor is either jammed or malfunctioning.
Advance Camera Repair