Hi. I had exactly the same problem with my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W7. The problem started after while lense was fully open, the battery became 100% empty. I did not have access to new batteries
and did not have my charger with me so I put the camera on my car seat and went home. After charging the batteries, I turned the camera Off and the lense retracted 100%. Later on I tried to transfer some pictures to my PC. After connecting the camera to my PC with the dial in the P position and lense fully open I turned the dial to play in order to transfer photos. After transferring the pictures, I turned the camera off and disconnected from the computer
I turn the camera on to take new pictures next day, The lense would go up, and and turn with lense fully open. It would never close. The screen was black with a message "Turn the camera on and off again". I tried 30 times or more and the same thing would happen again.
Here is what I did to fix my camera and it has been working
normally since then.
1- I cleaned around the outside of the lense with lent free cloth
2- I used dust OFF to get raid
of the remaining small dust particles from around the lense.
3- While turning the camera off, I pushed (down, up and turn) the lense in (NOT TOO Hard) by my hand. If you push the lense too hard, you may damage the mechanicall moving parts of the lense.
4- After a few tries, the lense retracted 90% +. I then pushed the lense a little harder all the way in, the way it normall retracts. The lense cover also closed 100%.
5- I turned the Camera on and off a few times. It was opening and closing exactly the way it used to. My Cybershot has been working okay since then.
I read a lot and here is what cause my lense to malfunction.
While lense was fully open and battery
died, some small particles got on the lense and prevented lense from fully opening or closing.
In summery: two things could have caused your camera lense to malfunction.
1- if you had dropped your camera hard, some mechanical parts may have got damaged or dislocated. In this case you have to open the lense and replace the damaged part, clean and put it back on the camera. This is too risky for most ordinary people. You would most likely make it WORST.
2- If you did not drop it, most likly, some how some small dust particles got on the outside of the lense and they prevent the lense or the lense cover from fully opening and closing. If this is your case, please follow exactly what I did and your camera would be back to normal.