Question about Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 Digital Camera

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Zoom causes camera to shut down automatically

I used this camera for a couple months, everything was grand until suddenly the zoom started giving me stress. I can zoom in a teeny bit, but as soon as I zoom in too much, the lens retracts and closes, and a message tells me to turn off the camera and turn it back on. I do that but it doesn't solve the problem. As soon as I try the zoom, it does the same thing. I've tried taking out the battery and putting it back in but nothing seems to fix it. Any ideas??

Posted by ken beachy on


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Unfortunately this is a well known problem with digital cameras. And in most cases this doesn't end up pretty well. Your camera contains a lot of servomotors and small lens and sensors. They work togheter in order to produce sharp pictures and expose the main CCD sensor to correct amount of light. When you start the camera, it's main circuit board, wich contains it's microcontroller (some kind of a camera processor) will run some tests to see if the lens assembly works correctly and if there isn't anything that can block the lens extension procedure. If this test fails you will be given a message telling you to turn the camera off and back on. Your camera obviously passed this test since you can take pictures. However the camera can't test the zoom function at the begining because this is done by using zoom motors and the ccd sensor at the same time. The sensor isn't turned on at the initial stage when the test it's made. When you try to zoom with your camera, in your case, the speed on wich the lens are moved back and forth doesn't correspond to the speed value stored in the camera's microcontroller and used for calibrating the ccd sensor. The camera will inevitabily give you this message as it thinks that this is a small problem with the lens and because of a shock received, the lens alligment got messed up. It thinks a reset will do the job, as when it retracts the lens back they will come again up with the correct settings. In your case the most probable thing that's rong inside your camera is a small servomotor that has the function to extend the distance between two lens in order to "zoom". The 2 lens are contained in separate mooving parts of the lens assembly, and those parts moove apart one from each other by sliding on some small channels. If this becomes altered or decalibrated, the movement of the motor woun't produce an acurate movement of the lens. These are very fragile components on any camera so they can get out of balance from all sort of reasons. Maybe a mechanical shock, maybe something inside got loose or change it's possition, there are many reasons. In order to fix this, the camera needs to be dissasembled and the lens unit should also be opened. You will need very delicate tools and it's recomandable to work in a dust free environment. If you aren't the electronic/mechanic type of person I strongly recomand that this operation should be performed in a camera service center. That's because if you damage or decalibrate something inside the lens assembly, the whole mechanism will need to be changed as it's imposible to repair in most cases. In your current situation, a repair can be done and shouldn't be that expensive. If you however for whatever reasons decide you want to try fix the camera yourself (I, again state that this involves pretty much risks) you may reply to this and I will try to guide you throught. I'm sorry, however, for I am the one who delivers the bad news about your camera. This is a hard to do repair, most specially in a DIY fashion. Good luck and please feel free to reply if you need more informations.

Posted on Jun 09, 2007


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