I have a Sony H5 that has taken great pictures for the past three years or so and suddenly it will not take sharp clear pictures anymore. Nearly all are out of focus. It seems to be losing battery faster, also, even though I just bought new batteries. Also, immediately after each picture it says on the screen " processing". I don't remember it saying that before when it was taking good pictures. I think I have checked all settings. I always shoot on auto focus. Any suggestions?
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Unless it has recently been dropped or the screen cracked, the LCD power drive circuit has failed. Your batteries sound OK if it is taking pictures. 2 and a half years is not an unreasonable life for this camera. I would spend my money and time working toward a new one rather than repairs. Sometimes you can find one on Ebay for parts and may be worth a purchase but don't waste anything on a factory repair. Taking them apart and replacing components is not that difficult and procedures can be obtained online from digital camera REPAIR FORUMS.
There is a diaphram between the shutter button and the shutter that does the focus. Pushing the button half way down pre-focuses and then the picture is instantanious. If the diaphram is broken it take a while before the shutter takes the picture. One of the AA batteries may be defective so try another set and see if that is better. There is also a slight possibility that the secondary battery (hidden within the camera) has gone bad.
This might be a problem with the lenses' mechanism... Maybe you hit the camera (having the lenses extended, eventually). You have to pay a visit to the local service.
And in the future, use the protection that came with the camera (the black cilinder). It protects the lenses and also offers you the possibility to mount the lens cap without having to switch off the camera.