What should I do about Canon PowerShot "Lens error, restart camera"?

  • I've had a Canon PowerShot A1100 IS camera for almost a year now.

    About a week ago, I went on a trip, took pictures the whole trip, everything was ok.

    When I got home, and tried to turn the camera to move the pictures to my PC, I got an error: "Lens error, restart camera"

    The lens doesn't even start to open, doesn't make any sounds of trying even.

    What can I do to fix this?

    If the problem is keeping you from moving your photos to the PC, you can remove the SD card from the camera and use a card reader to read it. If you don't have a card reader in your computer(s), they are available inexpensively, for example: http://www.amazon.com/Mini-Memory-Card-Reader-Writer/dp/B000FNDWLQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&;ie=UTF8&qid=1304690060&sr=1-3

    I got this issue with my camera too, when my son dropped it in the sand. The lens mechanism retraction is very fragile. One grain of sand is enough to break the camera. In our case, we got the camera for less than a week, so we returned the camera for an exchange.

  • 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.

    I have written a blog post about some things that you can do to try to correct it. They only seem to work for about 50% of lens errors, but they're worth a try. The list includes:

    1. Remove the batteries and wait a few minutes
    2. Try pressing and holding the Menu, Function, Function Set, or OK while turning on the camera, or otherwise find a "factory reset" option.
    3. Try turning the camera on without a memory card inserted
    4. Place the camera flat on its back and turn it on while holding down the autofocus button, to try to cause the camera to attempt autofocus while the lens is extending
    5. Blow compressed air in any gaps around the lens — or use a shop vac
    6. Use a thin piece of paper or a needle to dislodge any visible bits of grit
    7. Gently tap the camera in an attempt to realign jammed mechanics or dislodge particles (obvious warning: could cause further damage)
    8. Gently push or pull the lens barrel, as a last resort (again, potential for further damage).

    The blog post goes into more detail on these ideas.

    Welcome to Photo.SE! Your blog post seems to have helped many people, so I edited your answer to include the disclaimer required in our FAQ when linking to one's own site in hopes that your answer won't be flagged as spam.

    The link helped me. Number 7 tip eventually solved the problem (Tapping it lightly on the back a few hundred times)

    I have a Canon SD1000. One day I got the "Lens error, restart camera". I used option #7 Worked! Blew a little compressed air after to insure it cleaned out. Its fine. Thanks

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM