Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Camera Fix Attempts

I've got two pocket cameras, sent to me by sweeties.  One was sent to me by a Florida woman.  I've used that one for years.  Another was recently sent to me by Andrew in Australia after he upgraded.  I currently use these two cameras exclusively.  I love them.  They slip in my purse and are smaller than my hand.  

Have I abandoned my bigger old camera?  No, but I can't use it.  Because the Canon Powershot I got on ebay when my other one shorted out in spectacular fashion, sparking and providing electric shocks when it did, so that I had to fling it, won't focus on zoom and shuts down with a lens error when I try to zoom.

 Many of the photos I try to take of cats or birds, many things, require a decent power zoom. I got the Canon Powershot on ebay and its an old model, but was just like the model I used for years, with a rotatable LCD screen, which is helpful, to look under things, and to avoid the glare on a fixed LCD screen, and the glare plagues me when in the sun.  I was used to the old one.  I'd used it for years and was comfortable with it.  That's why I got another just like it, and old too, on ebay.  But it didn't last long.

While the Canon Powershot has only a 12x optical zoom, digital zoom can kick it out to 48x.  Andrew's camera is similar in zoom capacity, so I don't really need to fix the ebay bought Powershot, to have a 48x zoom.  But if you know me, you'd know I can't let these things go without trying to fix it.

And I was often at the extent of zoom, when I used the powershot.  I could clear up distortion somewhat, due to movement or the distance (being a digital zoom) with photo fixing software.

However, the lens error problem that began a few months ago is extreme.  I try to zoom in and it shuts down and says "lens error, restart".   This has been frustrating, to not be able to zoom in on a distant subject, or even focus on it, as the focus won't work either.

I researched the subject of this type of error and found it to be common.  It often comes after dropping the camera.  Camera trauma can cause the lens to be crooked or the lens to slip off the jack pins that lock it in.

Another big problem is when rechargable batteries are too old to hold their charge enough to power the lens and focus.  So I went and bought four new rechargable batteries.

The ones I have are not just old, they're a decade old and while they still may power a flashlight once recharged, a digital camera zoom with focus takes a bit more juice.  I am charging those new batteries up now, to see if that helps.

However, the lens error is most commonly caused by sand or other tiny debris lodging around the lens, when extended.  I have not dropped this camera, although it could have been jolted or dropped in shipment from the ebay seller.  But I have used a case and cases, according to one repair website, can be a problem.

Canon's are great cameras but for some reason, their lens caps are not so great and fall off constantly.  Static electricity can cause debris inside a camera bag to cling to a lens or the sides of it, if it is accidentally extended inside the camera bag.  The website argues against use of camera bags to avert this problem.

Great Lens Error/Restart repair suggestion blog here.

Because I can almost hear impediment, when I try to zoom, in the lens, and have thought of using graphite to "lubricate" the lens, I do believe there is gunk around the lens creating the problem, so I will try the solutions suggested on the repair site, starting with the first and working on to the more drastic measures.

Will update when and if I get results.

I'm trying to fix the old camera when I should be working on the car.  I need to change the oil, but I also need to flush the radiator system.  See, lately, I'm having to add water, but there's no leak I can find, except a tiny bit evident around the cap.  So I got a new cap, but I know the system needs flushed too.   I hate doing these things.   When you can't find a leak, it could be the radiator is damaged, I read, or even the water pump failing, I read.  I guess there's a weep point on the water pump you can check.  If it's weeping fluid, time for new water pump.

 I sure don't want to deal with this, I tell you.  I'm hoping a new cap does the trick.  I can't find leaks around the head gasket, thank goodness.  I could not afford the labor involved with replacing a head gasket.  I don't have an affordable mechanic anymore, you see, since the one I used quit to take a better job.

Mechanics charge anywhere from $85 to $100 per hour, plus parts.  Man alive, that's a lot of money for labor.

I skimp here so I can try to keep things like a running car.  You got to.  No big deal.

For instance, I cut my own hair and I suppose it looks it.  I don't buy new clothes, except if they're T-shirts, often 4 for $10 at the craft stores.  I discovered that option for cheap plain T shirts awhile back.  I won't buy used shoes, due to the fungi and other things you can get from someone else's feet.

I bought two pairs of shoes new a few years ago, exactly alike, because they were two pair for one, and it's not at all easy to find shoes in my size.  In fact, it's rare.  I've been wearing the same pair for 3 years now every day.  I keep the other pair just like them for when I should look a little better and less like a bum, like if I visit my brother.  Then I wear the other pair, that aren't as beat up.

Using rechargable batteries is another way to cut costs.   So I do it, but they too have an end date I suppose.  So finally after using them over ten years, I get a few more.  My guess is even if the old ones can't juice up enough to run a camera, they can still light a little tiny flashlight bulb in a two AA lamp.

I suppose that's why I'm fixated today on fixing the old camera instead of worrying over the car's water issues.


  1. Good luck.
    On all fronts.

    1. I think I may have repaired it! Ha! (camera not the car issue)