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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Simple Fixes for Cameras that Won't Take a Picture When the Shutter Button is Pressed

Everything seems fine with your camera, except that when you press the shutter button nothing happens! On Canon cameras you may also notice flashing yellow/orange lights by your viewfinder. Try switching to any mode other than automatic, turn off the flash, and press the shutter button. Did the camera take a picture? If so, continue reading.

Many cameras have a safety feature that prevents the flash capacitor from charging if the case is opened. This is to lessen the chance of electric shock. They usually use one or two of the screws along the perimeter of the camera to complete a circuit that lets the processor know that the case is closed. Verify that all the screws are in place along the perimeter of your camera, and that there are no gaps along the perimeter seams. If you're missing a screw, try using one of the others to replace it.

If they're all there, next thing to check is the batteries. The brand that you're using may have reached its shelf life, or just may not have sufficient power to charge the flash capacitor. Try a better brand, or better yet rechargeable NiMH batteries.

If the above didn't help, then the flash tube or its circuit is probably at fault. In this case, would then recommend professional repair. This repair is somewhat difficult, requires some soldering, has some danger of electrical shock, and goes beyond what I'd like to describe here.


Anonymous said...

Do you know where/how can I download a repair/tech.service manual for Nikon Coolpix L5 ?
Thanks in advance.

Camera Repair said...

Service manuals are usually very hard to come by. Most companies treat these as classified proprietary info. Sorry I couldn't help.


Anonymous said...

my canon powershot SD450 wont turn makes a buzzing sound when i press the power button. I recharged the battery so i dont think thats the problem. also the last time i used it, it was on very low battery and turned off with the lens zoomed out (extended like when you turn it on). so now its frozen on the on position, except it doesnt turn on. Please Help!

Camera Repair said...

Try these fixes, paying particular attention to listed Fix #2. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My L3 suddenly produces pictures that have an orange tint to them and look like they've been taken through louvre blinds - the image is broken up by many horizontal white lines.
I've been given a repair quote of £60 but I can buy a new camera for that but I like my L3, so any suggestions ans to what is happening and what needs fixing/replacing would be welcomed.

Oddly, video capture seems unaffected!


Anonymous said...


I have an Olympus Fe230 and Olympus will fix it for over 100 dollars (crazy!). The lens (according to them, I cant really see anything broken though) is broken and the lens goes in and out until it shuts off. It wont turn on! What can i do? Would you be willing to fix it?


Camera Repair said...

Sorry that you have camera problems, but your symptoms sound more like either bad batteries or a lens error. Recommend reading the following post instead, starting with Fix #1 using high power rechargeable batteries:

Nish (President) said...

I have a Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, Canon PowerShot SD630, Sony Cybershot DSC-S500, and a Olympus FE-190. All of which I acquired very cheaply.

Here are the problems I am receiving:

Canon Powershot SD700 IS - Lens will not open, camera turns on -- displays "lens error, restart camera".

Canon Powershot SD630 - Turns on and hear picture taking noise. Screen completely white with an imprint on the top left hand corner.

Sony Cybershot DSC-S500 - Lens opens only partially sometimes (shuts completely others) leaving blurry image. When camera powers off lens still pops out and lid opens fully.

Olympus FE-190 - Makes a clicking noise and unit does not turn on. The lens remains open and pops out.

Please assist me in the most efficient methods of repair for these cameras.

seeds of dholl said...

Thanks for a great blog...really appreciated. I hope you find time to continue, maybe branch out into DSLR.

I too am starting out, have built up a small collection of faulty digicams and am now in the process of figuring out how to fix them:

- Nikon 4300 (no buttons work, but cam still takes good pictures)

- Canon S60 (no power on)

- Olympus SP310 (does not zoom, instead wheezes like it's having an asthma attack)

- Kodak C7300 (sensor defective, pictures all grey and blurred...probably no hope for this's a pretty rubbish camera anyway)

Fuji A345 (display shows only vertical lines, tho' it reacts to light. Pictures are fine)

I'll be having a proper read of all your blogs to see what I can learn. If I learn anything extra I'll gladly tell the blog about it.


Unknown said...

Last night, I knocked my Canon A570 IS off the bench onto the concrete floor, after which it refused to power up -- panic ensued! I was soothed by the advice and videos on disassembly, and proceeded to dig deeper than the minor cosmetic ding on the battery box door. That search revealed that the "DOOR CLOSED" microswitch near the "MENU" dome switch on the PWB was not being fully operated when the door was closed - it took a little extra push on the door latch to overcome the friction caused by a bit of deformed plastic. After a bit of tweaking on that plastic bit, and making a mental note to ensure that the door latch is fully closed, full operation was restored.
The symptom of this switch not being fully depressed is the same as totally dead batteries - a totally dead camera. This can be verified by partially opening the latch while holding the door closed, and trying to power up. And it's even easier to fix than replacing the batteries.

Roxanne said...

This is the EXACT problem I have but all screws are tight. I opened up the camera and it looks like there was some corrosion around the wires hooking into the flash component. Any thoughts?? Maybe I just need to strip and resoder? Or a new flash? At this point the camera is useless to me unless I can get the flash working.

George said...

Hi sir... This is exactly my problem after I bought a new NiMH rechargeable battery and at the same time my brother faulted to plug a 18.5volts laptop power supply to the camera. I can't be certain what might be causing the problem... My brother, though, who was the culprit (,") of putting the wrong chord unsurely disassemble the camera even with my strong objections. To no avail, the camera flex wire/cable connecting the LCD and the board can no longer be attached firmly. He broke a little plastic lock in the terminal... some buttons in the camera failed to function after he assembled it back... I'm so frustrated. I love the camera so much... It was my first and the best digital camera that I ever had... Besides, i can't afford to buy another one of the same kind...

I would be glad should you, Sir, can help "do this myself"... (,")...

my email is

thanks again

George said...

And oh, sir, my camera model is a nikon coolpix 880... a 3.4mp, 3 yrs. old yet lovely thing for me... Sentimental value, call it...

thanks again sir...

Huckleberry Arts said...

I have a Samsung S850 and the Shutter button is not working either. Everything works well and I just looked all screws are in tack.
I been on the internet looking can't find to many ideas to try But thanks so much for this atleast gave me some new ideas to try. My camera is only a year old no warranty so trying to find something on this problem. Its a work camera really as I sell my work online, and it isn't used to much so was sad to see this happen only after a year of light use.

Anonymous said...

I have a Canon Powershot A530, purchased in 2006. It has taken thousands of pictures, literally around the world. For a year or so the flash was very slow to recycle. Based on the information I read here, I bent the battery contact prongs, located in the battery door (SLIGHTLY) to improve contact. I am amazed - now much quicker (seemingly normal) recycling times. THANKS! It's like having an old friend back to health!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you saved me from sending my trusty Canon Powershot A620 to the repair facility! My flash stopped working a few months ago. After reading your blog, I found a gap in the seam and two screws that needed tightening. Thank you so very much!

Stephanie Perez said...

Hello my Canon SD940 recently stopped taking pictures. It functions well, everything seems to work except for the very last step which is taking a picture and/or even recording a video. I've been told and obviously there is something in my camera that's blockings the connection in the last process of capturing photos. My question is, is it possible for me to just open my camera and find the issues or would i really have to go to my local canon facility and pay 90-119 to get my camera fixed. if it is possible for me to repair my camera myself, is there anything specific that i need to know that i shouldnt touch or do while the camera is open so that i dont further damage or create other issues?

thank you for looking over my concern. you may contact me through my email :

Anonymous said...

thank you very much!!
it was problem with little screw on batery cap!!

Vee said...


I would like you to check out a video i made for those that may experienced the same problem as i have or those that may have an idea or comment to fix my camera.If you have any ideas or comments too, i would really appreciate it if you replied back.
Thank you.

Camera Repair said...

You forgot to include a link to the video.


Vee said...

I'm so sorry. The video& veiw is kinda bad but I hope you can help me out.

Camera Repair said...

From the video, I think your camera is experiencing a lens error. See this other article from the blog.


Camera Repair said...

One other thing, notice that you mention in the video that you got the camera only a few months ago. If so, it might still be under warranty. Before attempting the lens error fixes, recommend contacting Sanyo first to see if they'll resolve the problem under warranty. Check your warranty card if it's still in the box.

Anonymous said...

THANKYOU! This was exactly our problem and with the age of the camera didn't want to pay to fix it but also didn't want to buy a new camera! We didn't think the screws were loose at all but when we tightened one it clicked and then the camera started working again.

sweetpea79 said...

I have a Sony Cybershot model DSC-S500 and the battery case lid was broken so it would not turn on without pressure on the lid. I called Sony's replacement parts phone number, 1-800-488-7669. They were quick to help and they sent the part for a total of $7.00 with shipping. I got the part and had a little problem pulling the old cover off. You just need to pry it off under the battery conductor and it may break but it was the old one so it is ok. Slide the new one on behind the battery conductor and presto! It is fixed. I was going to get a new camera but I just saved about $100 by DYI!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this fix. Worked like a charm for my canon A720 IS. I was worried that I'd have to buy a new camera but voila! It's back again! I love this camera and so am greatly relieved.

Sharath said...

Hi, I bought Lumix FZ-18 camera 3 years back. I'm facing an issue since last 2 months. In all modes(including iA) when I half-press the shutter button it directly takes picture instead of auto-focus.

I observed one strange thing. If the battery is fully charged the camera works fine. Otherwise it gives the problem said above.
So, I bought a new battery (Lenmar DLP006) thinking this could be a battery issue. But that also didn't solve the issue.

Please help me to resolve this issue.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Thank you, kind stranger!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great resource!
Unfortunately for me, none of these fixes worked. Here is my situation; please let me know if you have any suggestions:

I have a Fujifilm FinePix JX370 compact digital. It is a couple of years old and had seen moderate use and a few minor falls. Up until recently it has worked perfectly fine.

Now it won't take pictures consistently. I press the shutter halfway and most of the time, it focuses just fine. The problem is that when I push the shutter button the rest of the way down, it doesn't always take the shot. Sometimes it will, sometimes it will just sit there and do nothing, and sometimes it will go back to the "not focused" icon as if I wasn't pushing the shutter button at all.

There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to when it will shoot and when it won't. I can hold the camera in exactly the same position and take push the shutter button 10 times and get maybe 3-5 shots.

The battery seems fine and has a decent charge, the flash works fine. I've tried it with 2 different memory cards and with no memory card. I've tried it on several different settings.
I'm out of ideas. Please help!


P.S. Shortly before this started happening, the little metal ring that goes around the lens (the one that lists the zoom, f-stop, etc. of the lens) fell off. I have since put it back on but it keeps falling off. Not sure if it is relevant but thought I should mention it.

Camera Repair said...

Anonymous with the Fuji,
It's either one of two things. First it might be that the pin on the shutter button has worn, making weak physical contact with the shutter switch inside the camera. The button has a little plastic protrusion that can wear with time. A second reason could be that the shutter switch that the little button depresses is also worn.

One of the two needs to be replaced. You'd first need to determine which is the problem, but this would require opening the camera. Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with Fuji's, so I can't walk you through it.

But if you decide to proceed, keep in mind that new replacement parts can be costly. An alternative might be to purchase a broken camera of the same model, and harvest the parts from it. But it may also be more cost effective, and aggravation free, to just consider a new camera. A new camera of the same model runs about $55 these days.

Anonymous said...

I have a Nikon coolpix s4000, it was displaying lens error an fix #6 help. Thank you very much.