I take pictures—a lot. I’d say I use my camera at least once a week. That generic image number on my disc is well over 5000 exposures and I’ve had my camera for 2-3 years. I heart my camera soooo much.
So you can image my heartbreak when my beautiful Canon Powershot S2 IS started to act strangely. During my “research stint” at the local newspaper this week, the poor thing showed signs of failure. When I powered up my camera, the viewfinder would flare up, the camera would not focus, there were dark areas in the corners, and then the viewfinder would turn completely black after attempting a couple of shots, which is not helpful when you really, really need to take some photos. I would shut it off, yank the batteries out, and set them back in. All would be well after that… or so I thought.
Today, thankfully, I didn’t really, really need to snap some photos at the football game since the camera freaked out again. I tried the trick of pulling the batteries out but it didn’t work. Was it too cold? Did I need to switch the batteries? I tried to warm the camera and I replaced the batteries to no avail. grrr.
Enter our lovely friend the Web. Turns out that I am not alone. According to multiple forums on this topic, Canon is being stubborn about offering free repairs for the “black screen of death” and is charging about $127 for the fix, which supposedly has something to do with the CCD. Luckily, I stumbled upon a solution offered by a poster named welsberr that seems to have fixed my camera… for now. Here it is:
Turn the camera on in shooting mode.
Turn the mode selector to shutter priority (“Tv”).
Use the four-way button on the back to set the shutter speed to 15 seconds.
Press the shutter release. Count to seven, then pop open the battery compartment. (I discovered that the camera will beep when you do this.)
Wait several seconds, then close the battery compartment.
You may need to repeat the above sequence several times to unstick the iris. If that does not accomplish it, you will likely have to send the camera in for repair.
How do people know this stuff?? This person must be some renegade Canon rep or something.
Edited to add: This technique stopped working for me about a year later. See my post called Squeaky Wheels.