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08-10-2011, 01:10 PM   #1
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Optio A36 Fully powers up, then fully powers down.

Hello,

I hope this is the right category. I did some looking around and this seems to be the right category for this topic.

I have an Optio A36 and it seems to me after research that digital cameras have a big issue with suddenly having power-up/power-down problems. Often it's attributed to the battery, other times it's attributed to drop-damage or debris in the lens.

I can't tell what it might be for me though.

Here is the sequence of events:

I charged up the battery and went to use it. The power came on, the lens extended, the screen booted up only to the Optio splash screen, a short hum from the motor, a pregnant pause, then the thing powered down retracting the lens.

I followed Fix #1 and Fix #4 from this guy's advice: Lens error

Fix #1, I held the OK MENU button during power-up and got it to show a black screen with white lettering saying:

Code:
Text: VER 1.00
It would hang on after the short hum. Pregnant pause. Flash to black screen that very quickly said

Code:
Text

Shake reduction
After which it went to full power-off.

So I fiddled with it repeatedly turning it off and and also holding down the power button and also the shutter button (Fix#4 at FixYa) and now it's booting up all the way to a fuzzy shot of the room. But it still does the short motor hum, pregnant pause, then full power down.

Any ideas? I really appreciate it. This camera was given to me, and I hate the idea that I might have broken it.

Thanks!!!

EDIT: 8/10 5:29 PST See strikeouts with bold corrections


Last edited by PicturePlant; 08-10-2011 at 05:31 PM.
08-10-2011, 04:43 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Unfortunately this is a common problem on many point & shoot cameras. The power up of the camera will set a series of starting conditions for the camera and if any of these set ups fail before the camera fully awakes will then bomb out the entire sequence. Your included text seems to indicate that the camera is not powering up the SR system or the step before the SR system is allowed to start. Check to see if the focus will power up... observe the lens elements while the power up starts. You get either a bobbing of the inner "floating" elements or the outer sleeve sort of flexes in and out. Also that the lens extend fairly smooth out. If obstructions are in the way, the lens will look to labor and hitch as it comes out. If the lid just opens and nothing else happens, then the entire servo to the lens is jammed or fried. The "sure dead" is if you do not observe any motion from the lens at all. If you see the lens partially deploy and close and camera shuts down, try this little trick. Scotch tape the surface of the lens lightly and do not contact the lid of the lens... so just the part that is the name of the lens. The tape is a gentle handle... lift to help the lens deploy. You may hear some tiny "whirrr" noises that seem happily "zipppity-sipppity" as the lens complete the start up test. If this works, try it a few more times the same way and see if the lens gets back on track.
08-10-2011, 05:56 PM   #3
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Thanks, MysteryOnion.

I just powered it up to take an extremely close look at what's happening. I corrected two errors to my post above. But more observation:

In the approx 2 - 3 seconds the camera is fully on with a fuzzy screen, none of the buttons work--which includes no access to focusing.

Last night when I was manipulating it into giving me the view screen, for about 3 seconds I had access to the menu, but the camera powered down and I haven't seen it since. I have no idea what I did to get into the menu the first time.

Looking into the lens as it powers up, I see what looks (as a layperson) like normal extension of the lens: the dust cap opens, the lens sleeve (?) extends; and at the same time of the extension, the little lens inside takes a quick & smooth recessed focal position behind the outer lens, as if ready to take a shot. Also (if photography uses eyeball anatomical terms) the little lens inside starts out dilated, but very swiftly and "healthfully" contracts a bit as it takes its position--like a beady little eye.

I mean, it looks good to me!

I wish I could capture the sound of it though. Normally, the camera has a wavery: VZVZvzvzVZVZZ! as the motor whips on as it's always done. And then it mades the same sound powering off.

But these problem days, it goes: [ON]VZVZvzvzVZVZZ (rrrrrrrr) -- silence -- VZVZvzvzVZVZZ [OFF]

Side note: I just started demoing part of my kitchen and wanted to take shots. I had this camera all along and never really used it--now I'm looking to buy another! Oh, the luck!
08-10-2011, 06:49 PM   #4
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Hmmm... "(rrrrrrrr)" you say... That is a possible set issue. In other words, the lens will extend then a sensor inside will finally get touched or pressed or something. The last bit is a locking of the lens to full deploy and the rrrrrrrr is the servo not coming up with the last bit. Try the lift of the lens barrel... can't hurt, but be gentle. Common killer of the the servo is the "open in the pocket" situation and pressure to the lens while in the pocket will damage the little gears inside.

08-10-2011, 07:42 PM   #5
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You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar. I finally have control back of my camera... sorta.

Here is what I did...

The tape wasn't working at first, so I (camera experts, prepare to cringe) I tapped it gently on the hard desk from the bottom corner of the camera to help it along at the end of its extension.

Then I waited as I expected it to close and do it all over again. But three seconds turned to four, and four turned to five. In disbelief I looked into the screen and it was focused.

BUT, I've since allowed it to turn off on its own and I had to coax it open again (and I have to keep coaxing it each time I want to turn it on subsequently)

And I hear now a slight buzz when I try to focus (which it won't).

I'm convinced with you now that the last bit of mechanics is messed up. But maybe I can fiddle with it some more. But if I want to get on with my projects, I'll just HAVE to go buy another I just happened to comparison shop for online.
(oh, jeez, I guess if I HAAAAAVE to!)

When I get home, if this forum will let me I'll post an out of focus sample pic I just took--if it might help anyone in the future with this same issue.

08-11-2011, 02:12 AM   #6
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Well that was amazing! The ol'thump! Yep, the last bit is stuck... sorry to hear. If you are lucky and thump it some more you might sorta speak retread the gears. If this was a very old used camera, then dirt, sand, water damage plays some sort on it. Good luck with the remodeling project.
08-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #7
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Thanks,

I think the tape helped though, because I had thumped it before. Here are the two images I took:




It's a huge college computer lab--it's so peaceful during the summer break.

Thanks again, very much for your help, MysteryOnion, helping me pinpoint which direction in troubleshooting I needed to go. I honestly had no idea what was going on--my mind going in different directions. I really do appreciate it.
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