Beware the fatal "Lens Error" that renders this camera unusable if you are unlucky

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Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 8, 2008 5:43:55 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 8, 2008 5:44:29 PM PST
sfchris says:
This camera has a major design flaw with it's lens that causes the camera to totally stop working. The error message given is simply "Lens Error, Restart Camera" or "e18 error".

See this site for all the error reports:

Google "canon" and "E18" for more information.

Here's a PC World report on the problem:,124765-page,1/article.html

Class action lawsuit:

The point of my posting these links is that a certain percentage of people who buy this canon WILL end up getting the e18 and will lose all their investment. Ordinarily that would be acceptable, you would just send it back to Canon and get a new one. But because Canon refuses to admit this is a problem and Canon will not fix it for free, this problem becomes a fatal one. So when you buy one of these cameras I think you should be aware of the risks involved. That is why I posted all these links.

I understand why Canon is not admitting this problem and will not fix it. It takes a technician a lot of work to completely disassemble the camera. Also probably the percentage of cases is high enough that it would cost them a lot of money to send out a free camera for all the e18 errors. Finally it costs Canon a lot of money to reengineer the lens drive mechanism to fix the flaw. It is easier and cheaper for them to alienate a certain percentage of customers who have no recourse but to complain about their tactics on a message board.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 9:53:28 AM PST
Have you ever seen it happen with the G10? The PC World article mentions other Canon cameras but not this one.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 11:51:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2008 11:54:33 AM PST
Charley S says:
This applies to most of the point and shoot Canons, and happens when certain conditions screw up the motor on the lens - dirt, powering up the camera when the lens can't move, etc... It actually is user error and not something that happens out of the blue. You actually have to DO something to break it - like get the lens movement dirty or physically block the lens when it tries to extend or focus.

Should Canon do something to address this more directly, yes. Is this a result of user error and improper use of the camera? Yes again.

Is this a fatal flaw for Canon? Apparently not because they are certainly up front in the world of digital cameras.

Have you seen it happen on a G10? If not, why are you posting this here?

I've used Canons and known people who use Canons a long time - never saw this issue myself.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2008 2:04:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2008 2:07:15 PM PST
sfchris says:
Most of the people posting SOB stories on this web site had loved Canon and had never seen this eror before either:

You will notice if you check out that site that the form to submit a lens error story requires that the user certify that they did not abuse the camera.

Since this error has plagued models released by canon this year, this is a buyer beware situation. You are urged to obtain an extended warranty at the very least.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2008 5:22:39 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 28, 2008 9:53:16 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2008 5:22:52 AM PST
John Arlom says:
I had such a problem with a A620 Powershot, when it was new some four years ago. It was entirely my fault as the camera was hard to remove from the genuine Canon case, and turned on before it was removed, hence jamming the lens as it tried to open. The shop replaced the camera for me without question. I have had no trouble since and have now replaced it with a G10, a good upgrade, I think.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 29, 2008 6:45:27 AM PST
Neimo says:
sfchris posts this every time a new Canon point and shoot camera comes out.

Here's the stupid thing about not buying Canons, - Sony, Olympus, Kodak, Fujifilm, Nikon, and Casio cameras all have just as many with serious problems or need repairs.

This is according to data culled from 221,000 responses about cameras from Consumer Reports' reader surveys between 2004 and 2007. Among Panasonic P&S cameras, only three percent of them had ever been repaired, or had a serious problem. Five percent each of Sony, Olympus, Kodak, and Canon cameras had ever been repaired, or had a serious problem. At six percent were Samsung, Fujifilm, HP, Nikon, and Casio. Pentax and Vivitar got seven percent.

So whichever point and shoot camera you buy, the odds are probably around one-in-twenty that it will have a serious problem or need repair.

Since all the companies have similar failure rates, it is illogical and unjustifiable for sfchris to single out Canon, when Nikon cameras have just as many problems.

Since five percent of Canon point-and-shoots are going to have problems, it's only logical that the lens/barrel assembly is going to make up some part of the problems. Canon sells tens of thousands of cameras ever day. Even half a percent of them eventually failing and reporting "E18" results in many unhappy customers. 5%, or one in twenty is a lot of people when there are millions of buyers. So chris you're trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. But every other camera company except for Panasonic has their own, similar share of problematic models. Buyers have about a five percent chance of a serious problem WHICHEVER brand camera they buy, so trying to steer them away from one brand in particular is not doing them a favor.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2008 10:36:08 PM PST
OldAmazonian says:
Panasonic makes nice cameras, so it's interesting to hear that Consumer Reports says they had roughly half as many malfunctions or repairs as other makes . When my PowerShot A70 suffered a fatal Sony-built CCD failure (a problem affecting dozens of Canon models as well as other makes), I replaced it with a cheap little Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ7. I like it so much I'm considering a DMC-LX3 too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2009 6:58:05 PM PST
OldAmazonian-- You could've gotten the A70 repaired.

Canon fixed my A75 and another Canon we have (I forget the model #) for free when I got that ccd failure. They are still taking cameras for repair, and even pay for shipping both ways.

My A75 is now working great again. I would definitely buy Canon again.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2009 9:04:23 PM PST
This poster is trolling, he posts everywhere against Canon, I don't believe he even has a G10

Posted on Mar 9, 2009 12:57:58 PM PDT
Andy says:
My Canon is 5-6 years old and just developed a screen problem. Blurry screen with purple streaks. I called Canon, they sent me a packing slip. Communication was terrific. I received phone calls each step of the way from the day they received it to the day they sent it back. 10 day total turnaround and I have my camera back. No charge to me at all. Needless to say I was very impressed with their support of an old camera that was long out of warranty. I believe a new G10 is right around the corner.

Posted on May 9, 2009 10:14:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 9, 2010 3:27:35 PM PDT
Gary says:
I have a Canon G10 which I purchased about 12 months ago. It has been used very infrequently, and never handled roughly. I just tried to use it today and discovered it has the "Lens Error, Restart Camera" problem and is basically inoperable. I did a web search and found this forum, so thought I would add one more message letting people know about this problem

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 2:15:09 AM PDT
A. Cheng says:
I remember developing a fear factor about this same warning for my 7 year old G2. The problem never transpired and I'm guessing it probably won't for most users of the G10.

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 7:17:53 AM PDT
Y. Kang says:
Sfchris = the boy who cried wolf. Sfchris why do you insist on trolling Amazon's discussion board? You are referring to a PC article that is over 3 years old. IMHO, 99.9% of these errors are caused by user error, spilled liquid, sand, dirt, or accidentally turning the camera on while it is in a pocket or camera case.

Sfchris stop trolling you are completely useless.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2009 7:21:07 AM PDT
Y. Kang says:
Thank you!!! Geez, someone with a brain!!! You read my mind. Sfchris if you have a problem with Canons, don't buy them. I have said this before, if this error were as wide spread as you claim why are Canon cameras consistently 9 out of the 10 best selling cameras on Amazon?

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 12:09:28 PM PDT
is this lens error covered by the warranty if it is still under warranty?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2010 3:26:37 PM PDT
Gary says:
I have a Canon G10 that after a little over a year of gentle, limited use developed the lens error. Cannon's tech support said it must of been due to my negligence (it was not) and said it would cost between $150 to $250 to fix the problem. My camera is now a useless brick.

Posted on Jun 13, 2010 10:07:13 AM PDT
J. Rodgers says:
My G10 has done the exact same thing since it was brand new!!! So I was happy to find this forum, SFChris or not. I have an underwater housing and when I put on my fisheye lens, I cannot zoom past a teeny amount before it says lens error and shuts down. Imagine how frustrating this is when there are 4 manta rays swimming 4ft from you and it looks like they are 50 ft. away or that the camera shuts down completely while I am shooting something like that. Nature won't wait for technical issues to be resolved!!!!!

Posted on Aug 4, 2010 6:15:39 AM PDT
I received a Canon G10 as a gift this past Christmas. It stopped working as it was suppose to and I sent it for repair. Since it was a gift and I had no receipt they wanted to charge me $150 to fix it. I complained and they agreed to fix it for free, one time only. This past Sunday while taking pictures the lens locked up and I was unable to reset the camera after getting the error message. I plan to pack it up and send it to the President of Canon, USA. To spend $500 to replace an 8 month old camera is not in my budget. I love Canon cameras and have a G7 and G9 also, and they are great. The G10 is better, but it clearly has design problems.

Posted on Jun 19, 2011 12:41:04 PM PDT
wks says:
I have a G10, purchased through Amazon, and it has been a tremendous workhorse, going with me everywhere, strapped to my belt for 2 years, and delivering tens of thousands of great photographs. Today, 2 years and 4 days after purchase, the lens decided it would no longer retract and the camera displays the "lens error, restart camera" message. I have not "abused" it, but I certainly have used it. With all this hard work it may need some TLC from a technician, and I like the camera well enough to pay for it. Besides, the current price on Amazon is over twice the $456.74 I originally paid for it -- currently listed at $949 plus $15 shipping. I'll try to remember to post again when I finish with Canon. All these posts make me wary!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 8:49:05 AM PDT
J. Elgort says:
I"ve got this exact issue which is why I am here right now. It is VERy real and fatal to the camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 8:49:46 AM PDT
J. Elgort says:
Just happened to mine

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 8:52:01 AM PDT
J. Elgort says:
Thank you so much for your help. MyG10 has exactly this.
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Participants:  17
Total posts:  23
Initial post:  Nov 8, 2008
Latest post:  Jun 9, 2012

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