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Old Jan 31, 2007, 10:20 AM   #1
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Canon S2IS, Matrix (aka CCD)or Diaphragm (Aperture)?

Diagnosis adviceneeded

I am having a problem with my Canon S2IS and I need some advice how to proceed. Let me begin by saying I am not camera savvy so please answer me in "camera idiot" language.

The Camera history:

I bought a new Canon S2IS in Canada about 18 months ago. The camera has not been used extensively and also has always been treated gently. About 4 months ago (just after expiration of the warranty L) the camera started to display the following symptoms intermittently. The LCD would be black in all shooting modes (LCD works fine in "review" mode as I can view any photos I took before the problem started and any photos I load on to the card from an external source). Also, the camera will take a photo in any shooting mode, but the photo is just black. But it did take a photo and I could see in review mode that an all black photo had been taken. I was able to get rid of the problem temporarily by turning the camera off and on or switching back and forth between shooting mode and review mode. The problem continued occurring more and more frequently until finally the LCD was permanently black in shooting mode.

I did some research on the internet and found that these symptoms match exactly the symptoms many cameras (not only Canon) have been having with the matrix (CCD). There are many websites saying it is caused by a defective CCD where the wiring comes loose and most manufacturers are offering free repair regardless of warranty status.

My problem:

I am now living permanently in Ukraine. I am living in a small city that does not have a Canon digital camera service center. I took the camera to a Canon rep here (however they are not a service center). I told him the symptoms and he looked at it for about 1 minute (he did not take it apart and look inside) and immediately said it is a defective matrix and a common problem not only with Canon cameras. I asked how sure he was, he said 110%.

I checked Canon Canada/America and Western Europe websites and all offer free repair for this problem. I called the closest Canon service center (about 600km away in Kiev) and the rep told me, "In Eastern Europe we don't give a f#%$ what the Canon websites in Canada or Western Europe say about free repair, we are not repairing it for free". After further internet research I found the parent company of Eastern Europe Canon is in Finland (which IS part of Canon Western Europe). I phoned Finland, who asked me to followup with an email and shortly thereafter the Canon rep in Kiev RELUCTANTLY said I can ship the camera to any Canon service center in Kiev and IF the problem is the matrix they will repair it for free.

As I said, the problem occurred almost 4 months ago, it was 2 months convincing Kiev Canon rep to accept my camera, I shipped it to Kiev, it sat on the shelf of the service center for 2 months! After many phone calls someone finally looked at it. And, as I expected, they told me there is no problem with the matrix/CCD, the problem is that the diaphragm doesn't open. That to repair the problem means replacing the entire lens system for $325US and better to buy a new camera from them (convenient!).

I am suspicious they are bullshitting me and need advice. I told them to return the camera to me and I now have it back in my possession.


Is there any way for ME to test if the problem is the matrix/CCD or if it is the diaphragm?

If not, as I said before, there are some Canon reps here (but not service centers). Is there anything they could do to test if the problem is the matrix/CCD or if it is the diaphragm?

If not, any other suggestions how I should proceed? It seems crazy that after 14 months the camera has a problem where the solution is to throw it in the garbage and buy a new one.

I have one other option, an American friend from Ohio will be visiting me soon and I could send the camera with him to Ohio for diagnosis. Not my preferred option since he doesn't know when he is coming back.

Thank-you in advance,


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