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Canon S2 IS Shutter problem (blank viewfinder and LCD)

by drey525 / January 14, 2007 1:11 AM PST

I have had my S2 IS for about a year and a half. While taking pictures of my kids at the park the viewfinder went blank. I thought I must have just hit the Display button which made it go to the viewfinder mode. No such luck both were blank. Everything on the camera seems to work except the shutter seems stuck shut. I have tried new batteries (even though batteries were new and light was not on) I have read the entire manual including troubleshooting. On a forum on another website this problem is mentioned without a solution. Can anyone help. I guess Canon will fix this (and any other problem) for $127.00 but they reserve the right to send a refurbished. I am just deciding if I should fix or are electronics so crappy now that it is not worth it because of age and use?

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Blank Viewfinder and LCD
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 14, 2007 5:30 AM PST

You should go through the motions of taking a photo or two.

Then download the images to your computer.

See if you get a picture or a black image.

If the image is black or blank....most likely the CCD sensor has failed.

Then you need to contact Canon.

I would say that it is worth fixing for $127.


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If its the CCD
by BowerR64 / January 14, 2007 8:19 AM PST

If its the CCD, its covered under warranty isn it? Ive had 2 A70s and an A300 fixed free because of the defective CCD thing. I still buy canon stuff because they arnt the only one with the defective CCDs

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Older Cameras
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 15, 2007 1:01 AM PST
In reply to: If its the CCD

The defective CCD you are referencing was on cameras that were manufactured about three or four years ago.

They had a Sony made CCD that had a manufacturing error and would absorb moisture over a period of time. More quickly if you lived in a humid part of the country.

I understand that Sony had to foot the bill for the repairs.

The Canon S2 was not on the list of cameras that had the defective Sony CCD sensor.


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I think it was added
by BowerR64 / January 15, 2007 2:51 AM PST
In reply to: Older Cameras

It wasnt but i think it was added.

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Another question
by BowerR64 / January 15, 2007 2:54 AM PST
In reply to: I think it was added

Also is it one CCD that had a problem or more then 1?

I ask because the cameras with this defective CCD or defective CCDs are they listed as the same "usable mega pixel"

I know forsure the A60 and A70 are on the list, one is 2.0 MP and the other is 3.2 so is it the same sensor?

If you look at the list of cameras on the list, are they all the same MP?

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 15, 2007 7:59 AM PST
In reply to: Another question

I don't believe they ever said anything about the number of megapixels but if you check the camera model numbers involved , there are different megapixels.

It involved several different camera manufacturers.

Here is a report that came out later than the first report:

Since the S1 is listed.....anyone with an S2 should inquire about the possibility that they too got a bad sensor.


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You never answered the question though.
by BowerR64 / January 15, 2007 11:58 AM PST
In reply to: Reply

You never answered the question, is it one sensor or more then one that is defective?

What im getting at is that sony made the sensors that the other manufactures put into their cameras. the 1/2.7 yet many are of random megapixel. So im wondering, how are they all using the same defective sensors yet each manufacture claim to put out different megapixels.

This is just one more thing that makes me feel that they are bending the truth about the megapixel thing to sell cameras.

The canon A60 is 2.0 megapixel with the same defective CCD, the S1 is 3.2 how high of a megapixel did this sensor get to? did it ever reach 5mp?

Sure they arnt claiming they are 12mp but is the quality suffering using the same CCD?

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One CCD fits all
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 15, 2007 12:39 PM PST

You seem to have a theory that Sony made a universal CCD that can be used for 2 megapixels, 3 megapixels, 4 megapixels according to how you hook it up.

I do not see how that can be possible because you would have to alter the lens to properly use a specific area of the CCD.

Different megapixel....different CCD.


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No i dont think that
by BowerR64 / January 15, 2007 4:16 PM PST
In reply to: One CCD fits all

No i dont think that, i think they use interpolation or what ever its called to stretch the image in the same way SVP does or they figured out some other technique that looks better then SVP. Its not even SVP they put their name on it i found out using the canon software its called Vigorhood. The actual manufacture is called Vigorhood.

They have either used some interpolation thing or they are only using part of the CCD for the lower MP cameras.

I just dont believe SVP came up with this idea on their own. I dont believe they were the first to do it. They may have been the first to take it that far but i dont think they came up with it first.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 15, 2007 11:51 PM PST
In reply to: No i dont think that

Vigorhood is the name of a Chinese manufacturer of digital cameras.
Probably the source of some of the SVP cameras.

If you check their appears that they only use CMOS sensors.

SVP is a very small company (maybe 10 people total).
They do not manufacture cameras.
They distribute cameras.
They import cameras from China and put SVP name on them.


But to claim that Sony uses interpolation to increase the megapixels of their CCD sensors, and then deliberately mislabel them, makes no sense at all.


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Canon Failure
by garycrum / February 9, 2010 12:44 AM PST

I too had the blank viewer screen and black picture problem after not using my Canon PowerShot S2 IS for a while and tried the fixes on the Internet to no avail. I called Canon service on Feb. 9, 2010 -- they said it would have to be mailed back to them and I would have to pay a MINIMUM cost of $139 -- or they would sell me a another Canon model refurbished camera for $199.

I told them this particular problem was all over the Internet and they should at least be able to tell me the exact repair cost by now, not just a pig-in-the-poke minimum. They said they were 'service' and the 'factory' handled that -- I (politely) said they needed to talk to factory once in a while.

So, as far as I am concerned, I will not send them $139+ every time their product self-destructs -- besides, a company which cannot discern they have a systematic problem cannot probably fix the problem permanently anyway.

As for sending them additional money for a refurbished camera, I cannot think why I would want another Canon camera of any kind again. My Canon camera is going in my trash can and I am buying a Kodak digital to take a picture of it sitting there.

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Canon S2 IS CCD Sensor Problem
by kwain123 / January 16, 2007 1:57 AM PST

I have the exact same problem with my camera. I bought my camera in the fall of 2005 and have kept perfect care of it. Out of the blue, the LCD & Viewfinder have gone black (although all menus still work). I'd like to know if the S2IS has the same CCD Sensor as the S1 IS since Canon is fixing that model for free!!!

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Canon S2
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 16, 2007 3:55 AM PST

You should contact Canon about the situation.
Let them know you are aware of the problem CCD sensor on the S1 camera.

You should suggest that your camera probably has the same defect as the S1.

See what they say.


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Canon S2 IS CCD Image Sensor problem
by K56mickey / February 13, 2007 3:36 PM PST

I have the same problem with my Canon S2 IS and it happened just as quickly. I called their support number today and was told I'd have to send my camera in for evaluation and a service rep would contact me in 5 to 10 days to give me an estimate. The phone support guy told me to include a letter and also let them know that I'm aware of the same problem with the S1 IS. I think since it's such a common problem the CCD Image sensor will be replaced free of charge. I'm considering my options and if I have to pay the $127. for repair I'll do that, they do offer a refurbished camera for $199 + $10 S&H. I love the camera so to me it's worth the time and effort involved.

I have a friend who lives in Germany with a Nikon Coolpix that had the same problem so it's a world wide goof on Sony's part. Sony should refund the cost or the repairs but that's a problem I'm sure the large camera companies are pursuing.

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Same Camera
by Fish / February 13, 2007 9:11 PM PST

I have this camera also.One year old now and so far no problems.
Fingers crossed after reading this thread. Fish

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Another Canon S2 IS blank LCD & Viewfinder issue
by Dickphoenix / February 21, 2007 12:46 PM PST
In reply to: Same Camera

I have had this Canon S2 IS since April 2006 and I take good care of it... plus I like it just fine. It has great features and takes excellent photos & videos. I had not used it in about a month and took it out to snap some pics the other day but... No image in the LCD & viewfinder. The menus were there and I tried to snap a few pics to see what happens. I did review the 10 pics I already had on the card fine with the LCD but, the ones I had just snapped while the image was black were black too. I checked the Canon website and have sent mine in for repairs under warranty. I would not want to have to pay an additional $127 to get this fixed but, I might have since it is favorite shooter. If this issue persists Canon should add this model to the "no charge" repair list... a couple more months and I would be expected to pay for the fix too. <> Come on Canon... do the right thing!

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Mine just did the same thing
by ScubaDennis / March 1, 2007 9:30 PM PST

I bought this camera in December 2005. My wife and I spent about 4 hours in BestBuy (after countless hours on the internet) trying out the digital cameras with a very patient salesperson. We finally decided on the S2 IS for a variety of of them being we had been using an AE-1 for about 25 years with no problems at all.....The other day the viewfinder went black, and any pictures taken are also black. I sent a few emails to Canon, and got the reply about sending it in to be repaired for about $127.00. I then called them and was told that this model does not have the same CCD as the other models that had the SAME PROBLEM!!!!! The rep is sending a prepaid shipping label to send the camera in, and said "No Guarantee", but they may fix it under warranty. I will not pay to have it fixed being only 14 months old. This smacks of a Class Action Lawsuit from the number of complaints I'm finding through the internet.

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Did anyone get canon to cover repair
by ringer33 / March 27, 2007 9:55 AM PDT

I purchased this camera in Dec 05 for $600 from a reputable camera shop in Canada. On a recent trip, my camera did the same thing that everyone else is describing. I went into the shop and sent the camera out for estimate and was told it would be 190 to fix. I think this is unacceptable especially considering the price I paid only 14 months ago. I called canon and was told that this camera did not have the same sensor problems because it did not contain the same sensor or so he thinks. Help...did anyone get any satisfaction with this defective camera

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Yes, I did....bought mine in Dec 2005 also...
by ScubaDennis / March 27, 2007 10:53 AM PDT

I sent a couple of emails to Canon, plus called them 3 times...once spoke with a tech support person and got nowhere, so asked for a supervisor. Still did not get the answer I was looking for, but at least got them to send me a prepaid shipping label...and they would "have a look at it" to determine if it was going to be a warranty repair. A few days after they received it, I got a reply stating that Canon would repair it at no charge, and I would get it back within ten days. I did, and have been using it for a couple weeks now, with no problems. I am fearful, however, that it's only a matter of time until it happens again. Good luck to you!!!

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Canon S2 IS blank viewfinder
by happy676 / April 24, 2007 12:30 AM PDT

I bought mine in Aug. 2005 and just had the problem occur today. Great. I did a lot of research before getting it, loved it after I got it, and so highly recommended it that 4 other people purchased one. What a drag.

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I would give Canon a call, and also send emails
by ScubaDennis / April 24, 2007 1:27 AM PDT

Canon covered the repair on my S2, which at this writing is still working beautifully!!! (knock wood)I bought mine in Dec 2005 as I recall, so at the time it was 14 months old...technically out of warranty. It's obviously a big problem considering the number of complaints.

I called them a few times, really got nowhere, and sent several emails, always trying to get higher up the food chain. The best I got was "We'll send you a shipping ticket, then notify you of our findings. If we determine that the problem is a fault of the device, and not customer inflicted, we will repair the camera at no cost to you." I sent it in, and got a response in a few days. It was covered, and I got it back a few days after that. I included many references to how much I had enjoyed using my other Canon camera (an AE-1) for many, many years without any problems, so I naturally assumed the same would be true for the S2. I only gave them praise for their other models I had used, and merely stated my disappointment in the S2. Not sure if it had any affect, but that's how I approached it.

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Canon will not cover if out of warranty
by sphelps66 / May 10, 2007 12:10 AM PDT

I spoke with 4 different people. They acknowledge that the CCD failed but claim its a different part than those used in the other cameras. Told me it would cost $127 to fix and there was nothing they could do otherwise. Told them I would not pay and would make it a mission to make sure that I told everyone not to buy Canon products. So I am.


Tell everyone you know.

They have found a way to make additional revenue through selling equipment that fails and then they charge you for the repair.

I am having them send the camera back to me. I will wait for the camera to be included in the current recall or have a new recall issued. Then will get it fixed. In the meantime i am buying a Sony or Nikon.

Come om Canon do the right thing and fix your defaults. I can accept that there is an issue but to not fix it is unacceptable and wrong.

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Make sure you check before you buy
by ScubaDennis / May 10, 2007 12:47 AM PDT

I understand your frustration, believe me. Make sure you check the manufacturer of the CCD before you buy another camera. Most companies do not make their own CCD's, they all buy from the same manufacturer, so in essence, it doesn't make a lot of difference which digital camera you buy unless they make their own CCD. Nikon has had a similar problem. Do lots of research before you buy.

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Other CCD
by sphelps66 / May 10, 2007 3:59 AM PDT

Thanks for the info on Nikon.

I had heard that CCD in other makes were also failing. Makes you wonder how widespread the problem may actually be.

Glad Canon was responsive to your needs. Guess they are digging their heels in now on this issue. I did not get angry till after I had a tech rep hang up on me and then a supervisor tell me there was nothing he could do.

I have already sent an e-mail today and will be following that with more snail mail.

Maybe if I keep telling them how disappointed i am, how dismissive Canon has been, then maybe they will take care of the issue.

Again thanks for the advise

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canon S2IS
by rhoda58 / May 21, 2007 6:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Other CCD

well it just happened to me. i went to use my camera after it sat for
a few weeks. same thing, black LCD and view finder. it worked great before that. i took alot of pics at a party the last
time i used it. then i just took it out to use today and nothing
but i'm glad i found this forum and found out that it
seems to be a real problem. now maybe i have some ammunition when i
start to deal with canon. i've had the camera since june 2006. i love
it, i bought it for the zoom feature and it works great with my mac.

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Canon S2 IS Repair
by happy676 / May 21, 2007 7:23 PM PDT
In reply to: canon S2IS

I just received my camera back after being repaired for free by Canon. It was out of warranty (purchased 8/05). When I called about it, the guy told me that this faulty sensor was a recall item for the S1 but not yet for the S2 because they had only a handful of them at this time. They sent the prepaid shipping label by email, then a couple days later they emailed that it would be repaired for free. I too am worried that this will happen again in a couple of years, but at least it's fixed for now. This forum was very helpful in knowing what to expect.

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same problem with CCD sensor!
by mcb38 / June 19, 2007 2:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Canon S2 IS Repair

Just disovered the same problem with the CCD sensor on my S2, the LCD is black. Like some of you, I had not used it in a few months because I was using a smaller camera. I bought mine in 5/05, so it's past the warranty period but after reading all these emails I realize I'm not alone and Canon should add the S2 to the recall list. Anyone have further advice on how to deal with Canon? Makes me mad when I read that they are not cooperating.

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ccd sensor
by rhoda58 / June 20, 2007 5:24 PM PDT

hi, i called canon after reading the very helpful posts on this site.told them i think it's the ccd sensor. he said that was on the S1. i said that it seems to be a problem on the S2 as well, as i went on an online forum and seems other people are having the same soon as i said that he told me to send it in. i was 12 days away from my warrenty expiring.if my warrenty was expired i would have insisted to have it fixed for free, seeing as it seems to be a recurring problem also with the S2. when i received it back, that is what was wrong with i would call canon and tell them them you know what the problem is because you've read about it online.. i received prompt service. maybe by now they're getting more complaints and they will recall the S2 sensors. good luck

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Don't bother buying Sony
by herbfellows / April 22, 2008 7:52 PM PDT

I hate to burst your bubble, but don't buy Sony whatever you do. They are FAR WORSE when it comes to helping the customer, and they charge more for repairs.
This refers to a camcorder problem, but goes to the heart of customer service. if you google sony error c31:23, then go to, you will see over 2,000 complaints on this error code on this one website alone, all across their line of camcorders.
Sony wants $211 to LOOK AT the camcorder, then an additional $27 to fix it (2 10 cent parts that a 2 year old could install), and you also pay shipping both ways! This for a camcorder that is 2 years old and was $325 when bought new!

Sony camcorders have a problem that Sony refuses to acknowledge, despite overwhelming evidence from people who have bought their camcorders that this is a manufacturing defect. There are well over 10,000 incidents of the same error code (c31:23) on Sony camcorders across the board, regardless of model number.
Sony gives you instructions to deal with this error code, which virtually never work. (I will explain where you can get the evidence of this at the end of this review).
When confronted with this evidence, Sony denies any knowledge of it, and states, and I quote: ?Sony does not take information about possible manufacturing defects from customers or review websites. We only pay attention when our own techs notify us that there is a problem?. Either Sony has the worst techs in the world, which I doubt, or management has specifically told them to keep their mouths shut, which I have no problem believing.

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read my post same problem no help 1 year half later
by beagle6 / November 30, 2008 2:11 PM PST

number 60 Please help if you can i have contacted as many people on here as I can my canon is sitting at the repair place I would like to have it before christmas the man I spoke with at canon (MJ) said that they knew about this website and all complaints came from same person and there is no problem with my cameras ccd on the S21S the website is Better Business Bureau norfolk.

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