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Repair Advice, Canon S2IS, Matrix or Diaphragm?

by rbtcnd / January 31, 2007 12:28 AM PST

Repair Advice, Canon S2IS, Matrix or Diaphragm?

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 ************ 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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Canon S2IS
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / January 31, 2007 4:06 AM PST

First....Here is a link to a write-up about a diaphragm:

The one pictured has 19 leaves which if far more than most cameras.
Your camera has a similar device but probably has only about 7 leaves.

There is a possibility that the diaphragm is the cause of your problem.

The diaphragm is what is used to adjust the amount of light entering the camera. More commonly called aperture setting (or f-stop setting).

I don't know how you can determine if the problem is the CCD sensor or the diaphragm.


For the following suggestion, make sure that the batteries are fully charged.

There is one thing you can try....
If the diaphragm is stuck, you might try setting it to different settings to see if that will un-stick it.

You will need your camera user's manual.

Set the camera to Aperture Priority mode.
It is one of the settings on the knob on top of the camera.

(you will need the manual to find how to do the following):

Then set the aperture to its highest number (maybe 8 or 16).
Take a photo.
Then set the aperture to its lowest number (maybe 2.8).
Take a photo.

Repeat this for about 5 times.

Then turn the knob on top of the camera back to its auto position and take a few photos and see if it works.

That is the only idea I can come up with.


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Can diagphragm be stuck such that aperture is closed?
by rbtcnd / February 1, 2007 4:24 PM PST
In reply to: Canon S2IS

Snapshot2, thanks for your advice & explanation

If I am understanding correctly then I have 1 more question:

Is it possible for the diaphragm to be stuck such that the aperture is completely closed?

If not, then if my problem is a stuck diaphragm (and not the CCD), why, when I take a photo, am I getting a completly black photo instead of something (even if it is just garbage)?

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 1, 2007 11:12 PM PST get a completely black photo, the diaphragm would have to be stuck completely closed (or almost completely closed).

Point the camera toward a light bulb and take a photo.
See if that changes the photo from completely black.

I still think you have a dead CCD sensor.


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