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Ask Freddy M. Your Own Question
Freddy M.
Freddy M., Camera and Video Technician
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 18398
Experience:  Years of experience.
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Suddenly my camera has started to malfunction. When I switch

Customer Question

Suddenly my camera has started to malfunction. When I switch on the lens comes out then goes back in, in and out and I can' stop it doing this or take pictures. Can you help please?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Camera and Video
Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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Hello my name is***** look forward to assisting and am very sorry to hear that you are having this problem. I want to warn you that it is possible you will need to replace a part in order to fix this. There are a few different things that can cause this and a couple different parts so we would need to troubleshoot to find out for sure. What model camera is it? When this happens does it show an error?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Freddie. The model is Panasonic (Lumix) DMC FX33. A message comes up on the screen telling me to switch camera off and then on again.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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Does that message say lens, focus, or zoom error?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Nothing like that. No

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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Ok turn it off and on a couple times and watch the end of the lens does the shutter open? Do you have a can of air duster?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I did that. The shutter does seem to open yes. It goes in and out three times and then sort of judders to a stop and does nothing.

I don't have a can of air duster.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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Ok the shutter opening is a good sign however it would mean the lens itself is the problem. We would need to try and clean that. To do that you need a can of air duster to blow around the lens. Then you would turn it off and on 3-4 times. Repeat this a couple times and if anything like dust for example is stuck around the lens causing this it would get out. Most electronics, computer, and even some convenience shops carry this for around £2-3. Another option is if you have an air compressor you can set very low you can use that to blow it out as well. If this did not work, please come back and let me know what happened when you tried it by clicking on reply to expert so we can continue. If it did work, please don’t forget to leave a positive rating - it is greatly appreciated.
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Freddy M. and other Camera and Video Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Freddie,

I asked you yesterday about my Lumix DMC FX 33 and took your advice to give the lens a clean with a air pressurised spray. I have done this. I also took out the memory card but same problem occurred. Though now it is only making two in and out movements. Could it be because the battery is quite old now and has been recharged many times?

Anything else you can suggest? Many thanks

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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Does it turn completely off when the lens goes back in? If it does it could be the battery. If it stays on though that would be unlikely. Over time even though they are rechargeable they do eventually die as do the chargers.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Why don't I send for a new battery and see if it improves? This could well be the problem although it indicates that the battery is charged up. Thanks so much for getting back to me again and so promptly. I shall try this.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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That is up to you, but if it is staying on rather than turning off when the lens retracts, or another battery does the same thing it would mean the lens unit needs to be replaced.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The green light goes off. And it won't do anything. How can I tell if the lens unit needs replacing? There is a camera shop near me. I might go tomorrow? It probably needs looking at but you have done really well trying to diagnose it without even seeing the thing! Thank you.

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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From what you just said it sounds like the zoom unit is failing and the lens would need to be replaced. Without being able to see it I unfortunately can not tell for sure. This can sometimes be expensive so if you go to the camera shop I suggest asking what they charge to replace the lens before they look at it. Most shops charge about a half hour to an hours labor to take it apart and just find out what is wrong.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the heads up!

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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You're welcome.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

All's well that ends well. Took it to the camera shop. They spotted immediately that there was a dent on the lens unit. Someone must have dropped it! I have upgraded my camera now and busy playing with my brand new one and going to claim on house insurance for the damaged one. Thank you so much Freddie!

Expert:  Freddy M. replied 2 years ago.
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You're welcome and that does make sense as it was sounding like a lens issue to me I would not have known about the dent without seeing it.
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