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RUSSTING, Technician
Category: Digital Cameras
Satisfied Customers: 6114
Experience:  30 years as a TV station tech gives me a unique understanding of digital camera operation and repair.
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FinePix M603 FOCUS ERROR. Lense won't retract. Will not take

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FinePix M603 FOCUS ERROR. Lense won't retract. Will not take photographs.


My first inclination is to assume that a lens error is the problem that is causing the shutdown, but first, there is one more likely possibility, lack of sufficient power. Remove the batteries, check the pins or connectors in the battery compartment, and make sure that they are positioned correctly to contact the battery. Then use a q-tip with alcohol to clean and dry them.

It is also a known issue that digital cameras circuitry can also become much more sensitive to the lower power level produced, so if you have been using the same rechargeable batteries for the life of the camera (more than 4-5 years), then the power capacity of the battery may not be high enough anymore to handle the increased load. A new battery may be the answer.

If the above does not solve the issue please continue as it is very likely that the problem is a lens error.

Lens errors are a common problem. Since yours is stuck and does not move at all it cannot not make it to the correct sensor point which tells the camera to move to the next step, (resulting in the error displayed) probably due to an obstruction like a grain of sand or residue build up. A lens position error will halt the camera process the error. Dirt can get into the gears or the lens can become misaligned from being carried in pockets, purses or at the beach. The suggestion below may resolve the issue.

Try compressed air. With a fine tip can of dry compressed air (not a blow dryer) set the tip between the lens turret and the camera body and turn on the air while moving the tip around the lens. It should remove all dust and sand. Turn the camera on and it should function fine. If not, you can try the fixes below.

With newer cameras I am usually hesitant to suggest these options since they include some more extreme procedures that may cause further damage if not done correctly, but since your camera is older, they may save you an expensive repair bill. The links below give step by step DIY instructions on troubleshooting and attempting to fix this problem. The lens structure of these compact cameras is the same so the examples do apply to this unit. These procedures are effective about 60% of the time. Click on or copy and paste the links into your browser.



If the "do it yourself" approach doesn't work out for you and you need conventional repair or replacement suggestions, let me know.

Please keep in mind that my diagnosis & solutions provided are directly
dependent on the accuracy of your description of the problem. As with
any "do it yourself" fixes, success is a "team effort", since I can't
see or touch the camera, and relies on the customer's manual dexterity
and ability to follow the instructions well.

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RUSSTING and other Digital Cameras Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Having taken out the battery and memory card for over 15 minutes and replaced them I was able to close down the zoom of the camera completely, so it will open, zoom and close on it's own power. Unfortunately having opened it for a second time I still have the Focus error come up on the screen (initially with the hand emblem and warning tones) and although the zoom will operate it will not take photographs and when I go to close the camera down it will only retract the outer most zoom part and not go back into the camera housing (although it did earlier). I have tried operating the camera in it's cradle with power supplied but it makes no difference. The zoom part of the camera appears square and even and firmly in place and I have cleaned as much as possible but I am still unable to take photographs due to the focus error.

Many thanks

Glenn Seymour

From your description of the issue and the results of the of the procedures tried, I must conclude that a component in the lens assembly, possibly the positioning sensor, has simply worn out, from normal use.

Unfortunately, Fujifilm did stop making parts for this model about 3 years ago. There is a very practical aspect that can in many cases be overlooked or even resisted because while life expectancies of people appear to continuously increase, the exact opposite is true for most consumer equipment. 20 years ago, if you bought a camera, the expectation that it would last at least 10 or more years was reasonable and even a conservative estimate. Unfortunately, like cell phones, mp3, & computers, the useful life is decreasing at what seems to be an exponential rate for digital cameras. That is one of the reasons that I do this. While I do not mind picking up a little extra money, my main reason for being here is to help people to extend the usefulness of these products in order to "beat the system". I have a personal dislike for "planned obsolescence". The big problem is that some things really are at the end of their lifespan and 11 years for your 2003 model is pretty good compared to the current 2 year expectation (5-6 when made when yours was). For all practical purposes, it is time for a replacement. I have researched this issue extensively over the past two years and unfortunately, because the industry standard for the useful life span of digital cameras has almost dropped to that of cell phones (2 years or less) the companies stop making replacement parts after 3 - 5 years.

The only reasonable option, if you are totally in love with this specific model is to pick up a used one on Ebay or Amazon.

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