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Russell A.
Russell A., Camera and Video Technician
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 6072
Experience:  30 years of experience as a TV station tech gives me a unique understanding of technical equipment issues.
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Panasonic DMC-TZ4 - Lens makes noise when switched on and off,

Customer Question

Panasonic DMC-TZ4 - Lens makes noise when switched on and off, stays permanently out. Camera displays "Please turn on camera and turn on again". Unable to use.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Camera and Video
Expert:  Russell A. replied 4 years ago.

My first inclination is to assume that a lens error is the intermittent problem itself, but first, there is a more likely possibility, lack of sufficient power. Remove the battery, 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 3-4 years), yours would be around 4-5, 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.

Even if the lens appears to extend correctly and only fails intermittently, it is quite possible that it does not make it to the correct sensor point periodically due to an obstruction like a grain of sand or residue build up. A lens position error will halt the camera process the error. Lens errors are a common problem. Dirt can get into the gears or the lens can become misaligned from being carried in pockets, purses or at the beach. The two suggestions below may resolve the issue.

Make sure your Camera has new, fully charged batteries and it is in recording mode.

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.



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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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just to clarify, the lens moves in and out noisily when switched on but remains out when switched off. We have tried the suggestions: cleaning the battery contacts, knocking near the USB cover, pressing the lens when camera on its back though the sections do not appear to be out of line. Don't want to go to expense of buying expensive new battery if this is not the problem. This is the 2nd battery in the life of the camera. I don't feel confident in dismantling the camera. Unless you can assist further I think I should send the camera registered post for a free estimate for repair - such repairs come with a 3 month warranty through sendan cameras in London. Do you offer such a service?

Expert:  Russell A. replied 4 years ago.
To answer your last question first, this site, JustAnswer, is not affiliated with any manufacturer, brand or product; neither do we perform repairs, sell parts, components nor devices. Members of this online community provide information, repair tips, technical assistance as a form of paid Q & A service. So unfortunately, no, a physical repair service is not available.

Please keep mind that, considering the age and present value of this camera, paying the cost of having it repaired, approximately £71.00 - £80.00 is may not be very cost effective. The standard "rule of thumb" is if the repair cost is greater than 50% of the value of the camera, it is not worth it. A good used Panasonic DMC-TZ4 can be purchased online for about £30.00 - £50.00 and I've seen a brand new one (open box) for about £90.00.