- This is a common problem with consumer digital cameras. Often, the lens will extend during camera power on and then will be unable to retract/extend. The components which control the lens zoom function are a very common point of failure in digital cameras, and this will very frequently, stop the camera from functioning properly if at all. This easily results from impact damage on the camera but can also happen from simple wear and tear.
The Broken Lens Barrel.
Electronic Processing Unit Failure.
All cameras, which are controlled via microchip, have what is called an EPU (electronic processing unit). This is basically a power supply housed on the main circuit board of both digital and film cameras. When this fails, the camera may fail to power on entirely, change modes for no reason, fail to perform without a given reason, and work inconsistently if at all. Swift battery drain can also be caused by EPU malfunction.
Transport Mechanisms. (video cameras)
Transport mechanisms refer to the motors/gears and other components that are responsible for rolling the film in cameras both still and video. One common symptom of transport mech. failure in video cameras is low quality/erroneous playback resulting from faulty recording. This will also cause problems during tape insertion/ejection. “The tape is stuck” is one telltale sign of failure in a camcorder’s transport mech. One good way to avoid the problem is DON’T SLAM THE TAPE. Be careful and very gentle when replacing tapes in camcorders. If you are inserting the tape or closing the ejection cover, there may be no indication that you are doing so too fast or too soon. Abusive handling of precision electronics generally doesn’t yield satisfying results.
Transport Mechanisms. (still cameras)
When this part fails in a film camera, the film can fail to rewind or advance, rewind partially, or advance more than one exposure at a time. This will occasionally prevent the camera from shooting entirely, especially in the case of manual advance cameras. Sometimes the camera needs a simple clean and lube, especially if it hasn’t been serviced for several years. Also the transport mechanism will fail out of regular use, not necassarily resulting from misuse.
Worn Camera Seals.
Camera seals which block light from film (also present in digital SLR’s) are made of foam. Regardless of how old the foam is, these materials are long outlived by the rest of the camera body. They simply need to be replaced every several years, depending on the storage/usage conditions of the camera. When they deteriorate, light will leak, causing streaks to appear on exposures or ruin them altogether. Dried out foam can disintegrate and sprinkle everywhere, causing black spots to show up in the viewloader, on exposures, or both.
Old lenses can eventually harbor fungal growth. You’ve been storing your Hasselblad equipment in a musty basement for years; now the picture won’t focus and the quality of exposures is just awful. This happens mostly with older camera equipment. While fungus on the camera body may not affect its performance, fungus on the lens will cause blurry pictures and lower the quality of exposures. Growth is often microscopic, so the problem may not even be visible. Left alone, the fungus will grow and the problem will worsen over time. When you have fungus on your lens, you probably have fungus on the lens’ container. So even though the problem may not be visible to the eyes, it’s visible to the nose.
Picture Blemishes on Digital SLR’s
Digital SLR’s require routine maintenence to ensure that the CCD (charged-coupled device) or CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) is clean. The CCD/CMOS is the image capture component of the digital SLR, and dust enters the mirror cavity every time you change lenses. After the picture is taken, the reflex lens stirs up the air so that dust begins to accumulate on the CCD/CMOS. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING AN AMATEUR SHOULD ATTEMPT TO CLEAN ON HIS OR HER OWN. There are kits for cleaning a CCD/CMOS, but not do an adequate job of cleaning the CCD/CMOS and surrounding cavity. Also, we have had several customers bringing cameras in for CCD/CMOS repair after trying to clean it on their own. CCD/CMOS cleanings need to be done after a few months of steady usage, but a camera in bad operating conditions can require a CCD/CMOS cleaning after a few days.