Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sanyo Camera: all LENS TERROR Fix! (all models)

So I bought a new camera, Sanyo VCP-E1090. Loved the camera until one day it died on me. I encountered the dreaded lens Error 0x0311. I had never dropped, bumped, spilled, and most definitely had never sat on my camera. But why the error? I had scoured the internet looking for solutions only to encounter more people sharing the same issue as I had. 

To call Sanyo for support and for a fix means more money, waste of time, and only to encounter the same problem. Why? Because the problem is so tiny, so tiny that we who are having lens errors – or any error codes which relates to the lens for that matter—are better off buying a new camera and ultimately avoiding the SANYO point and shoot cameras.

Looking for the Culprit
Rather than wasting my time finding a solution, I requested a friend (Wall-E) to check on the camera and to find the root cause of the problem. We decided to open up and dissect the camera.
A bunch of screws off and a small desolder later, we made it to the lens and managed to get it out. We proceeded to check the gears and the lens guide. No problems there. We checked for sands, dusts, or debris that might hinder the movements of the gears - nada. The lens casing was clean. But why were we having the error?
We decided to jump start the motor. As we tried to manually start the motor using a battery and a wire directly connected to the motor, we heard a weird sound. It was as if the gear that directly rotated the lens IN and OUT was forcing it's way to turn and somehow got stuck. Now we’re talking!

A Big Tiny Problem
We decided to open the main housing of the motor and checked to see if there was something impeding the rotations of the gear. Lo and behold, there it was the culprit. The gears were broken! BROKEN!  Yes, the teeths were broken and this is a BIG TINY problem!  No wonder our lovely camera was giving us LENS ERROR messages. As the motor turned, the teeth of the gears could not merge well and “bite” the opposite gear, it could not complete a turn. When it could not complete a rotation, you would notice your lens would pop up halfway, stop or turn back, or make a complete stop. And that was when it got stuck at a certain position and stop turning altogether. 

Red arrows indicate worn out broken gear. I placed a silver pin (blue arrow) where a pole once resides.
This was where a pole/rod used to stand before it broke off. It held the gear in place.
The gear in question was made from a CHEAP PLASTIC that Sanyo decided to place into their camera. These cheap plastic gears would deform even by a soft push of your finger. If that was the kind of cheap plastic gear manufactured for this camera model, we could only say that for Sanyo’s other camera models, the apple did not fall far from the tree.
This is what’s giving us a big problem!
There is NONE! Sell it on E-bay as there is no way to FIX it. 

The tiny plastic rod/pole that holds the gear in place is so fragile that it breaks as soon as we take out the problematic gear. What a lovely mess.  You can buy yourself a new part-- the lens part that is-- and your camera will work but eventually that part will break as well as it is plagued by the same gear problem. I suggest to buy a different camera and avoid SANYO altogether. 

As for me, I am looking into investing perhaps a SONY or a camera that has high quality parts invested to it. I do hope this little blog helped you and should make you stop looking for solutions to that old lens error problem.  If you’ve dropped your camera then that is a different issue.  This is only for those who have taken good care of their camera and one day encountered the dreaded LENS TERROR problem.

If you want to spread the good word, I'd appreciate if you can please refer back to this website for credits.

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3 thoughts:

Anonymous February 28, 2011 at 2:30 AM  

Wow I never thought I would have the same problem. I've been trying to find a fix for something thats not even worth fixing. Sanyo charges way too much for a fix. I rather buy a new camera! Thanks.

alves March 29, 2011 at 5:28 PM  

That`s so funny.I`m having the same problem i never thought just putting my camera away for more than 3 months this would happen, definitely buying a new camera ! Thanks

Anonymous March 22, 2012 at 3:49 PM  

Should warn people even without batteries that the flash has a power supply bearing 280V which will light you up!

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