Can My Canon PowerShot S2 Be Saved?
April 20, 2009 3:38 PM   Subscribe

My too-expensive Canon digital camera has developed the dreaded "E18" error. Anybody here ever successfully get their camera working again after this happened? Google suggests that Canon charges a lot of money to fix it and takes too long to do so. I have already visited but would like first-hand reports, if any, of fixing it yourself.
posted by briank to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I had that error after dropping my sd110 on the floor. It made grinding noises when I turned it on. There was one point where I got it working again, but that didn't last long. Anyways, I ended up throwing it out but it was a cheaper powershot.

Is there any chance your camera is still under warranty?
posted by tasty at 4:10 PM on April 20, 2009

Response by poster: Sadly, no.
posted by briank at 4:17 PM on April 20, 2009

I can't speak directly to the e18 error, but my Canon dSLR had "error 99" recently. Canon charged around $200 to fix it and took less than two weeks to get it back to me.

Unfortunately for me, I actually took it to a repair shop here in town, foolishly thinking they could do it faster than Canon. The repair shop people were actually the ones who sent it to Canon, two months after I gave it to them, saying they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it. So, two months and two weeks later, I had it back. My recommendation? Send it to Canon.
posted by booknerd at 4:20 PM on April 20, 2009

Oh, I'll also throw in a plug for the Photography-on-the-Net forum. Those guys are awesome and might be able to help you with a DIY fix.
posted by booknerd at 4:21 PM on April 20, 2009

If all else fails, Canon has a loyalty program where they'll sell you a new camera at a discounted price in exchange for your broken one.
posted by alexei at 4:57 PM on April 20, 2009

Best answer: I asked this question a few years back and followed the advice of "thwap it against a desk or something on the camera-card end". I did, terrified the entire time. But it worked! I still use my camera every day, years later.

However, please only do this if you are willing to scoop up broken bits if something goes wrong. You could try lighter taps and see if that dislodges whatever might be screwing up the lenses.
posted by amicamentis at 5:42 PM on April 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Here's Canon's customer service info:

Call Tech Support at 866-443-8002 or 800-828-4040 to get started.
You will need the serial number of your current camera.
posted by plinth at 7:11 PM on April 20, 2009

Given that E18 reflects a mechanical problem, the first thing I'd try would be canned compressed air. If that didn't work, I'd send it to Canon.
posted by flabdablet at 12:04 AM on April 21, 2009

That said, I did have that problem with my S200 (when I rolled down a sand dune with it in my pocket!) but after a while it worked fine (with a slight grinding sound) until I got rid of it. Not much help to you, but some hope. As I recall, I just kept turning it on and off and I suppose whatever was jamming it eventually migrated somewhere less harmful.
posted by alexei at 4:55 AM on April 21, 2009

Response by poster: amicamentis's suggestion seems to have worked. Three sharp-but-not-too-sharp thwacks against my dining room table to the end of the camera where the USB port and SD card slot are seems to have fixed it.

Thank you!
posted by briank at 5:23 AM on April 21, 2009

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