Will never take another beach photo
August 7, 2007 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Sand in my Ixus camera! Should I pay the repair charge or try to fix this myself?

I have an Ixus 60 (SD600) that is less than a year old for which I paid £200. I took it to the beach last month and afterwards the lens started making a bit of a noise when closing. It's still under warranty but Canon tells me that it has sand damage, which is not covered, and they want £100 to fix it. Is this worth it? Will a repaired camera be as good as new?

The camera still works fine (apart from the slight noise) so I'm wondering if it will get worse and eventually die. If so, is there maybe a way for me to open it up and blow the sand out with compressed air?
posted by gfrobe to Technology (6 answers total)
I had sand in my camera once (panasonic lumix). I took it in, same deal, expensive repair quote. I decided to ignore it and the sand eventually worked itself out. But, my camera is a tank.
posted by Eringatang at 7:46 AM on August 7, 2007

I DROPPED my S500 early in my ownership of it while it was on. The lens was at a 30 degree angle. I took a deep breath, told myself I couldn't make it work LESS and pushed it back to where it should be.

In the two years since it's made a slight noise when closing (the outer ring seems to have a slight pop that catches as it pulls in) but has otherwise worked fine.

My suggestion is "leave it the hell alone."

Your situation is you have a working camera that you have the opportunity to spend half the purchase price on in order to clear up a worrisome noise. The only reason to spend money on this noise is if it costs £100 now and £150 if it gets worse in a month.

I personally theorize it won't get more expensive to repair if it gets worse - you're paying more for labor than anything else. I'd also suggest that spending 50% of the original cost is a bad investment. They have several newer models that will use the same media and which also have image stabilization - that would be a way better use of your cash.

Use it till it dies, whether that be a month or twelve, then buy a new one.
posted by phearlez at 8:19 AM on August 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have a small canon (SD400) which I think has some sand in it. It makes a grinding noise when the lens zooms in and out (including power on/off). It's been making that noise for a long time and I've never had a problem with it (aside from the noise).

Practically, though, it is possible that the sand inside could cause more damage the longer you leave it in there. My thoughts would be these: if it gets too much more expensive to fix, it's worth it ot just buy a new one. If it doesn't get more expensive to fix, then there's no point in repairing it as long as it works.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:57 AM on August 7, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks all. Think I'll just keep using it and see what happens. If anyone has ever blown sand out of an ixus with compressed air, please let me know how it went.
posted by gfrobe at 9:47 AM on August 7, 2007

If it stops working at some point, and you're comfortable with small screws, try taking it apart. I replaced my cracked LCD in 20 mins, the part was $40 and the camera's construction was pretty easy to deal with.

Canon doesn't seem to make the service manuals available, though they appear on ebay. Maybe if you scour the nets you could find one for free.
posted by maniabug at 10:12 AM on August 7, 2007

If you open it for this it will likely void your warranty altogether yeah?

Don't get me wrong! My advice is read everything you can and then open that bad boy up! I mean really it's just a bit of sand. If you already have a little screwdriver and paintbrush it'll cost you nothing. Plus you can be smug and who can put a price on that? Not I my friend, not I...

BUT!! I don't think the compressed air idea is in theory ever a good one. Maybe it get's blown out and maybe you'll just end up with sand in places you never knew you actually had...
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 10:00 AM on August 8, 2007

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