My Canon SX20 IS has an intermittent "lens error" and a stuck pixel. Repair or Replace?

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My Canon SX20 IS has an intermittent "lens error" and a stuck pixel. Repair or Replace?
9 months ago

About a year ago my Powershot SX20 IS developed a white stuck pixel in high ISO and low light stills and videos. This month, it has developed an intermittent black screen "lens error" message requiring a restart. From my past experience with a previous Powershot megazoom, the "lens error" will eventually cause the camera to become inoperative and will require a repair.

Is it more economic to replace or repair the Camera? In the past I've had a positive experience with two repairs performed directly by Canon, but each was between $150 and $200.

I'm very fond the wide f/2.8 aperture of the SX20 IS and the fact that it can use convenient and non-proprietary AA batteries.  The current SX50 has a narrower aperture and feels less robust in construction, which makes me very reluctant to upgrade.

I am very fond of the Canon brand in terms of optics and imaging and the only real choice is between buying a new megazoom from different brand for $350 and up or paying for a Canon repair and hoping that something else doesn't break.  A replacement would be the first non-Canon digital camera that I've ever owned.

I only take still pictures in 16:9 aspect ratio for screen viewing as I never make prints.  I travel a great deal and my camera must be good at both maritime and exterior photography, while at the same time having reasonable high ISO and low light capabilities in museums which don't allow flash photography.  I absolutely don't care about macro or portrait photography, although I would like a camera that is capable of photographing flying displays at airshows.  I greatly appreciate the Canon Camera DC 8 software that provided for the proper orientation and folder organization of the JPEGS that I download by USB cable to my Windows laptop and would look for a similar software functionality in a competing brand.  Incidentally, I do tend to take the occasional photo holding my SX20 over my head swiveling the tilting screen downward.  I absolutely love the grid lines on the display for taking landscapes.  In short, I love the camera and find the high ISO performance to be acceptable and the aperture to the minimum that I'd accept, hence my ambivalence about the SX50.  I've also been known to take 400-500 photos in a few hours, so I carry a couple of replacement sets of rechargeable AA batteries.

Right now I'm considering shipping the SX20 IS to Canon for repairs, or looking at the Fuji X-S1.  I really can't afford a Sony DMC-RX10 and I won't consider the much lauded Panasonic FZ200 because of past negative experience with the Panasonic brand in terms of reliability and customer service.  The sad truth is that if the Canon SX50 HS had the same specifications as the FZ200 in terms of aperture, I might already have already have replaced my SX20 IS.

The reality is that I'm happy with the framing opportunities provided by 20x zoom but I feel the need for a wider aperture than the SX50 and I have no use for 30, 40 or 50 times zoom if it sacrifices aperture.

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Canon PowerShot SX20 IS Canon PowerShot SX50 HS Fujifilm X-S1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200
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