Canon Power Shot SX50 HS Black Pictures/Broken? PLEASE HELP! Desperate for ideas!!

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Raven67
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Canon Power Shot SX50 HS Black Pictures/Broken? PLEASE HELP! Desperate for ideas!!
9 months ago

My camera is nearing it's first birthday (less than a month away).  My husband jokes that i treat it like a baby, but it is true that I am incredibly gentile with our photography equipment.   I apologize for the length and will bold the most important parts, for those wanting to help but wanting to also skim.  PLEASE HELP - I cannot find anything online to really help and am SO desperate.

On our recent vacation (flight) to Las Vegas, I packed my camera gently into my purse (personal item) with two filters attached (a cpl and uv protector).  The rest of my camera equipment (including a bunch of filters) were packed in our carry-on and made the flight safely.

I feel it is important to note that, upon arriving to our final destination, I noticed that the CPL filter was shattered/super cracked, even though the camera was wrapped in protective bubble wrap and never set down except on my lap.  Luckily, I had recently purchased a bulk of colored filters, which came with a spare set of UV/CPL/FLD filters.  I didn't think twice about the break until later, after the camera broke, but I wonder if the 'shatter' happened because we went from -0 degrees Fahrenheit at home to around 65+ degrees in Vegas.  ::shrugs::

The amazing camera took splendid outdoor and indoor photography for three days.  It handled some rough transitions well and lasted through the entire Vegas stay.  On our fourth day, we headed to Death Valley.  I took a bunch of photos on the way and at the first spot, before the we actually hit the real basin, and there were no problems.

There was a moment, after the first set of pictures, where our vehicle 'lurched' forward and my camera rolled down my thights, but never hit the floor or bumped anything hard.  It has been through MUCH worse abuse without any issues whatsoever.  I could blame the 'heat' (around 95 degrees Fahrenheit surface temp (120ish they averaged when you actually walked around)), but my camera has been to both extremes with never an issue.

After one more picture through the car window, everything went 'black'.  I have tried changing the display, F-stop, ISO, etc., and nothing helps.  When I turn on the display info while shooting, I can see the 'color histogram' and it gives me a 'little' bit of constant action on the very left of the graph (less than a few blocks), but otherwise, it is completely black.

It is black no matter what I try to set.  If I put it in auto, it tries to set a ridiculous f-stop and ISO, but I have done research and changed the settings back to normal, and it is still black.

At first, I worried that the CCD or sensor was 'burned' by the 'floor' of Death Valley.  It is basically sand turned to crystal/diamonds due to the heat and sun exposure, and I know how 'bad' it is to shoot toward the sun, so I assumed that shooting anything near the floor could cause a burn or damage.  The only thing against this is that my shooting spot, prior to breaking, was not crystallized, and my 'regular' cheap Nikon Coolpix handled Death Valley Basin just fine, as did the hundreds of other cameras there.  I've also taken pictures close to the sun and on the ocean, without issue, so a sensor burn makes no sense.  Especially since it took a picture after leaving.

After a little research (which is REALLY hard, for some reason), I am now 100% sure that the internal 'shutter' thing is stuck. I'm sorry that it is not a more technical word, but I am stuck.   If I look straight into the lens while snapping a picture, nothing moves internally, nor is there the traditional 'click' sound.  Unfortunately, the only site I found regarding this said to try and take a picture and open the battery at the same time to 'reset' the shutter/unstick it, but this has not worked.  I have tried about a dozen times and nothing - one more small 'bar' on the histogram, but that is it.  They also said to try and tap around the lens, gently, but that did nothing, either.

My only complaint about the Powershot SX50 HS has been that any water/humidity makes the entire system stick.  If it is humid outside or water in the air (like on a boat), the zoom/shutter button gets stuck really bad.  A bag of rice has been my best friend.  My camera has never been wet (I have rain protectors for it, but I still refuse to pull it out when it is raining/snowing/wet),  but it is super sensitive to water in the air.  I am not sure if this has anything to do with the apparent internal shutter being stuck.  I have had the camera in the rice for over a week, but it still refuses to work - i tried the battery opening trick again and it still failed.

Here is my dilemma - we had an amazing camera shop here that recently closed.  My other option brags about their ability to service DSLR's, but since my camera is all but a DSLR, I have no idea if they can actually help fix it.  All i know is that they charge $65 just to 'clean' the sensor of a DSLR (which they recommend yearly), which seems to be high for the industry.  I know their shop sells my camera, so hopefully they could either figure out what is actually wrong or maybe help, but most of their 'crew' is in retail, not fixing/service.  There are a few 'camera shops' in a nearby city, but that is over an hour away.

Question - what would you do at this point?  Would you take it to the 'shop' that is much more of a camera sale's company vs. repair or continue to search online for ways to fix it?  There are external screws, and part of me is desperate to try to open it to manually unstick the internal shutter, but I know that is a terrible idea.   I'm leaning towards taking it into the local camera shop and hoping they can help, but I am not hopeful.

This whole thing would not be a giant deal, except that I currently have three booked 'gigs' on the record over the next month.  Nothing extreme, and technically I can use my Coolpix, but there is a few micro-scratches on the lens and most pictures are unfocused or have orbs/flares due to the scratches. I feel completely naked without my 'good' camera and do not want to disappoint my customers with sub par images.

I can (and am completely willing to) purchase a new Powershot SX50 HS for less that $320 right now.  For those that know about time-intensive repairs - what do you think it will cost to fix something like an internal stuck shutter?  Is there a better term I can use to search for it online, because I keep drawing blanks.  Is this something that can be fixed at home or must be done in a shop?  And, finally, is it time to accept that I have to replace the camera and just get it over with?

I am so freaking desperate and on a very short time allowance - PLEASE HELP.  Any advice is welcomed!  I am not willing to switch to an actual DSLR - I can do almost EVERYTHING manually with my Powershot, and have purchased almost a grand worth of extra equipment and backdrops for my Powershot- I do not want to change.  I just want to know if my camera is reasonably fixable or I should give up and replace immediately?

Thank you!

Raven

Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
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