Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

Started Aug 2, 2011 | Discussions
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Frazer Godfrey New Member • Posts: 2
Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

Hi Everybody,

My Lumix DMC - TZ8 has bricked on me and I just get a error message Saying "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)" and the lens does not go in when I turn it off. It is less than 18 months old. Does anyone know what's happened and how to fix it?

Thanks,

Frazer

Mahmoud Mousef Senior Member • Posts: 2,526
Re: Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

A quick search on Google for that error message shows plenty have had it. Looks like it might need repair after a quick look

Wibe New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

Had the same thing happen with mine three days ago. Almost definitely due to sand getting into the lens mechanism while on holiday. Took to recommended repair shop in London and got quoted £97 for the repair. Will be buying something else instead. Lesson learnt, I guess...

Frazer Godfrey OP New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

I thought that might be what it was so as the lens was stuck out I cleaned it with a proper lens solution. Still no joy. Did the repair shop say it is unfixable?

MusicDoctorDJ Forum Pro • Posts: 12,400
Don't blame the manufacturers . . .

Wibe wrote:

Had the same thing happen with mine three days ago. Almost definitely due to sand getting into the lens mechanism while on holiday. Took to recommended repair shop in London and got quoted £97 for the repair. Will be buying something else instead. Lesson learnt, I guess...

I see this problem every day . . . and not just Panasonic Lumix cameras, either!

It is funny how so many are quick to assume that this is Panasonic's (or any of the other manufacturers, for that matter) fault, when nine times out of 10 it is something that the user did to the camera.

Like drop it . . . bump the lens against something . . . accidently turned it on while it was still in the case . . . got sand in the lens while at the beach . . . let their kids take it to school . . . etc.

You may not even remember dropping it or doing one of these other things to the camera, but chances are this is exactly what happened.

These cameras don't just suddently go defective after several months of use . . .

Typically, if a camera is defective it will be that way right out of the box!

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letmealone Regular Member • Posts: 117
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . .

Well it is not always as you say, sometimes some parts in a camera are badly designed and dont last as they should (i remind the dial selector in Fujis S9000-S9500 or the popping shutter button in the Sony DSC-H). This lens error reminds to me the E18 problem of some Canon cameras. Here it is a guide for trying to fix it, maybe it could be helpful even for this Panasonic:

http://www.e18error.com/repair.html

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Erik Ohlson
Erik Ohlson Forum Pro • Posts: 16,747
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . .
1

I'll go ahead and beat the drum again. Not the first time, sorry

Probably the best solution for gunk getting into the camera's "works" is to always keep the camera in a loose, plastic bag, particularly if carrying it in a pocket.

I lost a lovely little Minolta Xi - an internally zooming camera - when lint got into the 'sealed' lens unit. When I took the camera apart and found that the lens unit could not be taken apart, I noticed lint & such packed in lots of places inside the camera.

So my next camera was always carried in a plastic bag - I use the cheap "Sandwich Bags" I buy by the box for a buck or two, very cheap.

A forum member from the humid UK warned that it's not a good idea to use a 'zipper-lock' bag as any moisture locked into the bag will create a "Mini-Sauna" for the camera when sealed into the bag. And opening the zipper slows one down. I leave the wrist strap hanging out so I can get the camera out fast!

I have carried cameras for over a year each with no problem - and the smooth bag keeps surface wear (paint wearing off corners, surface scratches) down, too. All of my pocket cameras look & work as new.

I'd use a bag as a liner for a case, too - my sister's Xi case had lint packed in the corners.

So far I have carried in my pocket during all waking hours, a Minolta X50, Panasonic TZ1, TZ3,TZ5, ZS3 & ZS6 in this manner, and have experienced NO dust/lint/sand problems. The TZ5 was carried in my pocket for a long time and has since been in my wife's purse - in it's plastic bag, for several years of constant use, looks & works like brand new.

TZ-1 in plastic bag "Case":

-Erik

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viviano New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . .

letmealone wrote:

Well it is not always as you say, sometimes some parts in a camera are badly designed and dont last as they should (i remind the dial selector in Fujis S9000-S9500 or the popping shutter button in the Sony DSC-H). This lens error reminds to me the E18 problem of some Canon cameras. Here it is a guide for trying to fix it, maybe it could be helpful even for this Panasonic:

http://www.e18error.com/repair.html

hey i also had this problem and my camera is just out of warranty.  called panasonic 'helpline' and they werent very helpful, surprise eh? so i tried number 4 on the e18eror.com

"Try forcing the camera lens: Turn off the camera. Place it on the back with the lens facing up and take a look at the spacing between the lens and the lens housing. If you notice that the gap is not even all the way around the lens, the problem should be easy to fix. This type of a problem usually occurs if the camera was dropped while the lens was extended.  Simply - VERY GENTLY - press down the lens on the side where the gap is the biggest. You should hear a "click" as it pops back into place. Try powering the camera back on.  AND IT WORKED!  thank you so much for your help and for saving me a £100 repair bill or cost of new camera!

Erik Ohlson
Erik Ohlson Forum Pro • Posts: 16,747
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . .

I haven't had this problem.

That said, you have "nothing to lose" and I have heard this recommended:

Try turning the camera on & off while holding the lens in contact with something that vibrates fairly hard, such as an electric razor. Keep the lens pointing generally down, but move it around.

Assuming it's sand (a little rock) you may be able to shake it loose and with the lens pointing down, maybe out of the camera.

-Erik

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Iowa Snapper New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

I just had exactly the problem described on my relatively new Panasonic Lumix.  I can believe I could have 'hit' it or gotten dust inside of it , as I take it every where, though in  a bog.

However, before I forced the lens to close or tried to vibrate dirt out, I decided to down load the pictures on the camera.

Once I hooked up the camera to my Mac, and turned it, on the lens closed, and the problem completely resolved itself.  Immediately took a few pictures and downloaded them also.

All seems to be working well.  Might be fortuitous, but it worked.  If it 'uncorks' anytime soon, I'll update

Orclectic New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

Iowa Snapper wrote:

I just had exactly the problem described on my relatively new Panasonic Lumix. I can believe I could have 'hit' it or gotten dust inside of it , as I take it every where, though in a bog.

However, before I forced the lens to close or tried to vibrate dirt out, I decided to down load the pictures on the camera.

Once I hooked up the camera to my Mac, and turned it, on the lens closed, and the problem completely resolved itself. Immediately took a few pictures and downloaded them also.

All seems to be working well. Might be fortuitous, but it worked. If it 'uncorks' anytime soon, I'll update

I think that you have nailed it... I had this experience with my ZS50 - less than a year old.  I use a PC, but same idea - when plugged in the USB cable to the computer I did it with the camera off (so it wanted to charge) but then turned it on, it extended the lens then retracted it when it switched to USB mode. (normal behavipr)  When I unhooked the cable, it worked correctly (and continued to do so when I tried turning it on and off)  Highly annoying... and clearly a software problem rather than a physical one.

ttulinsky New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Lumix DMC - TZ8 "SYSTEM ERROR (FOCUS)"

Same problem, different fix.

Note- this is for DMC-ZS40

I held the power button down for about 10 sec, twice, and that fixed it (so far at least, half an hour ago).

scoopsr New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . .

viviano wrote:

letmealone wrote:

Well it is not always as you say, sometimes some parts in a camera are badly designed and dont last as they should (i remind the dial selector in Fujis S9000-S9500 or the popping shutter button in the Sony DSC-H). This lens error reminds to me the E18 problem of some Canon cameras. Here it is a guide for trying to fix it, maybe it could be helpful even for this Panasonic:

http://www.e18error.com/repair.html

hey i also had this problem and my camera is just out of warranty. called panasonic 'helpline' and they werent very helpful, surprise eh? so i tried number 4 on the e18eror.com

"Try forcing the camera lens: Turn off the camera. Place it on the back with the lens facing up and take a look at the spacing between the lens and the lens housing. If you notice that the gap is not even all the way around the lens, the problem should be easy to fix. This type of a problem usually occurs if the camera was dropped while the lens was extended. Simply - VERY GENTLY - press down the lens on the side where the gap is the biggest. You should hear a "click" as it pops back into place. Try powering the camera back on. AND IT WORKED! thank you so much for your help and for saving me a £100 repair bill or cost of new camera!

Hoorah.  I just had the problem and pushed on the lens.  Never heard a click but it did even out.  After that the camera has functioned normally.  PROBLEM SOLVED.  Don't get to hear that often enough.

hemingray Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . .

ZS50 here, with the same issue. But the lens goes in and out, but shuts down without retracting it. I did the 10 second hold on the power switch - twice - and it seems to be working normally now, zooming, autofocusing etc. I would have to agree that I think there's some kind of software bug - especially when it's clearly capable of operating the lens, but turning off while it's extended.

I knew it could not be dirt in the barrel - it's not been out in adverse conditions and it's in a padded bag, which sits inside a padded bag. Pretty disappointing - not my favorite camera anyway....

Hope this helps someone looking for a fix.

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Olympus XZ-1 Canon PowerShot SD950 IS Olympus E-30 Olympus E-500 Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 +3 more
BCBird New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Don't blame the manufacturers . . . Or Maybe you should!!

You might, actually, want to blame the manufacturer. Would this be the first time a manufacturer made a mistake and would not admit it??

Anyway, the DMC-ZS50 did the System Error - Focus thing on me today after taking the camera off of charge. I tried the twice at ten second power button tactic - no joy. I would not push, tug, vibrate or otherwise accost the lens unless I worked for Panasonic. So I plugged the unit into my Mac to see if I could access it. First I removed the memory card as a "control", knowing it would not access any data. Well, the camera went through the normal cycle of enabling access, with the Pictures app showing No Pictures message. I then ejected the camera via the proper cycle. Well, heck: Now the darned thing works!

Software, software, software! This camera is babied - no dirt, no drops or bumps. It is three months old and I really like the picture quality it produces. I bought it as a small, powerful camera to use for hobby work and, if it proved tough enough, to accompany me on some long bike trips. Now I am having serious doubts and think I bought a stinker.

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