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Canon issues product advisory for PowerShot S100

By dpreview staff on Jul 2, 2012 at 17:44 GMT

Canon has issued a product advisory for the PowerShot S100 compact camera. According to Canon, some cameras are prone to a lens defect which is caused by a component part coming loose in the interior of the lens. This is more likely to happen in certain environmental conditions such as high temperature and/or humidity. Canon promises to repair affected cameras regardless of the warranty status. This appears to be a separate issue to the lens decentering problems that plagued our experience with the S100 when we reviewed it late last year

To see which serial numbers of the camera are affected and to find out how to get in touch with Canon in your region please read the full product advisory on the Canon USA website.

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 49
By forzanopaolo (Jan 29, 2013)

my S100 presented this lens defect, and on november 1, 2012 the lens remained completely out and the camera stopped. Canon Italia asked me 188€ to repair asserting that the camera fallen down and that they are sure of it, have proofs. I'm sure that the camera didn't have fallen down, and requested the "proofs" of that. No answer, no camera. It's 3 months! Could you send me the Canon email address in Jp so I can send a complain?
I appreciate!

By davincisr (Dec 31, 2012)

My 5 months old s100 failed with lens error. I am on a vacation! Dp does not allow me to use swear words. I have been a canon supporter for the past 5 years having bought 3 cameras. I doubt if I any longer will be one. Yet to contact customer support.

By Silv3rGirl (Dec 28, 2012)

I purchased the S100 in May 2012. It is outside of the serial range (43xxxxxxxxx) but yet I still had the lens error. What I found really upsetting is that it happened while I was vacationing in Italy in October 2012 and I missed all the shots of my engagement. I ended up purchasing the canon sx240hs while in Italy because it used the same battery as the S100 It took me 3 days to find when I finally located a BestBuy like store called Saturn in Florence.

Anyhow when I got back I sent the S100 to canon for repair and I only had to pay for the shipping cost to send it out. HOWEVER, when I got it back from canon the images on the LCD were grainy, the color was distorted and there was wavy lines panning down the screen. Now I have to send it back to canon again...

I've had several canon point and shoot cameras over the past 10+ years and this is the first time I had this many problems. If you want a camera that you can actually use you might want to look at your options.

canons100 Broke notRepair
By canons100 Broke notRepair (Sep 25, 2012)

Btw, I just found out that my camera is among the bad batch of serial number - 30xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. I bought mine in October 2011.

canons100 Broke notRepair
By canons100 Broke notRepair (Sep 25, 2012)

Mine S100 only last less than 6 moths... The lens error appeared while I was in St Petersburg, Russia back in May. I was so upset!!! So when I got home, I called Canon and sent my camera in for the repair (still under warranty). Then I received the email stated that I would need to pay for the lens repair because it's out of warranty due to a tiny scratch and a tiny dent at the corner... the only reason you can see it because the camera is BLACK!!! I told them that the camera was still functioning and taking perfect pictures until I took LOTS of pictures while I was at the museums in Russia. I wonder if my taking so much photo in one day causes the lens not to retract. At first, it was on and off retracting and I kept on trying to continue taking more pictures since it was my once in a life time trip. But no luck! :( I still have the broken camera and it's still under 1 yr. I really like Canon camera until this incident... Canon, can you please fix or replace it?!?
Thank You!

By skisagooner (Aug 28, 2012)

The Canon Malaysia site with the similar message:

I have one of the cameras affected with the lens error, and I won't be pleased if they offered anything less than a full replacement, a camera out of the affected serial number range.

It's not fair that two people can pay the same amount of money for the same camera, but one has a defected one and the other hasn't.

Kudos to Canon for acknowledging the issue and offering repairs, but repairing it isn't enough considering how many people has sent it for repairs more than once for their defected cameras.

Follow up with my repair experience of the S100 in this thread:

By tenstripe (Jul 12, 2012)

I bought my S100 in June and it starts out with 43xxxxxx... It's working ok after 5 or 6 shoots.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
The A-Team
By The A-Team (Jul 10, 2012)

Yep, lens failure here...

By CameraLabTester (Jul 9, 2012)

I just read the One Star reviews of this camera on Amazon.

It will give you the creeps like a horror movie, sending shivers down your spine.

I can almost imagine the tears of frustration from those who have posted about their sad experience with this camera and Canon's service to these people.

If you want to have an alternative rather than reading a Stephen King book, I suggest you read the One Star reviews of this camera on amazon.

Sometimes, real life events are more spooky than fiction.


By ofquiet (Jul 6, 2012)

Yep, this just happened to me last month, while I was in the middle of a month-long bike trip in the mountains. Canon fail.

By DjarumBlack (Jul 5, 2012)

I was thinking about buying one for my girlfriend for her birthday. I guess not now. I might be able to get one that has a serial number after 41xxxxx....

Rather a shame, she liked it.

Alpha Phil
By Alpha Phil (Jul 5, 2012)

Another customer sponsored Beta test.

1 upvote
By marcus550 (Jul 5, 2012)

My S100 failed after three months, luckily not while on vacation in the Maldives! It has been a great camera and the Canon underwater case is my third such setup from them in 8 years. I doubt the temperature had anything to do with the failure. We were at dinner in San Francisco when the lens failed to retract. This is after 3000+ pictures, above and below water. Canon repaired it and sent it back. It arrived a day before this e.mail notice that S100 lens system has a fatal flaw. I'm now worried it will fail again, so my confidence is shaken!

By feinschmecker (Jul 4, 2012)

That's it, I'll switch to Leica.

By macgee (Jul 4, 2012)

I use them for work and have had them repaired twice. Luckily I was in India at the time and only cost me $30 to repair/replace parts.

I have the G9 & G12. The G9 was awesome but it too succumbed to the lens error jam, it was a favorite.. The G12 is too big to carry around and the s100 had better video. The G9 also had really good video and stabilizer.

I wish I knew about this earlier as it just happened again to me in Europe and finally gave the s100 to one on my employees who was going back to India. Living here in the States I figured it was going to be too expensive to repair as oppose to buying a new one.

It's painful to have the lens half open leaving me no choice but push forcibly the lens back in. This will work if you have no choice and it will ultimately break the worm gears in the camera but only do this if you have no other choice and understand the camera is already screwed but if you need to get a couple of more pics/sessions out of the camera then this could work.

By TOMASZKIDA (Jul 3, 2012)

Hi People.
Please upload ang give some tips on

By iudex (Jul 3, 2012)

I see Canon S100 in the title and think to myself: oh, some new firmware, thats fine. Instead, to my dissapointment I read about possible defect of my camera. Not a kind of news I want to read about my 410 eur camera. :-(

1 upvote
By Xiaomao (Jul 3, 2012)

Does anyone know if this issue happens to S95? Thanks! My S95 seems to have been working normally up to now.

By jon404 (Jul 3, 2012)

Good service policy, as the post below notes.

But God help Canon, if these S100s are melting down across the country in the US heat wave right now!

1 upvote
Thomas Richter
By Thomas Richter (Jul 3, 2012)

Tape - again?

Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (Jul 3, 2012)

I don't own any Canon cameras, but this shows they have a lot of class.

Too many companies are so utterly clueless, if not out right careless in how they handle these situations. A a consummer it's nice to know there are still a few companies that don't skirt the issue. Kudos to Canon!

1 upvote
Anonymous Gerbil
By Anonymous Gerbil (Jul 6, 2012)

Hmm, the SD700IS was their first IS pocket camera and I knew 4 or 5 people who had one, including myself. I think almost every one of those cameras got a jammed lens, often rather quickly. I took one apart and found something jammed in the gears which appeared to me to be too large to have entered the camera during operation. So you could say that Canon has experience with this area!

Its nice that they will fix the issue, but they get no kudos from me.

By redsquare (Jul 3, 2012)

I had one of the '29' S100s (bought it the moment it first came out last Oct.), and a couple weeks ago it developed the dreaded lens error (first time I've ever had that with a Canon). After a couple weeks at the warranty-repair shop that Best Buy sends 'em to, they suddenly came back this past weekend with the message to do an exchange and give me a new one.

I thought about jumping to another brand, but then I thought about the terrific photos and wonderful interface of this camera. It really is an elegant and powerful tool. Handling the other brands, their interfaces felt childish and clumsy. So it's back to the S100 again for me - with a s/n outside the trouble range. Wish me luck.

1 upvote
photo perzon
By photo perzon (Jul 3, 2012)

Canon is so considerate. Fuji x100 does not even respect warranty past the first owner not even inside the 12 months!!! Canon should learn from fuji!!! And many Fujis get the sticky syndrome where the camera is stuck at f2.0!!!

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
Michael Gunawan
By Michael Gunawan (Jul 3, 2012)

"Canon should learn from fuji!!!"
you mean the other way around, right ?

photo perzon
By photo perzon (Jul 3, 2012)

No need for Canon to offer great service, look at how people live Fuji when it disrespects warranties on a defective product and now charges $ 700 to fix the Fuji X100 sticky syndrome. But Fuji cannot make enough!

By Davidal (Jul 2, 2012)

I got a "lens error" on my 18 month old S95, prohibiting the camera to even turn on. This happened out of the blue - no shock nor anything - last week. I've contacted Canon: in total, with shipment, it'll cost me 150 Euros ( 200 $) Might as well throw it away. That's how Canon encourages you to go to the S100, which apparently suffers the same mis-conception so you'll go to the S105 in 2 years?? What business model is that? I feel so embarrassed to have recommended the S100 to several friends!

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
By gulati (Jul 2, 2012)

I'm reasonably pleased with my S95. Maybe the S105 will be interesting enough to warrant a L@@K!

By keeponkeepingon (Jul 2, 2012)

So all of the cameras in the published serial number range have this defect, but canon won't do anything until the camera actually fails?

Shame on you canon. Do the right thing and fix cameras with the problem.

I paid top dollar for the best of the best, not something more likely to fail in certain environmental conditions.

By CameraLabTester (Jul 2, 2012)

Canon... tsk tsk tsk

Just STOP using cheap malleable plastics for your cogs in the lenses.

Your newest EF-S 18-55 IS II lens is also one of those...


Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By Gesture (Jul 3, 2012)

Yes. At the price points these modern digital lenses go for. Maybe not the kit lenses, but $300, $400, $500 is nothing these days for a digital SLR lens. Use the best materials for cogs, mounts, etc. If a metal mount is better, use it. If plastic is better, use the best designed one. How much is really saved versus warranty issues and customer dissatisfaction. This is why manual lenses are going for so much in resale.

By fotokeena (Jul 4, 2012)

They don't make them like they used to, that‘s for sure。

By Khizer (Jul 2, 2012)

I live in Dubai, and bought the Canon S100 from in February 2012. The camera developed the infamous lens erros in April. The camera is under US warranty. When I contacted Canon USA they said I could not have it repaired in Dubai under the warranty, and that I need to send it to the US factory address. They also said I could not send it directly, and need to send it to a friend in USA who will have to send onward to Canon USA. Canon will repair the lens and return the camera to my contact, who will then have to courier it to back to Dubai. I have had the camera repaired in Dubai at a cost of $300. As the lens problem on S100 is now an acknowledged design error, shouldnt Canon pay for the repair expense?

By Helena777 (Jul 2, 2012)

I believe that compliance with warranty and receipt of the article in USA was to be managed by BHphotovideo as an intermediary with Canon USA. IMHO.

By garyknrd (Jul 2, 2012)

I just looked at the reviews on Amazon. What a dog. Glad they did the right thing.

By Then4 (Jul 2, 2012)

Honesty lasts longest ... Bravo Canon.

By AbrasiveReducer (Jul 2, 2012)

Just good customer service from a huge, well-run company. Canon is simply so large they can afford to do this and the way they crank stuff out they have enough inventory to easily make the swap. As for honesty, this sounds like something that customers will definitely notice so there really isn't any option except to say a problem has been found.

By wellred (Jul 2, 2012)

Nice of DP review to give this story some exposure. A similar article would have been nice prior to Canon acknowledging the issue and might have helped speed this all up.

By onlooker (Jul 2, 2012)

Canon's solution to a design defect? "exchange affected cameras regardless of the warranty status". Other companies listening?

Steve Balcombe
By Steve Balcombe (Jul 2, 2012)

And that's within a week of announcing new/improved features for 7D owners, completely free of charge via a firmware upgrade. This is not the Canon we know...

By happypoppeye (Jul 2, 2012)

The Canon page says nothing about exchanging, only DPR ...they do say they will repair them though.

Interpretation is a bitch, hey.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Jul 2, 2012)

@happypopeye - quite right, sorry about that. I've just edited the news story to correct this ambiguity. Out of warrantee cameras with this issue will be repaired not necessarily replaced.

By Boerseuntjie (Jul 2, 2012)

Maybe they can use the same black tape to fix it, just like the Canon 5D MKIII

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
By happypoppeye (Jul 2, 2012)

You the man Barney...I love pointing the typos out sarcastically but am glad you guys fix them.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
By Braxton7 (Jul 2, 2012)

"This is more likely to happen in certain environmental conditions such as high temperature and/or humidity" Well if they sold a lot of them around here there is going to be some *repaired* ones for sure :)

By pcworth (Jul 3, 2012)

I was really excited about the S100 right up to the point that it came out and dpreview reviewed it. I've spoken to a number of people who own it and "like it," but do not "love" it. It has a really great sensor, but a pretty awful lens for its category. The same, I feel, is true of the G1X. Why did Canon decide to leave the door open and not put great lens on it? Even if they got the telephoto end down to f/4 ish I would have been excited, but to give it an f/5.9 to f/8 at the tele does not strike me as a camera that fits the market segment.

I thought that maybe I was asking to much and had unrealistic expectations, but then there is the Olympus XZ-1 and now the Sony RX100. Unless Olympus releases an upgrade to the XZ-1 in the next few weeks, I think that the RX100 is in my future. It ticks of pretty much everything I want.

As a long time Canon user, this is quite a moment for me.

Winston Loo
By Winston Loo (Jul 3, 2012)

Panasonic is rumored to be releasing the LX7 soon. Similar sensor to the RX100.. maybe you want to wait for that..

By olyflyer (Jul 3, 2012)

@happypoppeye, there is a feedback page:

My experience is that DPR corrects the errors quite fast even without sarcastic public comments. Considering the amount of text on DPR I am very pleased with the contents and that the number of errors is really few. OK, admittedly I don't read everything, but a whole lot, and I do sent feedback if I find any errors.

Just open any newspaper... they are full of typos and other factual errors.

By fotokeena (Jul 4, 2012)

I think Canon is doing this due to increased stiff competition, it's do or die.

Total comments: 49