G11 - control wheel question

Started Jun 26, 2011 | Discussions
ooman3 New Member • Posts: 3
G11 - control wheel question

I'm just getting started figuring out how to use my new (to me) Canon g11, but I think it may have a problem...

When the g11 is in Av or Tv mode the shutter speed or aperture scale image isn't always on the screen, I can turn the control wheel and the scal will only appear every few seconds, and when it does it's not very responsive. For example in Tv mode the "1/125" is there along the bottom, but I can turn the control wheel for a few revolutuions without anything changing, and the the scale will appear above the "1/25" and it may or may not increase or decrease as I turn the wheel.

Something's wrong - right? Shouldn't it be there as long as I leave it in either Tv or Av mode, and shouldn't it react as soon as I turn the control dial?

Thanks.

mikeval Senior Member • Posts: 1,205
Re: G11 - control wheel question

This is a known problem with the G11, and has been discussed at length in these forums. The scroll wheel doesn't scroll as well as it should, sometimes not changing the settings, or changing them a bit erratically. I have an 18 month old G11 with exactly the same prob. I have managed to live with it for a few months, but then it's my second camera and I tend to use it less and less nowadays. I have considered repair, but have no idea how much it would cost or if it would really solve the matter.

You have my sympathies, if it were my only camera and I had spent hundreds of pounds on it I would be furious with Canon.

To make matters worse, on mine the retractable lens cover has just started to scratch the front element - another known issue with this model - yet I have always handled the camera very carefully indeed and done my best to look after it. The G series has a good reputation, but Canon quality control sucks.

P.S. If you do a search of these forums you should find lots of others discussing the same problem and, perhaps, someone somewhere has found a solution. Good luck.

rsalles
rsalles Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Re: G11 - control wheel question

ooman3 wrote:

Something's wrong - right?
Thanks.

It´s wrong and you should get it fixed. Photography will not be fun like this.
I have a G-12 and it does not have this problem.
Regards
Renato

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Sylvain P Regular Member • Posts: 181
Re: G11 - control wheel question

Effectively, the G12 doesn't have this problem. Mine works perfectly.

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JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: G11 - control wheel question

So I guess those of us that bought a G11 are screwed and should go out and buy a G12 right? Yeah like I am going to do that. Screw me once shame on you screw me twice shame on me.

Canon needs to step up to the plate on this one and fix these damn cameras. I own a PS 620, 630, G5, and G11. Only the G11 has had significant problems. They (Canon) dropped a lemon and they need to make it right by their loyal fans.

It is my understanding that even when the control wheel is fixed by a service center it goes bad again in a few months. This points to a significant design error. The G series is supposed to be known for its durability, and its position as a pro-sumer unit.
Chronic hardware problems do not rate a pro-sumer rating.

Lets go canon, do a recall.

JimA

Stephenbw
Stephenbw Senior Member • Posts: 2,515
Re: G11 - control wheel question

I've been using a G11 for 2 years now and been a regular active poster in this forum all of that time. I have had absolutely no hardware problems with my camera and I don't recall numerous posts about the control wheel or anything else.

Sure there may have been a few people who have had a fault, that's the case for any electronic item, but I think that there are only a couple of very short threads on here discussing the control wheel, and I don't believe that there are any systemic faults with the G11.
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JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: G11 - control wheel question

Hi All,

The Control dial on my G11 stopped working altogether. I fixed it today. I removed the back by removing the small phillips screws that hold it on two on the bottom, four on the left side (two holding the strap bracket and two on the side panel. One screw right next to the preview button, one under the AV door, and one just below the right corner of the AV door. Once you take all these out, insert a very small flat blade screwdriver between the back panel and the body just aft of the right strap bracket. Pop the back off and pull it straight back. Now the only thing holding the back on is the ribbon cable to the control wheel module. Pop the little brown cap up to release the ribbon cable. Squirt the contacts of the ribbon cable and its socket. I removed the other cables nearby and squirted them also while I was in there.

Remove the clear plastic tape on the silver back of the contol wheel module, then take the four small phillips screws out. Pry out the module. Using your very small flat blade screwdriver insert and twist it so the back of the dial lifts from the front. This is so you can squirt some CRC electronic parts cleaner in there. Do it on all four sides and work the wheel back and forth and around real good. On my camera I noticed a definite change in feel to the wheel in that I felt much more positive click stops. I have a suspicion that some bogus grease was used in these wheels that caused the problems we are experiencing. I followed cleaning by squirting in WD-40 for lubrication.

Re-assemble in reverse of take down

My control dial now works perfectly.

Tips:

1: Use an ice tray to separate the screws. there are a couple of different sizes and it does matter where they go.

2: Replace the clear plastic cover with clear plastic packing tape.

3: Only use CRC QD electronics parts cleaner No. 05103 You can buy this at WalMart Some cleaners melt plastic, you do not want that kind of cleaner.

4: you must have a No. 1 Phillips to remove these screws.

What I have written here is for you who are not afraid to dig into things like this. If you are a klutz,do not attempt it.

I of course take no responsibility if you manage to destroy your camera, but this is the easiest repair that I have ever done on a camera. Very easy, very straightforward. Just make sure you have the right tools and work over a white well lit area. These screws are very small and easy to lose, so take the proper precautions.

JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: G11 - control wheel question

Oh Boy,you shouldnt have said that. Now yours is going to fail by the end of the week, guaranteed.

pointshooter Regular Member • Posts: 186
Try this

ooman3 wrote:

When the g11 is in Av or Tv mode the shutter speed or aperture scale image isn't always on the screen, I can turn the control wheel and the scal will only appear every few seconds, and when it does it's not very responsive. For example in Tv mode the "1/125" is there along the bottom, but I can turn the control wheel for a few revolutuions without anything changing, and the the scale will appear above the "1/25" and it may or may not increase or decrease as I turn the wheel.

Here is a work-around posting I found: http://www.carlchapman.com/photography-workflow/how-to-use-the-canon-g11-control-dial-in-an-underwater-housing/ It was written for using cameras in underwater housings, but obviously has applications out of the housing.

Basically, while holding the S button use the macro and flash (right and left) buttons as a substitute for the control wheel.

My control wheel only seems to be a problem when adjusting manual focus. I find the control wheel very inconvenient, even when it works OK. By applying enough pressure to rotate the wheel, I generally wind op operating a switch.

Not sure I would use WD-40 on a camera. It's quite potent, and can be used to free frozen nuts and bolts. Labelle lubricants used by modelers are made for plastics and other delicate parts.
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Editor Bob

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pointshooter Regular Member • Posts: 186
Then Try this

I virtually eliminated the problem on my G11, at least for a while, by turning off the camera and rocking the control wheel back and forth with my thumb for several seconds. Periodically turn the wheel a quarter turn or so and repeat the rocking motion. P, Tv, Av, and manual focus now adjust as advertised.

I have noticed that manual focus is still a bit erratic at zoom settings (i.e., greater than 6.1 mm). Keep in mind minimum focus is just under 20 inches at maximum zoom, 30.5 mm, so there aren't as many focus stops.
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JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Then Try this

Hi Pointshooter,

I am pretty sure that the problem in the control wheel of the G11 has to do with oxidation on the contacts within the ring assembly. What you have done by working the ring back and forth will probably work for a while, then fail again. I have not taken one of these assemblies apart,but it may very well be that there is an electrolysis problem going on inside. So far my fix of removing the back, prying the cap slightly away from the back of the control ring and spraying in electronic contact cleaner then following with WD-40 has worked very well on my camera. My ring now works better that it did even when brand new, so this leads me to believe that some inappropriate grease got into these contact wheels during assembly.

Taking the back off the G11, and removing the Control Dial assembly is really very simple, and is necessary to get the cleaner where you need it. If you think it will benefit many shooters I may do a photo illustration of the procedure and post it here. Let me know what you think.

Thanks, JimA

pointshooter Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Then Try this

JimAWG wrote:

Hi Pointshooter,

I am pretty sure that the problem in the control wheel of the G11 has to do with oxidation on the contacts within the ring assembly. What you have done by working the ring back and forth will probably work for a while, then fail again.

I think you're on to the root cause, i.e., dirt, lubricant, or oxidation of the contacts. I do expect the problem will reoccur if the control wheel isn't exercised regularly.

I have not taken one of these assemblies apart,but it may very well be that there is an electrolysis problem going on inside.

I'm pretty good with that sort of thing, I managed to remove and replace the back and front of a damaged A510, but am a little reluctant to try it with an otherwise serviceable $500 camera.

So far my fix of removing the back, prying the cap slightly away from the back of the control ring and spraying in electronic contact cleaner then following with WD-40 has worked very well on my camera.

My ring now works better that it did even when brand new, so this leads me to believe that some inappropriate grease got into these contact wheels during assembly.

I have used my share of control (tuner) cleaner over the years, and it is very effective. It probably has some lubricant together with the cleaner. Again, I would be very hesitant to use WD-40. Besides its lubricant properties, it is a penetrating oil and will free up rusted ball joints on a '63 Ford. No telling the effects it might have on the various materials in the camera.

Taking the back off the G11, and removing the Control Dial assembly is really very simple, and is necessary to get the cleaner where you need it. If you think it will benefit many shooters I may do a photo illustration of the procedure and post it here. Let me know what you think.

That would be something of a project - maybe a dpreview article - , and might be helpful, particularly if you can identify relative screw sizes, so they don't get mixed. Also, what happens with the flip-out LCD screen.

The thing that still remains a mystery to me is why the control wheel continues to be somewhat erratic when adjusting manual focus with the zoom extended. It works fine at 6.1 mm. It may be that, even with clean contacts, there is some sort of timing sequence between the control wheel and the focus processing routine in the camera.

Thanks, JimA

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JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Then Try this

Just checked, manual focus now works perfect too.

The LCD does not come into play when removing the back so that is not an issue. The only thing attached to the back is the control dial and its associated buttons. This is the one module attached to the body by a ribbon cable. The module is removed from the back by removing 4 miniscule silver screws.

There is a separate filler piece on the left side of the LCD just forward of the hinge.

The only thing that has to be popped out is the back right behind the star button.

You may be right about the WD-40 but so far no problems.

You are correct about the screws

I know what you mean about taking an expensive camera apart, but as I said, it turned out to be very simple and painless for much gain in this case. Canon has apparently put some thought into the design of this camera.

No second thoughts on this fix.

DavidPJ Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Then Try this

I repaired my 2 year old G11's dial today by following JimAWG's instructions. The dial works like new again and I can feel the wheel's detents much better now.

Thanks again JimAWG. Without your instructions there's no way I would have attempted this. I did as you said and carefully placed the screws in unique compartments in a plastic tray and labeled them. I found most of this repair fairly straightforward except for reattaching the ribbon cable. Once I understood how the connector's brown cover opened and locked then it was pretty easy.

As careful as I was, unfortunately one of those tiny silver screws was lost in the process. I have no idea how it could have disappeared. But, the assembly seems to be held just fine with 3 screws. I cut a small piece of clear packing tape to replace the old tape.

I used CRC QD Contact cleaner which leaves no residual and is safe on plastics. I did not use WD-40. I did not remove any other ribbon cables but I did tighten a few screws which I found to be lose. I also cleaned the viewfinder while it was totally exposed.

The real test will be to see how long this repair lasts. I rather not do this again too soon.

Dave
--
Canon Powershot G11
Canon Powershot A1100IS
Sony HDR-HC7 HD MiniDV Camcorder

JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Then Try this

Great Job Dave. I guess I overlooked the ribbon cable connection, but now that you mention it yes, this type can be a pain to hold while you snap the brown cover into place. I use a small hemostadt to do this, because you can really hold the cable flat and fully engaged, then you can swing the cover closed. I dont like tha fact that you dont know where that screw went, I just hope it is not inside the camera where it can short something out.

As far as the repair goes, mine is still fine after many months of operation, so I think that canon must have gotten a bad batch, or a wrong type of grease or something for some of the serial numbers.

Thanks for the Feedback Dave, and God Bless

DavidPJ Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Then Try this

Thanks Jim. I'm not happy about the missing screw either. However, I know it's not inside the camera because I set the body of the camera away from my work while I worked on the back cover. I honestly can't say if I removed 4 or 3 screws in the first place. If I can find some microscrews somewhere maybe someday I'll take it apart and clean it again and replace the missing screw. I wonder if I can buy them from Canon?

I'm so happy I was able to repair the G11. My Sony camcorder's presently at a repair shop for a problem I could not handle so I really didn't need another camera repair bill.
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JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Then Try this

Which screw is it? Maybe I have one kicking around here somewhere that will fit.

DavidPJ Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Then Try this

Jim,

It's one of the silver screws that holds the control dial/buttons assembly to the back cover. There should be 4 of them and I'm using 3 now. Thanks for the offer.

Dave

JimAWG wrote:

Which screw is it? Maybe I have one kicking around here somewhere that will fit.

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JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Then Try this

I thought it was one of the outer ones. I really wouldnt worry about that one unless the assembly gets sloppy, which I doubt will happen since you put three of them back in place, and the assembly is fairly well captured. Probably not worth taking her back apart for that one screw, and I would heve to take mine apart to size it. I will if I do the video, but since you made the repair with no problem, I guess the description I wrote was pretty clear except for the swing latch video cable and you cleared up that issue well.

JimAWG Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: G11 - control wheel question

I wrote a rather simple fix for this issue which you can find under my posts. The only thing that I will add is forget the WD40, and the ribbon cable has a brown latch which pops up to release the ribbon cable. clean the cable too, and hold the ribbon cable fully engaged with tweezers or a hemostadt, then close the latch. Do as dave did, use seperate cups for the screws, or lay dow the camera on a sheet of paper trace around it and place the screws accordingly. Screw length is important, and so is the cleaner you use.

I would clean all of the connections while inside the camera. As I recall there are two other ribbon cables with plugs.

Most impotant of all, take your time and use the correct sized screwdriver. Dont be a "Plier Mechanic"

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