My wife has a Canon G11 purchased in April 2010. This was purchased through a legitimate B&M store for ~700.

It has recently developed a spot on the Lens/sensor (it comes into focus when zoomed in and out of focus when zoomed out). We took it to canon and the said the spot is in the lens and the whole lens unit needs to be replaced. Which would cost about $250. It is unfortunate as this camera has been looked after very well, kept in a case when not used and used infrequently. Other than this issue the camera works fine, but spots on photos are a large issue.

Is it worth doing? I object to having paid 700 for a camera to last 2 1/2 years. The lens cant be cleaned, only replaced. They said its a sealed unit, well if it is sealed how did the dust get in.

The biggest issue is that even if we got this camera fixed the problem is quite possible to recur. Has anyone else had this issue, I am afraid that the G12/G1X suffer from the same design flaw.

If I need to find a replacement which would be an equivalent mirrorless camera (not Canon unfortunately)?

Forgive me as I dont want this to be a troll post!

In essence my two questions are - worth the risk to pay $250 to replace the lens (the rest of the camera is perfect) If not - which would be a preferable (non-canon) equivalent replacement?

Update Have lodged a complaint with the Office of Fair trading. (Here in Australia they deal with consumer complaints). We will see where it end up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Did Canon tell you if it is dust particle or mould that is in the lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gapton
    Nov 7, 2012 at 3:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's just easier for them to replace the lens. It's probably doable to clean the lens and charge a little bit less but they don't want to. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBking
    Nov 7, 2012 at 3:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ They said dust particles, but that was just a cursory glance. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2012 at 4:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BBking If it's easier to replace the lens than to clean it, it's a good bet that cleaning would cost more, not less, than replacing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Mar 9, 2013 at 21:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb Well, it's certainly case by case. And I'll have you know, that in some cases, the part (in this case, a major part) is more expensive than labour. It's easier to quote and not dismantle the unit to check the severity of the damage because after a lens replacement, you can guarantee it will be working. I never said, "In all cases it's cheaper to clean". Did you quote and inspect this camera in question? Have you differentiated the cost difference in cleaning and replacing the lens? No. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBking
    Mar 11, 2013 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


All brands of camera produce bad copy of a model. Maybe your G11 was a bad copy, maybe there was an accident that you were not aware of that has somehow forced the dust/particle into the lens.

Anyway, I won't go so far to say avoid all Canon products. It is like saying "I won't buy anything Apple makes!" when you drop your iPhone for the first time and the screen has cracked. While other people might have dropped it a dozen times and the screen held up perfectly.

Bottom line is:

Option One : pay $250 to get a repaired camera, which you like and know how to use


Option Two : pay around $500, to get a brand new camera that you may or may not like

I'd say go for the cheaper option, and be sure you get something you actually will enjoy using, instead of hunting for something that may disappoint you while paying twice as much.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree in paying something to save waste and to keep something you know and use. I'll also add that a $250 camera now probably won't have the same image quality as the G11. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBking
    Nov 7, 2012 at 3:37
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to check with some mobile repair shops who generally have a device which moves dust using static. I have seen it being used to move dust below mobile screens. Not sure it will work but worth a try. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2012 at 5:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks - asked around repair shops. All reply the same...need to replce whole lens assembly. All quote more than Canon. Very frustrating. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2013 at 11:27

Buy a lens assembly online for about $60 and have a go of replacing it yourself. My G11 lens has jammed up and I plan to do this. Or buy a brand new G16 which retails for under $500

  • \$\begingroup\$ Did/will you get the parts off ebay? The selector dial has died as well. We are looking for a new camera as she doesnt use it all that much, but I will stay away from Canon, I have no confidence in the build quality. We have an old pentax (originally around the same price) from 2003 that still going strong and a DSLR from Nikon (albeit a higher level camera (D80)) that took a few knocks and has been replaced for a new full frame. Still works well. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 24, 2014 at 2:49

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