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What should I do about Canon PowerShot “Lens error, restart camera”?

I have a PowerShot SX20is that started to throw this error out of the blue:

Lens Error Restart Camera

Any suggestions what can be done here?

  • 4
    Can you provide some additional information? What kinds of things were you doing when the error appeared? Does restarting fix it/not fix it? What have you tried to do to fix it so far? The more information you provide us, the better equipped we can be to help. :)
    – jrista
    Oct 22 '10 at 2:25
  • Restart the camera? Dec 19 '11 at 8:52

Oh boy. That error happened to me on a Powershot SX100 is some weeks ago. I visited several web sites like this one but wasn't able to fix it by myself, so I ended up buying the same camera you have (was also an excuse to buy a new one), and pray it doesn't happen again.


If the camera is still in the warranty, you should return it. There does not seem to be a real fix for that issue.


Try removing the camera's battery. Also read the camera's manual to see if it has a secondary 'watch' style battery hidden away somewhere too. If so, remove that too.

Leave the camera well alone for around 1 hour. Replace (if you had it) the watch battery, followed by the main battery. Then turn the camera on and see if it did the trick.

I cannot guarantee that this will work for you, but when my EOS 7D was experiencing really weird issues, this is what I did and for whatever reason completely fixed the problem!

Also, ensure that the camera and lens - as far as possible - is clean and free from dirt before you put the batteries back in.

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