Canon A620 Camera Malf while Backcountry Skiing

Post by blogger | November 17, 2006      

We’ll, after more than a year of abuse we finally found a Canon A620 weakness. It was cold the other day in the backcountry, and my new Black Diamond Covert pack didn’t have external camera storage so I stuck the A620 in the vest pocket of my soft shell. It appears freezing water vapor condensation from my torso kept the lens cover from opening all the way. I could make it open by gently pushing with a finger, but kept forgetting. And since the viewfinder doesn’t look through the lens nothing reminded me that the shot would be wrecked (I wasn’t using the LCD to check the shots, though I could have). I wish the built-in lens cover things were removable and you could just use a simple lens cap. Perhaps a camera technician could remove them… At any rate, we missed some good shots — lesson learned.

Note: this camera doesn’t have any unusual problem with moisture. We left an A620 (not this one) buried in the snow on a mountainside for six months and w’ere still using it. Key with all cameras is storage away from water vapor.

Backcountry skiing camera problem.
Shot ruined by Canon A620 malfunction. Focus and exposure were off as well, presumably because of the blocked lens. With any camera in the winter backcountry it’s good to use some sort of storage that keeps it away from body moisture. For small point-and-shoots I simply mount a tiny camera case somewhere on the pack shoulder straps or waist belt. Gotta get that done on the new pack. So much snow — so little time…


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7 Responses to “Canon A620 Camera Malf while Backcountry Skiing”

  1. ted November 17th, 2006 3:07 pm

    not an isolated problem- that happens to our A520 regularly, pretty much out of the box. tons of lost shots this past year. we’re reluctant to send it in for repair as we waited too long and the warranty has expired so we just try to remember to push it open.

    we usually forget

  2. Derek November 21st, 2006 8:45 pm

    Same here. The lens doors on one of my two A620s stick with regularity. Annoying, to say the least.

  3. Lou November 23rd, 2006 1:58 pm

    I’m up for some experiments on this as I’ve got two A620s and can mess with one. Perhaps just some pure silicon spray would do the trick. As it is, nudging them with a finger seems to work fine. The problem is forgetting to do it, as I did. Best would be to just remove the stupid things. Perhaps I’ll try that. Also, it’ll be interesting to see if the A640 is as prone to this. No camera is perfect — I still favor these guys.

  4. Andrew February 5th, 2007 3:42 pm

    I am going through the same thing with my A620. It started sticking a few months ago, and eventually got so bad I sent it in. They say they want $85 to repair it (less than 6 months old), claiming there is “sticky substance on the mechanism”. I certainly did not get anything on it, so am going to fight them on that, and will not pay for repair. It was in mintcondition going in to them. It’s a known problem which they won’t acknowledge. If I have to get it back “as is” from them, I will be trying to fix it (maybe with acohol) or disable it myself. Has anyone had any luck with this? I would also like to try a removable lens cover, and was wondering if anyone has tried that too.

  5. Lou February 5th, 2007 6:47 pm

    They seem to loosen up with age so long as they don’t get bent or dirty, that seems to have happened with our A620s. I just got an A640 and have not had the problem, and have used it in super cold conditions.

  6. T. D. February 7th, 2008 6:06 pm

    I am very upset also at Canon. Both my A640 and A620 malfunctioned in the exact same way. The mechanical lens cover has simply failed and the result is that both my cameras are essentially inoperable.

  7. Lou February 7th, 2008 6:19 pm

    I’ve found that all you have to do is take a look at the lens when you turn the camera on, and if the cover doesn’t open all the way just push it open with your finger.

    Did anyone ever figure out how to remove or disable the thing?

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