Thursday, 27 January 2011

Canon Ixus 90 is camera sand damage

This Canon camera had been left on the beach overnight and would not start up due to the lens being jammed. Everything was very gritty, not good.

I pulled the camera apart, not difficult but due to the intricate nature of its construction not a task to be taken lightly.

There were two motors associated with the optics, one appeared to be for zoom, the other focus. The zoom was a good place to start, some of the gearbox it drives was exposed allowing you to observe it moving, or in this case to let sand in and jam it up. There was also an access opening to drive the gearbox by hand, a nice touch. To get to this properly the optics assembly had to be removed from the camera which involved total dissassembly as the two screws holding it in are obscured by the battery housing.

The manual drive was reluctant and time consuming to move due to the sand in the mechanism, however the lense protection cap started to peek open and the lens extend.

At this point I decide to drive the motor directly with a PSU as it was so time consuming, set to 4v and a modest current limit I applied power and it drove all the way out, this was probably more oomph than the camera would normally apply.

Driving it manually in and out it steadly became more responsive, it didnt sound great though.

I re assembled the camera to see if it would now wake up, it did !

All was not good though, the live image would constantly change brighness with a loud click (sounded like the aperture opening and closing), if you tried to take a shot it would try to focus, make a grining sound and fail to make focus, zoom would work though.

At this point I decided to call it a day. The time and effort required were just not worth it. The optics assembly could in theory be stripped and the contamination removed but I was very confident the camera would never be 100% again which is kind of important if you want it to take good quality pictures.

Filed under unsuccessful but an interesting teardown anyway.


  1. Hello, I love reading through your blog, I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wish you best of luck for all your best efforts. Planetary Gear Boxes, Reduction Gear Boxes.

  2. Hi,
    since you didn't manage to repair it, and in case you still own it,
    is there a change that you could give it away for spare parts?
    I have the same camera , and mine is operating ok but the housing is in awfull shape...

    1. The camera was not mine and was returned to its owner. Unfortunately it was thrown away following my diagnosis ! otherwise I would have gladly sent it to you.

    2. I'm sorry to hear that...
      Thanks anyway!