Fixing my Canon S40 digital camera

As I mentioned previously, I started having trouble with the sliding lens cover on my Canon S40 digital camera. After reading a bit on a forum about others successfully taking their cameras apart and fixing them, I went ahead and did it myself.

Pretty simple. Only took out 7 tiny screws – two on the left, two on the right, two on the bottom, and one underneath the rubber flap that covers the USB connector.

After carefully putting things back together, the sliding lens cover is still physically a bit wonky, but I can at least get the camera to turn on and work now – most of the time.

Here are some photos that I took (with my Treo) while I was doing it.

Taking apart a Canon S40

Removing two screws from the right side. Note that it is not necessary to remove the screws on the shiny metal part to which the strap attaches.

Taking apart a Canon S40

Removing two screws from the left side.

Taking apart a Canon S40

There are two screws on the bottom near the battery cover that had to be removed.

Taking apart a Canon S40

Here I removed a screw under the rubber flap near the USB port and started delicately pulling things apart.

Taking apart a Canon S40

Here is the camera with the back panel removed. It’s interesting to note that the LCD screen is a Sony.

Taking apart a Canon S40

Here it is with front removed. Note that there’s a ribbon cable there so be careful when you’re removing the front. I messed around a bit with the sliding lens mechanism to get it working better. Basically a tab on the lens cover pushes a little metal strip against another metal strip. It seems that the tab wasn’t always making good contact with the metal strip so I kind of bent it a little with a screw driver so that it would have a better chance of making contact. Hard to explain, but if you have this problem and you take apart the camera and get to this step, you can mess around with the lens cover and you’ll probably see how it’s supposed to work and what’s not quite working.

Taking apart a Canon S40

And here it is back together and working (the lens is extended). It doesn’t work every single time, but it works most of the time and I think applying a bit of downward pressure on the lens cover in the right spot will probably help it along and give it a better chance of working.

13 thoughts on “Fixing my Canon S40 digital camera

  1. hey! I have a problem with my camera (which is the exact same as yours). recently I took it to school and it fell out of my bag and when I tried to use it, everything seemed to be working except that the pictures are all black, as if the shutter was stuck shut. my friend is really into camera technology and he told me that before I buy a new camera, I should try to fix it. I know nothing about this! and, unfortunately neither does he since he has no experience with my kind of camera. I was wondering if you could help me. I would greatly appreciate it!! thank you so much,

    p.s. If you email me back, please use the subject “camera”. I know this sounds really stupid but I usually never open unfamiliar emails unless i know who it is. thanks!!

  2. THANK YOU so much for posting this info. my S30 will not turn on. it had been dropped once, but worked for years. I will try to open my camera now.

    – JANE

  3. Thanks… Just fixed my S40. Camera gets little use, but is nice to have on occasion. Didn’t want to throw it out and glad I didn’t. Working fine now!

  4. Pingback: Llama Llama » Camera - Fixed

  5. Pingback: Marc Abramowitz » Canon SD800IS

  6. Thanks for the info. I used it to open my S30 , remove the broken gear and get the camera usable again. Also saved myself $50. Thanks again !

  7. Brilliant – thanks to everyone who provided the instructions plus all the tips that make the difference between success and utter disaster! My S50 had exactly the same problem with one of the barrier gears split in half. The S50 parts list is a little different from other models:

    PS: there seems to be a Trojan attached to this page. My ZoneAlarm keeps blocking Trojan-Downloader.JS.Psyme.xx

  8. I have a canon s40 and went thru customs on a flight to germany. Since they scanned the camera, the lcd view finder shows only a bright steady light(entire screen) – no image. However, the optical view finder works. Any thoughts???

  9. Hi Gus,

    Could be a number of things like the LCD screen unit breaking, but one possibility is that the ribbon cable that connects the LCD screen to the rest of the camera came loose. It might be worth following the instructions in my post to take apart the camera carefully and inspect whether the orange (IIRC) ribbon cable is tightly connected. If it’s not that, then the prognosis is not as good I would think. You may be able to buy a replacement LCD unit, but not sure it would be worth it. If it were me, I’d try the ribbon cable and then if that didn’t work, I’d probably buy another camera. (In fact, I eventually gave up on my S40 because of problems with the sliding mechanism and now I have an SD800IS which I like a lot).

    Good luck!

  10. Thank you! Your instructions worked great for getting the front cover of my S40 off. When looking from the inside through where the lens goes through I see three screws that must attach the front cover itself to a metal slider tab. The tab and screws are covered by a plastic film. Did you ever remove your lens cover and to so did you cut through the film or did you peel it off? It looks like either way I’m committed to an irreversible step and so might as well get that one right. My lens cover has started to catch on something when I open/close it. It’s not clear if a grain of sand is in the mechanism or if the lock is not getting pulled back consistently.

    FWIW – I had disconnected the front cover ribbon cable to make it easier to work on the front cover. I saw that there was a battery in the front cover and, as expected, the camera powered up in Japanese with the date/time reset to 0000-00-00 00:00 and all of its settings except the file number/counter were reset.

  11. On my PowerShot S30, the multicontroller “SET” function does not work.. The Parts dept. told me that it is a part of the back cover. Can anyone verify this, and is it fairly simple to just replace the back cover?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.