It will normally not take a photo until it can focus. If there's a problem with the lens focus motor or electronics then the camera wont take a picture.
You can test by changing the lens to manufal focus mode (there's an AF/MF swtich on the lens iteself (not on the camera) that will let you switch to manual focus mode). If it takes photos in manual focus mode then you almost certainly have a lens problem and your camera is probably fine.
The lens focus system has moving parts, the camera's part of the focus system has no moving parts. So a failure in the focus system is almost always in the lens.
If you have another lens, you could easily just try swtiching lenses to confirm the suspicion.
Ebiggs1, I tried that and it still didn't work. I will try again today.
TCampbell, I also changed it to MF and it did take a picture. This lens is new. Can it already be failing? Do you think Best Buy will exchange it? It came with the camera in a kit. It's a bigger, additional lens that what the camera comes with.
Another possibility is that the lens is working but the camera just isn't getting enough light. Where are you trying to take pictures, and what are your settings for ISO, aperture, and shutter speed?
Okay, I just tried with the regular lens. It does take pictures but everything looks blurry in the viewfinder; the picture looks fine in the lcd screen, though.
That means the viewfinder needs to be focused. There is a tiny wheel on the right side of the eyecup which adjusts focus ONLY for the viewfinder image (not the camera focus). To adjust, point the camera at a plain white wall and when you look through the viewfinder ignore the wall... Just look at the sharpness of the focus points you see in the display. Rotate the dial until the the etched focus points look sharp.
The he camera projects an image onto a focus screen (sort of like a rear-projection TV screen). But if the diopter adjustment is out of focus for YOUR eyes then you will see a blurry image even if the camera focus is accurate.
The fact that one of your lenses will focus but the other will not implies that the non-focusing lens is defective. If this were a camera issue then neither lens would be able to focus.
What is the "regular lens" and what is the one you are having issues with?
if the problem lens is a telephoto, it is possible you are too close to the subject. Lenses have a minimum focusing distance.