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PowerShot SX120 IS randomly turning off, lens won't always retract


My great Canon PowerShot sx120 acting weird:(

Hi I have an older Canon Powershot sx120.i am original owner..It has been such a great camera for a long time ,,without any issues. I've done photography for a long time and I'm familiar with all kinds of cameras and for a small digital camera this one does so great.!!,    BUT.. first let me say,, it is not the batteries absolutely,, I have brand new sets of rechargeable batteries and I've tried all kinds of batteries recently....... all of a sudden it has started turning itself off ,when I turn it on, it's never done this before. I turn it on and sometimes the lens will come out, and I will be able to take a couple pictures and then it will turn itself right off. Then sometimes I can't get it to come on again, eventually after trying many times ,it will come on again. Sometimes the lens won't retract and go back in when I try to turn it off, and sometimes when I turn it on the lens goes back and forth a few times. And if it lets me take a few pictures then it turns itself off right away again. It just started doing this out of nowhere,, and I am  open to any ideas or suggestions what it could be? It seems like it might have something to do with the lens not moving right? Or some kind of failure in the circuitry or something but I am not sure. I could get a new camera but to be honest, I'm older person, and I already have some older camera equipment I could use, but this was such a handy easy camera to use and I've loved it so much and it takes great pictures.. any suggestions would be helpful thanks very much



Thanks for letting us know what Canon product you've got. The PowerShot Sx120 IS is an older model which we have retired. While that means that Canon USA no longer offers direct support for it, your friends here in the Canon Community are welcome to offer suggestions!

You can also speak with a Canon Upgrade Program specialist to help you score a modern replacement that would meet your current needs at a discount. You can reach them weekdays and Saturdays at 1-866-443-8002.

Hope this helps!

Thanks Danny I'm usually very good at figuring out what's wrong with the camera but this has me baffled LOL so I just thought I would ask here to see if I could keep continuing to use this camera. As I really really like it and it is always suited my needs right now. But since no one's replied to me probably no one knows why either and the camera might just be going bad. I did call Cannon and they were not very good at suggesting what other camera along these lines they just said study all the models and study all the differences. Which I can already do myself LOL. And the problem is there's so many models since my sx120 I just want one similar to this with the basic needs but of course there's probably at least 15 models since then. So it's hard to tell all the differences between them all and which one would be good for what I want to do that's what I'm having trouble deciding I also don't want to spend $450 on a new camera this size. So it's hard to figure out what to get now:-( anyway if you have any other suggestions thanks for the reply I so appreciate it!


I have the exact same problem with mine! I really do like this camera a lot, so I don’t want to replace it or get a new one, but I also know that a repair would be pricey. I didn’t drop mine or anything, it just randomly stopped working one day, and I’ve tried everything. Let me know if you find a solution, I’m not ready to part with it. 😓

Actually, it's not just a matter of affording service: it's so old that service is no longer available for this model, so it's a write-off.

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

You are right to feel that way ! I was having so much trouble deciding on another Power Shot to order it but I finally broke down and ordered the power shot sx160. This past week from eBay. Someone had one and it was brand new in the box never been used.. I picked out this one because as you know, it was so so similar to the sx120 but had a little more zoom and it still used the double a batteries. Body style similar and everything so I thought it would work out good. But after using the camera for a few days I've been really unhappy LOL 😞 it is slower and whenever you take a picture no matter how you have the setting set, the shutter takes like two full seconds that you have to be totally still or else it will be blurry. I don't know why it should need a Time exposure like this in the middle of the bright day but it needs it all the time. Never had this problem with the sx120 it was fast, always fast even in low light it was great. So actually I'm not sure if there's something wrong with the one I got, or it's just a slower lens, still no reason for it to need a Time exposure like that in the middle of the daytime. And so now I know how you feel. So I have to go about either sending this back within 14 days, try to get money back then I would have to start all over from scratch and I really just don't know what to get at this point. I also would like to contemplate if I could just get my SX 120 fixed as I really love it so much but I'm sure the local camera repair where I live would probably charge an arm and a leg to fix it LOL but I might call them and ask anyway, it never hurts to ask. I can let you know what happens in the next few days 🙂

Hey I did find a solution if you want to read my post that I posted in this topic right below you will see my reply there 🙂


It's 15 years old. These things just die eventually. Nobody fixes them.

I'm not against getting another camera it's just I wanted to get something similar in the Power Shot range. And there are so so many. Read my above post I actually got an sx160 I thought it would be great be similar to the one I got but maybe even a little better. But it is acting like a very slow lens not a fast camera it takes almost like a full 2 seconds for every shot I take and you have to hold still or else it's blurry and this is in the middle of a bright day. If you have any other suggestions cuz I might return this sx160 and then I'm still at a loss of what else to get or try. I would appreciate any advice or suggestions on different camera now and I'm open to hearing suggestions! Thanks very much I appreciate it


Hi to everyone in here who tried to help me and to the other person who wanted to know if I found a solution 🙂 not only did I find a solution but it was easier than I thought we had a great old camera repair place here in San Diego. It was just the lens. He was able to get me another lens pop it in. Super reasonably priced and I actually traded him something I had from my old Nikon camera and he accepted my trade. So not only did I get that one fixed and it works great! But I ended up buying off ebay, another Canon PowerShot sx160 though. That one works great but they are both a little better at certain things so now I have both and I'm happy right now 🙂