After previously owning several film cameras, I purchased my first digital camera in 2003–a Canon S230. It has the classic Elph form factor with a 2x zoom and 3.2 megapixel CCD. The body is stainless steel, heavy and solid-feeling. It still uses a Compact Flash card for storage, and the LCD display is tiny, only 1.5.” Unfortunately, it didn’t have any manual controls and I eventually outgrew it and purchased a Canon EOS 20D. The S230 went to my brother who didn’t have a camera.
Fast forward to this year. I can never have too many digital cameras, so I asked my brother if he was still using the S230. He said no, because it was broken. Taking a look at the camera, it appeared that the image sensor had gone bad. I assumed that was normal with older cameras–Sara’s first digital camera, a Canon A75, also seemed to have the same problem. I tried surfing eBay, looking for parts to repair the CCD, but most of the cameras I found also had bad image sensors. Dead end.
Curious about how much it would cost to have Canon repair the camera, I did a bit more searching and found an article about issues with a bad batch of Sony CCDs installed on quite a few digital cameras from multiple manufacturers, including both the S230 and the A75. Following the link, I was able to confirm that this is a recognized service issue with Canon. Furthermore, Canon would repair the affected cameras for free!
I called about Sara’s A75 first, and they emailed me a pre-paid shipping label. I sent the camera to a Canon service center in Illinois, and after a little more than a week it was returned, cleaned and repaired. Awesome. I sent in the S230 next, and it was the same deal. Both cameras were fixed for $0, even shipping was paid for. I could not be more impressed with Canon’s customer service on this issue. If you have, or know of someone who has, a Canon digital camera on the affected list with a bad CCD, I would highly recommend the free fix. As for my S230, I plan on using it as my cycling camera since it’s small and pretty rugged, in case I crash and land on it or something.