Saturday, May 3, 2008

Canon Powershot S1 IS Recalled Due to Image Sensor Failure

Recently, a Canon Powershot S1 IS I have purchased three years ago started to have some image issues.

Instead of photos, purple streaks have appeared:

I first checked Canon's website for repair estimate,

Then I did a search for "Canon Powershot S1 IS recall", found it has been recalled by Canon regardless of warranty status.

From Canon's site:

Service Notice: CCD Image Sensor Advisory (Updated 10/31/2006)

PowerShot S1 IS

This Service Notice will update Canon U.S.A., Inc.'s previous CCD Image Sensor Advisory, dated October 6, 2005.

It has come to our attention that the vendor-supplied CCD image sensor used in certain Canon digital cameras and digital video camcorders may cause the following malfunction: When the product is used in recording or playback mode, the LCD screen and/or electronic viewfinder may exhibit either a distorted image or no image at all. While reports of this malfunction have been rare in the United States, we have determined that it may occur if the product is exposed to hot and humid environments.

Notice of Additional Affected Products:
As a result of our continuing investigation of this malfunction, we have determined that the 11 models listed below, in addition to the 16 models listed in our Service Notice concerning this malfunction, dated October 6, 2005, may be affected.

Affected products:
- Camcorders: ZR60, ZR65 MC, ZR70 MC, ZR80, ZR85, ZR90, ELURA 40 MC, ELURA 50
- Digital Cameras A60, A70, A75, A300, A310, S230, SD100, SD110, A40(*), A80(*), A85(*), A95(*), S1 IS(*), S60(*), S200(*), S330(*), S400(*), S410(*), S500(*)
*Models added as of Oct.31, 2006

It has been confirmed that the connecting parts of the internal wiring of the CCD used in affected products may become disconnected, especially if the affected products are stored or used in high-temperature and high-humidity environments. If this occurs, the signal is not output from the CCD normally in Shooting Mode, which may cause a distorted image or the absence of an image. This malfunction can be confirmed on the LCD monitor screen during shooting. The same malfunction also appears on the recorded image.

Canon's Response:
Effective immediately, and regardless of warranty status, Canon will repair, free of charge, the products listed above exhibiting the above-mentioned malfunction if Canon determines that the malfunction is caused by the CCD image sensor. Canon will also cover the cost of shipping and handling in connection with this repair.

U.S. residents are kindly directed to contact the Canon Customer Support Center for further assistance at 1-800-828-4040. Support hours are Monday thru Friday - 8:00 AM to 12:00 midnight; and Saturday 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (all times EST). Alternatively, if electronic support is preferred, please send your email to This information is for residents of the United States of America and Puerto Rico only.

If you do not reside in the USA or Puerto Rico, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused by this issue, and appreciate your understanding in this matter. Thank you for your support and patronage of Canon products.

I called the number & my camera will be repaired free of charge, even shipping will be covered by Canon.

Update: Since Canon Powershot S1 IS has been discontinued, Canon sent me a Powershot S5 IS as replacement!


  1. I have an A70 that had this same issue, that's awesome! Thanks for letting me know, Tian.

  2. Thank you for info - I have the same camera and same problem. I called Canon - it's true they pay for the repair plus shipping!!


  3. Titan,
    Thanks so much for the info and the links from your webpage, Just got off the phone with Canon and they are e-mailing me a UPS label to ship my S1 back to them . Thanks a bunch will let you know how it works out..

  4. Thanks for posting your find. Just got off the phone with Canon and they confirmed the free repair and are emailing me a return UOS label as well.

  5. I've got a three year-old A95 which did the same thing, and the Canon rep here in Greece is taking care of it-- no muss, no fuss. Kudos to Canon for fixing the problem, and thanks for your helpful website.

  6. Tian,
    Just got my S1 back from Canon in working order.
    Didn't get the upgrade that you did, but nice to see that this company values their customers... Future camera purchases will definitly have Canon on the list
    Again thanks for the info

  7. I am absolutely thrilled to find this thread! I love my Powershot S1 IS and it quit working earlier this year...exact same "symptoms" as described. I took it to a camera repair shop and they told me it was $200 to be fixed. I thought I could find a used one for that, so did a search and found this thread.

    I called Canon and sure enough...they are sending a prepaid UPS label and will fix at absolutely no cost to me, 10-15 business days.

    And to think I was ready to scrap this out on Ebay for a few dollars. I can't wait to get my baby back and start taking pics of all the wonderful Fall foliage!

  8. Thank you for the information on the Canon recall. I was about to purchase another camera, when I saw your postings. I called Canon this morning and they are paying for shipping and repair. Wonderful

  9. Your the man! I just called Cannon and they are sending me a UPS shipping label prepaid. I am so happy that you took the time to post this.

  10. December 10, 2008
    My PowerShot S1 IS had the exact same problem. Canon fixed it for free even though it was no longer under warranty. They even paid the shipping - both ways! There are very few companies who stand behind their products so well. That is why I have owned Canon cameras for over 35 years and will continue to be their customer.

  11. Thrilled to find all the info. My S1IS had the same problem. It is at least 5 years old. Called Cannon and they are sending UPS stuff for me to mail it in and will fix free of charge! Way Cool.

  12. 01/29/2009

    Even at this late date, my camera had the same problem. Called the Customer Service number, they sent the UPS labels. Shipped it on 01/21/2009, they received on 01/23/2009, and I received my camera back today. Repaired at NO charge. Thanks Tian & Canon

  13. Thank You for the post. I just was lucky to find this post and called and will send my Power shot S1is back.I really appreciate you taking the time to start this!

  14. I had this problem with my camera in 2007 and had it promptly taken care of through Canon. Another friend has it now, and I've referred her to Canon per this post. Thanks! My DH just got me a little PowerShot SD1100 IS for Christmas...just love it. Canon is a great company!

  15. This is a great posting.. i have the same camera with same probleam.. called canon and they are going to repair it free of cost!!!

  16. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH. My camera had this exact same problem and thanks to your thread, it will be fixed.

  17. Problem occurred March 26, 2009. I found this info and immediately called Canon. First experience with their service. They arranged shipping label same day. I sent it in Thursday the 26th.

    They emailed Monday the 30th confirming they'd received it and accepted the order and would work on it and ship it back. March 31 received email that it was being shipped via FedEx. Received Thursday April 2 around noon. Working just fine. Problem solved. Thank you Canon and for those of you who posted in regards to this issue.

  18. Have had my CanonPowershot for over 5 years and have never had an issue..and we use it a lot.Today I noticed the image in the display was all horizontal white lines. Went on the web, found the info, called the toll free number, the person on the other end was a pleasure to talk to,asked me a few questions about the camera and in less than 5 minutes, he told me I would be receiving my pre-paid labels and how to pack the camera. No wonder I love Canon Products so much

  19. You are awesome! Thanks for taking the time to post the S1 repair info.
    Canon repaired my Powershot S1 IS free of charge,and even paid for shipping to and from them.I got it back today, April 7,2009.The camera had the black lcd with purplish flickering symptoms that you and the other posters mentioned.They said they replaced the "optical assembly"
    Canon has impressed me with this.

  20. Yes, kudos to Canon for their "attempt" to act responsibly. However, since having my camera "fixed" under this service announcement, I've had to send it back 4 times for what seems to be a simple enough problem to fix, however each time I sent it back for the issues that have resulted from the initial "fix" and upon its return the performance of my camera has been on a steady decline.

    I'm actually on the 5th return but I can't afford to send it back just yet because my daughter has her High school graduation coming up SOON and so I'd rather "limp" through her graduation with hopes of possibly getting a few "passable" photos than sending it back now and not being able to take any photos at all.

    THIS HAS AND STILL IS "BY FAR" THE "MOST" FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCE I'VE EVER had to go through in my LIFE in terms of "trying" to have a customer service/product support issue addressed and for that SHAME on CANON.

    ...and YES, I’ve actually spoken to Canon rep(s) on several occasions Tech Reps, Supervisors and Customer Care rep “ALL” to no avail.

    The ONLY camera(s) I’ve EVER owned in my entire LIFE have been Canon but at this point I'm not so sure about that in the future, as I AM EXTREEEEEEMLY "FRUSTRATED" and DISAPPOINTED!!!

  21. @Le'O,

    I am very surprised by your experience. Especially considering all the positive feedbacks from other readers here.

    What is your camera model?

    What kind of failure are you experiencing with your camera?

    Have you checked if any other customers with same model had similar experience?

    Was your camera repaired by Canon or one of their contractor shops?

    Are you rough with your camera?

    After all you attempts, did you send a detailed letter/email to Canon corporate office to express your disappointment?

  22. Hi Tian, I too am very surprised as well a disappointed, especially that it has gotten this far "without" an effective resolution.

    My Camera is a PowerShot S1 IS and since the 1st return from the “CANON FACTORY SERVICE CENTER” I've been having issue with it auto focusing. At 1st it only seemed to be in low light situations, the AF Frame was not sensing properly (turning green to signify the camera was properly focused) and after the 3rd return I noticed that the problem was now manifesting itself in “normal” lighting conditions. I now have about a 50/50 chance of getting a half decent (properly focused) photo even in "normally" lighted conditions. This camera has been to Jamaica, Cancun, The Bahamas, Sporting events, Birthdays, you name it and I have "NEVER" experienced the level of FRUSTRATION that I have most recently with 'trying to take a half decent photo since the “CANON FACTORY SERVICE CENTER" "fixed" (if that's what you choose to call it) the initial problem.

    As for others experiencing this same problem, I haven't seen any such comments posted to this forum/blog nor have I received any such feedback but then again I did only recently post this "OUT OF MY SHEER and UTTER FRUSTRATION" !!!

    As for how I handle “ANYTHING” I own (from my shoes to my Home) and not just my camera, one rule applies - "You treat your stuff with care and in most cases within reasonable limits you'll NEVER be disappointed" and that I learned from my mother, so to that end this camera has been treated with "kid gloves" from the very 1st day I receive it (Brand new). It has "NEVER" been dropped or subjected to ANY harsh conditions and WHENEVER it's not being used it's stored away in a foam padded, moisture resistant camera case; so you tell me is that what one would consider reasonable measures ???

    With the last return to the "CANON FACTORY SERVICE CENTER" I sent what I thought to be a very cordial and detailed correspondence noting my ongoing problems and frustration and requested that the camera be replaced but yet here I am again.

    However I have not been able to find an address for their corporate offices, which I would gladly send them the very same notification/correspondence. If you have it or know where I can find that bit of information it would be GREATLY appreciated.

    If nothing else THANX for listening, it's good to know that someone seem to "REALLY" care.

    Hmmmmmmm, maybe you should head up the Canon Customer Care division. They could use someone like you.

    Again thanx.

  23. @Le'O,

    Here is contact information for Public Relations Department of Canon USA:

    Public Relations Department
    Corporate Communications Division
    One Canon Plaza
    Lake Success, NY 11042


    Obviously if Canon's customer support department can't repair your camera, they should offer you an explanation such as

    A. Faulty manufacturing

    B. Consumer abuse & accident

    C. Expected wear & tear

    in which, it is up to Canon to provide you resolution options.

    Also keep in mind that digital cameras targeted for average consumer use (typically the sub US$200 point & shoot kind), their mechanisms are made with plastic material would wear out much faster than their professional series, which are made with metallic parts. Of course, thermal cycles would warp camera's body and focus mechanism, over time it is a killer for these cameras.

    Good luck.

  24. Tian,

    You rock my world.
    I've had my PowerShot S1 IS since late 2004 and it's been a solid camera.
    Suddenly last week, the LCD displayed nothing but the Aurora Borealis.

    As a last hope, I googled the problem and there you were were!

    Just talked to a Canon rep and they're taking care of the whole business, free of charge...right down to the pre-paid shipping label.

    You're taking the time to post this is most appreciated.

    Thanks again Tian,


  25. You have just saved me a TON of money! Thank you sooo much. We are going on a cruise in a few weeks with our baby girl, and when I pulled my PowerShot S1 out to clear the memory this was exactly what was happening. After finding your post I called Canon. The phone call only took two minutes and they even promised to try their best to get it back to us in time! Thanks again :)

  26. Thank you! Quite by chance I saw your posting while looking for someplace to get my S1IS repaired. Of course, I thought mine was unique and was delighted to learn that such was not the case. And what to do about it. How very kind and unselfish for you to take the time and effort to help so many. Thank you again. Sister Maria

  27. Thanks Tian
    I am here in South Africa and my S1 was giving me the same problems. I was so close to take it to a repair centre and then just decided to google it and found this site. Called up canon and they repairing it for free.

  28. I very much appreciate your taking the time to make this posting, Tian. I thought I'd have to buy a new camera when I saw that purple streaking. I just called Canon and they were courteous and professional. I'll let you all know how it turns out.


  29. Fabulous!

    I called cannon tonite and they didn't even ask any questions--just sent the shipping label!

    I was getting ready to pitch the camera and as the store I go to told me it would cost as much to repair as to replace have already replaced it--but hey what great news.

    Thanks ever so....

  30. Hi Tian,

    Appreciate your info. which is so useful to many Canon users. My 1st camera was Canon and served well. The current camera appears to have the same problem as you described. I have been taking good care of it and only used it more recently. Is there anyway to show my shot(s) here? How do you convince Canon that the camera's problem (when the shots are similar to you showed.)?



  31. Thank you for providing this information! I have the same problem and your page came up when I searched on Google.

    Called support and am getting ready to send mine in. Hopefully, I get a new one just like you!

  32. I have this camera and the problem occured this summer. The camera is 5 years old and never experienced this before. Went to Wolf/Ritz camera where I purchased and they confirmed the problem and said they can repair for $124. Well, went home and did a search and found your site. THANK YOU! Contacted Canon and they repaired at no charge. Now the question is did Wolf/Ritz know of the recall? Regardless, I will go back to them again.

    Thanks again for the information.


  33. Hi Tian

    Thanks for posting your problem originally. Im from Johannesburg in SA and this problem on the same model (5 years old and no previous problems experienced) occured just as I was checking equipment to leave for Botswana & Caprivi in Namibia. Imagine my frustration as I could not use any of the photo opportunities during the two weeks away. On my return I contacted Camera Tech the Canon agents in Randburg, South Africa and they established that this is the problem. At the moment they are repairing my camera. Not sure how long they will take but at least I did not dump it in the Chobe River as I was so tempted to do!! I really thought that I was going to have to fork out oodles of Rands to purchase a new camera.

    Keep up the comments.

  34. Tian,

    I made a mistake in my comment regarding Wolf/Ritz camera. I meant to say, I will NOT go back to them again.

    Thanks again,

  35. Gotta LOVE the power of the 'net!

    First off, THANKS for this blog and your original post, Tian. I have had my S1IS sitting here for better than 2 years... unusable. Someone mentioned the other day that they remember something about a recall. Google and your blog got me the rest of the way.

    An interesting footnote for my fellow Canadian Canonites. Canon seems not to want to pay for shipping to their repair centre. A call to the head office (and a subsequent conversation with the manager of Customer Service -- a very helpful Stuart Robertson) solved that problem. He provided me with their Purolator number (9655661) and invited me to use it -- instant free shipping. A call to 1.888.SHIP-123 to schedule a pickup and voila! Off goes the camera. Let's hope the return trip is smooth (but less phone-intensive!)

  36. Hey Tian.
    Thank you for the info. Canon just fixed my 5 year old camera (new CCD and lens), 1 Year new garanty for the fixed parts. Super service, and now I will make a competition between the old S1 and the new S10. Of course in the same resolution, but it will be interesting to see the difference. I will let you know.
    Best regards
    Torben, Copenhagen, Denmark

  37. Thanks for this information! Our S1 IS (purchased in November 2004) has been sitting here for 6+ months unusable, too! Called last week, sent it in, Canon verified that the CCD sensor was the issue, repaired it, cleaned it and sent it back. Now it doesn't power on...period. Tried 4 different sets of batteries; verified those batteries worked in my Nikon SB-600 speedlight.

    Canon initially tried to get us to send it back for "service" ($149) and pay for shipping. I have an issue with that, since it at least powered on when we sent it in! Supposedly, they are emailing me another shipping label to return to the service center, but I'll be d@mned if we're going to pay for a repair on it for something we didn't cause!

    We'll continue using our Nikon D70s and Kodak M1033! Will post a follow up after I know something from Canon.

  38. Well, Canon did repair the camera again and sent it back - they said the battery door was defective (though it worked when sent in). However, when taking photos, the light is orange - I thought it was supposed to be green? The orange light didn't start with us until the CCD sensor issue started happening, but the camera does take photos again!

  39. That was "one of" the EXACT same problems (Orange light when taking photos) I experienced after having the sensor replaced on S1 IS. However after making contact with corporate customer care, the camera was eventually replaced (after sending it back 2-3 times) with a SX10 IS. Don't get too HAPPY yet, the SX10 IS, in my "experience" proved to have sub-par performance in low light situation compared to what I was use to with my S1 IS. I never had "ANY" issues with my S1 IS prior to the sensor going out. Sad/happy to say, I now own a Panasonic LUMIX FZ35. In my opinion and based on my "experience" (having owned a A1, AE1, S1 IS, SX10 IS), "if" you are looking for an OPTIMAL high end "OUT OF THE BOX camera - i.e. no adjustments needed just a "point and shoot" experience, you may have to look past Canon and TRUST me I truly hate to say that being I was a long time FAN of their products/Cameras but the SX10 IS (I went thru 2 of them) was nothing less than a night mare for me (over a 3 month period working with customer support, who btw was GRRR8 - I continued to miss out on photo ops of my two girls events, a graduation, sporting events , parties, etc). As a high end point and shoot camera in low light situations, I was NOT able to consistently get a decent picture under very simple conditions (Indoors natural light); however outdoors the pictures were phenomenal. What I needed was overall consistency; which I now have. Good luck.

    See Le`O from Previous post.

  40. thanks so much!! you just made my holiday!!!!!!!!!! they are fixing. replacing! Happy Holidays!

  41. Hey all of you. My S1S is now working perfect again, and I will soon have the chance of telling you the difference in quality between this camera and the new SX10 IS. Some folks here learned about this issue and they bring me cameras to be fixed. That is not so nice, but a close relative brought me a A85, and no problem, Canon fix it f.o.c. Super service from Canon, Denmark

  42. Just had my Canon Powershot s1 is flash explode in my face at a meeting with over 30 people attending. I took a picture, the flash went up and suddenly it popped so loud that people ducked. There was also a fire/smoke smell coming from the flash area. Very scary. Those witnessing said they would back me up if suit filed.

    Checked the batteries and they work fine. The camera will take pictures still but without a flash.

    Hear of anything like this before? Recall issue?

  43. Flash exploded!!
    I used to work in the photo business in the late sixties until early eighties. This happens very seldom with all kind of flashes from the various manufactures. I have never seen anyone hurt, but of course it is a chock. I do not think you can blame any manufacturer, it is just a thing happening (like a flat tyre or similar.

  44. Great info,was ready to scrap on e-bay.I get in habit now to Google everything I am having problems with.Thanks to people like you,I have fixed my Compaq laptop,Kenmore Refrigerator,and now hopefully my Canon.Thanks again,Frank Porter

  45. March 2010. My S1IS has been sitting on the shelf for about 2yrs with this same exact problem. Since then I bought a Powershot A540 that startedacting a little "strange" after one year. Decided never to buy Canon again. Recently purchased a Nikon Coolpix P90, but I really missed the quality pix and "feel" of the S1IS. Just by dumb luck I found your post, and sure enough Canon Support is arranging for free repair (including shipping). THANKS Titan...brgs, Bob