Introduction

If your RX100 camera is showing the error, "Turn power off and then on" and the lens will not retract completely, see below for the simple fix.

My RX-100 started showing this error message, and initially was able to turn off/on and shoot photos, but after a few days it was constantly showing the error and would not work any more. The lens barrel remained partially retracted and would not fully extend. There is no reset button.

I found a simple fix via an internet search, partly in German I believe. This little fix saved me $300 and a lot of hassle.

Tools

Parts

No parts required.

  • Turn off the power.

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  • Remove the 5 small screws on the bottom panel.

  • Lift off from the narrow end on the battery panel side. You may have to open the battery cover. The other end is hooked to the body. There are also 2 small tabs on the mid front side.

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  • Remove the 2 screws on each side, total 4.

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  • Gently separate the back panel and front panel. You do not need the separate the panels completely.

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  • With battery in, power on and it will start up and the lens barrel will extend fully as it should.

  • Turn power off and it should retract completely and lens cover should also close.

You should add some paper to ease the one broken tape cable and protect it from the pressure: http://imgur.com/a/FwFXF

Marcel Taeumel - Reply

  • Replace 4 screws on the side, and hand tighten.

  • Replace the bottom panel, wide end with hook and 2 small tabs on the mid front side in and replace the 5 screws, again hand tighten.

Thank you very much, i tried and succeeded

trind83 - Reply

On my side, it has worked (I have only done step 2:Remove the 5 small screws on the bottom panel and open the battery cover). I have switched on and seen the zoom was working fine (and not anymore the message turn off and on). It is incredible that just removing the screws has corrected the problem. I have off course remounted the screws with low tightening. So far it works...but how long will it last? I am a bit worried when I see all the people who have the same issue. For me, It is clearly a SONY design issue on the DSC RX 100. ( I have bought mine 3 years and half. It is not normal to have so many complains for the same problem). In all case I thank very much Cherry and all participants.

regis.de-poortere - Reply

Works them gets spoilt again.what a waste of my money.shame on sony

rutarogerald - Reply

This is very odd. I take off all the screws and the camera works fine. If I put the screws back in, it goes back to not working. I take the screws off and it is fine again. I am thinking of taping the camera back together with black electrical tape. I am scratching my head trying to imagine what is the issue. Is it a short? Is some wire being crimped? I am dying to know what the issue is... Actually as I use it a little her on the desk, I do get the error message coming back intermittently, so I guess it is a bust.

jim - Reply

Finish Line

12 other people completed this guide.

Cherry

Member since: 01/01/2016

151 Reputation

2 Guides authored

45 Comments

I tried the fix TWICE.

After each re-assembly, the same problem happened.

Any ideas on alternative fixes?

With on-line repair service priced at $300 (July 2016), is there any reason to keep the camera?

jvbeaupre - Reply

I tried the fix at least 5 times…same problem as Guide / jvbeaupre...

phwaeger - Reply

It actually works, but only as long as I keep the camera disassembled. Once I put it back together again, the same problem re-occurs. It looks clean, but is there something in particular I should look for? Something that I should try to avoid "squeezing" when assembling?

Niklas James - Reply

Hi Niklas,

had the same issue. I remove the panel at the bottom and it works for a while - but - as you can read, a workaround is less as a fix ( ;

Cherry -

Did you find a resolution? I just started receiving this error message and before I start removing screws and panels, I'd like to know if you had success. Thanks so much.

Carol Mitch - Reply

Hi Carol,

in most cases, this is just a workaround, not a permanent fix, because it seems that this error is related to the lifetime of the fall sensor in combination with a bad software logic/event handling. If you still have guarantee i recommend to send the camera back to the company.

Cherry -

Thanks for the reply. Regrettably, my camera is out of manufacturer warranty and just passed the extended warranty that I also purchased. I was not aware of the short life spans of mount & shoot cameras. Looking into being a new camera. Either a newer Sony (RX 100 III, I do not need the 4K capabilities of the IV) or the Panasonic Lumix. I loved this camera and although it was heavily used, it was treated with great care.

Thanks agin.

Carol Mitch - Reply

My RX100 has just crapped itself with the same error message. In a way I'm glad as this camera has been a nightmare from the getgo. It will not connect via cable to pc or charge so i've had to buy a wall mount charger as a work around. Lots of software glitches. Sometimes the ON switch won't respond but the play button will switch the camera on. I also found the screen doesn't depict accurate colour of photo's taken. That is I have to take much darker photographs than the screen will display . I can say that this is the most unreliable camera I've owned. I've had two panasonic lumix cameras in the past and they've never failed me. Infact I've since gone back to my 10 year old lumix now as a fill in camera and despite its limitations I'm already much happier. I think I'll get a newer Lumix camera as a replacement and quickly forget all about the RX100 series.

dune racer -

Silly typos---"point & shoot" cameras. And "buying" a new camera.

Carol Mitch - Reply

I tried the fix and it SEEMS that if I leave the side screws very loose it helps a lot so I just leave them loose and cover them with electrical tape so as not to lose them.

scanningene - Reply

I have the same problem as some of the other users,leaving the bottom plate off altogether fixes it but the fault does reoccur especially if I zoom ,a shame really because it's a great little camera but at least it's working some of the time.

norkie14 - Reply

I had the same problem. I've done the steps before. But i tighten the sight-screws in order. First the side-screw at the bottom, at the battery-side; then the opposite-screw at the bottom, then the opposite-screw at the top and at last the top-screw at battery-side. Do not turn the screws with high torque! Now it works fine.

Lampje - Reply

Is this a sony problem that could cause a recall? Why so many people with the same problem>

ktoldt - Reply

Fixed it for me, even after reassembly.

khloke - Reply

That worked! I'll carry a little screwdriver with the camera in case this happens again.

kehoe - Reply

Worked perfectly for me. Thank you so much for posting this solution.

Kyle Happel - Reply

Thank you, Cherry, for giving me the courage to open the camera! And also thank you, Scanningene! I had the same experience as some of the other commentators: when I opened up the camera it worked but as soon as I closed it up, it went back into the 'turn power off then on' freeze . And that's where Scanningene's comment about leaving the side screws loose helped. I experiemented in leaving the side a bit ajar and found that my camera worked perfectly fine only when I left the bottom plate screwed on but the side by the battery about a toothpick width ajar. In fact I broke the toothpick you had recommended as tool in half and wedged one part in the side slit by the battery and the other along the top opening and taped it all shut with duct tape. The tricky part was taping around the mode dial. Will it last? Maybe, maybe not. For now the camera works and takes beautiful pictures again. Thank you!

Ursula Chappell - Reply

On my camera, i removed the screw beside the battery completely and the bottom panel is only hold by one screw in the center. camera works fine now.

Cherry - Reply

@Scanningene/Ursula Chappell: Thx for the hint with the battery. Makes reassembling a lot easier and the bottom panel must not be removed completely.

Cherry - Reply

Hello,

I had the exact same problem. The lens would start working when disassembled but get stuck again once reassembled.

After some trial, I discovered that the problem occurs when the right side of the camera (when looking at the screen) was been pushed into position and secured with screws.

Some further testing revealed that even with the camera disassembled, when pushing my finger against the tape cable at the bottom-middle was causing this problem! I don't know what exists under this cable, there are some SMDs but I don't know if they are sensors or simple electronics components.

What seems to have given a solution, was to bend the tape cable a bit differently, so as to move the bend position a bit to the left, eventually leaving some "air" over the point where the pressure affected the lens. Then I tightened all the screws and now the camera works with no issues!

I don't know if this will hold neither whether this new position can harm the tape cable in the long term.

Sinadroi - Reply

@sinadroi please show me which tape cable you are referring to?

So guys, same thing happened to my rx100, lens cant open if case is screwed shut, but when case is unscrewed and right side left ajar (I use a 2mm paracord to keep the top right corner ajar and screwing in the rest of the screws except one, it works fine.

but i don't want dust to collect internally, so if anyone knows which cable to shift so this can be a complete fix, please let me know

dragonjc88 - Reply

Solution : I found it amusing but it worked for me. I simply dropped my camera ( switched off ) from 2 and 1/2 feet on carpeted floor twice and turned it on and it worked. Thanks to ifixit solution and comments from users ( which gave me the idea that issue is some what related to some kind of pressure within the camera ) and thanks to "Thailand Living" user on youtube.

"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4JSctme...

Sanjay Sharma - Reply

I had to snap two fine sowing needles to the length I needed them, and then leave the screws out on the sides. I then placed the needles in either side to leave a slight gap on either side of the back plate. I then gaffer taped them and the back plate in place using high strength electrical tape and just used two screws for the bottom plate. This keeps the back plate open enough for the lens to work. The gaffer tape keeps the back plate nice and secure.

John - Reply

I found that the problem is caused by the ribbon cable that connects the lens barrel to the bottom of the mainboard, or more precisely, by the sharp 180 degree bend in the ribbon cable that faces towards the battery compartment. I believe that this sharp bend together with the vibration during everyday use of the camera caused some of the fine conducting paths in the ribbon cable to break over time. I could not see the damage with the naked eye, but when I took a bright flashlight to shine through the cable, I could see a very fine crack that looked like a short bright line across a few of the tracks. Apparently the tracks that broke lead to a sensor in the lens barrel that tells the camera how far the barrel is extended, and without that signal the camera is confused. I think the sharp bend is a design fault. Sony should have placed some spacer on the inner face of the bend to prevent it from becoming too sharp. The ribbon cable is available on e*** as a cheap replacement part - order one "with sockets"!

RX100User - Reply

Thank you so much! I was quoted $485 USD today for the repair, sending it back to Sony. After loosening/reassembling, I now have the bottom plate installed and held by two screws on the far ends, and the left side has one screw in at the bottom, none on the right side. The camera is working so far.

Do you have a part number for the ribbon cable?

mike fickel -

I have no part number. Just search for "RX100 lens flex cable". Some are offered with sockets on the cable (small white connectors), some without. The old cable has connectors, so I ordered that one. I don't know if the cables on e*** are original parts, but it's definitely worth a try. If I sent in the camera, Sony would most likely replace the whole lens unit, which economically does not make sense. But I just love that camera and will not yet let it go. The cables come from China and delivery time is around one or two months, so we'll have to do without our great camera for a long time. :-( Replacing the old cable will probably be quite challenging and I hope it does not require to open the lens barrel, but I don't have much to lose...

RX100User - Reply

Update: I received the flex cable yesterday. Quality is mediocre (the tracks for the zoom motor are thinner than the original, and one of the two cables I ordered (one as spare for the case something goes really wrong) had some crumpled spots and looked as if some of the tracks could be damaged from the start). What came as a surprise when I started disassembly to remove the original flex cable is that it has three tiny light barriers soldered directly onto the cable. They are missing on the new cables. I had to solder them off, which was the most difficult part because they are surface mounted, i.e., I had to apply heat from the flip side of the cable without risking to overheat the light barriers. Anyway, I finally succeeded - at least it looks like everything is working fine again, which also proves that the problem was in fact caused by the sharp bend in the ribbon cable. The repair was really difficult, but it cost me 20 EUR for the two cables instead of 250 for a new lens unit. :-)

RX100User - Reply

Which cable do i need for the M1 Version?

I only find cables for M2, do they also fit for my mark one?

thanks

Dragonow Bljad - Reply

It may be that the cables for M1 and M2 are the same because the description/name of the one I bought was "Lens Back Main Flex Cable For SONY DSC-RX100 RX100 II M2 Digital Camera + Socket".

RX100User - Reply

I almost gave up on my RX 100, and I was ready to get a new one until I saw this post. It worked and I can use my camera like it was brand new!. Thanks Cherry!

Jonathan Gomez - Reply

Just in case this can help. My Sony RX100 Mk1 started this problem. After reading your advice I could restart after removing the battery and reinserting, but the problem would soon start again. I noticed that there was no problem if the battery door was left open but that is completely impractical. So with the camera turned off and lens retracted I opened the battery door and gave the camera a light tap downwards onto the right hand end as seen from the back. This was done onto a firm but soft flat surface. This may have moved a cable inside fractionally. Since then the camera has worked as normal with the battery door closed.

Walter and Jeanne Rawlings - Reply

Focussing on the ribbon or flex cables described above, I simply used pieces of rolled silicon as spacers to avoid any unwanted bridged connections when the ribbon was compressed onto itself and other components. I placed silicon between and above the sharp fold and then carefully re-assembled the camera so as not to dislodge the silicone. Works again, hopefully it will be a longish solution.

Patrick Gauthier - Reply

Any photos? Sounds like a better temporary fix than leaving the camera housing ajar. However, from the post, I can't pinpoint the area you are referring too exactly.

Brant Harris -

Thank Patrick, It's work for me. I just put a piece of paper in the middle of the flex cable folded (when you look inside).

Joc -

I too have this issue with my RX100 v1. I have just received a replacement ribbon cable .

I am about to embark on transferring across the light barriers onto the new ribbon cable. Not looking forward to that! Any tips @rx100user? How heat proof is the ribbon when soldering from the back? Not looking forward to this job. Massive respect to @rx100user for managing it.

andy emmerson - Reply

Ribbon cable arrived Saturday. When I removed the bottom plate, camera started working. Now bottom plate is secured but with some play, and it works, sort of. Playing around with the Zoom caused the on/off error to reoccur. So I too feel it's inevitable that the ribbon will have to be replaced. I'm also very concerned about using the soldering iron. My soldering skills are mediocre at best, and I'm using a cheap 1 heat setting soldering iron that I use on RC stuff. Any advice from @rx100user would be greatly appreciated as well.

Brant Harris - Reply

Thank You all writers. I´ll keep far away from that peace of rubbish !

Torakka - Reply

Very wise move!

dune racer -

I experienced the same problem and, Thanks to Your suggestions, I loosened all the screws in the body of the camera and tightened again not very strong. Miracle, now the zoom works fine. Happy !

Mike - Reply

I didn't get notified of the new posts. Hopefully my response is not too late. I did the job with a rather old and cheap soldering iron with a thin pencil-shaped tip that I set (if I remember correctly) to 270 °C. I too was concerned about how much heat the ribbon cable and the light barriers can stand. As my camera still works fine (with the screws of the back cover fully tightened) they obviously weren't damaged. I fixed the light barriers in a small vice so that the heat from the soldering iron is absorbed. Then I placed the ribbon cable very carefully on the light barrier so that it is exactly (!) in the right place and also fixed the ribbon cable with adhesive strips so that it cannot slip away during soldering. Then I placed the soldering iron on the back of the ribbon cable and applied some pressure. After a while the soldering pads of the light barrier melted. Make sure that all four pads fully melt so that the barrier sits completely flat on the cable. Repeat that with all three light barriers.

RX100User - Reply

The RX100 is an awesome camera! Not sure if Mark II to V will experience the same problem some day. Here is the QuickFix for the Mark I: http://imgur.com/a/FwFXF

Marcel Taeumel - Reply

Thanks for sharing this Marcel. I placed a small strip of rather stiff foam right in the bend of the replacement cable to stabilize it. The problem with the quick fix is that it only works if you are lucky so that by chance the front faces of all broken conducting paths have stable contact with their counterpart. Even if that is so, you have to expect that any vibration can cause the camera to fail again. And as we all know, these things always happen when you least need them...

RX100User - Reply

LOL, I just bought a used RX100 M1 on Ebay. Have only use it one day and had this problem. Thanks for all this information.

I just banged it a few times on a table and got it working again! At least I know what to expect and how to handle this issue in the future, even if I need to get to the point of removing screws. Hopefully I can get the value of $350 from it that I paid :)

Vickie Campbell - Reply

On my side I had the same message "turn power off then on" with my RX100Model 2 (I bought it 3 years and half ago just to give an idea of the robustness you can exepct from Sony cameras). For a while I was using the workaround...but this issue was back all the time. in the end I have bought on exxxx the "RX100 lens flex cable" that is described Just wanted to let people know that unsoldering the SMT and soldering on the cable is extremely difficult. On my side, I have not been able to make it work. Not a big deal since I have paid less than 10$. Unless you have special expertise, I don't recommend you to start. You may loose your time. Just wanted to share my experience.

regis.de-poortere - Reply

Here's where I put a splinter of a toothpick to make mine work again.

http://imgur.com/a/fSPMD

Daniel Flassak - Reply

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