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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 Troubleshooting

''This camera was released by Panasonic in February of 2014. This troubleshooting page should help you with determining what is wrong with your Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40.''

Camera will not turn on ¶ 

There isn't a response from the device after pressing the power button.

Defective battery charger ¶ 

Insert your battery charger into to the side port of the camera and then plug the charger into a power outlet. There should be a red light that appears on the LCD screen side of the camera. If there is a flashing red light it indicates that the charging location is in a place of extremely high or low temperature. Try charging in an area of moderate temperature. If no light appears on the camera and it still won't turn on, that means that the charging cable is defective. Consider purchasing a new charging cable.

Dead battery ¶ 

This camera has a rated battery life of 300 camera shots. If your camera is consistently dying before its full lifespan, consider buying a new battery. Follow our battery replacement guide here.

Battery or SD slot cover is open ¶ 

Make sure the battery and SD slot covers are both closed and locked into place. If either one of these are open, it could prevent the camera from powering on.

Memory card stalling the powering process ¶ 

If the lens opens but the camera does not turn on, it could be that your camera is attempting to access the memory card and stalling the powering on process. Remove the memory card and attempt to power on the camera, even if the lens does not open.

Camera lens has failed to park completely ¶ 

If your camera has a retractable lens, it may have failed to park completely when the camera died, due to low batteries. Attempt to gently push the lens in with your hands to ensure it is seated correctly, and then, with good batteries, attempt to turn the camera on again.

Dirty battery contacts ¶ 

If your camera still does not turn on after a full charge, the contacts on the terminal or the batteries could be dirty preventing proper power transfer. Use a Q-tip and a small amount of alcohol to clean the contacts then reinsert the battery and try to turn on the camera.

Faulty Motherboard ¶ 

If none of the above solutions work, it could be that your camera’s motherboard has died or is damaged. Follow our motherboard replacement guide here.

Lens is stuck outside of the camera ¶ 

When you try to turn your device off, the lens remains protruding from the camera.

Substance blocking the lens from retracting ¶ 

The most common reason for the system error focus message to appear on your camera is that sand or debris is blocking the mechanism that retracts the lens. Using an air can, attempt to dislodge the debris by holding the camera with lens facing downward and blowing air around the lens cover. If that does not work, insert a thin strip of paper between the lens cover shutter and other supporting rings, and twist the piece of paper around the rings to attempt to dislodge any debris. If the lens is still stuck, it might be necessary to remove the lens unit completely and replace it. Follow our camera lens replacement guide here.

Camera requires a reset ¶ 

If you don't think that debris could have gotten into your lens, then a possible solution is to reset your camera. Turn off your camera and take out the battery. Let the camera sit for 30 seconds and put the battery back in and turn on your camera.

Inaccurate GPS Data ¶ 

GPS feature will not work correctly.

Poor satellite reception ¶ 

Attempting to take pictures inside a building or in an area with heavy obstruction could possibly interfere with the GPS positioning. Move into an area with better clearance and allow the GPS to reacquire your position, which may take 2-3 minutes even with good reception.

Multiple candidate locations ¶ 

In the instances where there are multiple candidate locations for your position, you can manually set the GPS area. To do so, select [GPS Area Select] from the [GPS] menu and press [Menu/Set]. Use the control dial on the back of the camera to move up or down and to select an item that needs to be changed then press [Menu/Set]. Use the control dial to select a place name or landmark from the list of candidates then press [Menu/Set].

GPS assist data needs to be updated ¶ 

You can improve the accuracy and time required to obtain GPS information by updating, in advance, the satellite information of GPS satellites required for positioning. This step will require an active computer connection, a computer, and the USB connection cable supplied with the camera. To update the assist data using the “GPS Assist Tool” that came with your computer, turn on your camera and select [Assist Data] from [GPS] menu and press [Menu/Set]. Use the control dial to select [Update] and press [Menu/Set] then select [Connect USB] and press [Menu/Set]. Now connect the camera to the computer using the supplied connection cable, start the GPS assist tool located on camera or memory card, and update the GPS assist data. The GPS assist tool should be an executable file on your camera’s storage or memory card with the name [GPSASIST.EXE]. Once you have the program opened, click [Update] then [Yes] to the prompt that shows up. After it has finished updating, click [OK] then [Exit].

Black or dim LCD screen ¶ 

You can power on the camera, the lens extends, but the LCD screen remains black. Either the above situation or the LCD screen randomly dims or darkens during use.

Camera needs to be reset ¶ 

If your LCD screen randomly dims or darkens during use, attempt a factory reset. Navigate to menu selection screen by pressing the [Menu/Set] button at the center of the control dial. Use, the control dial to move left, right, up, and down to select the [Setup] menu then press the [Menu/Set] button. Select the [Reset] command then press the [Menu/Set] button to factory reset your camera.

Damaged LCD screen ¶ 

If your LCD screen never turns on, it could be that the screen is broken. Follow our LCD screen replacement guide here.

Damaged camera sensor ¶ 

If your LCD screen remains black when attempting to take photos but is able to view pictures and the menus fine, then your camera’s sensor could be broken. Follow our camera sensor replacement guide here.

Random splotches appearing in your photos ¶ 

There are splotches appearing in the corner of your photos.

Dirty camera sensor ¶ 

If splotches are appearing in the corners of your photos, it could be because your camera sensor is dirty. Follow our camera sensor replacement guide here to locate and remove the sensor. Once the sensor has been removed, gently use a sensor brush to clean the surface of the sensor. Be careful not to touch the bristles of the brush and make sure that they are clean before use. Wet sensor swabs can also be purchased to clean hard grime off the sensor. It is not recommended to use a Q-tip to clean the sensor as it can scratch it. If you suspect it is just dust dirtying your sensor, a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster is recommended to blow the debris off the sensor, this method is also the safest. It is important you choose the correct tools to clean your camera sensor as it is very easily scratched or damaged.


An addendum to the ZS40 black screen…

* I’ve turned camera on to find a black screen

* i’ve turned camera on, taken photos, but replay screen is black, even though the pics are on the sd card

In both cases, I’ve found the answer to be the little black button (LVF) on the back of the camera next to the viewfinder. Check your manual to find this button allows you to shut off the LCD screen and use just the old fashioned viewfinder to frame your photo.

Pressing the button (in error) also turns off the LCD screen, which makes playback viewing not possible. Much panic ensues!

Try pressing the LVF button to see if the screen may have inadvertantly been turned off by touching that button by mistake.

Chris - Reply

I wrote a whole comment, but you made me sign up and now my comment is gone, but so is my desire to post a good response!

Chris - Reply

God bless you.

Exorbitant repair quote, as “LCD screen obviously shorted out.”

Pushed LVF button after reading your concise post….LCD WORKING GREAT!!!!!!!

Stan - Reply

My camera will absolutely not turn on. I have charged batteries and it is now plugged in with the charger cable and it still won’t charge. I am on my way to Europe and I need this camera. What do I do?

newsinvestigations - Reply

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