Nearing the end of October, an annoying spot appeared on photos taken with my Canon SX110 IS. The spot was too big to edit out of most photos. I tried cleaning the lens. That wasn't the problem.
At first the spot was up near the top of the photo and I could work around it with judicious planning and cropping. The spot drifted down over the days toward the lower middle of the frame. Cropping and editing EACH AND EVERY photo was not a plan.
I'd had a similar problem with my previous Canon, ending up with multiple spots to deal with, and eventually bought this one not that long ago. Trading in a 4x for a 10x made the upgrade easier to justify. But now this camera had a spot as well ... so I went looking for a solution.
The online help at Canon did not deal with dark spots on photos. No solutions given. White spots, yes. Dark spots and blurs, no. So I searched online and found some who claimed the problem was with dust specks inside the camera. The one solution I found for do-it-yourself dust removal seemed hair-raisingly difficult.
I sent a note to Canon support:
Every photo I've taken for the last several weeks has a spot in the lower middle of the frame. The spot is large enough that retouching is difficult although I can crop the spot out of some photos. The problem appears to be a dust speck (or specks) within the camera body. What can I do to clean the dust out of the camera?
First back from them within three minutes was an auto-response: we got your msg
The following day:
Thank you for contacting Canon product support. We are sincerely sorry
to hear you are experiencing an issue with dust in your PowerShot SX110
IS. Please accept our apologies regarding this matter. We value you as
a Canon customer and appreciate the opportunity to assist you.
Please mail your digital camera to the Factory Service Center shown
below. When shipping your camera, please be sure to remove the memory
card and batteries. You are not required to send any accessories or
manuals when shipping the camera. Be sure to include your name, street
address (no P.O. boxes, please), telephone number, and a letter
describing the issue with the product. Since it has been less than one
year since the camera was purchased, we ask that you also include proof
of warranty in the form of a copy of your sales receipt.
OK. Fine. So I packaged up the camera, made a copy of the receipt, mailed it off (as suggested) via USPS priority mail. They had suggested that or some other method that tracks packages.
I sat back to wait.
In the mean time, I received two requests from Canon to fill out a survey to see how they were doing. I decided to wait until I saw whether they fixed the camera. ...
30 November: a note from Canon that my camera had arrived there and yes, indeed, it looked like a problem they could fix. However, " Please note that in the unlikely event that any additional internal damage is found due to liquid/water, sand, corrosion, battery leakage or impact (such as dropping the unit), a revised estimate will be sent for your authorization, since these conditions are specifically excluded from warranty coverage."
02 December: a note from Canon saying they'd shipped my camera back to me.
03 December: I signed for it at the door and took a couple of test shots.
I went back to take the Canon survey that they'd sent earlier and the survey window had expired. [sad face here]
So, instead, I am writing this paean to Canon service. Thank you for fixing my camera so promptly. I felt naked without it with me as I walked around. I appreciate your efforts.
p.s. I wish you'd make some note on your site that black specks in photos could be caused by dust inside the camera that you will fix under warranty. If I'd known that, I would've sent my previous camera back to you for service, but now it's too late and the camera, which I bought a little over two years ago, is out of warranty. Alas. [sad face here] Cost to have a camera repairman take the dust out is probably more than the value of the camera. Instead his nibs will use his fine motorskills to see what he can do -- the worst he can do is make the camera unusable, which it already is.