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Russell H.
Russell H., Service Tech
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 10458
Experience:  8+ years of professional experience
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Panasonic ts4 battery was exhausted. Charged it but now the

Customer Question

Panasonic ts4 battery was exhausted. Charged it but now the screen is black. I can hear the camera functioning (beeps) but see nothing. Took some pictures and they are on the card. Any ideas? I may have removed the card or the battery when the camera had not shut down completely. Thier manual says this can cause a problem. Any way to reset the camera without seeing what I am doing?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Camera and Video
Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting JustAnswer.com. My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

If the screen is black, well, that can sometimes be failure of the LCD.

Does nothing ever show up on the screen, not even menu/function indicators? that could be a hardware failure for sure.

The only problem removing the card before the camera shuts down can cause, is the card becoming corrupted if data is not fully written to it yet... a serious enough problem, if you lose data that way, for sure! but that wouldn't ruin the LCD screen function.

No, I suspect your camera has a severe hardware problem, unfortunately. Usually that's what an utterly black LCD with the rest of the camera functioning, means in the end.

Try removing the batteries, and leaving the camera on a (dry, non-humid, non-dusty) shelf for overnight. Then put the batteries back in and try the camera again.

Then try cleaning the terminals in the battery compartment, after removing the batteries, first by rubbing off with a fresh pencil eraser, then by wiping the terminals off with cotton swabs moistened in rubbing alcohol, then letting them dry off for 5+ minutes with the battery compartment door open, then try turning the camera On again.

How long has the battery or batteries in the camera been in-use?

How old is the camera? in months or years since you bought it.

Has the camera been dropped or otherwise subjected to mechanical shock(s) in its lifetime?
Has the camera been operated in or subjected to, temperatures below 32 degrees F (freezing point) or above about 100 degrees F ?
Has it ever been subjected to a humidity higher than 85 % or gotten wet ?
Has the camera been operated in a gritty or sandy environment, such as a beach, a seaside, a construction site, or the like?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is the comment from the manual that concerns me:

• Turn the camera off and wait for the “LUMIX” display on the LCD monitor to clear before removing the card or battery. (Otherwise, this unit may no longer operate normally and the card itself may be damaged or the recorded pictures may be lost.)

Everything else you mention I have done already. I believe it is the original battery. The camera is their water-proof, shock-proof model. I have had it about 3 years. It has not been dropped. It may have been subjected to temperature above 100 degrees but not recently. It has gotten wet many times on the outside and sometimes shows fogging inside the lens cover/window. This is normal. I am careful about cleaning the water seal. It came out of a rice-drying process when the problem occurred. Not dirt or sand inside.

I am not yet convinced it is not the battery. But I am concerned that I might have removed the battery when the Lumix screen was on and corrupted the software.

Rick

Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
Well, removing the memory card with the camera still On, might 'shock' the circuitry, it's fairly likely to be true. But it's not bound to do so, I don't think.

As opposed to damaging the memory card, which is more likely in such a case.

I'm glad to hear that you have treated your camera well and with care.

Having gotten wet unfortunately - like getting dropped and apparently not being damaged - has a tendency to show itself in eventual failures or problems. And both getting wet and being dropped are associated (in my recollection) with black LCD screen failures.

Keeping it in a lined case, or felt-lined case, can help you avoid internal or external condensation. In really cold weather/outdoors, keeping it in a felted case that is closed, and only taking it out briefly to use then putting it back into the case and closing the case, can help with cold/condensation damage factors.

Rice-drying, provided you blow away the powder and chaff first, is a good technique for drying-out a camera or cell phone that is dampened or wetted.

As for corrupting the firmware... you might want to try re-writing or updating the firmware for this camera. It has to be done just right, and according to procedure and instructions, or it has the risk of 'breaking' the camera completely, in some cases. Also there may not be such an update available - I have not checked yet.
You would need a computer, some patience, and a cable to connect to the computer, or a memory card to write a file to and insert into the camera perhaps... I have not yet looked it up.
Would you like to try that, and have my guidance through the process? if so, let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I have a new battery on order. Yes, I don't mind trying to update the firmware. Attached to W7, it shows up as an ultra fast media reader in the control panel. I can't very well go into the menu settings of the camera and change it to a camera. So let me know when you can sit down with me and try a firmware update. Give me a couple days so I can get the new battery first.

Just checked battery voltage with digital and analog VOM. Digital said 0, analog said 4.5. It should be 3.6. Still don't know if battery is any good. Now the start up beep has stopped so I can't tell when the camera is on. Either the camera is deteriorating (how?) or the battery is eating itself. Later.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 1 year ago.
As to those readings... it sounds as if one of the voltmeters did not fully contact the battery's poles or terminals, leading to a reading of 'zero' volts.Make sure the digital meter is set on Voltage, not Amps nor Ohms, or you *will* get a false reading. When the new battery arrives, be sure to charge it for 6+ hours before trying it out for the first time... new batteries need extra recharging at first, owing to having sat on a shelf (or otherwise disused) for a while. And let me know how it goes, and when you wish to proceed. Several days from now, or a week from now, is OK.