My first inclination is to assume that a lens error is the problem itself, but first, there is one more likely possibility, lack of sufficient power. Remove the battery, check the pins or connectors in the battery compartment, and make sure that they are positioned correctly to contact the battery. Then use a q-tip with alcohol to clean and dry them. It is also a known issue that digital cameras circuitry can also become much more sensitive to the lower power level produced, so It is a known issue that digital cameras that use only 2 AA size batteries, tend to require a little more power as they age due to deteriorating parts and surface residue. Lens movement uses the most power. That is why the connection is so critical The only power suggestion that I have is to try a set of high power lithium AA batteries. They have a higher, more steady, power output.
If the above does not solve the issue please continue as it is very likely that the problem is a lens error.
Even if the lens is extended, it is quite possible that it does not make it to the correct sensor point due to an obstruction like a grain of sand or residue build up. A lens position error will halt the camera start up process. Lens errors are a common problem. Dirt can get into the gears or the lens can become misaligned from being carried in pockets, purses or at the beach. With newer cameras I am usually hesitant to suggest these options since they include some more extreme procedures that may cause further damage if not done correctly, but they may save you an expensive repair bill. The two links below give step by step DIY instructions on troubleshooting and attempting to fix this problem. ***A Canon camera is used to demonstrate these procedures but, the lens structure of these compact cameras is the same so the examples do apply to this unit.*** These procedures are effective about 60% of the time. Copy and paste the links into your browser.
If the "do it yourself" approach doesn't work out and you need conventional repair suggestions please let me know, but, please note the following .
Considering the age and present value of this camera, paying the cost of having it repaired , approximately $75 (if parts can be found since Kodak has left the camera business, concerning these older models), really depends on how attached to the camera you are. The standard "rule of thumb" is if the repair cost is greater than 50% of the value of the camera, it is not worth it. A used or refurbished Easyshare ZD15 can be purchased for about $15-$45 and I've seen a new one (open box with warranty) for under $65. There are also numerous
Please keep in mind that my diagnosis & solutions provided are directly dependent on the accuracy of your description of the problem. As with any "do it yourself" fixes, success is a "team effort", since I can't see or touch the camera, and relies on the customer's manual dexterity and ability to follow the instructions well.
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Depending on how far the paper is inserted, there may be small clips all of the way at the end that may appear to be obstructions. These actually hold the lens in place. Turning the lens is generally only effective if you can see that it is physically out of alignment.
Resolving this issue can take multiple attempts. With some units that have had this problem it has taken me up to 6 or 7 hours of manipulation, over a few days, to make the lens move freely.