Ok maybe not that bad...
I have been trying and trying to find a place that can fix my super-cool Canon S2 IS, with people offering wildly variant estimations of times and prices, ranging from 200 yuan in one day to 1600 yuan in 3 days. Of course, the person who offered the 200 yuan in one day was someone who looked at the camera briefly and said, "I don't know what's wrong with it, but I'll give it a shot." Adam went with me to translate, I don't understand Chinese well enough to know that that is what he said, if thats what you're thinking. Adam also informed me that some freelance, rogue camera repairmen will gut the poor contraption, take out all the good parts, and replace them with crappy parts, then sell the good parts to other people. I didn't like the sound of that. So we took the camera to the official Canon repair place.
The gentleman there informed me with complete indifference and torpor that the problem can only be solved by replacing the lens, and since my American warranty doesn't apply to China (and really, why should it?), it would cost 1600 ($200) yuan to fix. He wholeheartedly recommended that I ditch the camera and buy a cheap, no-brand camera until I go back home and can cash in on the warranty there. I, of course, could not capture this instant (or any other things I do for awhile) on camera, so here's the best representation I have to offer:
Apparently, this "E18" Canon problem is one that is rampant among customers. So much that there is an entire website registered to the victims of the affliction, and a impending class-action suit against the fine folks of Canon Inc. Apparently, according to Canon, you CANNOT touch the lens as it is moving... EVER. Similarly, thou SHALT NOT power the camera on if it's close to having dead batteries. If you do, the camera will swoon and faint under the pressure of having to do too much work. Its funny too, the Canon shop had photos on the wall taken by Canon users. Things like, rambunctious tykes or galloping gazelles taken in extraordinarily hazardous-looking conditions. And yet, the S2 IS seems to have the structural integrity of a dainty little flower. I'm sure they used some super Canon camera... either that or they took 20 s2 IS' to Africa and used them like disposables.
So... I don't know what to do. I was this close (right now I'm holding my thumb and index finger extremely close together) to shelling out the dough for the fix, because I so miss the camera. I could take photos like this one of a darling little chinese youth so easily.
And yet, who's to say if I did pay for it how long I'd have a working camera for? I could shell out the cash-money, use it for another 2 weeks, and graze the lens as I take off the lens cap. Then I'm out 200 more dollars and even more disheartened.
Anyway, until I do something, here are some more photos of things some of you have wanted to see in the only way I can make them for now: