A friend who has a Nikon Coolpix S210 asked me to try to fix the Lens Error problem for her. This is where the lens makes a whirring sound when turned on, but doesn’t emerge. The LCD shows an error message. I read several forums including http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/ without success. The lens would only emerge a couple of mm and there was no way I could get a grip on the barrel, or prise it out with a blade. I first made sure I had fully-charged batteries inserted as weak batteries can have this effect (thanks for the reminder cns949). I tried applying suction with a Dyson, but this didn’t work either. Tapping it on my palm had no effect. Then I decided to slip a scalpel under the lens cover and firmly pull on the lens mechanism as I turned it on. To my surprise the lens rotated slightly and came fully out. I have taken several pictures and turned it on and off and it is still working a few hours later.
It would appear that this is a very common problem with the Nikon Coolpix range and from reading various forums, many people have been very disappointed, with a Lens Error fault within hours of taking it out of the box. Some people with less patience than me have thrown their Coolpix on the floor in exasperation. This does not usually fix the problem.
This is about as physical as I would get with such a small, delicate piece of equipment. Repairing with an authorised agent will cost about the same as the price of a new replacement. I would say, if you’re nervous, don’t buy one.