I have a Canon Vixia HF20 that started to give me trouble. I have had it for 3 years and I love the camera but it started to act up on me this year with what seemed to be a glitch with focusing. I would get a black screen when turning it on and then it seemed to freeze and I could not turn it off without taking the battery off. The playback modes did however work. What I noticed is that when I powered it on it would have a ticking noise as if a motor was jammed. I looked online for people with the same problem and found this video with comments under it with people that had the exact same problem but there was no solution. All the video camera repair places online seemed not to give any exact cost and you know that means you're screwed. I hunted around for all the possible information I could and came up with very little other than a rough diagram of the way the camera goes together. We worked with that. These cameras go together like a puzzle but after working your way through it so many times like the repair shops do, they are probably laughing all the way to the bank.
Here is the video:
The Canon Vixia video cameras all seem to be similarly constructed the past few years so there is not much difference between the mechanical things that can go wrong. What I have found is that people with the black screen issue either have a loose ribbon connection from the LCD display to the PC board behind the LCD display or a focus drive malfunction which is what I had. The LCD is easier to replace only only costs about $30 max off of Ebay. If you have the black screen and the ticking noise I guarantee it's a stuck focus lens.
NOW BEFORE YOU TAKE ANYTHING APART TRY THIS!
What happened to my Canon Vixia HF20 is that the focus lens was stuck at the front of the camera. It is supposed to retract when you turn the camera off but mine seemed stuck. I didn't try this but it's worth a try for a quick fix. With the power off and a battery in, tap the camera on the battery end to scoot the lens from the front of the camera towards the back. Try it over a few times if it does not work. I didn't realize how easily the lens drive moves until I physically moved it so this may be a simple solution.
IF THAT DIDN'T WORK GO FROM HERE!
You're going to need a micro phillips screwdriver with a head size of PH000. I went and bought a set at Home Depot pretty cheap even though I just needed that one size. The exact set I purchased below.
At this point if you do not have a lot of patience and shakey hands, just take your camera in.
What we decided to do was take apart the camera screw by screw and assign each screw a number while drawing a rough diagram of where each screw goes. What we found is that most screws were of unequal length. It is critical to map where you took each screw out. We used tape to a sheet of numbered paper to make sure we didn't mess up which screw goes where. See below:
Here we taped each screw to it's mapped number.
TAKE YOUR TIME! WORK AT IT LIKE A PUZZLE. TAKE OUT ALL VISIBLE SCREWS AND DO NOT FORCE ANY PARTS WITHOUT LOOKING AT WHAT IS HOLDING THEM BACK (usually a hidden screw).
From this point on I'll post a series of photos to help you disassemble and a few videos at the end to show results.
Screw driver kit and oil.
Remove 3 lens screws and oil the rails that the lens rides on with sewing machine oil.
Here's a video clip we took of the lens now working and the ticking noise is gone.
Now just do everything in reverse and put it back together. Hope this saves you a few hundred bucks in repairs.
JOB COMPLETE AND THE RESULTS....
No more black screen!