The Most Common Digital Camera Errors and How to Fix Them

Whether you are a professional photographer or just someone looking to capture the amazing scenery in front of you, nothing can be more frustrating than missing a perfect shot. It may be that the camera you have been using all along suddenly develops problems causing it to malfunction.

The worst part is that the digital camera repair can be a little expensive. But before you call it quits, there are some ideas you can try to fix the errors in question. Let us take a look at the common digital camera errors and their possible fixes.

SD Card Errors

camera problem - SD card error

SD card errors are some of the most common problems you are likely to encounter with a digital camera. It might take different shapes and forms and as such, you may not even realize that it is an SD problem.

But some telltale signs point to this and by getting acquainted with them, you can easily tell when that the problem is. Such as repair corrupted video files from the SD card. More knowledge, let us consider some:

1. The camera cannot recognize the memory card

There are several reasons why your camera may fail to recognize the SD card. First, it could be that the card is incompatible with your camera. There are lots of different types of cards for different types of cameras.

Some use SD cards while others use XD or CF cards. Furthermore, not all SD cards work with every camera. Find out what your camera needs and use only that.

A second reason why it may be unrecognizable is if the card is corrupted. If the chip on the card is corrupted, you will need a new card. But if the chip on the camera is the issue, you may have to visit the repair center.

The third reason could be that the SD card is full and therefore has no more space to store videos or photos. Some cameras will simply say that there is no memory card in place when the storage is full. Check if that is the case and free up some space by moving data to a computer.

2. The camera shows write protection error

Have you ever tried to delete or copy photos from a memory card only to get the message that they are write-protected? Well, it happens sometimes but once again, there is a way around it.

First, check whether the SD card or photos have read-only or write-protected attributes. To fix the problem, simply remove the attributes.

A second reason for the message could be that the files are under a virus attack, probably a Trojan. Simply use your antivirus to check and address this problem.

3. Memory card not formatted

If you have been using your camera and suddenly you get the message that your SD card is not formatted, it could be that its file system has changed to RAW. This usually indicates that there is a problem with the card itself and not necessarily the camera.

If your videos and photos get corrupted due to memory card error, you can download Wondershare Repairit - Video And Photo Repair Software to get your videos and photos fixed.

Next, to continue using the card, you will need to format it. Though you can format it on a computer, it is recommended that you format it on your phone instead. That way, it will keep a compatible format that will allow it to work with your camera.

Battery Error

camera problem battery error

Battery problems are among the most common type of camera error. Fortunately, most of the problems have simple fixes.

Take a look at some solutions:

The first step is to make sure that the camera is fully charged. Always take a moment to check the light on your charger to confirm that it‘s working. It just could be that your camera is okay but your charger needs a replacement.

Apart from a faulty charger, there could be other reasons why your camera may fail to charge. If for instance, your battery contacts are not clean then they could be hindering the charging process. Wipe them clean and try charging once again. Use a dry cloth for cleaning or a can of compressed air.

Note that some batteries need to be fully drained before recharging. Otherwise, you will shorten their lifespan. But this does not apply to all batteries. Most Lithium-ion batteries which are more common these days can be recharged at any time.

Software Errors

camera problem software error

Another common type of problem has to do with software issues. Everything might be alright with the hardware but with a software problem, you will not be able to use it efficiently.

Here are some solutions:

If your camera is not running the latest software, start by performing a firmware update. To do this, you simply need to download the latest available software and install it. Note that you need to select the software based on its model specifications.

In case a software update does not clear the problem, you might opt to restore the device to factory settings. The option is available from the camera menu.

Related: Further, read and know more complete details on how to restore your computer to factory settings.
- 2 minutes to read it.

Lens Error

camera problem Lens error

Lens errors are another very common problem in digital cameras. In most cases, they affect cameras that use barrel-style lenses. The main culprits that could cause this problem include dust, dirt, or sand which get deposited into the lens. It could also be that the lens is slightly out of its place.

To solve this problem, start by trying to clean the lens area in case there is dust or dirt that should be removed. For this procedure, you could use a hairdryer to clean areas that have no risk of heat.class="img-fluid" alternatively, you can use a can of compressed air.

In case cleaning the lens fails to work, you can carry out a visual check on the lens. Are the lenses tilted in one direction? If you have recently dropped the camera, the lens may have tilted, which will hinder the camera from working properly.

Note that some lens problems are sensitive and attempting to solve them yourself could cause more problems. It might be safer to get the experts at the repair center to fix it.

Only attempt to fix your camera if you have budgetary constraints or are far from the repair center and have to keep using the camera. Gently try to push the lens back into position and check if the error resolves.

Shutter Error

camera problem shutter error

Shutter problems are also common causes of errors in digital cameras. In most cases, it gets stuck and prevents the camera from taking good photos. If it is stuck in an open position, you may get overexposed photos. But if it refuses to open, the photos will likely be black.

In both cases, here are some of the solutions you could try:

First, check whether the lens surface is clean or if there is something in the way. In case you notice dirt particles, use a lens brush to clean it up. Then use a can of compressed air to clean the area around the shutter and the lens.

If this does not solve the problem, attempt to disrupt the shutter. Does your camera allow manual modes? Use shutter manual or priority to adjust the shutter speed to the lowest settings.

For cameras that do not allow manual modes, try to set scenes that allow you to take photos at low light, such as at fireworks or sunset. Once you change the settings, take a photo and as the camera takes the photo, remove the battery but do not switch off the camera.

If you are using a camera that does not allow manual settings, you need to be extremely fast in taking out the battery as you are taking a photo. This will interrupt the shutter and if it was stuck, it may start to release. Repeat the process several times to clear the error.

Camera Failed Error

camera failed error

There are lots of reasons why your camera might fail. Take a look at some of them and some fixes that you can try at home:

1. The camera is unable to initialize

It‘s early morning and you have a long day of exploration ahead. But when you switch on your digital camera, you get the error message ‘Camera error, camera unable to initialize.‘ You do not have to despair as this too can be solved.

Try the following:

On the digital camera, click Settings > APP > All > and then select Camera > Clear Cache and Clear Data. Once you do that, force stop the camera. This will often clear the problem and get you back on track.

2. Camera says no picture available

One of the greatest pleasures of taking photos on a digital camera is the ability to view photos immediately. But at times, the camera may report an error message saying that there are no photos available for viewing either on the SD card or in the internal memory of the device.

If this happens to you, try connecting the SD card or the camera to a PC to confirm whether or not the photos are available for viewing. Sometimes, you can even view the photos taken on one camera using a second camera.

How can you recover and access photos unavailable on camera?
- 2 minutes to read it.

Wet Camera

Wet camera error

It can happen to the best of us, one moment you have the camera in hand, next moment, you are seeing bubbles from the pool or bucket next to you. If you have a camera mishap with water, it may or may not be salvageable. It all depends on how much water got inside and how long it was submerged, if at all.

Your first instinct may be to check whether it is still working. But however tempting that may be, do not try to switch on the device. You need to give it time to dry out to prevent short-circuiting.

So the first thing to do is to remove the battery to keep out the current and open all compartments. If the water in question was salty or dirty, you need to wipe it off to avoid further damage. Wipe everything clean and lay it out to dry.

Give it up to a week and when you are sure everything is dry and toasty, you might want to reassemble the components and turn it on to assess the damage. It might simply need a new SD card and a new battery to keep functioning.

When to give up the camera repair

It‘s not always rainbows and butterflies with camera errors. At times, it may be time to call it quits and get a new one. But how can you tell when this time comes? Take a look at a few scenarios:

  • When repair will cost more than the camera itself - Though there are lots of camera repair centers, repair jobs are often very expensive. You may need to visit a repair shop and get an estimate of the job. If it is higher than what you paid for the camera, you may want to seek an alternative. You might opt to buy a new camera or even get an older version that may cost less than your current camera.
  • If the error has to do with a sensor problem - Fixing sensor problems are not only tough but also extremely costly. Again, get an estimate of the repair job before throwing in the towel.
  • When the camera has seen better days - You may have had the same camera for years and its picture quality is not what it used to be. If it experiences this problem, then it might be the perfect time for you to upgrade to something better. Note that digital camera technology has changed significantly over the past few years. It is also worth noting that old cameras are not worth much and could be cheaper than their batteries. So stop holding to that old geezer and get yourself an upgrade.


A digital camera malfunction may be frustrating, but it‘s by no means the end of the world. Oftentimes, you can fix these errors with just a few handy moves. Other times, you might need some help from the experts. But when all else fails, it may be time to consider moving up to the next best thing or using Repairit to fix corrupted videos and photos.