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What to Do When Your Camera Won’t Work

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

If you are seeing the same issues come up again and again in your photography, it may not be you. It may be your camera.

There are various problems that can arise with your camera and many of them can be easily fixed. Here are a few that may occur and what you can do about them.

The Lens Won’t Focus

If the lens won’t focus, try:

  • Checking that the Autofocus is Turned On: Your camera may be on manual which will lead to out-of-focus shots.

  • Removing the Lens and Reattach It: Your camera may not be focusing because the lens is not properly attached to the camera. Removing it and reattaching it should solve this problem.

  • Using an Air Blower: It could be that there is dust in your camera causing focus issues. An air blower or air compressor will clean it out making for clearer pictures.

  • You’re Too Close: Every camera has a minimum focusing distance. If you are too close to your subject, the camera may not focus. For an immediate fix, try walking away from the subject. Consider adding a close-up filter or extension tubes for a long-term solution.

Memory Card Errors

Here’s what you can do if you are getting memory card errors.

  • Check That Your Card’s Not Locked: If you are unable to take or delete photos, it may be because you removed the writer protect on your card or you locked it. If the card is locked, you can move the switch to unlock it. If the switch breaks off, place a piece of tape over where the switch is supposed to be. This will unlock the card.

  • Format Issues: If nothing is working, you may need to reformat your card. This will cause you to lose the pictures on the card, but it may be the only way to get your camera to work again.

Exposure Issues

Here are some steps you can take if all your photos are coming out too dark or too light.

  • Check the Exposure Compensation: If the exposure compensation is turned on, it will make the camera alter the values in some automatic modes. This may be the reason why your pictures are coming out too bright or dark.

  • Check the Metering Mode: The metering mode can also cause exposure issues. This is often the case when you are using Spot Metering Mode improperly. Average or Evaluative Metering Mode are safer bets.

  • Make Sure You Haven’t Activated Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): It’s easy to accidentally activate AEB. This will cause your images to come out over or underexposed. Check your bracketing settings to ensure this isn’t the case.

When It’s Time to Put Your Camera Down

  • Many camera issues have easy solutions, but there are a few that will be unfixable. Here are some that will let you know it’s time to put your camera down.

  • The ISO Has Become Too Sensitive: If your ISO is looking grainy in good lighting, it may be time to shop for a new camera.

  • The Shutter is Very Slow: A camera’s lifespan is usually based on its maximum shutter actuations. Once it reaches its limit, the camera will need to be disposed of. You can tell it’s nearing the end if the shutter gets very slow and there is a delay between you pressing the shutter and the photo being taken.

  • You’ve Outgrown Your Camera: There may come a time when you need a new camera simply because you require a higher pixel count or better equipment. It may be hard to say goodbye, but it needs to be done.

Cameras are pieces of electronic equipment. As such, they are likely to give you problems. The tips in this article will help you solve these issues so you can move on and get great shots. What easy fixes do you have to share?

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