Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Dreaded Error 99

Imagine my dismay, when I pushed the shutter on my relatively new, relatively expensive Canon D20 the other day, only to have it refuse to take a picture and flash at me instead "Error 99."

For days, this is all the camera has done, Error 99, Error 99. It has completely refused to take photos.

I went online to research the error, only to find that it apparently plagues this very tony line of Canon cameras. The ins and outs of Error 99 are posted on all the top discussion boards, discussions going back for years.

Unfortunately, the fix usually comes down to "send the camera in for repairs." How annoying. This was supposed to be a "rugged" camera, and it turns out lots of people have it for just months before it starts Error 99ing them.

Some of the posts on Error 99 said that the problem was a broken shutter mechanism, and I had gotten to the point of researching how to replace that, which looked pretty intense.

After trying all the recommended fixes and failing to fix it, I finally broke down yesterday afternoon and bought a portable camera, the new Canon SD1100IS.
Wouldn't you know it. I tried the recommended fixes one last time last night, and they worked.


For anyone researching the error 99 problem, I repeated these recommended steps three times before it worked: I removed and completely recharged the battery, removed the data card and removed the lens. Then insert JUST the battery, try to take a picture. If that works (it didn't for me) try inserting the CF card. If it doesn't work at this point, it's probably the card. Then put the lens back on. If it doesn't work at this point, it could be dirty contact points.

The time it finally worked I was holding the camera upside down and slowing down the shutter to try and see if there was something obvioulsy wrong with the shutter mechanism. That's when it started working. WHY it worked is a complete mystery.

Why Canon hasn't issued some kind of recall on something that seems so common in their cameras is an even bigger mystery. Doesn't seem like Canon DSLR buyers should have to expect to shell out $200 on a repair just two years after buying such a pricey item. Or is it just me?

1 comment:

freda said...

send the camera in for repairs!? they obviously don't know who they are dealing with. damn, come home, I need a little genius, I have lots of things to fix.

I will be here in Massachusetts for two more days if you can get here before Saturday it would be great to see you, and Steve would love to see you, ciao.