Whether your Sony mirrorless camera is new or old, you may from time to time encounter one or more error messages. Not every one of these needs a trip to the repair center as you can solve some yourself.
Let's take a look at some common problems and how to solve them.
Error 1: "Camera Error Turn Power off then on"
A quick search on the internet reveals that this is by far the most prevalent error on Sony mirrorless cameras. But what does it mean?
The error can appear when you are turning on your camera or soon after the boot up process completes. It might also happen right in the middle of a shoot, which might be quite inconvenient. Though there are lots of reasons why it could happen, one of the most common has to do with shutter problems.
Moreover, a good number of Sony mirrorless cameras have the In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) system. For such cameras, the cause of the problem could have to do with IBIS or sensor stabilization malfunctions.
A third probable cause could be an electronic circuit problem, and in this case, it will likely appear right at startup.
A final cause for the problem could be an accident. Accidents range from impact and dropping to moisture, water or liquid damage and the connection of incorrect power sources leading to short-circuiting.
If the error message comes right after an accident, it would be good to take it into consideration during repair.
Solving this problem is not exactly easy but neither is it impossible.
First, you might notice that when the message appears, the camera may lock up. Consequently, when you try to power it off, the message will likely remain on the screen. To turn it off, simply turn the power button to the off position and then remove the battery or disconnect power. The first solution is to do what the camera is telling you, switch off then on.
If the cause was a stuck shutter, turning the camera off and on will make it reset and work properly. Similarly, the action will resolve an error resulting from IBIS malfunctions.
In case the error message still appears after the power cycle, you could try resetting the camera. Go to the menu and find the "Settings" tab. However, if the camera is still frozen, you cannot access the menu and reset.
You may just have to visit the repair center if that is the case or if after power cycling it works for a while then shows the error message again.
Error 2: "Unable to Display"
Another common error on this type of camera is the "Unable to Display" image error. Some of the causes of this error include:
Using the same memory card on multiple devices
Stuffing the memory card beyond the required limit
Interfering with the memory card while it is in use
Inappropriate ejection or insertion of the memory card
Virus intrusion on the device hindering functionality
Now that you have a clue on the probable causes of the error, let us go through some possibilities on how to recover images and resolve the error:
To start with, try to capture new images and try viewing them. In case you are unable to view them, you might need to format the SD card in-camera. But if the new images display without a hitch, the problem might be your old images. You might then try to use photo repair software to fix them and resolve the error.
Another option is to export the images to an editing app in JPEG, PNG or even BMP. After exporting them, try to open and save them afresh. After you transfer or export the images, format the SD card, reload them then check if the same error message appears.
If the issue still persists, reset applications by going to Settings>Apps>Reset App Preferences. In case this too does not work, clear data for album applications. To do so, go to Settings>Apps>All> then select "Albums" and then "Clear Data."
After you apply the changes, restart the camera and open images then save them in the desired location.
If after all this you cannot access images, try using professional photo recovery software like Recoverit. It can help you recover deleted or lost photos from any device including SD cards, laptops, USB flash drives and other external hard drives.
Error 3: "Cannot Recognize Lens. Attach it Properly" Error
The above error clearly identifies the problem. But how can you resolve it?
The first and most logical step would be to check the camera lens connection. Take into consideration that the camera will not be able to communicate with the lens unless there is contact.
Contact should be between the metal pins on the camera body and those on the lens. To check this connection, first power off the camera and then detach the lens from the body of the camera.
Then you will need to examine the metal contacts on both the lens and the camera body. Once you understand how they should attach, reattach them. Note that the marking on the camera body should align with the marking on the body of the camera.
Once they align, you need to turn clockwise lightly until you hear a click. Power the camera on and check if the error has resolved.
In case the error message still appears and the lens you are using are from a different manufacturer, there could be a compatibility issue. Notably though, even in the absence of communication between the lens and camera, you can still take photos.
The only things you will not access are Auto Focus and Auto Exposure. To take photos, simply set the camera to manual and then manually set the desired features. These include the shutter speed, ISO, aperture and focus.
If you would like to attach the camera body to a telescope or other device, set the mode to manual. Next, enable the "Release w/o Lens" and on the Shutter Lock option, select "Off: no lens."
Error 4: Camera Overheating
Even though this camera is a reliable device, it could at times stall due to overheating. This often takes place when you shoot on video or continuous-shot mode. In such cases, the internal components of the camera might generate so much heat that they risk damaging the camera.
To avoid such an eventuality, the camera sends the above error message when the temperature of internal components rises above a set limit. When you get this message, it is best to turn off the device for between 10 and 15 minutes.
That should be ample time to allow everything on the inside to cool down to acceptable levels.
Error 5: Incompatible Battery
Once again, this is a self-explanatory error message. If the battery pack you have on your camera is not compatible, you need to replace it.
However, if you are certain that the battery you have is correct, the message could mean that the battery is malfunctioning. Here is what to do in that case:
Check battery terminals. If there is dirt or grime on them, this could be causing the malfunction. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe them off. Take care not to touch the terminals with metal objects or your hands.
If possible, change batteries and check whether the message clears
Alternatively, you can connect your power adapter to the camera and plug in to a wall outlet and check if that helps
If none of the options solve the issue, it might be time to visit the repair center.
Error 6: Card Error
You will get this error message when the memory card you have on the device is incompatible. But that does not necessary mean you need to replace the card. Rather, all you need to do to resolve it is to format the card.
Take care to use in-camera formatting rather than doing so on a PC. Note that if there is any media on the card, formatting will erase everything. Therefore, take a backup of it if you have important photos or videos in it.
Error 7: No Lens Attached and Shutter is Locked
When you get this message, it implies that your camera has locked the shutter. The reason for this is that for some reason it thinks that you have not attached a lens. If this is so, the easiest resolution is to attach a lens. Alternatively, you may simply need to realign the lens as outlined above.
However, in most cases, you may already have a lens in place and still get the message. One of the possible reasons for this could have to do with the contacts between lens and camera.
To confirm whether this, put the camera in cleaning mode. If it responds by opening the shutter, the error may in fact have to do with the contacts. Check on the camera body using a different lens to rule it out.
On some mirrorless models, you can override the check for lens present by activating manual mode. If yours does not, try to override the release without having lens interlocking.
Error 8: No Memory Card Inserted and Shutter is Locked
Another error message similar to the previous one has to do with a locked shutter which results from memory card issues.
One issue could be incompatibility arising from the fact that the memory card was previously formatted on a different camera. The solution is simply to format the memory card in-camera and check if the error resolves.
In other cases, it could be that the memory card is locked and is thus not visible on the camera. Remove it and check the lock switch; if it is locked, switch it back on.
A third possibility could have to do with the metal pins that provide contact between the camera and card. Once again, you will need to remove the card then use a cleaning solution to wipe the contacts clean.
Error 9: Set Date and Time
In many cases, you will get this message on a camera on which you have set the time and date. That would imply that the internal battery on the camera does not have any power. This often happens when the camera remains unused for an extended period.
To charge the camera's internal battery, simply plug the camera into a wall. Alternatively, you can insert a rechargeable battery that is fully charged. Leave the camera off for a minimum of 24 hours.
That will allow the internal battery to recharge automatically. After this process, you will likely need to recharge the removable battery.
Error 10: Power Insufficient
In case you get this message, simply recharge the camera as it does not have enough power to carry out the task you have selected.
On the one hand, it could mean that your device simply needs a recharge. But on the other, it might indicate a battery problem.
The first step is to recharge the battery and monitor usage.
If you have recharged it recently and get this message, you might try changing batteries to check whether your current batteries are the problem.
In case you are using a new set of batteries or you experience the same problem with alternative batteries, you might need to have the experts check it out.
Error 11: System Error
When you see "System Error" on your camera, the problem is unspecified. But it is serious enough that the camera cannot function before you address it.
You need to turn the camera off, remove the battery and then turn it back on. That is a reset, and should normally fix the issue.
However, if the problem is more serious, it may warrant a longer break. So repeat the reset process, but this time, you need to leave the battery out for a minimum of 1 hour.
In case the error message persists or keeps resurfacing time and again, it may be time to visit a repair center.
Error 12: Format Disabled
You might try to format your SD card only to get this message. If this happens, it could be that the SD card is locked and you cannot make any changes to it in this state. Fortunately, it is usually a simple problem to fix.
Remove the card and check the side for a small toggle switch. It is likely in the lock position, so slide it to Unlock position. Then mount it back and try formatting again.
Taking Matters into Your Hands
Sony mirrorless cameras are a great option for taking your imaging ambitions beyond the smartphone. However, great image moments do not wait and an error message could be your worst undoing when you encounter such moments.
With the above description of errors and their solutions, you might be able to solve such challenges without requiring a trip to the repair center.
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