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Old 03-02-2009, 07:59 PM
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Canon 400D: error 99, what?

Hi guys,
recently I have a problem with my Canon 400d, sometimes there is a message on the screen that says "error 99, shooting is not possible, Turn switch OFF then ON, or reinstall battery".
Also, sometimes images are dark, like something was in the light path (mirror?)
Anybody knows what that may be? I know that 300D has a plastic pin that sometimes breaks and prevents focus mirror from moving away so it remains in the light path and as a consequence the lower part of the image is shaded.. but in my case it is the upper part, or so it seems. Very strange..
The problem happens maybe after 5-10 iamges (after power OFF ON)

EDIT:
Error 99 is happening with or without lens in place, with or without CF card.. so it is something internal.

Last edited by bojan; 03-02-2009 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:08 PM
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bojan, I have heard of this before, and to be honest I can't quite remember what it means, but it dose have something to do wuith the lens you have attached, I think, sorry i can't be of much more help, but i do know this is quite a common occurance.

Leon

Ps Have a look here or here

http://www.richardsnotes.org/archive...ontact-points/

http://simple-pc-help.com/support/er...FQUupAodixq_ag
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:27 PM
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Hi Bojan
Error 99 came up when I first attached a new 50mm lens to my 400d. I cleaned the contacts and so on but never clear the error. Returned the faulty lens. No more problem with another replaced lens.
Therefore I think error 99 is a lens error not body.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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Thanks Vincent, however, error is occuring without any lens attached.
So it is body...

Oh well.. warranty of course expired....

Last edited by bojan; 03-02-2009 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:44 PM
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Error 99, as the others say, is to do with the lens, clean the contacts with something NON abrasive and see how it goes. You only need a small dust particle under the contacts to cause that error, often simply removing and reseating the lens will resolve the error.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:41 AM
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My camera is damaged

Hi guys,
I had a good look on web (thanks, Leon ).. It seems error 99 is general in nature - it can be caused by various faults and reasons.

In my case, it coincides with me starting using the Focus confirmation chip on one of my lenses (I am not saying this was the cause.. I am just saying, the error started to appear soon after I put that thing on the camera).
I updated the firmware with the latest version available, I also checked the condition of both batteries...

The symptoms are interesting, as follows:
After re-installment of the battery, I can do 4 shots, no problems. After 5th one, I have error 99 on screen, which can be cleared by re-installment of battery, and then we go again.... 4 shots OK, 5th one comes with error, and is never saved on the card.
The pattern is repetitively occurring, regardless of any lens being on camera or not, with or without a CF card present.
However, the images taken with focus confirmation circuit have the upper part underexposed, which suggests a problem with the shutter.. but only with confirmation chip and only with short exposures...

So it seems something went permanently wrong inside the camera body
Darn electronics...
There is a service centre in Clayton, so I will go there today or tomorrow and have it checked.

EDIT:
One more little thing: the file names for images for some reason changed from "IMG_1234" to "_MG_1234"..
I do not really think this is related, but it started sort of at the same time or a day or two earlier....

Last edited by bojan; 04-02-2009 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:03 PM
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renormalised (Carl)
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With the camera on the fritz I wouldn't rule anything out. Sounds like the gremlins have gotten hold of this one!!.
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:21 PM
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Sorry to hear that you are having a problem. Have you checked the memory stick, cleaned the contacts on it? and reset the camera to default settings?
Like you mention could possibly be a shutter / synchronization problem?
Have you watched the shutter to see that it is working ok?
cheers Gary
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garyh View Post
Sorry to hear that you are having a problem. Have you checked the memory stick, cleaned the contacts on it? and reset the camera to default settings?
Like you mention could possibly be a shutter / synchronization problem?
Have you watched the shutter to see that it is working ok?
cheers Gary
Yes, all done, re-flashed, defaulted and no help, it is not related to anything outside camera.
Shutter looks like working OK.. I moved the mirror and plates look OK, nothing seems to be bent ...
At least the file names are IMG again, after erasing settings to default values.

Now I know how people feel when stuck with nowadays car somewhere in the bush.. because there is corruption in processor flash memory somewhere... and there is no way you can do a thing without help from manufacturer or service

I shall see tomorrow when I talk to service people...
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:10 PM
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I've gotten the Error 99 in three separate cases:

Canon 10D with Sigma 300mm f/2.8 lens. Lens worked properly on D30 camera, it would happen when trying to set the aperture to anything other than f/2.8. Sigma was re-chipping the lenses for 10D compatibility, so this was due to a communication error to the lens.

Canon 10D with slow memory card. The card was not fast enough to write data as quickly as the camera needed, so it would freeze up with an Error 99.

Canon 40D with Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L lens. The contacts on the lens were dirty. Cleaned the contacts, problem went away.

Basically all that this proves is that Error 99 is a generic "things did not go as planned when communicating with an accessory" error. Given that you state it happens with no lens attached, I'd check both the internal backup battery as well as the memory card. For that matter, some li-ion battery packs have chips in them as well to validate that the battery is in fact OEM. Are you using a genuine Canon battery?

Regards,
Eric
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:33 PM
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Eric,
All is genuine.
The only thing that was not genuine was focus confirmation chip that I put on the lens I modified (Canon f1.4 SSC FD), but I do not believe this caused the problem as it is now there with original or no lens at all.
Unless Canon decided to "catch" people red-handed, using OEM equipment (which is not likely, but who knows..) so there is place in flash where processor writes something like "enemy gadget used, retaliate!" and then it produces error 99 every 5 pictures taken :-)
Anyway, the camera is with Canon service now.. I will let you know guys the outcome when they come back to me with some news.
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Old 20-02-2009, 03:29 PM
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Repair cost as quoted by Canon

The blow was unexpected and quite substantial: they say they have to
replace the shutter, and this will be $420 !!!!
Actually, shutter will be only ~$65, the rest goes for labour and GST.
I did only 3500 shots with this camera... of course, the warranty expired last year.
Any ideas how long the shutter should last?
Somehow I am not entirely convinced the shutter is the problem here (my suspicion is based on the camera behaviour), however since I do not have the necessary information, I have to accept this assessment as correct for now...
Anyone have any thoughts/experiences/advice?
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Old 20-02-2009, 03:53 PM
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Bojan I believe it is not the shutter either, but something more sinister inside the electronics of the camera.

Your shutter would easily do 50,000 shots before needing replacing if at all, the 5D's are rated at 100,000.

Sorry to hear you are having so much grief, but it was me I would not pay that sort of money to change the shutter, knowing that it may not solve the problem.

Once a Digital DSLR has that sort of problem, I don't think it is worth fixing, you could however just flog of the body, for someone that just needs it for imaging.

Leon
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Old 20-02-2009, 04:37 PM
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Leon, this is exactly what I would and will do.
First, I think their assessment is not correct (taking into account the symptoms I described to them), I think it was the application of "rule of thumb" method.
I talked to them earlier today and the person on the other side told me that "they have their ways of determining what was wrong" and insisting it was the shutter, the argument I did not accept, of course... because he could not explain the pattern : 4 shots, 5th one with error.. I told him I just wanted to understand what could go wrong in such a way to produce such symptoms, and he had no answer to that.
So, next week I will speak with their team leader (he will call me) and I will try to clarify the matter.
The problem is, if it is not the shutter, it will happen again and again..
And, if it turns out it was the shutter, I can replace it myself for much lower price :-)... And I can remove IR filter at the same time....

Last edited by bojan; 20-02-2009 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 20-02-2009, 08:15 PM
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And, if it turns out it was the shutter, I can replace it myself for much lower price :-)... And I can remove IR filter at the same time....

Nice, go up that path I reckon

Leon
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Old 23-02-2009, 04:01 PM
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Well, just now I had a chat with Canon Service in Sydney (where my camera is at the moment).

During that conversation (they were very polite and they appreciated everythig I told them), couple of interesting things surfaced...

- First, they are sure it was shutter because the camera has internal, and much more specific logging of events.. and that log clearly indicated that every time error popped up the shutter was to blame (I wonder now why this specific log was not displayed on the screen, instead of that notorious and non-specific "error 99" ?)
- Canon does not specify the life of the shutter, because this will depend on many varables.
- The technician who was taking care of my camera was himself puzzled by its behaviour (4 shots, 5th with error). So he decided to replace the shutter just to prove that the shutter was failing. Apparently, the problem was fixed with this replacement (but why error 99 came up after every 4 shots still remains the mystery..).

Now here follows the most interesting part:
- They told me if I do not accept their quote ($420), they will undo the fix and I can have my camera back as it was, no charge.
- I said "what a waste of an effort.." and then they offered me to send me camera back in the current state (that means repaired) if I agree to pay them the original limited sum that I agreed upon when leaving the camera in their office in Clayton (it was $250)

Well, I agreed to this, an so this saga will soon be over.
And they will give me 6 months warranty on shutter and labour.

However one issue is still unresolved: What if it was the software error.. or some intermittent problem with circuitry, which was (possibly temporarily) fixed by connecting - disconnecting cables and whacking the hardware in general? This would have been possible to put to test by installing back the old shutter.. in which case I could have ended with 250 in my pocket?
But I decided at this point in time not to be too difficult to them.. And I will have warranty so next 6 months I be shooting images like crazy :-)
Happy ending.. I hope :-)

Last edited by bojan; 23-02-2009 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 28-02-2009, 12:17 PM
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bojan

this happened to me last March with my 20D, and some of the photos were only half a pic and the rest grey, as if it was the shutter. I was panicking, I can tell you. But the forum memebers on the Canon potn forum advised cleaning all the contacts before going to the expense of taking it to a Canon repair shop.

So I very carefully cleaned all my gold colured contacts on lenses and camera with alcohol and a cotton bud (tip), let them air dry, gave the lenses a good clean and the sensor too while I was at it (just the airbursh for the sensor) and have not had any problems since.
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Old 28-02-2009, 04:20 PM
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Odille,
You were lucky :-)
I also did a lot of research on the web and tried everything reasonable, and it was not an easy decision to go to them.. But the only alternative was to throw it away (which I would do, eventually, if the service insisted on quoted price and did not offer me the generous discount which I mentioned before).
Now, I only need a clear sky again :-)
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