written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Shawn S. Lealos•updated: 6/5/2011
Your Nikon dying at just the wrong moment? Well, you don't immediately have to run to a repair person. You can usually fix common Nikon camera problems yourself. Read on to learn about some common error messages and solutions to these problems.
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Avoiding the Repairman
Nikon cameras are usually very reliable and they work without many issues. But, you may on occasion experience minor problems with them. Nikon camera repair often involves dealing with error codes and, thankfully, you can often clear these error messages without additional help. If the error code persists or, if you have a major problem with your camera, take it to an authorized repair person. Attempting to repair the problem yourself may result in further damage to the camera.
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Memory Card Problems
One of the most common issues experienced by Nikon users is that the camera freezes. If you notice this problem while you are scanning through your images, you may have an issue with your memory card, especially if you only have a handful of shots left on the card. Download the images to your computer and completely erase the images from the card.
Reformat the card. Some Nikon cameras require you to reformat your card after every use. Get in the habit of doing this as much as possible. You may also receive the CHA error when your camera freezes.
Another memory card error is the [d or Err messages blinking on your screen. This error can mean a number of different things. First, make sure that you are using the right kind of card for your camera. If not, switch it out. Always format your memory card before attempting to take photographs with it.
Try erasing the card. It may be having issues creating folders for your images. Downloading the images and clearing the items stored on the card may fix the problem. If not, replace the memory card.
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Autofocus and Flash
If you receive a blinking question mark in your display, your flash is not working correctly. The firmware for your flash unit didn’t update correctly. Try re-updating the firmware, or contact a representative.
Another problem that some people experience is that the camera won’t autofocus right. This is usually a firmware problem. Go to the Nikon website, and find the latest firmware update for your camera. Download that firmware to your camera.
A “quick fix" for this issue is to switch to liveview for a few seconds, and then switch back to autofocus. This won’t permanently fix the problem, but it will allow you to keep taking photographs. If you try all of these solutions, and your camera still doesn’t work, take it to a repair person. People with Nikon Coolpix cameras often experience this issue.
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The battery blinking message usually indicates that the battery is running low. Either replace it with a different battery or recharge the battery. If the battery is completely charged, your Nikon camera is experiencing a different type of problem. See if the installed battery is actually approved for your camera. A lot of Nikon products are proprietary, including the battery. If you bought a non-Nikon approved battery, replace the battery with a standard Nikon battery.
If neither of the above solutions work, you may have an initialization error. Shut off the camera and remove the battery. Let the camera sit for a few seconds, and then try replacing the battery. If the camera still has the blinking battery level error, get a new battery.
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The Err message can also occur when your memory card is fine. If you see this error as soon as your camera starts up, turn off the camera and remove the battery. Reinsert the battery and turn the camera back on. If the error appears again, you need to contact a Nikon representative. This indicates that you have a major problem with your Nikon camera.
Another Err error message occurs when you hold down the shutter release button. Release the button, and try pressing it again. If the error keeps happening, contact a Nikon repair person.
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Using the wrong ISO settings can also cause issues. If you receive the Lo message, you need to increase the ISO sensitivity. The subject that you are trying to photograph is just too dark for the camera to capture it. You can also try lowering the shutter speed or changing the aperture size. If your camera still won’t take the image, turn on the flash.
The HI error means that the ISO sensitivity is set too high. Change the setting to a lower ISO. You can also opt for a smaller aperture setting or change the shutter speed to a faster setting.
While these Nikon camera repair solutions will fix many common problems, you may still want to have your camera checked out by a repair person, especially if it’s still under warranty. If you visit the same camera shop often, they may also give you a free checkup for just being a good customer.