Canon DSLRs and ERROR 99

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by matfoster, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    interested to hear about any personal experiences people have of getting an ERROR 99 while using their Canon DSLR. what you attribute this to. whether you sent it to Canon for diagnostics and repair. whether you have developed a work-around and just live with it.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Error 99 is a genertic error term for when the camera's internal diagnostics cannot work out what is actually wrong. The only real solution is to send it back to canon for a service.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think the typical reason for an Error 99 is a miscommunication between the camera and the lens.

    I've only had it show up a few times, and all it took to fix it was turning the camera on/off, taking the lens on & off or taking the battery out etc.
     
  4. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

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    Ya kinda have to agree. I've only seen this error on my old 20D and either reseating the lens or powering it on and off cleared it. I did notice that it only happened with one certain lens I used at that time.

    It was the smelly 24-80mm, that sliver one....:mrgreen:
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I have had several Err99 lockups on my 20D over a few years of ownership. It seems to go with the territory. Err99 is a general fault status code. I clear mine by switching the camera Off, removing the battery, the re-installing the battery, and turning the camera back on. Searches of web forums will reveal that Err99 and other lockups are pretty common across many models of Canon d-slrs. I attribute it to the all-electronic interface between Canon lenses and bodies; I have not had a Nikon camera/lens combo lock up with an error code like an Err99, and I think that's because Nikon's lens/body diaphragm interface is a mechanical connection--a simple, mechanical actuator in the body, and a small lever on each lens, and it has been that way since 1959. In a Canon system, the lens-to-body connection is entirely electronic, with absolutely no mechanical components, so if a contact gets greasy, or damaged, the body and the lens will not communicate properly,and the camera locks up.

    Secondarily, I think Canon consumer bodies suffer from the Err99 problem more often than Nikon pro bodies because the Canon consumer bodies have batteries that go in in a vertical orientation, so gravity is working against the contacts, which are at the top.
    In a camera with a side-loading battery that has a screw-key door that kind of "pushes in" the battery, gravity is not working against a solid contact. Overall, I think the issue stems from how very little actual "area" is in contact in modern Canon cameras,and as popular as Canon cameras are, there are a lot of people using them in situations where the Err99 occurs--due to dirtty contacts, worn contacts, and the need for perfect electronic interface between each and every lens and the body. In bodies like the 20-30-40-50D, where the battery goes in vertically, I sometimes think some people are having problems with cheaper, generic batteries that do not fit properly; in the past,there have been some really cheap, Chinese-made generic Canon-fit batteries that do not make good contact. The problems with cheap, and I mean the el-cheap-o eBay kind of generic batteries, are pretty well-known and discussed on Sportsshooter.com,with many people having the cheap-o batteries fail to make good,solid contact.

    A Google search on the string Canon camera + Err 99 will turn up days' worth of posts to read. But many people seem to experience the Err99 right after a lens change, which is what makes me think the problem lies in the all-electronic body/lens interface connection.
     
  6. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    thanks for your answers. i intentionally held-off from stating my own scenarios/work-around with it, as i previously have researched web info and learnt that it is generic/mysterious...was interested first, to hear your experiences with this

    i started getting it on a 1000D about a year ago. using extension tubes (crazy coincidence - see current thread on jammed tubes) and swapping-out various EF lenses, non Canon lenses etc in the field. lots of damp, kneeling in the grass macro photography. at first i felt it was associated with a certain EF lens, then other lenses would provoke it. there seemed no obvious logic to it.

    i quickly established a work-around which i use to this day with that body (i tolerate it and it's never been really convenient to send it away). i get an ERROR 99..i leave the camera switched to ON, i open the battery door, remove/reinsert the battery. works fine. i have noticed that occasionally when the battery gets (unintentionally) charged-up all night (as in past the green light stage), i can power it up and shoot without needing to fiddle around like this. also, another detail from when it first began to happen..i would turn the camera off..walk a bit..turn it on for the next shot..turn it off etc to save remaining power. i think this may have compromised the battery or something related to power-handling in the circuitry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  7. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    that's weird, you see.. because with mine, i have to keep it switched ON ;) fun and games eh!
     
  8. Lurching

    Lurching TPF Noob!

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    I have the same issue with my 17-85mm lens. It only occurs with this lens and its getting a bit too common to cope with, so im thinking ill have to send the lens away.
     
  9. BKMOOD

    BKMOOD TPF Noob!

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    I seem to get Error 99 only when I use non-Canon lenses (sometimes, not often). I usually clear settings and turn the camera off. It comes back on just fine.
     
  10. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    thanks for any input :thumbup:
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    One possible consequence of removing the battery with the switch in the on position is capacitive discharge, which can fry your electronics.

    It only takes once!
     
  12. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    thanks for that KmH
     

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