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Canon 50D Problems

Tue May 17, 2011 4:39 pm

Hello All,
I wanted to share a recent experience with my 50D, and see if anyone has any ideas/advice/tips for me.

Back in February, I purchased a refurbed 50D direct from Canon. I haven't had a huge number of opportunities to test it out, but after some aviation and nature stuff in my area, and about 800-900 actuations, I was fairly pleased with the body, and had had no issues. This all changed on Friday. I was credentialed media for the Langley AFB airshow, and was about an hour into the practice show when diaster struck. I had noticed that the images were becoming progressively blurrier and blurrier, at shutter speeds at which motion blur was impossible (say 1/2000 for example) and on stationary or slow taxiing aircraft. Shortly after this, I pressed the shutter, and was greeted by an awful noise, and the shutter actuating rapidly. It then siezed up and displayed a Error 20 message. I removed the battery and re-inserted it. No luck. I replaced the battery. Still no luck. I changed CF cards: no change. Tried several different lenses (all Canon) and nothing changed. At the time of the failure, I was shooting with my 100-400mm, with high speed continuous drive enabled. Any attempt to fire the shutter now is greeted by the same awful noise, rapid repetitive shutter actuation, sieze up, and Error 20 message.

Any thoughts on what this could be?


[Edited 2011-05-17 09:45:23]

[Edited 2011-05-17 10:20:04]
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Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 10:29 am

RE: Canon 50D Problems

Tue May 17, 2011 5:07 pm

Ouch Nick. Presuming it's still under warranty I'd say drop it off at a Canon Service Center as soon as possible. Sounds like the shutter needs to be replaced by your description of the malfunction.Canon customer support is great about that stuff. Canon should replace your shutter assembly no questions asked.

I had similar issues with my 40D, Error 99's. Had the shutter replaced once, about a year later started to have intermittent Error 99's again. I would clean the contact pins on the camera body and lenses with an eraser tip and that would seem to resolve the issue for an outing or two and then it would start up again. Supposedly circuitry problems in the camera cause the camera to shutdown as a programmed safety measure (your problem sounds different). I checked if the batteries were seating properly, if the lenses were mating to the contact pins properly, you name it, I tried it without success. In the end my second series of issues were occurring outside the camera's warranty and I was tired of the unreliability of the thing and got rid of it.

Get your camera to a service center without delay, get it fixed and hopefully it should be taken care of.

Good luck!
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RE: Canon 50D Problems

Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 pm


Doesn't sound good. One thing you can check though.... Take the lens off and above the mirror you should check that the focusing screen is in properly. If not, it can hang down and affect the mirror when it flips up/down when a shot is taken. Otherwise, it's a job for Canon to handle


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