A Short Course Book
Using Your Digital Camera
A Guide To Great Photographs

When Things Go Wrong

Icons on the camera's control panel or monitor indicate the status of the batteries. The icons, many of which look like these, show when the battery is fully charged (left) and getting low (right).
When deleting files or formatting memory cards, think before you do so. It's easy to loose files.
If anything can go wrong, it will. Here are some of the things you might encounter.
  • If the camera seem to be turned off, it may just have entered sleep mode. If you don't use any controls for a specified time, the camera enters this mode to reduce battery drain. To wake it up, press the shutter button halfway down, or turn the camera off and back on. After an hour or so of inactivity, some cameras shut off completely. You can often change the time it takes before the camera enters sleep mode or turns off completely.
  • If you can't turn on the camera, the batteries are dead or have been removed or a memory card hasn't been inserted.
  • If your batteries drain quickly, stop using the monitor to take and review pictures. If it's cold, keep the batteries or camera under your coat.
  • When you turn the camera on, a battery shaped icon on the control panel indicates when the batteries are fully charged, getting low, or run down empty and should be replaced immediately.
  • When you turn on the camera, an error message will be displayed if there is a problem with the memory card.
  • If you can't take a picture, it may be because the memory card is full. To free up room for new pictures, move the images to a computer and erase the memory card, delete some you don't need, or switch to a smaller image size.
  • Some cameras have a delay between your pressing the shutter button and the shutter opening. This can cause you to miss fleeting expressions.
  • To control which part of the scene the camera focuses on, read your user guide so you understand how focus works in various exposure modes.
  • If the focus lamp blinks when you press the shutter button halfway down, the camera may be having trouble focusing.
  • If flash photos are too dark, you are probably too far from the subject. Most built-in flash units are good only up to about ten feet. They don't have the power to illuminate subjects much father than that.
  • If photos are too light when using flash, you may want to reduce the flash power.
  • If your pictures are blurred, you may not be holding the camera steady as you smoothly press the shutter. Most blurry photos are caused by jabbing the shutter button. You may also be too close to the subject or the subject may be moving too fast.
  • Never take pictures of the sun or other bright light sources. Doing so can injure your eye or the camera's image sensor.
  • If your pictures are not at all the way you expect, it may be because the camera remembered a change you made in the settings and continues to use that changed setting. Some cameras remember changes even when you turn a camera off and back on. See if your camera has a procedure that resets all settings to their factory defaults.

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