Nikon Troubleshooting: How to Fix Your Nikon Camera

Solutions for some common problems

You may experience problems with your point and shoot Nikon camera that don't result in any error messages or other easy-to-follow clues. Solving such issues can be a little tricky, and you may feel nervous about attempting to fix things yourself. But, troubleshooting doesn't have to be a difficult process. Use these tips to get your Nikon camera working again.

The troubleshooting tips in this guide generally apply to all Nikon camera models.

Causes of Nikon Camera Problems

Your Nikon camera can experience a number of problems during its lifespan. Maybe it won't power up, or the LCD displays a blank screen. Maybe the lens isn't autofocusing properly. These issues can be caused by bad batteries, dirty lenses, software settings, and more.

Safari photo. Canon and Nikon digital cameras and lenses. Masai Mara game reserve. Kenya.
Pascal Deloche / Godong / Getty Images

How to Fix Common Nikon Camera Problems

Here are some common problems you might encounter with your Nikon camera, along with some potential solutions.

  1. Check the battery. If the camera has a blank screen or doesn't take a photo when the shutter button is pressed, the battery is likely the culprit. Is the battery charged? Is it inserted correctly? Are its metal connectors clean? If not, use a soft cloth to remove any grime. Are there any particles or foreign objects in the battery compartment that could prevent a good connection? Check for all these things, then power up the camera again.

  2. Check the camera's storage. If the memory card or internal memory is full or nearly full, the camera might not save the photo you're trying to take. Occasionally, the camera doesn't record photos because it has 999 photos in its memory. Some older Nikon models cannot store more than 999 photos at one time.

  3. Check the monitor button. This troubleshooting tip is for cameras where the LCD shows nothing or goes blank periodically. Some Nikon digital cameras have what the company calls monitor buttons, which turn the LCD on and off. It's possible the LCD is turned off, so find your model's monitor button and press it. You can view the camera's shooting information using the monitor button as well. Repeatedly press it to display different information on-screen or remove all shooting data.

    Most Nikons have a power-saving mode where the camera powers down the LCD after a few minutes of inactivity. If this happens too frequently for your liking, turn this feature off or lengthen the amount of time before the power-saving mode starts. You can make this change in the camera's settings.

  4. Increase the brightness. Some LCDs are difficult to see in direct sunlight because of glare. If the screen is too dim, some Nikon cameras let you increase the brightness. Use your free hand to shield the screen from direct sun, or turn your body to avoid sunshine on the LCD. If the LCD is dirty or smudged, clean it with a soft, dry microfiber cloth.

  5. Make sure the camera is in the right shooting mode. If your camera doesn't record photos when the shutter button is pushed, make sure the selector dial is turned to a photo recording mode, rather than a playback mode or a video recording mode.

  6. Check the autofocus assist lamp. If your camera's autofocus doesn't work properly, the assist lamp or light could be to blame. With some Nikon point and shoot cameras, you can turn off the autofocus assist lamp (a small light that provides extra illumination to help with auto-focusing on a subject, especially when you use a flash in a low-light situation). However, if the autofocus lamp is off, the camera may not focus properly. Look through the Nikon camera's menus to turn on the autofocus assist lamp. Or you may be too close to the subject for the autofocus to work. Try backing up a little bit.