Solve Error Messages With Your Sony DSLR Camera

The camera's on-screen messages illuminate problems and solutions

Sony a77 DSLR Camera


Although Sony DSLR cameras are reliable pieces of equipment, they can suffer problems from time to time. If you experience an issue with your Sony DSLR, you may see an error message on the display screen or you may experience problems where the camera provides no visual clues. Here are some common error messages you may receive, along with tips on how to solve them.

Camera Overheating

While shooting in continuous-shot mode or video mode, the camera’s internal components may generate enough heat to damage it. This error message appears If the camera’s internal temperature rises above a certain level. Turn off the camera for at least 10 to 15 minutes, allowing the internal components to cool to safe levels.

Card Error

This message appears when an incompatible memory card is inserted in the camera. You can fix this issue by formatting the memory card with the Sony DSLR camera.

Formatting the card will erase all of the photos, so check it for data first and backup your images if needed.

Incompatible Battery

This error message indicates the battery pack you’re using is not compatible with your Sony DSLR camera. If you're certain you have the correct battery, this error message also can indicate the battery is malfunctioning.

No Lens Attached, Shutter Is Locked

If you see this error message, the interchangeable lens on your camera is likely not properly attached. Try again, taking care to line up the threads. The camera is inoperable as long as the lens is not attached properly.

No Memory Card Inserted, Shutter Is Locked

If you see this error message, you need to insert a compatible memory card. If you have a memory card inserted in the Sony DSLR camera already, the card could be incompatible because it was initially formatted with another camera. Reformat the card to work with your camera.

Power Insufficient

This error message indicates the main battery doesn't have enough power remaining to perform the task you’ve selected.

Set Date and Time

When this message occurs in a camera that already has a set date and time, it usually indicates the internal battery has no power. This often occurs when the camera hasn't been used for a long time. To charge the internal battery, plug the camera into a wall outlet or insert a fully charged rechargeable battery and leave the camera off for at least 24 hours. The internal battery will charge itself automatically.

You might need to also recharge the main battery after this process.

System Error

This error message indicates an unspecified error, but it's a serious enough problem that the camera is no longer operable. Reset it by turning it off and removing the battery and memory card for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Reinsert them and turn the camera on again. If that process doesn’t work, try once more, leaving the battery out for at least 60 minutes this time. If this error message repeats frequently, or if resetting the camera does not work, your Sony DSLR camera likely needs repair.

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