Wedding panic with the D300 (& solution)

Started Jul 7, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Jean Ricket
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Wedding panic with the D300 (& solution)
Jul 7, 2008

At the signing ceremony just before the main wedding ceremony, my spouse's D300 (with Sigma DG500 in the hot shoe) started taking pictures at its own weird settings, disregarding the shutter speed and ISO it was set up for.

He was getting 1/6th second shutter speed instead of 1/60+, even with the ready light on the flash indicating OK to shoot. The ISO jumped to 1000, even though adjustable ISO was turned off and the camera was set to 400.

The camera had taken about 50 pictures with flash just fine, and now the main ceremony was coming up. Camera battery indicated fully charged. Rebooted--shut off the D300, took out & put back the battery. Couldn't get the camera to stop choosing its own crazy settings (which would give fuzzy pictures.)

Flash of insight: Replace flash batteries! That solved the problem.

The flash batteries were Ni-MH rechargeable AA's that were fresh and should have given 100+ shots, but, obviously, they weren't OK. And the D300 was apparently accommodating its settings to the amount of light that the flash could deliver. Bummer. It would have been better if the camera had indicated "flash not sufficient" or "turn off flash" or "reset without using flash" or something to alert us to where the problem was.

My spouse lost about 15 pictures but was ready for the main ceremony with the D300 doing fine again. The new batteries lasted for about 250 pictures.

Lucky we had plenty of batteries and they weren't all bad, but I had not heard of such crazy behavior for the D300 and wonder whether that could be fixed with an update in software. At least, we know to be alert for this quirk of the camera now, and if someone else's D300 starts shooting at 1/6 second and ISO 1000, change the flash batteries.

Has anyone else had this behavior?

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JeanR

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