Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

Started Apr 22, 2008 | Discussions
mathew crow Regular Member • Posts: 443
Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

I've been seriously looking at moving to this camera from my Pentax K100D, but I keep seeing these threads about this Err 99 issue that seems to come up after months of use, albeit thousands of photos. That possibility is really freaking me out though. When I have the opportunity to go on one trip each year or so where there could be some once in lifetime photo ops for me, the thought of being suddenly stuck with a useless camera and gear in the middle of the trip really worries me. What's the deal with that issue? It seems that once it hits your camera, it's all over unless you send it to the manufacturer for repair. Any ideas how often this actually comes up? Has anyone been able to fix it themself? Is this issue the inevitable fate of every 40D or is it still relatively rare? Has anyone had Canon fix this for them and did they give any explanation or insight regarding the cause of the issue? I know any camera could break unexpectedly, it's just that I've not heard of such a thing seeminly so common with other ones. Do you 40D owners live in constant fear of this Err 99 time bomb going off? Could I be any more dramatic? Thanks for your thoughts!

Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 40,026
Re: Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

You're always going to hear more of issues than satisfaction, so don't let that steer you wrong. The percentages for satisfaction are in your favor.

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...Bob, NYC

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Croomrider Contributing Member • Posts: 596
Re: Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

The err99 I believe, is just a generic message for anything that goes wrong with the camera that doesn't have a specific error code. When the code comes up it is most likely a variety of different problems for different people. Some people are able to clear the error and continue on. If the message comes up when a camera has a more serious problem like a shutter failure then it obviously has to go back to Canon. With as many cameras as are out in circulation and the fact that people tend to gravitate to forums when there is a problem, I'm sure we are talking about a very small percentage of cameras.

Mike

zsd101 Contributing Member • Posts: 927
Re: Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

I wouldn't let the Err99 issue worry you. On help forums such as this, you're always going to hear about 'what's wrong' with anything. The overwhelming majority of 40D owners have had ZERO issues with their camera. I've had my camera since mid January, 2008, and have taken over 2000 pictures (no, not a lot compared to many on this forum, but enough to know if anything was wrong with the camera right from the factory, I'd know it by now), and I've not had any issues whatsoever. I've been pleased with my 40D. HOWEVER, if you really are leery, then I'd go for another make/model. It's not worth it to have a camera that in the back of your mind, you are always going to wonder if you 'settled', or if the Err99 is going to strike at any moment. Go with what YOU are comfortable with, and what you can afford.

Just my opinion...hope this helps.

Jason

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Kiddpeat Contributing Member • Posts: 986
Error 99 is relatively rare.

In normal shooting, you will probably never see it. When it does occur, it is usually easily fixed. The only caveatte to that is if there is a hardware problem with either camera or lense. Those, in my experience, are extremely rare.

An error 99 is the camera's way of saying it doesn't know how to do whatever you want it to do. It's going to be something unusual. That makes the cause fairly easy to spot. The error is usually cleared by popping the battery out for a few seconds. When the battery is put back in, the camera will reboot and should be back to normal.

My guess is that all manufacturers have this kind of error process. The camera has to have some way to tell you that there is a problem. If so, you won't avoid the possibility of error codes by avoiding either Canon or the 40D.

Oak and Acorn Veteran Member • Posts: 6,124
Dpreview member of 5 yrs. with an Average of Zero posts/wk

mathew crow wrote:

I've been seriously looking at moving to this camera from my Pentax
K100D, but I keep seeing these threads about this Err 99 issue that
seems to come up after months of use, albeit thousands of photos.
That possibility is really freaking me out though. When I have the
opportunity to go on one trip each year or so where there could be
some once in lifetime photo ops for me, the thought of being suddenly
stuck with a useless camera and gear in the middle of the trip really
worries me. What's the deal with that issue? It seems that once it
hits your camera, it's all over unless you send it to the
manufacturer for repair. Any ideas how often this actually comes up?
Has anyone been able to fix it themself? Is this issue the
inevitable fate of every 40D or is it still relatively rare? Has
anyone had Canon fix this for them and did they give any explanation
or insight regarding the cause of the issue? I know any camera could
break unexpectedly, it's just that I've not heard of such a thing
seeminly so common with other ones. Do you 40D owners live in
constant fear of this Err 99 time bomb going off? Could I be any
more dramatic? Thanks for your thoughts!

Could you be any more dramatic? No, not really.

Do you 40D owners live in
constant fear of this Err 99 time bomb going off?

No, not really.

Could it be possible that Canon just sells SO MANY cameras (above and beyond every other manufaturer - and I'm referring to all makes and models, not just dslr's) that there is always going to be quite a few out there (albeit still a very small percentage of total users) that end up with dud cameras? Yeah, I think that might be it.

Problems or issues can happen, and do happen with every single other camera manufacturer out there. You just don't hear about it as much with other camera manufacturers because their cameras aren't nearly as popular among the vast majority of camera users.

I'm assuming your interest in the Canon line comes from the same desires as so many other Canon users? To have some of the best photographic equipment for the money that's currently available? Or are you just trying to stir up trouble in a forum that you haven't ever really participated in?

I have to say, for someone who rarely posts on here, could you have picked a topic any more flame-worthy, and troll baited, laced with melodramatic comments and pure non-sense?

Yes - the 40D is a horrible camera, not worthy of your money, time, or obvious skills. Stick with your Pentax gear, and let the rest of us, who obviously suffer from "constant fear" of our equipment breaking down, keep on shooting with our poorly made Canons.

Investing in such shody Canon equipment is really not worth your effort. But then again, neither was your post.

All sarcasim aside, I would recommend you getting involved in some of those conversations (posts) that you have eluded too and find out for yourself why these supposed contant complaints about Err 99's with 40D's have been occuring from the actual users themselves. Based on your posting history, at least under the user ID you're using right now, your involvement in those posts has been nill up to this point which doesn't speak very highly towards any genuine concern you may have about such issues.

tknterry Senior Member • Posts: 1,711
Re: Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

I also own a Pentax K100/K10D. Ive owned my Canon 40D for a year with no problems, let alone the dreaded, ominous "Err 99" thing. I think Canon needs to change the error message to Err 77. "99" is more ominous sounding and too dramatic.
--
---Terry

http://photostuff.org/myzoo.html

sensai Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: Err99 - 40D bought in November 2007

Hi, mine body broke down during a trip to Canada two weeks ago after around 2,000 photos. As I didn't bring a back-up I have to rent a replacement 40D from a store (Vistek Mississauge ON) for 300us$ / 3 days. That's a lot of money considering the 40D new costs around 1,100us$ now but I had no choice as I stand between going home or staying. The failure as I now informed by Canon is a shutter problem. So the question is "can I blame Canon?".

As we know the 40D is not a professional camera and it does have one year warranty so it's up to us to take care of a back-up if we are out there shooting very important events. For 1D series there's CPS that take care of quick repair/ replacement for professionals.

Guess that's life as such complicated machines may break down. Just my two cents... -- Anthony Huang 黄俊

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OP mathew crow Regular Member • Posts: 443
Thanks for your feedback everybody

Thanks to all of you who took the time to address my concerns; it is much appreciated. I used to have a Canon Elan and a few lenses back in the film days that I loved, and I picked up the pentax w/kit lens for my first foray into digital slr a couple years ago due to the great bargain it was. It's been a great camera, but now that I'm ready to buy more lenses I've been looking at going back to canon since we're old friends and I've still got lenses I could use. Your replies have helped put my mind at ease. It's great to know too that most of this forum is so helpful with their advice and insight. If I end up getting the 40D I'll look forward to being part of the forum community.

Oh and Brian, please forgive my lack of worth as a human for being a "Dpreview member of 5 yrs. with an Average of Zero posts/wk". I didn't realize it was such a grievous offence. I value the forums here and tend to spend more time reading the valuable resource and only post when I really feel the need to.

petabix Regular Member • Posts: 126
Re: Thanks for your feedback everybody

"I've still got lenses I could use" - that was my main reason for going for Canon. Not that I'm not otherwise delighted with my new 40d, but my old sigma lenses (admittedly bought 18 years ago for EOS10) dont work with the 40d. I believe they may be re-chippable but real frustrated to take new body out of the box and not be able to use it......yes, I know, I should have asked more questions and taken old lenses with me when I went shopping.....

jdoo Senior Member • Posts: 2,962
I had early err99 issues...

...and the early err99 were most likely user-error. I was told to make sure I turn off my camera before lens changes (something I hadnt been too careful about), and I haven't had any err99s since. So - first couple of weeks -- three occasions of err99. . . the last 5 months - no err99s. I wouldnt be concerned..
--
Joe

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TANWare Regular Member • Posts: 203
Say what?

Ok so I want a really super fast sports bike but I need a garenty of 100,000 miles with no issues. Sorry it just doesn't happen that way. no bike, car, camera or whatever on the higher end is infallable. Decide if you like the ride and get on with it!

JRobins Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
I am one of those err 99 folks who still loves the 40D

Yes, we do look to the forum when something goes wrong, as it did for me a few weeks ago. Canon replaced the shutter and mirror assembly and now all is well. The only hard part was being without the camera--I had severe withdrawal symptoms. It's a great (addictive) camera and I wouldn't trade it in on anything comparable or even slightly more expensive (Nikon D300). My photo pal has the Nikon and she too had to send it in for repairs. (It was only a few months old.)

If I were going on another trip of a lifetime, I would have a backup camera body with me.

But the 40D is my camera of choice.
--
Joan

Canon 40D 100-400 IS and 17-85 IS
http://www.joanr.smugmug.com

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tom savage New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Say what?

hum $1000.00 camera body that doesnt work = bottom dollar = lost dollar = no happy camper. Responsibilty for manufacture and opertions as advertised. Where is that?

DBP123 Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

Bob's right...and when you do hear someone who ia satisfied with their camera, the trolls come in and try to squash them.

100% satisfied Canon gear.

Bob Tullis wrote:

You're always going to hear more of issues than satisfaction, so
don't let that steer you wrong. The percentages for satisfaction
are in your favor.

Midwest Shutterbug Contributing Member • Posts: 741
My err99 Experiences

Switched to Canon, from Minolta, when Minolta died. Activated shutter 20,000-PLUS times, on my 20D, little over a year timespan. 30D has about 7,000shutter activations.

My only er99 issues have been from a lack od info passing between the lens and camera body. Most often, it;s due to a lens with sticky blades, from lack of use at aperture desired, when er99 occured.

Example: I use a lens, most of the use is around F\8 or higher. then , I try to use F\1.4 or something drasticall beyond that aperture I've most often used in the past, Lens blades freeze up or won;t do the deed, er99 message from camera.

When I take a second to wokr the blaes of the lens, manually, then place camera in manual mode, force lens and camera ot go thru the aperture range of the lens, Issue is resoved.

Even after lettig a lens sit in my bag for three months, no more er99 message.

other time i had er99 message, contacts on the lens were caked with stickiness. have no idea where it came from, probably some event I shot and lens cap got somethign on it or sat lens down and edge got into something,. Lens elements were claen, jsut the contacts got gunky. Little cleaning, back in business, kid still uses lens today.

Bottom line, er99 is usually a lens issue, not a camera body issue.

As for the Fanboys stomping on you. Expect that from any of the Sony, Nikon

-- hide signature --

Dave Patterson
---------------------
Midwestshutterbug.com

apiza Regular Member • Posts: 438
Stop

Don't buy the 40D or the 50D, that cameras are for real men. You should buy a point & shoot like every one in this forum.

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KariP
KariP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,860
Death is inevitable ...

Hi

I have understood that Err99 is just A SIGN that something is broken or TEMPORARILY malfunctioning - it can be the lens or something in the camera. Most electronics just stop working without any signs - Canon shows also a sign . Not sure if it makes the situation any better - a broken camera that says : " i just stopped functioning " . Very informative - because it does not tell what is wrong.

Cleaning the contacts etc, prayers, swearing , black magic and some other measures can help

All cars get some problem some day - it can take 1day - 25 years, but some day your car stops working. Should you live live in constant fear ?
You probably will update your 40D or 50D years before Err99 anyway.

I am not sure , but it looks like some Canon owners live in constant fear that there will be a sign from the sky some day " this is your personal Err99, You´ll meet your maker..."

Perhaps xxD reputation on this forum could be better if the camera just stops without a sign. Nobody would especially complain about "my camera stopped - issue". They would just take it to repair or try some cleaning or battery removal etc. (there is a warranty too)

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Kari
SLR photography for 40 years
60°15´N 24°03´ E

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rrcphoto Veteran Member • Posts: 6,173
Re: Err 99 thing is scaring me off!

mathew crow wrote:

seeminly so common with other ones. Do you 40D owners live in
constant fear of this Err 99 time bomb going off? Could I be any
more dramatic? Thanks for your thoughts!

yes. I live in constant fear of the dreaded err 99. I also live in dreaded fear of getting hit by a car walking the sidewalk, therefore I never go out, and also never take photos. the 40D is still sitting in it's box, and unwrapped, because I fear it so greatly that I don't even want to try to take a photo with it.

now back to reality.

err 99 is a catchall - when you consider the hundreds of thousands or more 20D through 50D's out there, the actual occurances are actually rare. just as it's rare to get hit by a car walking down the sidewalk.

Cal Dawson Veteran Member • Posts: 4,810
Has anyone noticed..... April 2008...?
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Cal

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