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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Canon 40D *99 error code
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08/06/2009 06:44:14 PM · #1
Has anyone had this happen to them? The screen says: error 99 "shooting is not possible. Please turn off the camera or remove the battery" I did this and the same thing happens over and over. I switched lenses and no improvement. I checked contact points, same thing. I get a black screen when trying to use 'Live view'. I had taken about 5 images before this happened. Any Ideas? I'll be away from my computer for about 5 hours. Any input would be gratefully accepted. Thx!
08/06/2009 07:48:18 PM · #2
Maybe this may help. It may not be what you want to hear, but you are not the first one to see this error.

In a nutshell, try removing all the batteries (including the small clock battery). Clean the contacts between the lens and the body (clean both), while ensuring the no dust/grit gets into the body. Put everything back together and cross your fingers.

Message edited by author 2009-08-12 02:15:00.
08/06/2009 08:28:25 PM · #3
I just got mine back from the shop (fortunately under extended warranty and free) from the dreaded Error 99.

I tried all of the miniscule suggestions before sending it off because we were on our way to vacation.

Just got it back, with a replaced shutter, as I suspected.

I hope yours gets all better soon. :)
08/06/2009 08:38:10 PM · #4
99.9999% sure it's a bad shutter, your camera needs a new one. Same thing happened to my 40D after about 25,000 clicks. I brought mine to Canon and they replaced the shutter for free even though it was 3 months over the warranty period. Talk to them and good luck...
08/06/2009 09:26:56 PM · #5
I get the error occasionally on my 50d. The one thing I noticed is that it happens frequently when it gets pretty warm. Time to call Canon i guess.
08/06/2009 11:31:47 PM · #6
Thanks for the replies. I'll do a little more work on this and see if I can convince it to start working again. I have had this about 1.5 years now. Probably 20,000 clicks on the shutter. I had heard that these were designed for 100,000 clicks. I'll be pretty disappointed if the shutter is bad already. Any idea how much it would cost to have the shutter replaced?
08/06/2009 11:49:55 PM · #7
send it to canon, and bitch at them for a replacement in the meantime whilst its being repaired.

My 40d suffered a similar fate where the mirror would not come up once the shutter had been pressed.

The comment about it "99% being the shutter" is bullshit. ERR 99 is a Canon code for "something went wrong" and is a catch all but it could be the sensor holding, the shutter, the mirror or any other multitude of things.

Mine had 21,000 clicks and was just over a year old (so just out of warranty... funny that) and I had to send it to canon to have the mirror box assembly replaced. This cost me $319 NZD plus a $135 fee before they even opened the damned box.

40d's have the reliability of Russian cars, ie: not much.
08/07/2009 12:03:17 AM · #8
I got the error 99 once on my 40D in a perfectly controlled environment, and of course I went into instant panic, since I really don't have the budget to replace an SLR like that. I'm on the 4 year upgrade plan.

The shutter was working fine for me, it would take a picture and then seem to produce the error while trying to write to the CF card. I tried shutting the camera and pulling the battery, and that didn't help. Ultimately, I pulled the batter, reseeded the lens, and reseeded the CF card and I haven't had a problem since then.

The same thing happened with my old Digital Rebel, only after I sold it to someone on Craigslist. A month later, they called me to report the camera problems. They had used it quite a bit, then it suddenly happened. They didn't ask for their money back, and it had been long enough and used successfully that I couldn't really offer anything, since I couldn't be sure that person didn't mess something up. However, I did spend a month trying to help them resolve the issue and research the problem. Eventually I never heard from them again. I felt bad, but there was nothing I could do. And I only had 10000 shots on the camera. I was wondering if it was because the guy I sold it to put in a cheap CF card. I always used the high-end Sandisk and Lexar cards.

I wonder if Canon's lab tests really reflect field use enough to determine the longevity. Digital cameras are going to be more finicky, since there are more electrical circuits involved then the traditional film cameras. I wonder if there are any credible statistics on how reliable these cameras really are?

08/07/2009 12:13:09 AM · #9
I did another search online and found that like ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tez said, error 99 could mean just about anything. I'll do some more work (cleaning the contacts and removing the clock battery) tomorrow and see if I have any luck. If not, I guess it's off to canon. I just checked and I can get a new one of these for $849. I would hate to think I could pay $4-500 to replace a shutter. Thanks again for your replies.
08/07/2009 12:54:50 AM · #10
It's probably a long-shot, but try another CF card, too. If you have another set of batteries, try those as well.

Message edited by author 2009-08-12 02:15:44.
08/07/2009 01:23:10 AM · #11
My 50D started doing this, I checked Canon site and yes it is a known issue which has been fixed with a firmware update. I run the update and have had no further issues. It seems in my case it was to do with the way I clicked the shutter button, from their site "3.Corrects a rare phenomenon in which "Err 99" appears on the camera's display panel and LCD monitor and the shutter cannot be released due to the timing of pressing the shutter button. "

Canon Firmware EOS

Hope this helps
08/07/2009 03:42:13 AM · #12
you can remove and replace everything you want and clean every single atom of the camera but from what i've heard and from what you'e encountered, it's screwed.

Send it to Canon, see what they say. They give you a form with a section about the cost and you tick a box saying how much you would be willing to pay up to, $250, $500, and $750+ I think are the options. If its beyond that, they'll call you and tell you its a write off or what it would cost to fix it.

But, if you can buy a new one for what, $700, I'd send it for repairs, tick the lowest cost box and if it works out great, if not buy a new one.

The 40d has a reliability like a Kashmiri salesman. You can't trust those things for shit.

There's a website online somewhere I found that listed the user reliability tests of canon cameras and the 40d had an average shutter life of 40 something thousand. 60% lower than Canon mentioned in their bullshit 'durability' tests.

Just send it in. The quicker you do, the quicker you have it back.
08/07/2009 06:38:35 PM · #13
I'm now looking for options to get it repaired. I don't Canon will give me any kind of a break for this, especially if it's the shutter mechanism. Some local shops may be authorized Canon repair shops and at least know what they're doing. I hate the whole 'box it, send it, wait, get it back in 3 weeks' bit. So if I can drive it somewhere and then drive to pick it up in a timely manner, that's what I'll do. I also looked at the Canon line-up. Hmmm 5D? Full Frame? Anybody know if there is a best choice between the 50D and the 60D? Thx again for your input!
08/07/2009 10:44:40 PM · #14
My 40D is currently back at Canon for the 2nd time to fix Err 99 problems. Started a month ago when it got Err 99 and would not reset regardless of what I did (but it would take pics in Live View mode). I followed all the tips on every web site I could find with no success. A Canon shooter friend suggested I call Canon Professional Services at 1-877-CPS-8122. They set me up with a repair ticket and I shipped the body to Canon in Irvine, California. They replaced the shutter plus "other electronics" and did a cleaning. Cost was $180 plus my shipping to them (return ship no charge). Took about 10 days total including shipping. I was very pleased at how clean it was when I got it back. All the dust bunnies on the sensor were gone! A few days later I was shooting the Blue Angels and got intermittant Err 99s again. This time it happened about every 10 shots or so but would reset by turning power off/on. Got back in touch with CPS. They apologized and sent me a free UPS shipping label, saying to send it back and they would re-fix it at no charge.

I think my problem was they missed some little electronic component that also went bad the first time along with the shutter. They got it working but did not run into the intermittant problem. Canon should be emailing me early next week when the camera arrives back at the shop to let me know what they will be doing.

The techs at CPS will talk to you and are very helpful. Work your way through the voice prompts and eventually you will reach a real live person. They will spend time on the phone helping to diagnose the problem, and then set up a repair if needed.

Can't hurt to try calling them (1-877-CPS-8122)...

08/07/2009 10:49:36 PM · #15
I just got my 40D back (it died, not err-99), but the CPS is a good deal if you meet the qualifications. I got it back 3 days after the received it--they must have fixed it the day they got it in. it was only $164.

I hated working with the regular Canon people--it was extremely frustrating. But the CPS people were great.
08/07/2009 10:57:32 PM · #16
Thanks [thumb]seasaw[/thumb] and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' vawendy. Both very useful posts. I will call Canon tomorrow. I doubt they are open now.
08/07/2009 11:54:39 PM · #17
Take the name of the guy you speak to first time and always ask for him. Try and get an email ady of the guy too so you can check up. And an extension number.

When I called Canon in NZ they were great. The accounts people are morons but the technicians are real people which is nice. They tried to fob me off a few times with stuff like "well we'll have to order the part" and basially give themselves a back door if things go awry, but cut them of with a simple "that isn't good enough" and tell them to give you a replacement camera in the meantime since why should you lose business for their defective product.

Basically, be an asshole :)
08/11/2009 10:49:16 PM · #18
Originally posted by seasaw:

My 40D is currently back at Canon for the 2nd time to fix Err 99 problems. Started a month ago when it got Err 99 and would not reset regardless of what I did (but it would take pics in Live View mode). I followed all the tips on every web site I could find with no success. A Canon shooter friend suggested I call Canon Professional Services at 1-877-CPS-8122. They set me up with a repair ticket and I shipped the body to Canon in Irvine, California. They replaced the shutter plus "other electronics" and did a cleaning. Cost was $180 plus my shipping to them (return ship no charge). Took about 10 days total including shipping. I was very pleased at how clean it was when I got it back. All the dust bunnies on the sensor were gone! A few days later I was shooting the Blue Angels and got intermittant Err 99s again. This time it happened about every 10 shots or so but would reset by turning power off/on. Got back in touch with CPS. They apologized and sent me a free UPS shipping label, saying to send it back and they would re-fix it at no charge.

I think my problem was they missed some little electronic component that also went bad the first time along with the shutter. They got it working but did not run into the intermittant problem. Canon should be emailing me early next week when the camera arrives back at the shop to let me know what they will be doing.

The techs at CPS will talk to you and are very helpful. Work your way through the voice prompts and eventually you will reach a real live person. They will spend time on the phone helping to diagnose the problem, and then set up a repair if needed.

Can't hurt to try calling them (1-877-CPS-8122)...


UPDATE - It's Tuesday and my 40D is back from Canon (Irvine, California). Seems to be fixed and working "better than new". No charge, and they shipped it back FedEx overnight. Including shipping time both ways, the second time it took about a week to re-replace the shutter, etc.
08/11/2009 11:21:43 PM · #19
awesome!!
08/12/2009 01:59:07 AM · #20
I got mine back yesterday and had to give them back their 5d :(

Thing is, my 85mm 1.8 focussed perfectly on the 5d but now front focusses on my 40d so they screwed something up.
08/12/2009 07:06:00 PM · #21
I'm happy for you guys ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' seasaw and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tez that you got your cameras back and functioning again. I just got my estimate repair and it's:

Examination / Request Details:

Summary of Charges:

Error 99. AFTER PRESSING SHUTTER BUTTON, CODE APPEARS. CHECK ALL & REPAIR TO GOOD WORKING ORDER.


Parts $ 0.00

Labor $ 180.00

Service / Work Type: Charge , Repair

Sub Total $ 180.00

Equipment Received: EOS 40D

Sales Tax $ 10.80

Serial #: xxxxxxxxxxxx


Shipping $ 21.20

P.O.#:





Total Due $ 212.00

Accessories Received CAP/ EYECUP/ NO BATT/ NO CARD

What gets me is that there are no parts required for the repair. So $180 for labor to re-program and clean the camera. Seems a bit steep to me. Plus they did not guarantee that there wouldn't be more charges once they took it apart.

Message edited by author 2009-08-17 20:04:01.
08/12/2009 07:09:38 PM · #22
If they charge $60/hr, that's three hours of work. One would think that they could replace a shutter (if that's the solution) in just an hour or two. It is, after all, what those technicians do for a living.

Message edited by author 2009-08-12 19:09:56.
08/12/2009 07:16:05 PM · #23
Originally posted by scooter97:

I happy for you guys ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' seasaw and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/31.gif', '/') + 1) . ' Tez that you got your cameras back and functioning again. I just got my estimate repair and it's:

Examination / Request Details:

Summary of Charges:

Error 99. AFTER PRESSING SHUTTER BUTTON, CODE APPEARS. CHECK ALL & REPAIR TO GOOD WORKING ORDER.


Parts $ 0.00

Labor $ 180.00

Service / Work Type: Charge , Repair

Sub Total $ 180.00

Equipment Received: EOS 40D

Sales Tax $ 10.80

Serial #: xxxxxxxxxxxx


Shipping $ 21.20

P.O.#:





Total Due $ 212.00

Accessories Received CAP/ EYECUP/ NO BATT/ NO CARD

What gets me is that there are no parts required for the repair. So $180 for labor to re-program and clean the camera. Seems a bit steep to me. Plus they did not guarantee that there wouldn't be more charges once they took it apart.


that's really strange--they didn't give me any info in the estimate for my repairs, only this:

Equipment: EOS 40D
Repair #: WC860604
Received: July 28, 2009
Repair Cost: $ 164.00
Status: Estimated
July 28, 2009

They wouldn't even tell me when I called and asked--they told me that I had to wait and find out when I received the camera.

they did replace a part or two--but there still was no break down on the costs....
08/12/2009 07:23:36 PM · #24
shysters...

I can't wait to get my 5d mk2!
08/17/2009 01:40:06 PM · #25
I'm waiting for mine here in Canada and was told it would take 6 weeks and would cost 347 dollars! Can't find out the problem til I get camera back also 40D was 6 months past warrenty
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