How to Repair Canon Camera Lens Error

Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Rajib Mukherjee
10 January, 2023 • Updated 1 year ago
selective focus photo of black Canon DSLR camera

Your Canon camera is an electronic device with various mechanical components inside. Just like any other mechanical and electronic device, it is prone to malfunction from time to time. Now, there could be a thousand different reasons for your Canon camera malfunctioning. From dirty contact points to memory card issues, below I have covered common lens errors that can crop up and how to overcome those issues at home.

Err 01 – Communication Between the Camera and the Lens is Faulty

cleaning dirty camera sensor

This is a prevalent issue with Canon cameras and happens due to the camera environment. The mechanical contacts that connect the camera and the lens can get dirty or fail to connect to the lens mount due to oil build-up from handling.

The solution is relatively simple. We encourage you to use a simple, clean cotton cloth to wipe away oil and debris. Using any hard or abrasive cloth or substance that can corrode or damage the sensitive elements inside the camera, especially the contacts and pins, is never a good idea.

While a soft cloth and a gentle wipe tend to get the job done, your camera or lens can sometimes have a defective, broken, or damaged pin or connector. In that case, it is impossible to establish a connection between the camera and the lens. The only solution is to take your camera or lens to an authorized service center for repair.

Err 02 – Card Cannot Be Accessed

inserting a card into the Canon camera

This typical error usually has its roots in a damaged card. However, other reasons can cause this error to flash on the LCD screen too.

If it’s a faulty memory card, there is nothing you can do except wipe the contacts of the card and try reinserting it into the camera and recording an image or a video with it. If it fails to record, the card is likely damaged.

Sometimes the error can pop up due to the card not being correctly inserted into the memory card slot. If this is the case, simply reinserting the card should fix the issue.

In the case that none of the above steps worked, you can try to format the card. If even formatting the card does not rectify the issue or formatting fails, that means the card is corrupted, and there is nothing else you can do. You will need to replace your memory card.

Err 04 – Card is Full

Downloading images to an external hard drive

This isn’t an error in the strictest sense because the camera merely states that the memory card is full and has no remaining space to write additional images. The simple solution is to download the images to an external hard drive or upload the images to cloud storage. Then delete the contents of the memory card to reuse the card. Alternatively, you can also format the memory card before reusing it. If you don’t have space to download or back up the files on your memory card, you will need another memory card to replace it.

Err 05 – Flash Error

black canon dslr camera on red textile

This error crops up when shooting in low-light conditions mainly. You’re shooting in a low light situation; you aim your camera at your subject, and the camera flash doesn’t pop up. Instead, you hear a clicking sound followed by this error code – Err 5 – The built-in flash could not be raised. This is a classic case of the camera flash getting jammed. This problem has been noted across several cameras, even including higher-end Canon EOS cameras that don’t have a built-in flash.

The simple solution is to clean the dust off of your camera and out of the ridges using a microfibre cloth. Switch on the camera after cleaning the flash, and the problem should be solved.

If the mechanical locks and connectors are jammed, the flash may not pop up even after the cleaning. In that case, you have to get in touch with an authorized Canon service center to get the camera flash cleaned and serviced.

Read Next: How to Fix a Jammed Camera Lens

Err 06 – Issue with the Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit

close-up photo of the black camera sensor

This error can unfortunately usually not be corrected at home. If you try, there is ample chance that something can go wrong, and you could damage your camera even further. Opening your camera and attempting a complicated repair job will void the warranty on your camera.

The Canon error message Err 06 states, ‘Self Cleaning Sensor Unit Malfunction. Consult with Canon Service Center’, making it pretty clear what has to be done.

However, before you pack your camera and send it to the service center, there is one last thing that you could try.

First, enable the camera’s sensor cleaning option from the menu.

Now switch off the camera and make sure to take out the batteries. Even if your batteries have some juice, charge them fully. Replace them in the battery compartment.

The final step is to open the camera menu and disable the auto-clean function of the camera.

If this does not solve the issue, it’s time for the professionals to take over.

Err 10, 20 to Err 80 – Shooting isn’t Possible Due to a Power Malfunction

battery replacement in the camera

There are a bunch of errors, such as Err 10, 20, 30, 40, and 80, which all happen because of some power malfunction. The root cause is more or less the same, suggesting that the possible solutions are also the same.

The error messages you will receive in these cases are either ‘A file system malfunction has been detected, ‘a power malfunction has been detected’, or ‘an image-related malfunction has been detected.’

To resolve the issue, you must first turn off the camera. Often the contact points of the camera where the battery connects can get dirty throughout use, so it would help to clean those to ensure they aren’t causing the problem. You can use a clean earbud or swab and gently clean the contact points to ensure that there is no residue present.

Once the contact points have been cleaned, you can replace the battery and power the camera up. This should take care of the problem, and if it does not, you will have to send the camera to the service center.

Err 99 – Shooting isn’t Possible

Camera with Error 99 on display

This error covers a broad range of problems. There could be an issue with the memory card, the lens, or the battery. This error prevents your camera from recording anything onto the memory card, meaning no images or videos can be captured. This can be a frustrating experience to troubleshoot because the root of the problem can happen from any of the three aspects. If any of these three parameters are broken or damaged, or there is an issue, your camera will malfunction.

To overcome this problem, you could try the following steps:

The first thing to do is to power down the camera. Turn off the camera, take the battery out of the slot, re-plug it, and restart.

Always ensure that the charger’s battery contacts are clean and free of any residue to allow for proper charging.

Unscrew the lens, and clean the contact points as explained in the opening Err 01 section. If the error persists, you can use a second lens to test if the contact points on the camera are in working order. In rare cases, there could be an issue with the lens mount and the mechanical couplings that connect the lens and the camera. If so, you can be sure which lens has a problem, and you can take remedial actions by sending the lens to an authorized service center for repairs.

The battery contact points could be another reason for the camera malfunctioning. As I have explained above, you can repeat the process of taking the battery out of the battery compartment. Clean the contact points on the camera battery compartment and the corresponding contact points on the battery. Plug the battery back into the battery compartment and restart the camera. Hopefully, this should take care of the problem.

Similarly, you can test to see if your SD card is the problem. If there is an issue with the SD card, changing the SD card and using a new one will establish where the problem lies.


In this discussion, we covered common camera errors that can crop up from time to time. Many other errors may happen, which are beyond home remedial steps. It is best to take your camera to an authorized service center for more complex issues.

Note: Camera Prism does not recommend repairing your camera or lens at home. Not only could you forsake your warranty, but you may also do irreparable damage to your camera.

Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. The first time he ever clicked an image was with an Agfa Click IV back in 1984. A medium format film camera. From that auspicious introduction to photography, he has remained hooked to this art form. He loves to test and review new photography gear. Rajib travels quite a lot, loves driving on Indian roads, playing fetch with his Labrador retriever, and loves photography. And yes, he still proudly owns that Agfa Click IV!
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