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Russell H.
Russell H., Service Tech
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 10293
Experience:  8+ years of professional experience
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I have a Nikon D5500 that is a year old. All has been

Customer Question

I have a Nikon D5500 that is a year old. All has been wonderful until just recently, when the camera shutter fails to snap the picture that is framed and ready to go--seemingly all of a sudden.
Likewise, the flash release button does not always pop the flash unit up and the menu screen only brightens slightly, but shows no information. Just briefly a blank gray screen.
Shutting off and back on to "reboot" seems to correct the problem for a time, but it is back to the issue before long.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Camera and Video
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

Hi, thank you for contacting JustAnswer.com. My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.

I suspect you have a power problem. If you can run the camera (however briefly and as a test) with it attached to the AC Adapter/charger (if your charger is the kind that charges the batteries in the camera, not removed from the camera) and if the problems go away while you have it attached to the charger, that would confirm the problem as one of sufficient power provision (to charge and enable the flash circuitry, to take a picture - which involves a power demand surge - etc.)

Also:

Try removing the batteries, and leaving the camera on a (dry, non-humid, non-dusty) shelf for overnight. Then put the batteries back in and try the camera again.

Then try cleaning the terminals in the battery compartment, after removing the batteries, first by rubbing off with a fresh pencil eraser, then by wiping the terminals off with cotton swabs moistened in rubbing alcohol, then letting them dry off for 5+ minutes with the battery compartment door open, then try turning the camera On again.

You might possibly have a battery/batteries that are getting weak. Rechargeable batteries do get weaker with time, and eventually fail to deliver enough power to start up a device like a digital camera; they then need replacing. The replacement battery needs to be charged up for 6+ hours before its first use, owing to its having been on a shelf for a considerable time.

How old is the camera? exactly... if less than 1 year from original purchase date, then it is still within warranty, if that is useful to the case.

Has the camera been dropped or otherwise subjected to mechanical shock(s) in its lifetime?

Has the camera been operated in or subjected to, temperatures below 32 degrees F (freezing point) or above about 100 degrees F ?

Has it ever been subjected to a humidity higher than 85 % or gotten wet ?

Has the camera been operated in a gritty or sandy environment, such as a beach, a seaside, a construction site, or the like?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
In answer to your questions about the conditions that the camera has been used recently, has not been dropped or damaged, has not been in frigid or scorching weather in the last 6-months, has a fresh battery that was new a year ago. But I don't believe the issue is one of power, since I've just now recorded and played back 8 minutes of power-draining video, with no bars being reduced from my battery power supply, and the terminals are clean.And, the flash still doesn't pop up unless I turn the camera off and then on again.One characteristic I didn't put in the original email is that using the camera the way I do (looking through the lense to shoot, not the screen), the image jumps somewhat when it's going through its malfuntion stage.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 10 months ago.

The camera may be a 'lemon' then, with multiple faults. If it is less than a year from its purchase date, since you have treated it with care, the warranty is still valid, and it should be turned in to Nikon for under-warranty servicing for its faults, free-of-charge.

Nikon Repair (warranty or not) can be engaged here:

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/service-and-support/service-and-repair.page