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Sony A57 Camera Error

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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2021 at 16:10
Originally posted by amrep amrep wrote:

The "Camera error" is one of the more common error message on Sony SLT cameras. As I have stated numerous times in previous treads, this error indicates that one of the (servo) motors in the camera body cannot operate properly. The motor itself may not be damaged, but something is blocking it from normal operation. There are at least 3 motors - AF-screw-drive motor, Aperture motor and Shutter charge motor. Trying various settings an operation modes will reveal which is the culprit.

If the camera can do video with AF without any error this may point to some aperture motor jam. Check also if you can AF and take pictures with a screw drive lens at *full aperture*.

If the aperture actuator ring (the silvery ring right inside of the mount - also called "iris ring" by Sony) is unseated this may block the aperture motor. Carefully inspect this ring.

Take your time investigating the problem. This may well be sorted out without any expensive repair.


Ok, I'll try what you suggested.

First, movie mode: recording a movie performs just as expected, AF works very well, the video is saved, sound is recorded, there are no errors displayed. Right after saving, I can play the recorded video.
Also, in photo mode, AF works as expected.
I guess AF motor is working properly.

Now, about screw drive lens: I've tested with the Minolta AF 18-70mm. AF works very well. In Aperture priority mode, with the aperture wide open, the camera captures a properly exposed image and then displays Camera Error. After I restart the camera I check in playback mode and the photo is saved.

Regarding that silver ring: I've tested it on all the three cameras I've already mentioned, with the following results:
- Minolta 5D: the ring is quite easy to rotate with the finger, back and forth.
- Sony A380: a bit stiffer than Minolta 5D.
- Sony A57: quite stiff. At least twice the stiffness of Minolta 5D.

The following lines are the most interesting finding (I write as I test)

On A380, if I move the ring to the end position, fire the shutter and put an obstacle in its path (like my finger), it stops there and then it continues to the start position. I got Camera Error once on this camera while testing this behavior(!!!)

But on A57, after it's blocked by the finger, it stays there and is not moving to the start position. Of course, the Camera Error pops on the screen. Although, if there is no obstacle in its path, the ring goes from end to start position when shutter is pressed.

I don't know if the ring doesn't move to the start position because camera has another error (therefore, shutting down all the mechanical movements) or that aperture motor / assembly IS the malfunction cause. Cause and effect, you know what I mean.



Edited by cris2d2 - 23 October 2021 at 16:25
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote amrep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 October 2021 at 17:34
I pulled out my A57 (it's working well) to compare with Yours.
Without a lens the aperture shows up as F-- in the viewfinder and I can move the aperture actuator ring with my finger anywhere in its normal range. It will just stay there as long as no lens is mounted, even when I press the shutter and take a "picture". When I mount a lens it starts to work as normal. If a turn off the camera and move the ring it pops back to upper position immediately when I turn the camera on.

There are several reports of problems with the shutter charger motor on A55 and A35. I don't know if there may be similar problem on the A57.

Does your A57 have the EFCS setting ON? (Gear-icon meny 4)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2021 at 10:54
Originally posted by amrep amrep wrote:

I pulled out my A57 (it's working well) to compare with Yours.
Without a lens the aperture shows up as F-- in the viewfinder and I can move the aperture actuator ring with my finger anywhere in its normal range. It will just stay there as long as no lens is mounted, even when I press the shutter and take a "picture". When I mount a lens it starts to work as normal. If a turn off the camera and move the ring it pops back to upper position immediately when I turn the camera on.

There are several reports of problems with the shutter charger motor on A55 and A35. I don't know if there may be similar problem on the A57.

Does your A57 have the EFCS setting ON? (Gear-icon meny 4)

Well, that first behavior is weird, on all my three cameras (Minolta 5D, Sony A380 and Sony A57), if I manually move that iris ring it always comes back to its initial position if I release the shutter.

The other behavior, where the iris ring comes back automatically to its starting position if I turn on the camera, is performing on all my three cameras.

If I put any of my lens, set the Aperture anything but wide open and press the Preview button, camera applies the selected Aperture on the lens iris and I can see how it's moving to a closer position. I guess the aperture ring on the camera works as expected.

No matter how I set Front Curtain Shutter, the camera gives the error.

After every time Camera Error occurs, turning on the camera takes about 6 to 8 seconds to completely start and ready to shoot. Normally it starts in maximum 3 seconds.

Later today I will meet with somebody who has a Sony A58 and was quite nice to let me test his battery.


Edited by cris2d2 - 24 October 2021 at 10:57
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2021 at 11:32
Originally posted by cris2d2 cris2d2 wrote:

Originally posted by amrep amrep wrote:

I pulled out my A57 (it's working well) to compare with Yours.
Without a lens the aperture shows up as F-- in the viewfinder and I can move the aperture actuator ring with my finger anywhere in its normal range. It will just stay there as long as no lens is mounted, even when I press the shutter and take a "picture". When I mount a lens it starts to work as normal. If a turn off the camera and move the ring it pops back to upper position immediately when I turn the camera on.

There are several reports of problems with the shutter charger motor on A55 and A35. I don't know if there may be similar problem on the A57.

Does your A57 have the EFCS setting ON? (Gear-icon meny 4)

Well, that first behavior is weird, on all my three cameras (Minolta 5D, Sony A380 and Sony A57), if I manually move that iris ring it always comes back to its initial position if I release the shutter.

The other behavior, where the iris ring comes back automatically to its starting position if I turn on the camera, is performing on all my three cameras.

If I put any of my lens, set the Aperture anything but wide open and press the Preview button, camera applies the selected Aperture on the lens iris and I can see how it's moving to a closer position. I guess the aperture ring on the camera works as expected.

No matter how I set Front Curtain Shutter, the camera gives the error.

After every time Camera Error occurs, turning on the camera takes about 6 to 8 seconds to completely start and ready to shoot. Normally it starts in maximum 3 seconds.

Later today I will meet with somebody who has a Sony A58 and was quite nice to let me test his battery.


If he has a SAM or SSM lens , try that on it .
The lens has the motor in it rather than the camera body .
Just another variable to rule out .
Although if it was throwing up camera error without a lens on , it's not likely the problem .
Good luck .
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2021 at 11:49
Originally posted by neilt3 neilt3 wrote:

Originally posted by cris2d2 cris2d2 wrote:

Originally posted by amrep amrep wrote:

I pulled out my A57 (it's working well) to compare with Yours.
Without a lens the aperture shows up as F-- in the viewfinder and I can move the aperture actuator ring with my finger anywhere in its normal range. It will just stay there as long as no lens is mounted, even when I press the shutter and take a "picture". When I mount a lens it starts to work as normal. If a turn off the camera and move the ring it pops back to upper position immediately when I turn the camera on.

There are several reports of problems with the shutter charger motor on A55 and A35. I don't know if there may be similar problem on the A57.

Does your A57 have the EFCS setting ON? (Gear-icon meny 4)

Well, that first behavior is weird, on all my three cameras (Minolta 5D, Sony A380 and Sony A57), if I manually move that iris ring it always comes back to its initial position if I release the shutter.

The other behavior, where the iris ring comes back automatically to its starting position if I turn on the camera, is performing on all my three cameras.

If I put any of my lens, set the Aperture anything but wide open and press the Preview button, camera applies the selected Aperture on the lens iris and I can see how it's moving to a closer position. I guess the aperture ring on the camera works as expected.

No matter how I set Front Curtain Shutter, the camera gives the error.

After every time Camera Error occurs, turning on the camera takes about 6 to 8 seconds to completely start and ready to shoot. Normally it starts in maximum 3 seconds.

Later today I will meet with somebody who has a Sony A58 and was quite nice to let me test his battery.


If he has a SAM or SSM lens , try that on it .
The lens has the motor in it rather than the camera body .
Just another variable to rule out .
Although if it was throwing up camera error without a lens on , it's not likely the problem .
Good luck .

Yes, I could test his 18-55mm SAM lens also, thanks for the suggestion! But I'm afraid that as long as the camera throws the error without a lens and card, AF lens motor malfunction is ruled out. In fact, autofocus works very well (Single and Continuous).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2021 at 17:47
I just tested my A57 with a genuine Sony battery with the help of a guy from my town (he owns an A58). Camera Error still occurs, same conditions, same settings, nothing different.
I tested also his 18-55mm SAM kit lens but with no luck.

So, after all these tests and different situations, I conclude that the shutter assembly is somehow electronically damaged more than mechanical. But I can be wrong, of course.

Why? Because it's the only situation when the camera throws the error: when a photo is captured (the shutter button is not the culprit because I tested with a cable remote from my old Minolta 5D -> Camera Error occurs).

So far:
- Autofocus, aperture works properly in photo and video mode. Audio capture, audio playback works properly for videos.
- Shutter works properly in photo mode (both Front Curtain Shutter on and off).
- Flash works properly.
- Memory cards work properly (I tested with Kingston SD card and Sony MS Pro Duo).
- Cable remote works properly.
- Captured photos looks as they should be, no artifacts, no weird lines, no shadows from internal components.

What I can't really know if it's working properly is Steadyshot function.
For example, on my p&s Panasonic LX3, if I enable optical stabilization the image I can see on the screen is stabilized. On A57 there is no screen confirmation that Steadyshot is producing its effects (maybe sensor shift effects are not visible on the screen). There are no errors shown regarding Steadyshot.


 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2021 at 19:48
If steady shot was acting up it would say so on the screen .

I think you've checked everything you can now and can conclude one of the internal components has gone .
Time to cut your losses , I think ?
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 October 2021 at 20:03
Originally posted by neilt3 neilt3 wrote:

If steady shot was acting up it would say so on the screen .

I think you've checked everything you can now and can conclude one of the internal components has gone .
Time to cut your losses , I think ?

I'm afraid so, yes...

But I think I've developed a new photography technique: one photo per session. Want another photo? Only after camera is restarted 🙂 (filming is ok, though)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2021 at 09:21
If everybody is still reading this thread: how does your SLT camera shutter sounds when EFCS is ON? And I'm referring at the shutter's sound delay between opening and closing. I've recorded this particular moment when shutter button is pressed at about 1/100 shutter speed, single shooting mode.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC0ld7XVdSA

You can hear two clicks: when the shutter closes and when the shutter opens (because SLT cameras always have the shutter open, right?).

Now, if I shoot in Continuous: Hi at 1/500 shutter speed, that delay remains the same (in my buggy camera, after first Hi capture, Camera Error occurs).

Isn't this bad? I mean, 1/500 is really fast, the Continuous Shooting FPS can't be achieved if shutter close->open delay is that slow. So, this is another sign that is something wrong with the shutter?

I know probably I can't do anything about it (continue to use is this way or use it as a paperweight) but I'm still investigating.

Yesterday I talked to a photo repair shop but they said they "are not working with cameras so old". I must seek again...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2021 at 10:19
The shutter speed for exposure is irrelevant .
With EFCS the shutter is already open when the exposure starts .
The mechanical shutter is to stop the exposure .
The time it takes to close then reopen is the same regardless of if you taken a 1/500 second exposure or a 2 minute exposure .
It takes the same amount of time to close and reopen .

That's when the cameras drive mode is set to single shot .
Obviously on continuous drive it will sound different .
But you'd have to be able to take more than one shot to find that out .

Edited by neilt3 - 26 October 2021 at 10:22
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2021 at 10:42
Originally posted by neilt3 neilt3 wrote:

The shutter speed for exposure is irrelevant .
With EFCS the shutter is already open when the exposure starts .
The mechanical shutter is to stop the exposure .
The time it takes to close then reopen is the same regardless of if you taken a 1/500 second exposure or a 2 minute exposure .
It takes the same amount of time to close and reopen .

That's when the cameras drive mode is set to single shot .
Obviously on continuous drive it will sound different .
But you'd have to be able to take more than one shot to find that out .

So, that long double click sound in Single mode is normal, thanks for confirmation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2021 at 12:11
Originally posted by cris2d2 cris2d2 wrote:



But I think I've developed a new photography technique: one photo per session. Want another photo? Only after camera is restarted 🙂 (filming is ok, though)


Single shots are fine .
I've been doing for years with large format cameras and sheet film !

My latest acquisition is a 10" X 12" camera that I'll be shooting X-ray film in .
You won't shoot many sheets of that in a session !
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote cris2d2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2021 at 12:14
Originally posted by neilt3 neilt3 wrote:


Single shots are fine .
I've been doing for years with large format cameras and sheet film !

My latest acquisition is a 10" X 12" camera that I'll be shooting X-ray film in .
You won't shoot many sheets of that in a session !

👍👍👍
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