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I am going to continue to report the problems I am having with the 50D because it is clear from the hits I get on my blog, forums I’ve read, and posts that I have read that the 50D problems with err99 are more than ‘just a few bad bodies’. Now I will say that it has only happened to me once in maybe 150 shots, but that’s not the point….you should be able to trust hardware to either work or fail (and at the price and brand new status of the 50D I’m going with work not fail), no one wants to be on a shoot or at a place you cannot go back to and take the shot again and have a failure.

Today whilst shooting I got another err99, the interesting part was I knew it was about to happen!

I was shooting shots with high speed burst, the bursts were 3 to 4 frames only and around 15 seconds between each of the bursts. That is plenty of time for those few files to be written from the camera’s memory cache to the compact flash card.

The way I knew something was about to happen is that on the last two or three bursts that I shot the camera appeared to be getting slower between frames. Each frame exposed correctly and the shutter speed was correct but the time between each shot being taken felt like it was getting a little longer each time, and then sure enough it finally did an err99 on me.

This makes me continue to believe what I already feel, the problem is related to the writing to/from the cache and or the compact flash card. I know it’s not the card it’s self since I had been using it for at least a year on my 30D with no problems. And I know it’s not the lens as I have been using that on my 30D for at least a year and a half and have never had a problem with it.


  1. I purchased the Canon 50d slr camera back in september and ever since I received it I have had problems with the shutter. Sometimes this problem will not occurr for a while and sometimes it will happen every 3rd, or 5th frame their will be one frame that comes out black. You can also hear when it happens because the shutter sounds different. Like the frame is slow or its sticking or something. At every job I have used the 50d the problem has occurred.

    I sent it back to the deal where I purchased it from (I didn’t mind paying the the freight). The staff were very helpful (I honestly mean that too.) They informed me that;

    “The problem is not actually a problem as such, but more so a limitation of technology (particular camera bodies, flashes etc, are better than some at doing high speed sync photography).
    I would definately say that if you were using your flash on camera in regular sync mode (not high sync) then you would not have captured any partially black frames.”

    However, I am still getting this problem without the high-sync and without the flash on the camera. I have tried different modes…even idiot mode (landscape, portrait modes) and I am still getting this problem. It dosen’t matter if the flash is on or off the camera. I have changed lenses, flashes, cards, camera modes everything.

    Settings like; 1/60th of a sec at f5.6 iso 100. … landscape mode (idiot mode). – NO FLASH

    As a professional photographer specialising in weddings, portraits, fuctions etc. I can’t have this problem continously occurring. I missing valuable shots and am having to I can’t see any setting to fix this problem either. I just don’t feel its reliable.

    Has anyone else had problems like this?

  2. Interesting, this happened to me today twice. Never happened before today.

    I was shooting with a 580EX on 2nd curtain sync around 15th of a second. I got two black frames and the sound was obvious to me that the shutter was not ‘firing right’.

    At this time I have put it down to the battery being down to the last quarter on the display, I am charging a fresh battery now and plan to shot off a bunch of frames to see if it happens again.

    If it turns into a shutter problem I’m going to be real pissed about it, this camera has been a 50/50 experience since it’s release and I have very little confidence in it so far. Just when I start to trust it something like this comes along and it’s straight back to square one.

    I’ll let you know if the problem comes back, I figure if it is the shutter then it should appear again as I shot frames just to test it.

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