I was taking some pictures on my camera a Nikon-D3100 when I noticed a black line appearing at the top of the photos, doing a bit of research I thought it might be a problem with the shutter, could someone help me confirm if that's the problem? As you an see I am not a professional photographer I would really appreciate any help This is how the photographs come out.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Were you using a flash during that photo? Was there another light source (such as a ceiling light)? If so, what was the bulb (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, ...)? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    May 10, 2021 at 6:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Considering the age of your camera, has it been heavily used? Regularly used? Has it sat around for a long time? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    May 10, 2021 at 7:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the image on the back of the camera a preview image of a still photo you have taken? Or the Live View feed with the camera set up to shoot video? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 10, 2021 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


That result is characteristic of using a shutter speed that is too fast with flash, and manual mode will allow you to do this. The flash sync speed for the D3100 is 1/200 and no faster. If the flash is off camera you may have to use a slower shutter speed than max x-sync in order to allow for some communication delay (but the exposed part looks like on-camera flash, so probably not an issue).

Edit: given the latest comment there is a physical obstruction in the way of the sensor. Take the lens off and I suspect you will find a stuck/broken shutter curtain.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The example image shows a Tv of 1/10 used for the example shot. That's considerably longer than 1/200. It may be a sync issue, but if so it is not due to a Tv shorter than the camera's X-sync Tv, but rather a timing issue. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    May 10, 2021 at 19:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelC, it also shows live view video/audio recording along with picture settings (L/NORM)... I assume it is not image review data (I've never seen that display configuration before). I considered the possibility that this was video and the only thing I could come up with is a hanging mirror... but I believe that would obstruct the top of the sensor/bottom of image. And if it was not a flash image but video feed, I would expect the exposure to be much more even, especially at f/7.1 (no vignetting). \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2021 at 23:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I still get the same result, the problem persists with any shutter setting with or without flash, the line also appears in the live preview before taking the photo or video. \$\endgroup\$
    – user99045
    May 11, 2021 at 3:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @user99045 then there is a physical obstruction. Take the lens off and I suspect you will find a stuck shutter curtain. \$\endgroup\$ May 11, 2021 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, only the upper curtain is moving, the lower one is stuck, what you recommend? \$\endgroup\$
    – user99045
    May 11, 2021 at 23:33

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