I have had an issues and not sure what I should do, here is what happened:

Yesterday I was shooting with my D5100 and all the sudden it would not respond. I would press the shutter release and nothing would happen. It would not focus, it would not fire, nothing. After turning it off and on again, nothing. I thought maybe the card was full (even though I knew it should not be) and I switched memory cards. It started working after this as I continued to shoot again the same issue. This time I knew there was no way the card was full. After letting the camera sit for a bit it finally started working again. By this point I was done trying to shoot. (Note: Both cards were less than half full once I got home and started looking, and I have taken more shots that what I did yesterday on both cards.)

I am not sure what to do and this really concerns me. Why would the camera just stop shooting? When I got home I preformed a master reset but have yet tried to do much shooting with it to see if the issue happens again. Also the camera has the latest firmware available according to Nikon's website.

Have others seen/heard of this issue before? What can I do to remedy this if it happens? I read where another person had this same issue but nothing was listed as to how it was resolved. Nikon has nothing on their website I can find. Thoughts? Ideas? Could it be simple user error on my part?

Here is the equipment I am using:

  • Nikon D5100
  • Transcend Class 10 16GB memory cards (2 of them)
  • Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (standard kit lens)
  • Nikkor 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6

2 Answers 2


Most DSLRs aren't "really" off when they're switched off, and we need to remember that whatever else may be going on inside the box, we're working with computers, and they may hang from time to time. Software bugs just are, and you may have just carried out a sequence of operations that wasn't in the test plan. The standard IT response applies: "have you tried turning it off and turning it back on again?". With Nikons, at least, an actual reboot is going to involve removing and reinserting the battery to get out of standby mode (which is all that "off" really does).

There may have been a heat issue in this particular case, since leaving the camera idle in standby and changing the card both had a temporary effect. If the camera was having difficulty communicating with the card, that can account for a lot. I haven't experienced any difficulties with Transcend cards myself, but if it happens again I might consider trying another brand for a while.

  • Thanks for the information, I was not aware that I had to reboot the camera by removing the battery. I will attempt that if it happens again.
    – L84
    Jun 11, 2012 at 18:20

Prolonged shooting causes electric data transfer between card terminal and the camera slot contacts. Even when using a class 10 card, the data transfer to the card is very high and very fast. This data transfer to the memory card produces heat while reading and writing (just as user Stan Rogers described) .... while you video record / shoot in burst mode / shoot for long time continually, there is very high transfer rate thus the card and the card slot module tends to get hot.

After a certain threshold for heat by the device stops the initialization of the hardware component to cool off the heat. thus the camera does not respond. happened to me several times (suffered once during a photo-shoot and it drove me crazy)..... what i did was remove the memory card and leave the slot open for a while and i could continue working after 10 mins.

( :p i was also blowing air into the card slot using my blower B-) )

  • Excess heat was my first thought too. Do you know if battery heats up when camera is in heavy use, like that kind about what you described in your answer? And is the memory card slot right next to the battery compartment in that Nikon model? Then there would be not only data traffic generated heat, but also the battery warming up right next to it. (just a thought) May 29, 2013 at 8:17
  • battery heat is possible when there is prolonged shooting like for hours continuously or in case you use an third party battery component. Jun 10, 2013 at 11:32

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