What's wrong with my D5100? Recently, I'm not getting full size pictures? Pictures taken shows top side with darkened layer. It started after I had a sports activities coverage, but as far as I can remember, it never fell or was hit by anything.

Here's a sample image:

enter image description here

  • Bob T Hi! Thanks for your time and help, kindly see sample imageshttp://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/11/dsc2274r.jpg/ Most of it were taken outdoor, I had 1 with flash though. – John Andrew Mar 10 '13 at 1:56
  • Thank you all for your help. Tried using Video, I had full view/resulution, and it has no shadows on top. – John Andrew Mar 10 '13 at 1:59
  • Do you have this problem only with one lens or with multiple? It certainly appears to be some kind of obstruction. Could be a shutter, could be a lens alignment issue, could be any of a number of things. Troubleshoot first to figure out if it is lens or body and work from there. Does shutter speed impact how much is black? Is it consistent? Does the focal length have a significant impact on it? Are you using a lens hood? – AJ Henderson Apr 4 '13 at 18:23
  • Did you fix the problem? I have the same issue on a 2 year old D3100 and Nikon want £165 to replace the MG PCB UNIT whatever that is. Would like to find out if there is a cheaper solution! – user20985 Jul 11 '13 at 19:10

It's very possible that the shutter is sticking. I had this problem a lot of years ago with a Yashica 35mm film camera and lost a lot of shots to the shutter misbehaving, an expensive proposition with film. Anyways, the trigger seemed to have been a trip to a hot and fairly dusty location in Aruba, maybe the result of some sand or something getting caught in the mechanism, though that's speculation. Net effect, this is a mechanical part of the camera and can fail.

My initial reaction to your post was flash sync speed, but your first example as a 1/100 shutter speed and that's well below a flash sync problem with even the worse remote radio triggers and I doubt you're using them (yet). That rules the sync speed out, I think. The card suggestion above also doesn't make sense. It might, maybe, be the reason for one or two images, but that seems unlikely at best and not believable, at all, for any volume.

So, long story, short, I think you need to send it into Nikon. Hopefully it's a warranty repair.


If you're using a flash, maybe your shutter speed is faster than your camera's flash sync speed and hence you get the black band.

If its not with a flash then maybe your shutter is dying?

Try "live view" and see whether that works ok.

  • Shutter speed on one of the shots is 1/100, so way below the speed for sync on a Nikon camera. – John Cavan Mar 10 '13 at 4:35

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