I have had my Nikon D3100 DSLR for about three years, and it has worked like a champ until today, when it started taking nothing but black pictures in any mode. The LCD screen still works (I can see pictures I took the other day that are still on the memory card), the viewfinder works, the EXIF data appears to be correct for each image, and yes, I took the lens cap off. No errors are given.

It does appear that the camera is actually taking pictures of something black, rather than a failed CCD or something like that. Looking at a few of the pictures on my computer, I can see that they're not completely black: they mostly display gradients from black at the top to very, very dark brown at the bottom. The grain pattern on each image is different, and the brown is slightly lighter on some images than on others.

To get a look at what's happening, I put the camera in manual mode, set a six-second exposure time, took the lens off, and looked into the camera body as I snapped a picture. The mirror flipped up and I could see the closed shutter curtain for the entire duration of the exposure.

I assume this means I have a stuck shutter? I've seen some indications around the web that this might be a common issue with this camera, but haven't seen much in the way of consistent solutions. Is this something I can fix myself, or do I have to get it repaired? How much is it likely to cost?

edit: As suggested, here are a couple of the riveting images:

black picture another black picture

  • While they may not be very interesting, posting some sample photos won't do any harm and could potentially help people diagnose the issue. – Philip Kendall Nov 17 '14 at 8:36
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    As you have watched the shutter getting stuck, it seems fair to assume this is indeed a stuck shutter. Take it to a Nikon authorised repair shop: not something you want to tackle yourself really. – ElendilTheTall Nov 17 '14 at 15:33
  • @ElendilTheTall That should be posted as an answer – Philip Kendall Nov 17 '14 at 16:00
  • I'm having this issue as we speak. I can see everything through the viewfinder but when I play it back it's black. It seems like it's taking a picture, the flash works and everything, but when I play it back or put it into the computer it's completely black. it's like taking a picture of a black wall. what was your issue?? – user38077 Feb 27 '15 at 18:46

As you have watched the shutter getting stuck, it seems fair to assume this is indeed a stuck shutter. Take it to a Nikon authorised repair shop: not something you want to tackle yourself really.

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    Obvious but true...:-) – BobT Nov 17 '14 at 18:20

I know this is an old thread but it might help someone currently searching this with the fix I found.

  1. Take the lens off
  2. Turn the camera on, put into manual mode
  3. Set exposure to 30 seconds
  4. Take photo while observing the stuck shutter curtain
  5. During the 30 second exposure hold the camera in one hand and give hard thump to the base of the camera with your other hand.
  6. Repeat a few times until you see the shutter open revealing the sensor
  7. Enjoy your D3100 once again
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    Percussive maintenance may work, but probably not the best idea unless you want a reason to buy a new body. – j_foster Aug 25 '16 at 10:49
  • Please let me just call you my hero. I made an account here just to tell you THANK YOU SO MUCH for you crazy solution. I was really hopeless that I tried your way without no fear of damaging my camera. However, after two times of doing the steps you said. the shutter open half and with another slap it fully appeared. Now my Nikon D5200 is working thanks to you. I'm glad to have such a person like you still alive. best regaeds – Younes Bouadi Jun 12 '17 at 5:23
  • Thanks Jamie! Worked..!! Set the exposure and whacked ton bottom a few times and voila – sam Sep 29 '17 at 16:57

protected by Community Sep 29 '17 at 19:01

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