I used the "Lock mirror up for cleaning" feature of my Nikon D5100. It worked several times, but the last time I did it, turning off the camera didn't work: it's supposed to unlock the mirror and go back to normal, but it did not bring the mirror back. After looking closely, it seems it did close the shutter (well, it's closed now, I don't see the sensor anymore).

Now, the camera is like dead (indistinguishable from a camera without battery): turning it on or off does nothing, not even the green light which normally blinks when turning on. Removing the battery and putting it back doesn't work either. None of the button have any effect.

I tried two different batteries, at least on of them was fully loaded before.

edit: I also tried loading the battery fully, insert it in the camera, turn it on/off several times & manipulate a few buttons, and the battery is still loaded afterwards (the charger blinks for ~2 minutes and then shows the battery as fully charged, just like it does for a normal fully loaded battery). So it does not look like an abnormal battery drain. Thanks @Chris H for the idea.

edit2: if I pull the mirror gently, it does move (but returns flips up immediately when I release it), so it's not just stuck mechanically in upper position.

Any idea of something I could try to get it back to life (before I take it to a repair shop)?

edit3, conclusion: the repair shop confirms the camera has an electrical problem (essentially, all the electronics inside needs to be replaced :-( ).

  • 1
    You don't say that you've tried taking the battery out, charging it until the charger says its fulland putting it back in (to be absolutely sure it's fully charged). Then check the charge still thinks the battery is full after testing. This is to check for abnormal draining of the battery.
    – Chris H
    Jun 8 '16 at 21:24

I once encountered a D50 that had managed to get the mirror stuck in the up position. The mirror had gotten just skewed enough to hang on the side of the light box. It was a very delicate task to get it unstuck without damaging the mechanism that retains the mirror when locked up or for longer exposures. Damage that latch and the mirror will droop into the light path for longer shutter speeds and bulb exposures. In that case, though, the camera still turned on and off while reporting an error.

The fact that you're asking the question here likely means that you need to send the camera out for service. It is way too easy to do more harm than good messing around inside the light box of a DSLR if you don't know what you are doing. In your particular case it sounds like the root problem may not even be in the light box. The mirror being stuck in the up position may be a result of a control issue buried in the electronics of the camera. You may even have a main power board failure. They're not that rare in DSLRs, particularly in mid-level Nikons at one time. The D40, D60, and D70 all seemed to have more than their share of power board failures. I'm nowhere as near familiar with the current Nikon lineup, though.

  • Thanks. I'm afraid you're right, but I still wanted to have a bit of hope ;-). I'm leaving the answer unaccepted a little while in case someone has a magic spell to cast on my camera, but that's indeed unlikely. Jun 9 '16 at 9:00

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