I have a Canon EOS 600D that I believe may be broken or some random setting may have been activated.

Oddly enough, I can take videos with the camera, but when I attempt to take a picture or use auto-focus (basically press the shutter button), nothing happens. However, when I press the video button, it records videos as per normal.

I've tried resetting the settings and no notable change happens. Is there something I'm missing? Or is my camera actually broken?

Edit: Back of Camera

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Aug 20, 2016 at 14:28

3 Answers 3


If you have a cable release this will be easy. If not, it's a bit trickier, but still possible.

Cable Release Jack

On the side of your camera you should have a cable release. On more entry-level models, it should be a 2.5mm jack, like this one on my T5

cable release jack

A Cable! My Kingdom for a Cable!

If you have older video out cables from some point-and-shoot cameras or some video accessories, you may find that they used a 2.5mm jack. At least that's where this one came from. The RCA side (or not) isn't terribly important - the size of the stereo plug on the other side is. I believe it's also important to have the three bands vs. two. It should fit into the cable release jack on the side of your camera.

Not a cable release. But it will do!


If you have RCA ends like mine, then do it this way. If you have another stereo jack on the other end you'll need a paper clip, a penny, or some other conductive material. You just need to short (i.e. connect) the right two bits. The cable release jack has 3 connections in it - ground, half-press, and full-press. In my case, I have 4 connection points on the RCA sides. Two posts, and two sheaths. That means I can connect post-A to post-B, post-A to sheath-B, sheath-A to post-B, and sheath-A to sheath-B.

One of these things should work for you. Maybe.

Focus, Daniel-san!

Why This Might Work

If this works, you have something horked up with your shutter button. That seems unlikely to me, but if you have a cable around like this it's the easiest thing to check.


Remove The Batteries

It's possible that some setting got screwed up on your camera. I don't know how, but obviously your camera doesn't currently work. So what I would try, if nothing else seems to work, is removing the batteries. Obviously you know how to remove the main battery, but removing the backup battery is usually a bit trickier. I thought that instructions would be found in the manual, but I couldn't find them. There are some instructions for changing the backup battery, though I'm not sure if your specific model has instructions there. But hopefully it's a similar approach.

By removing the batteries it should reset everything back to the factory settings, so if there is some setting you accidentally horked up, hopefully this will fix it.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Or you could use the Clear Settings->Clear All Camera Settings menu option. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Aug 19, 2016 at 15:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd probably still try removing the battery (if that doesn't work), just on the off chance that maybe there's something stuck in the firmware. I don't have an intimate knowledge of camera firmware, but that strikes me as a distinct possibility (though improbable). \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2016 at 17:03
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Turns out that the 600D doesn't have a removable backup battery, but rather uses a soldered-in capacitor to maintain clock etc. settings when the battery is removed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Aug 19, 2016 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ick. Well, I guess the OP could leave their camera switched on, with no battery present, for a couple of years or however long it takes the capacitor to drain ;) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2016 at 18:31

Most Canon cameras have a switch for video mode built as a rotating ring around the button where you start the video (where it says 'Start/Stop').

You need to rotate that back into 'picture mode'. enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a Canon expert, but the image in the question does not seem to show any switch like this. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Aug 19, 2016 at 14:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ the image in the question was added later, as a clarification after I posted this answer. Yes, the D600 does not have this switch. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aganju
    Aug 19, 2016 at 15:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ However, the question has clearly stated 600D since the very first version. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Aug 19, 2016 at 17:26

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