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Sony A390 'Camera error'

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by Fen10, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Fen10

    Fen10 Member

    Hi all,

    I brought a Sony A390 secondhand a few months ago. After a couple of months occasionally I press the shutter button and it comes up with 'camera error' and the picture is black. I turn the camera off and on it clears it. However, I have a black line, sometimes circular on the left hand side of my photos.

    I've attached a couple of photos. I do have a filter on the lens, but it has occurred with or without the lens. Any suggestions? Will I have to take it repair store, and if so is it going to cost me a lot of money (feeling pretty poor at the moment).

    Many thanks in advance.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/1023174...6234452833206463026&oid=102317404752381015639 - Circular marking

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/1023174...6234452490794974034&oid=102317404752381015639 - Black line
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Looks like something is out of alignment though for a lens element to shift that much I am surprised you get any results at all. Have you dropped the camera? If you take the lens off and look through it can you see anything other than a clear view?
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Do you have more than one lens or alternatively do you know anybody else with a Sony DSLR? I ask because I suspect that the problem could be in the camera itself (possibly the shutter) rather than the lens and trying with a different lens would provide more information. Incidentally it is always worth cleaning the contacts between the camera and the lens as this costs nothing and occasionally works wonders. The next step is to check your T&Cs - some dealers give a six month warranty and you might just be lucky. After that you are probably into folorn hope territory but a "reset to factory defaults" , some where in the menus, is worth a try. Finally take it into a Sony dealer and ask for an estimate for a repair, either to the camera or the lens

    I am sorry not to be more helpful
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  4. Fen10

    Fen10 Member

    Firstly, many thanks for everyone's help so far.

    @PeteRob Nope, I've never dropped it and I keep it in a case. But I don't know it's history before I got it.

    RogerMac I don't know anyone with a Sony Alpha, but I guess I could go to a shop and try other lens. I have tried the factory reset. The black line appears to have reduced, but it some times does that anyway. The circular 'line' is occasionally there. If I turn the camera off and on, it sometimes makes it disappear, other times it doesn't. The shots I took today were on a wet, windy day in the UK. But it also happened whilst in Spain.

    If it is the shutter, roughly how much does it cost to repair/replace?

    Thanks again.
  5. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    If you are interested you could try it with a homemade pinhole lens. It is very easy - a short cardboard tube (try a section from a loo roll) taped onto the body of the camera and covered with aluminium foil at the other end works well, Make a small hole in the center of the foil and you are ready to go - I set up a granddaughter with an old camera and such a lens fairly recently, and she learnt quite a lot about optics.

    Anyway with such a "lens" you could determine if it is the body or the lens.

    As to the repair cost you will need to go to either the Sony site or a dealer, either of which should be happy to estimate the cost. It is quite possible that the have a fixed price menu which they could quote.
  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    A strange fault indeed, One picture has it curved and the other straight, the curved looks rather like vignetting and the second a shutter fault, but then I would expect the shutter to be a vertical run type. I think it is a case of trying another lens on the body and go from there. If it is a shutter problem repair is not likely to be an economically viable course of action.
  7. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings on the first day ofthe year, but I think it is a Sony service job, as the Steady Shot Inside looksto be failing. If it were a lens issue then turning the camera off and on is very unlikely to fix it. Also the ‘camera error’ indicates that the fault is with the camera, not the lens. Additionally, the error is inconsistent, indicating a moving part in the system. Finally, if it were the lens, then the optical viewfinder would show the black area, particularly the circular one,but you have not mentioned that this is the case.

    Sony’s Steady Shot Inside (SSI) moves the sensor to counteract camera movement – ‘camera shake’ – and if the camera has had a knock in the past, the mechanism may be overshooting the normal limits so that it moves beyond the image circle formed by the lens. This would also explain the black line (small error) and the circular line (big error).

    It would help if you could let us know the results of thefollowing:-

    1. Next time it happens, just turn off SSI (not the camera) and see if the problem goes away.
    2. If the problem persists, turn off and turn on again, but turn SSI off before turning back on.
    3. Take a bunch of pictures with SSI off and see if you still get the same problem.

    I have presumed that SSI is on, the normal position forhand-held shooting.
  8. Fen10

    Fen10 Member

    Happy new year.

    I tried the loo roll hole method, but couldn't. 'No lens attached'. I guess I needed to cover a lens sensor or something.

    Yes, the error is completely
    inconsistent. I tried to turn off the SSI, but I couldn't as the option was 'greyed' out and has already been turned off. Please excuse my lack of technical terms.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/1023174...6235150624230955586&oid=102317404752381015639This was in fully auto mode. Then lens was at 18mm (I have a 18-70mm lens)

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/1023174...6235150252533835794&oid=102317404752381015639 Again in fully auto mode and taken straight after the above shot. This time the lens was on 70mm

    Again a big thank you to everyone's help!
  9. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Sorry if I lead you astray - The camera I tried it on did allow that facility but I guess makes can vary
  10. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It looks like one side of the lens (or one element inside the lens) is visible to the sensor. Normally the lens produces an image circle ("the picture") rather bigger than the sensor and bigger than any normal movement of the sensor with the in-body stabilisation. The only "normal" condition for seeing a shape like that is stacking several filters on the front of the lens so that they fall in the field of view. Then you get this shape equally to the right and to the left of the frame

    Did you look inside the lens to see if anything was loose? If the lens is OK and the reason is as proposed that the sensor is somehow moved far from its normal position I am still suprised that you can get any focussed residual picture at all.

    As a final somewhat silly sounding suggestion. Do you wrap the camera strap around your left hand when you take a picture? I can't conceive that you could acccidentally cover the lens the same amount time after time but stranger things have happened.
  11. Fen10

    Fen10 Member

    I've had a look at the lens but can't see anything odd about it. The only thing I did note was the 'o ring' (could be a different name) is misshaped. Also, when I take a shot, either by live view or view finder, it's all lined up but when I look at the actual shot it's photographed far more to the left hand side (it wasn't on the either the live view or the view finder when setting up).

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/1023174...6235243186806112866&oid=102317404752381015639 - Lens


    indeed stranger things have happened, but I always wrap the strap around my right wrist.

    I know I will more than likely (v v likely) have to take it to a pro to fix, but I kind of like to prepare myself.

    Again, I cannot thank everyone enough for all of their suggestions.

  12. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    This is I think your Steadyshot that has failed, as indeed somebody suggested earlier on. It may not be an economic fix I'm afraid, given the used prices of entry level dslrs it might end up a better option to replace it.

    The O-ring is the diaphragm of the lens and it is not intended to be perfectly circular btw.

    If you bought the camera from a dealer it may well be covered by warranty, as most give 6 months or more on used products, so if it is beyond economical repair you would get a replacement or refund.
  13. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    Are you using the camera in either full auto or one of the scene modes? If so, then the SSI is operated by the camera, so it is greyed out. On the top dial, set the camera to 'A', 'S' or 'M' and see if you can turn steady shot off then. If you can, then take some shots to see if the problem goes away.
  14. Fen10

    Fen10 Member

    I am pretty sure I tried it in several different modes, but I'll double check when I get home.

    Seeing as it's highly likely I am going down the professional repair route, can anyone recommend a shop in London?
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Fixation are always recommended, but I suspect you could buy a second-hand body for less than the price of a repair.
  16. Fen10

    Fen10 Member

    Thanks for everyone's help. I finally took into a repair store, and i have been told the image sensor is out of alignment. It's going to be a costly repair :(, so I am thinking about whether or not I want to go ahead.

    But thanks again for everyone's thoughts and suggestions.

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