Canon Error 20 Code

We recently had a customer (a pro wedding photographer) come and visit us in the studio. Whilst calibrating their equipment (5D Mk 3 & 5D Mk IV and a sleuth of lenses) they mentioned that they were experiencing problems with both of their cameras and they would intermittently lock up and an error code would be displayed on the cameras rear LCD. Unfortunately, in the panic they forgot to note the error code and instead quickly turned the camera off / on which cleared the fault.
 
In our time here at Cameracal we have experienced virtually every error code on both Canon and Nikon cameras and keep an extensive database of what they refer to, but in this instance not knowing the code didn’t help. It was a matter of waiting to see if it re-occurred. Apparently this particular error was becoming more frequent
 
Low and behold within a couple of minutes of setting up the 5D Mk 3 and an 85mm the fault occurred but only mid calibration as an error was thrown up by our calibration software stating that a communication error had occur but no error code. Not ones to be beaten, we set about trying to replicate the fault and find a solution. Halfway through calibrating the forth lens the same error occurred but this time the error code ERR 20 was displayed on the rear LCD display but what did it mean.
 
 
 
Canon error 20 code
 
 
 

 

 

According to Canon

ERR 20 signifies a mechanical (shutter) or mirror problem and is normally rectified (temporarily) by turning off the camera, extracting the battery and reinserting. However this “fix” is only temporary and the code refers to mechanical problem (Canon’s official explanation is as follows – “ A malfunction with the mechanical mechanism has occurred”). We have seen this problem on numerous occasions and have found that the problem indicates a fault with either the mirror or shutter mechanism.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mirror Or Shutter?

So putting two and two together, the evidence was a follows:
  • The camera was used for wedding photographer and had been used heavily for 4 years
  • The condition of the camera indicated that it had had a hard life.
We then decided to conduct a shutter count test to confirm our suspicions, plugging the camera
into a specific shutter count test app (and verifying this with our own copy of Reikan’s Focal
calibration software) the test reported back that the shutter had 325,000 actuations.
Canon’s recommended guidelines for shutter life on the 5D Mk3 is rated at 150,000 actuations
although it is quite possible that shutter life can continue beyond this point.
 
Not bad for this particular model, nearly 2 ½ times the recommend limit. As a precaution we had
the camera checked out by our local repair agent who indeed confirmed the shutter was failing
and hence the error code.
 
We have listed below a number of common error codes displayed on Canon Eos models and their
likely cause and solutions.
 
Note in many of the cases the solution is to turn the camera off, uninstall the battery, reinstall and
then switch on the camera. This is in some cases all that is required and is akin to rebooting a
computer. If the problem does reoccur it is best to have it checked by a qualified Canon
service agent.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Canon Error Codes

 

 

Err 01
Description: The communication between the camera and lens is faulty.
Resolution: Very gently clean the electrical contacts (highlighted in red) on the camera and the lens using a clean and dry cloth.
 

 

Err 02
Description: The camera cannot access the memory card.
Resolution:
1.Remove and re-install the memory card.
2.Format the memory card as described in the user manual.
3.If formatting the memory card does not resolve the error please replace the memory card.
 

 

Err 03
Description: There are too many folders on the memory card.
Resolution: Replace the memory card with a formatted Compact Flash memory card.
 

 

Err 04
Description: Images cannot be saved because the memory card is full.
Resolution:
1.Erase any unnecessary images on the memory card.
2.Format the memory card as described in the user manual.
3.If formatting the memory card does not resolve the error please replace the memory card.
 

 

Err 05
Description: The built-in flash could not be raised.
Resolution: Turn the power switch off and then on again.
 

 

Err 06
Description: The sensor cleaning is not possible.
Resolution: Turn the power switch off and then on again
 

 

Err 10
Description: A malfunction with the files on the memory card has been detected.
Resolution: Turn the power off, then remove and re-install the battery. Then turn the power on again.
 

 

Err 30
Description: A malfunction with the shutter has been detected.
Resolution: Turn the power off, then remove and re-install the battery. Then turn the power on again.
 

 

Err 40
Description: A malfunction with the power source has been detected.
Resolution: Turn the power off, then remove and re-install the battery. Then turn the power on again.
 

 

Err 50
Description: A malfunction related to the electric control has been detected.
Resolution: Turn the power off, then remove and re-install the battery. Then turn the power on again.
 

 

Err 60
Description: An error occurred preventing shooting, the lens movement may be obstructed.
Resolution: Check that the lens is clear from obstructions. Then turn the power switch off and then backon again.
 

 

Err 70
Description: A malfunction with the images has been detected.
Resolution: Turn the power off, then remove and re-install the battery. Then turn the power on again.
 

 

Err 80
Description: A malfunction with the electric control or images has been detected.
Resolution: Turn the power off, then remove and re-install the battery. Then turn the power on again.
 

 

Err 99
Description: This is a general error that can occur because of several different reasons.
Resolution:
1.Turn the power off and remove then re-install the battery.
2.Turn the power on again.
3.Very gently clean the electrical contacts on the camera and lens using a clean and dry cloth
4.Very gently clean the electrical contacts on the camera and flash using a clean and dry cloth