Sony Mirrorless Camera Error Messages

The Sony NEX-7 is one of the company's many mirrorless cameras. Sony

If you experience a problem with your Sony mirrorless ILC (interchangeable lens camera), you may see an error message, or you may experience problems where the camera provides no visual clues.

While it can be unnerving to see an error message pop onto the screen, there is a benefit to seeing it: With an error message on the screen or with an error light flashing, you can more easily solve any potential problem, versus if the camera provides no clues to the cause of the malfunction.

Use these tips to solve the problem with your Sony mirrorless ILC.

  • Camera overheating. When you shoot in continuous-shot mode for a long time, or if you’re shooting a long movie, you might see this error message. Just stop shooting for a while, to allow the camera’s internal temperature to cool. If you continue to use the camera after seeing this error message, you could damage the internal components, or the camera will just shut down.
  • Cannot recognize lens. Most of the time, this error message occurs when the interchangeable lens has not been connected properly. Make sure you have the lens lined up properly before attempting to attach it.
  • Image database file error. Most of the time, this error message is related to a problem with an AVCHD movie file. The Sony mirrorless camera may give you some instructions for fixing the problem; if so, follow them. If not, try downloading the file to a computer. If that doesn’t work, either, you may just have to delete the file or format the memory card.
  • Incompatible battery. With this error message, the camera cannot properly or fully connect with the battery. You may have the battery inserted incorrectly, it may be too low on power to operate, or it could be the incorrect model of battery. Check all of these things. If none of these items are the problem, the battery could be malfunctioning.
  • Memory card error. This error message means that the formatting attempt for the memory card has failed. Try the formatting again; if it fails again, chances are the memory card is malfunctioning.
  • Power insufficient. If you’re trying to clean the Sony camera’s image sensor, you will need a fully charged battery. If the camera does not believe it have enough battery power remaining to clean the sensor, you will see this error message. Just charge the battery before cleaning the sensor.
  • Reinsert memory card. You may see this error message for a few reasons, including if the memory card is damaged, has been inserted incorrectly, or has grime on the metal contacts. Look over the memory card for any damage and clean the metal contacts, if needed. Then try inserting it again. If the error message persists, try a different memory card.
  • Set area/date/time. If you see this message after you have not used the camera for a while, it could mean the internal battery is drained of power. Look through the user manual to figure out how to charge the internal battery, which, normally, is done through the USB cable. If this is the first time you’ve used this camera, though, this message is normal.
  • System error. The camera must be reset when you see this error message. Remove the battery and memory card for at least 10 minutes. Reinsert those items and restart the camera. If this error message persists, the Sony mirrorless ILC might need repair.