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5D Mark III Screen Will Not Turn On / Work when NOT TETHERED


Hi! Ever since I started tethering my camera to my laptop for some photoshoots, when it isn't tethered, the screen on the back of the camera doesn't turn on / work, meaning I can't take any photos. It is just black. It doesn't always do this, but I am nervous that when I most need it to work (i.e. weddings etc), the screen just won't turn on / the shutter button is blocked.

Has this happened to anyone? I feel like it must be an issue with where the cable is inserted in my camera, should I just have it serviced...? Thank you 🙂 


Try switching to auto mode and see if the menu pops up mine had the same problem

View solution in original post


This worked. I spent all day trying to figure this out via manual, canon site and other blogs. This last comment was the finishing word. All of the other suggestions were valid and I did use them to troubleshoot the problem A Thanks for your comment Buffdog or JonKline


Turn the power off. Take the memory card(s) out, take the battery out. Put the battery back in. Turn the camera on. Sometimes you can have issues when the boot flag is set on a memory card.


Are you using the HDMI port?

I'm a cinematographer in Chicago using mostly Canon gear. I also founded MKE Production Rental in Milwaukee.

Well colour me shocked, the interwebs can be useful! My 5D III did this to me for no reason at all yesterday and I thought I tried everything. I guessed the camera was confused about something because metering and AF worked but not the back screen & the shutter wouldn't fire. New battery, card in and out & it would come back for a while then it was all the same after it was switched off.

Obviously I had not taken battery and card out and replaced battery before card which (fingrers crossed for the long term) seems to have done the trick. Many thanks.


I'm having the same issue with a 5D Mark III:

- at a shoot the LCD screen went dark.

- I popped battery and memory card but that didn't solve the problem.

- I've tried different batteries and memory cards.  No luck.

- I've tried with no memory card inserted.  No luck.

- When I power off the camera, the "sensor cleaning" message appears just fine.

- Occasionally the screen comes back when I fidget with the memory card access door.

- The memory card door snaps into place as expected.  It's not loose at all.


Any ideas before I send it to CPS?


That sounds very much like the symptoms I was experiencing except I didn't get anything from the screen at all. When the sensor cleaning message came up the shutter fired and the screen worked. Then it wouldn't next time I switched it on.

I thought I'd tried everything but you need to take out the battery and the card then replace the battery before putting the card back exactly as JonKline said above. This seems to reset the camera and so far all has been well for the last couple of weeks.

I checked the switch on the card door as I thought that might be the problem but if it were then there would have been no life at all in the camera. What was weird was the metering and AF worked but the screen and shutter release wouldn't.

Hope this does the trick for you.

Based on what I read here, I thought maybe the card door switch might be the problem, but nothing there is loose.  I'm going to try replacing the clock battery and updating firmware (now that the screen seems to be back), and go from there.

It's an odd scenario that I haven't run into before!

Out posts must have crossed.  It seems to be important to remove the battery and card then replace them in the right order.  I had removed battery and card, put in new battery, different card but when I followed the sequence exactly as given by JonKline above all worked fine and has continued to do so.  

Can't do any harm to replace the clock battery and you should always keep your firmware up do date so it would do no harm to check that and update if necessary.  Good luck. 

Thanks.  I did follow that sequence before I posted here.

I'm just heading out to buy the replacement battery and will post back on what the result is.



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