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Camera saying busy and won't take pictures


My camera worked fine the other day.  Now, it won't take pictures at all.  When I go to take a picture, it will act like it is focusing by flashing and such but it will never go through.  It always says busy.  I have tried all modes, and none will work not even without flash. 


I have also taken the battery out, taken the card out and reformatted it, and cleared all camera settings.  Can anyone help?  I have a newborn that I would really like to be able to capture. 🙂


Thank you ahead of time!

155 REPLIES 155


Hi mliz2486!


To have a better understanding of your issue, please let everyone know which model camera you own. That way, our Canon Forum members and our Subject Matter Experts will be able to assist you with suggestions appropriate for your specifici Canon camera.


I have a Canon EOS Rebel XS.




This may be a communication issue between the camera and the lens.  Try removing the lens, then cleaning the electrical contacts with a soft microfiber cleaning cloth.


  1. Does the camera still not focus and take a picture?
  2. Does this happen with other lenses?
  3. If you switch the focusing mode on the lens to MF instead, does the camera take the picture?

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I cleaned the electrical contacts with a microfiber cloth.


1.  The camera will still not focus and take a picture.

2.  This happens with other lenses as well.

3.  If I switch the focusing mode on the lens to MF, the camera will take a picture.

i also have the same problem. When camera is in AF mode on side of lense it is not shooting, it is saying busy and just bliking.



A few questions...


The "default" shooting mode of the camera for focus is called "One Shot" AF.  This mode has a nuance called "focus priority".  Focus priority says that the priority for the camera is to lock focus and THEN take the image.  


If you were shooting action shots, you might switch it to "AI Servo" mode... which has a nuance called "release priority".  Release priority says that the priority for the camera is to take the shot WHEN you press the shutter button down completely (whether the camera was able to successfully lock focus on something or not... it WILL take that picture.  It may be a blurry picture if it never focused, but it will still take it.)


I'm trying to determine if your camera isn't taking a photo simply becuase it cannot lock focus.  It will help if we can narrow that down.


You can switch the auto-focus swtich on the side of the lens to the MF (manual focus) position.  In that mode, the camera will not attempt to focus and it should take the image when you fully press the shutter button whether the camera was focused or not.   (it would also do this if you switched to "AI Servo" mode, but simply flicking the AF/MF switch on the lens to the MF position would be an easy and quick test.)


Would you please test that and report back if it makes a difference?


This will help us determine if the issue is with your lens and auto-focus vs. an issue with your camera.


It's also helpful to know some information about your lens and shooting circumstances.


What lens are you using?  Is this the "kit" lens included with the camera (e.g. the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens?)


Where were you shooting and what sort of lighting was available?  E.g. was this "outdoor" and "daytime" on a sunny day?  Was this "indoor" and using only available light in the room?  


I ask these questions because in order to lock focus, the camera needs adequate light and a subject with detail and contrast.   Some of Canon's speedlite flashes have a "focus assist" beam which projects a somewhat grid-shaped pattern of red light, but its purpose is to make it relatively easy for the camera to lock focus accurately even in poor lighting situations.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

I am not sure if this is answering your question, but my camera will take pictures in MF.  However, it will not take pictures in AF.


I am using the "kit" lens. (EFS 18-55mm).  However, it will not work with another lens either.


My camera won't shoot anywhere.  There is not one particular thing I was trying to shoot.  It just won't take any pictures in AF mode.





It will it will shoot in MF mode, then it most likely means the camera is unable to lock focus.  


This could mean it's having a problem with a specific AF point.  Are you asking the camera to use a specific AF point or are you allowing the camera to auto-select the AF point?


If you are allowing it to auto-select, you might try to tell the camera to use a specific AF point and test the various points to see if you can pin this issue down to any specific point that's failed.


Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Thanks so much!  I have decided to take it to a professional that knows a lot more about cameras than I do and see if I can get it fixed.  Everyone has been of great help, but I believe this is a bigger problem than I am going to be able to handle on my own.  Plus, I want my camera back to working so I capture some sweet memories.  I will definitely use this board again if needed.


Have a great weekend!


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