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Canon 550D Overheating, HELP!


My family (me being a son) go on a lot of holidays (on one right now) and we bought the 550D back in 2011 in Malaysia.

Just recently when i try to take a video it just overheats after a few seconds (2-5 secs) and then it crashes. This never happened before and now we are stuck using 3 x $200 cameras and smartphones to take videos (4K with a note 3 isn't too shabby though but that file size). Taking images is fairly fine although it does tend to overheat as well which sucks.

I tried it at different ambient temps (27, 20, -10 (celsius)).

At -10 it was on for the longest (1 min 18 secs) then it crashed due to heat issues.


Any fix or do i / we have to buy a new DSLR?



Try a new battery.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!


Are you actually getting an overheat warning (specifically) or is the camera merely shutting down after a few seconds of trying to record video.


Usually when a camera stops recording video after just a few seconds it's because the memory card isn't as fast as the memory card claims.  This happens because the camera has it's own internal memory buffer in addition to the space on the card.  As you start to shoot video (or even still images) they are first captured in the camera's internal memory buffer... and the camera immediately gets to work copying the data from the memory buffer to the card.  It copies the data to the card at whatever speed the card allows.  The memory card may not be as fast as the camera's ability to capture frames of video.  If that happens, the internal memory buffer will fill faster than the camera can save to the card and the camera has no choice but to stop the recording of video (because the card cannot keep up.)


While you should use a "Class 10" card, there are many cards that claim class 10 speed but aren't actually able to keep up in real-world use.  


As such, I avoid trying to save money by purchasing low-cost memory cards and instead opt for the well-known brands such as Sandisk or Lexar and even among those I tend to buy their higher rated cards.


You mentioned the camera "overheats" after just a few seconds.  Normally the camera will not display an overheat warning (although it can).  The camera does actually monitor it's own internal chip temperature (software can do it... for example I use an astrophotography image acquisition program called "Backyard EOS" which does report camera temperature while it controls the camera.)


Certainly 2-5 seconds is not really enough time for a sensor to overheat (this normally takes many minutes and in hot conditions) so if you're actually getting a real overheat warning there may be a problem with the camera's sensor (and that would require service.) 

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

Thanks for the replies.


I will try to swap out the battery ASAP.


In regards to what @Tcampbell said, the red light is flashing (clearly a sign that it knows it is overheating). I tried multiple SD cards from various companies and of various sizes.

If the battery replacement doesn't fix it, i will  send it to a repair shop like you suggested.


Thanks once again,




There is a red light which normally flashes to indicate that the camera is actively writing (or reading) to the memory card.  


The temperature warning is an icon which appears on the LCD screen.  Initially the camera will display an icon which resembles a bulb thermometer... but it will be white.  If the temperature continues to climb, the icon will switch to red.


This is described on page 139 of your owner's manual (you can also find it in the index under the topic "Temperature warning".)  


If you are not seeing this bulb-thermometer icon (white or red) on the LCD screen, but are instead seeing the flashing red LED, this is not a temperature warning, but an indication of activity reading or writing to the memory card.



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