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Canon 5D mark iii "busy" each time after switch on and missing shots...


Hi all, I am new on the forums but not new to photography and not new to Canon: shooting Canon for 30 years now, from back in the film times. Last year I sold my 5D mark ii and acquired a second-hand 5D mark iii. I acquired it from a photo store, it was in good condition, cleaned and checked.  Ever since I bought it, it shows "busy" to me after about 2 or 3 seconds after switch on. When showing "busy", it refuses to shoot anything - I simply have to wait. The "busy" time is usually some seconds but can sometimes last up to 10 seconds, or at least it feels like that: an eternity when I want to shoot that shot and my camera is refusing to do it for me. I am missing shots because of this.

Does anyone know how to fix it or what I can do?

Please note that I did search this forum for this problem, and came across this post. It seems related and there are some similarities, however there are also some differences. What is similar is that I am using an SD card (Sandisk Extreme Pro 170 MB/s 64 GB (UHS class 3, speed class 10). What is different is that I am not using burst mode.

Also note that my issue does not seem related to the speed of the card. I am an amateur with a good camera; almost never using the burst modes. And the problem occurs regardless of the fact if I have taken a photo (or not) before the "busy" message shows up. 

I have reformatted the card and resetted the camera: to no avail. Some other info: mostly shooting JPG (second best quality), enabled lens abberation correction, did not enable (white balance) auto bracketing. Lens used: any of my lenses (which are: EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 II USM, EF 16-35 F2.8 L USM mark ii, EF 70-200 F/4, EF 50 F/1.8, EF 100 F/2.0 USM) 

Any help or hints appreciated! 




So finally made up my mind: traded the 5D mark iii for a 6D mark ii. Problem is absent in the new camera, and I am using the same cards. Thanks everyone for helping me on this problem, unfortunately it was a camera fault. 

View solution in original post



Hi Hans and welcome to the forum:
I respect your experience both as a photographer and with the 5D series of camera.  I had the 5DIII and I still have a 5DsR.  I would suspect that, almost certainly the issue is card-related.  Since I don't want to make any assumptions, can you please confirm that your card is a full-size SD card, rather than a micro-SD with adapter - Micro SD cards are problematic with Canon cameras?

cheers, TREVOR

"The Amount of Misery expands to fill the space available"
"All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris

Hi Trevor, thanks for your answer. To answer your question, I confirm I am using a full-size SD card, no adapter. 

Thanks, Hans



Have you tried a different card?

If it happens with more than one card, the issue is probably camera related.

Steve Thomas


Good suggestion, will buy and try later today. 

Cheers Hans


Are you using a CF card too in the camera. Try removing it or switching it out to a different CF card to see if the problem is CF Card related. If one is also being used in the camera. Also DO NOT use Micro SD Cards in an adapter as @Tronhard pointed out. These cause a lot of problems so stick with full size cards.


Current Gear: EOS 5D Mark IV, EF F/2.8 Trinity, EF 50mm F/1.8 STM, EF 85mm F/1.8 USM, 470EX-AI & 600EX II-RT

Retired Gear: EOS 40D

Hi Demetrius,

No I am not using a CF card right now. I do own them, but I am using SD exclusively for now. 



Not applicable

Does it say "Busy" or "Sensor cleaning"? Mine says sensor cleaning for a couple of seconds when first turned on or when turned off. The sensor cleaning can be disabled in the menus, but I wouldn't recommend it, as it cleans dust that has accumulated on the camera sensor.

Also, are you saying it says busy at power on and after taking a picture or only at power up?

Hi Bob, It really says "busy". I am familiar with the sensor cleaning, that is expected and not the problem. Sensor cleaning is only done when switching the camera on with the on/off switch; it is not done when waking the camera out of sleep with a light press on the shutter button. But the "busy" problem occurs when either one of these two actions is done. It happens after power on, after waking from sleep, and sometimes after having taken a picture within those first few seconds; it simply stalls after some seconds, for 5 to 10 seconds, and refuses to take any further picture during that time.

Thanks, Hans


Remove all cards and the lens. Power up the camera. Same thing?

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