Nikon D5100 Troubleshooting
The Nikon D5100 replaces the Nikon D5000 as one of Nikon's popular consumer DSLR cameras.
Camera won't turn on
The camera will not respond after the power button is pressed.
If the battery has run out of charge, the camera won't respond when you press the power button. The problem is easily remedied by charging the battery using a power adapter or replacing it with a freshly charged unit.
If the battery seems to die exceptionally quickly, or doesn't recharge even after being plugged into a power adapter, it may be time to purchase a replacement.
Battery compartment is dirty
If the battery won't charge, there may be dust or debris stopping your battery from charging. Take out the battery and clean the battery compartment with a cotton swab or cloth.
If the battery is not the problem with the camera then there may be a loose electrical connection in the camera such as a wire which is broken or a wire not connected to the battery properly.
Camera turns on but doesn't work
The camera seems to turn on, but does not function as expected, refusing to take pictures, failing to navigate the memory card, preventing access to the settings, or exhibiting other issues.
It's possible that the motherboard, which runs the camera's operating system, has been damaged. In this event, the entire unit can be replaced.
I can't see through the viewfinder properly
The view through the viewfinder is blurry, dark, or otherwise compromised.
There may be dust, grease, or other grime obscuring the view. Ensure that all accessible transparent parts of the lens and viewfinder have been cleaned carefully using a soft microfiber cloth to rule out this possibility.
Flash won't go off
Even when the camera's settings indicate that the flash should be forced, the flash does not activate when the shutter is pressed.
It's possible that the flash bulb unit has burnt out and needs to be replaced. While this isn't one of the most popular replacement parts available for the D5100, it is possible to order a replacement part through Nikon.
Bad flash board
The circuit board that controls the flashbulb may have become damaged and dysfunctional. In that event, the flash board must be replaced with a new unit.
The flash on the camera will not work if there is not enough battery power to work it. Charge the battery until it is full before using the flash again.
Digital display won't turn on
The digital display remains black, even when the camera seems to be turned on.
If the digital display has been damaged internally or externally and no longer functions, the LCD display screen can be replaced with a new unit.
Camera won't store pictures
Camera seems to take pictures successfully, but the "playback" feature reveals that they have not been saved.
Bad SD card
It's likely that the camera's memory card is unreadable for some reason, in which case the D5100 should report an error if it experiences an error with memory card access. If the SD card appears clean and is inserted correctly but still causes errors, it may be damaged irreparably. Fortunately, replacing it with a new memory card is a simple matter; new cards can be purchased from most consumer electronics retailers.