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Thread started 25 Nov 2017 (Saturday) 16:05
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400D/Xti with dodgy shutter release buttons - options?

2 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 25, 2017 16:05 |  #1

Hi all, I guess this is sort of my introductory post all in one.

I recently acquired a used 400D with a Canon 75-300mm lens. It takes great pictures as far as I can tell - you can probably judge better from the samples. However I am having one problem....

When I went to test it out before buying, the shutter button didn't click as I expected. The shutter button is of course supposed to be 2 stage with autofocus (soft) then shutter release (with a click). When pressing the button I could feel the soft motion but no matter how much pressure was applied, it would not do the 2nd stage 'hard' click for the actual shutter release. The camera would still autofocus on the first soft click but would then capture the photo as soon as the autofocus was complete (all on the soft click). In case that is confusing to understand. The button was acting like a smartphone camera where it would focus and capture all at once from just the soft click.

I figured the button was just worn and I could get by with it as a first dslr anyway. I don't see myself needing to lock focus and move the camera from the subject very often and if I do I could just use manual focus or the "back button focus". So I went ahead and bought it!

After a couple weeks now it seems sometimes I can get the button to work as it should (two stage) and other times it'll click like a two stage button but not actually capture images on the 2nd click. Then other times it'll go back to just soft button focus+capture. Sometimes it'll need a good press to actually capture an image and sometimes I can't even get it to capture without fiddling with the button and moving it about. I've done some researching and seen some people replacing the button and others pouring alcohol through the battery compartment.......

So what do you guys think I should do? I really like the camera so I am definitely going to get it working as it should. Does this problem sound like a bit of dirt under the button? Or is it most likely the button/contacts wearing out and in need of replacement? If it needs replacement does anyone have some tips? I'm pretty mechanically inclined (disassembled AND re-assembled all sorts from phones to cars) and I've had a browse at the 400D tutorials on ifixit which seem alright.

Any input or suggestions are greatly appreciated!

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Nov 25, 2017 16:17 |  #2

Are you using focus drive one-shot or AI servo?

Set it to AF drive One-Shot. Point it at a bright well lit subject (turn off back button focus if using that for this test). Press the shutter release all the way down. It should attempt focus, lock, and expose.

Set it to AF drive AI Servo. Again, point at a bright subject (without back button focus). Press the shutter release half way, it should constantly focus or attempt, completely press the shutter release and it should expose regardless of focus confirmation.

Let us know the results.

Very best,

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2 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 25, 2017 23:53 as a reply to  @ MalVeauX's post |  #3

I think I'm using one shot. By 'expose' I take it you mean when the camera captures the image? (still learning the lingo)
Anyway I'll try this out and let you know the results. Although I think this isn't a software/settings thing because I've had the button play up or work without changing any settings. Sometimes I have to press it down slightly diagonal or sometimes twisting/turning the button will get it to work again. So far, 95% of the photos have been taken by pressing it down half way.

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Joined Nov 2017
Location: International Space Station
Post edited 11 months ago by Columbia.
Nov 26, 2017 00:04 |  #4

I found a good deal on a similar rebel that I was going to use as a trail camera. It was advertised as broken but I thought I'd probably work around it because I was planning on ripping out the shutter release anyways. Turned out that there was some sand grains that had gotten stuck under the shutter release that was preventing full travel.

I don't know if this is your problem as well, but I do know there is less sealing around rebel shutter releases than other models. I wouldn't recommend using canned air or a blower as it could blow in further. But short of taking it to get cleaned, I fixed mine by holding it upside down and rapidly pressing the shutter lightly at different angles. Took a few minutes but I got it to work.

Cream of the Crop
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Nov 26, 2017 07:31 |  #5

There are several threads here on POTN that describe sorting out this issue by flushing the button with Isopropyl alcohol. It seems to work for quite a few people. A site search for sticky shutter button should bring up several threads/posts with detailed instructions. I suggest running the search yourself, rather than posting a single link, since that should give you several different descriptions of how to do it, and anything you should be careful to watch out for.


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Cream of the Crop
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Post edited 11 months ago by apersson850. (2 edits in all)
Nov 27, 2017 03:36 |  #6

If it was me, I would have given up on an eleven years old, entry level camera. But since you say you're going to fix it, then perhaps the cheapest option is to get another 400D? Instead of taking spare parts from it, simply use it.
Or get an even cheaper one, if you find one that's broken, but broken differently.
Anyway, you would probably want to get out of this as cheaply as possible, so you can spend your money on something better than the 75-300 mm lens. The different 75-300 mm lenses are about the worst Canon has manufactured in the last few decades.


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400D/Xti with dodgy shutter release buttons - options?
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