Error, press shutter release button again

edited March 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
This is the Error message that appears every time I turn on my D3100 camera since two days ago. Nothing happens if you press the shutter button one, two or 100 times. The internet has many videos about it, and they talk about a hide release button for the stuck mirror, but I really can't find it anywhere. Has anyone had the same problem before? How did you solve it? Is the expensive official Nikkon service the only way to save it?


  • This is not a common error message, and generally not good if it persists. The instructions, at least for the D3200, are not very encouraging.

    However, before going too much further, I'd check a few things. The first would be to get a completely different memory card, and to make sure the battery is freshly charged. Make sure the lens is properly seated. I'm not familiar with the issue of a stuck mirror, but to see if the mirror is functioning properly, try switching to Live View, which raises the mirror. Maybe that will jar its memory, so to speak.
  • edited March 2016
    How do I put the camera in Live view? I understand the rest of the instructions, except this.
  • edited March 2016
    Problem solved, I used the technique shown in this video, but instead of a steel screwdriver, I used a soft wood toothpick. The video is on this link:
  • edited March 2016
    I think that this is a design failure from Nikkon. Maybe the retaining pin is quite short, so sometimes the mirror passes through this pin and gets stuck. I hope they realized that and fix this problem on their future models.
  • I am glad you fixed it, and glad also that you showed the problem.

    "Live View" is the mode in which one uses the LCD screen in the back as a viewfinder, the same as one does in video mode.

    On the D3100, the Live View switch is a lever surrounding the video button. To activate Live View, turn that lever clockwise. When you do so, a number of things change in the way the camera behaves. To begin with, the viewfinder is darkened, because the mirror flips up. The view you see through the LCD is being projected onto the sensor, just as in a mirrorless camera.

    Live View also uses a different auto focus system, and may expose slightly differently. The focus is usually slower and less suitable for action, and it is often harder to hold the camera steady, but it can be handy for still shots on a tripod, and especially handy for tripod shooting in macro mode and for manual lenses, because you can use the [+] button to zoom the finder in and get your focus very precise. Because the mirror is raised before the shot, it can also be handy for very precise time exposures on a tripod. Although mirror shake is not a usual problem with these cameras anyway, Live View eliminates it altogether.

    I'm glad you proceeded cautiously and used a wooden tool to fix the problem, as I think the procedure in the video looked a little harsh. If it happens again, as I hope it never does, it might be possible to turn on the Live View switch before prying. I'm guessing that then the mirror will flip up as soon as you release the jam, and it might work faster.
  • edited April 2016
    Thanks friend for your comments. About the possibility to turn on the live view switch prior to unlock or unstuck the mirror with a soft tool, in general is not possible, because the live view lever does not operate when the mirror is stuck. Maybe a safe measure dictated by the software of the camera.
  • edited April 2016
    Finally, in the next days and weeks, I will try many shoots with the camera in different openings and focus situations, in order to be sure that the mirror mechanism did not suffer any misalignment or malfunction, and the autofocussing operates well. Then I will tell you about the results. Regards.
  • I have the D3200, in which the Live View is operated by a button. In that one, you'd have to hold the button down if the mirror is stuck. I think the transition to Live view occurs only when the mirror has finished going up. I had thought perhaps that the D3100 with the switch might behave differently, but I guess not.

    Looking in my D3200, it does not look as if they have modified the post much, if at all. I wonder if there is a little variation in how loose the mirror hinges are, which might lead this to happen from time to time.

    When you're testing for autofocus adjustment, it's a good idea to try both viewfinder and Live view focusing on the same object in good light. LV uses an entirely different AF mechanism, reading off the image plane. It can be a little less precise in very dim light, but is fine in good light and never goes out of adjustment. So if your viewfinder AF agrees with it, that's a good sign that the AF has not suffered damage.
  • edited April 2016
    Ok, I tested on both modes, and the pictures seem to be identical, so I suppose, AF ok. Thank you, Bruto, for your valuable assistance.
  • Seriously, thank you so much for that video. I had this exact same problem -- my camera was working perfectly fine through hell and back (bouncing along roads in rural Africa that make those motocross tracks look like a freshly paved highway) when suddenly I pull it out at the SF bridge and got this wonderful error message.

    I had tried every troubleshooting method available short of taking the camera apart, including testing every option in the menu, switching out all kinds of different lenses, batteries, memory cards, etc. Obviously none of these worked because the mirror was stuck on that same stopper shown in the video.

    Watching the video and seeing a sharp screwdriver so close to all those delicate parts basically gave me a panic attack, but I very gently tried the same thing and it totally worked. Elsewhere on the web I had seen people suggest toothpicks, but they weren't strong enough. It took pushing the mirror to the left just in front of that peg with maybe a couple lbs of pressure until it released (dipped 1.0 flat head in low-friction liquid rubber and dried first, and then started with the smallest amount of pressure physically possible, slowly increasing until the mirror finally popped up).

    So far I haven't noticed any degradation in functionality or quality and now all menu functions are working properly (mirror lock-up, live view, clean image sensor, AF in any mode, etc.). As an aside, while testing I finally paid attention to what the mirror is doing when you use different functions and it was interesting to see as I had never given it any thought. No clue how it managed to get itself stuck in the first place, but fortunately a simple fix and at least after a single fix there's no damage to camera, though I have no idea what would happen if one was forced to repeatedly fix this issue.

    Anyways, long way of saying "thanks" and of recommending that anyone else experiencing this issue should very gently try the above solution.
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