Cant use the eyepiece to take photos, only Live View

edited May 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
Hi There. I'm very new to the Nikon D3100 camera. While I'm slowly getting acquainted with it, I do notice that I am unable to take a photo using the eyepiece. The test flash comes on, but no picture is taken. This happens in the Auto mode and in the other modes as well. I find I need to hit the switch to Live View and them I'm able to take all the photos I want.

Any idea why this may be?


  • It's hard to analyze completely, but my first guess is that the camera is failing to fix on auto focus. The camera is designed for focus priority, which means the shutter will not fire if focus is not achieved.

    The first thing to do, by way of test, is to turn off AF at the lens. This turns off the focus priority. Just find the AF switch and turn it to manual. Don't worry about the quality of the shot. Just try now pressing the shutter button, and if it now fires, you know the problem is somewhere in the auto focus operation.

    In Auto mode, you should see a number of red spots light up in the viewfinder, and generally speaking, the default focus setup should allow pictures to be taken most of the time. Before despairing, however, you might consider going to the menu and resetting the shooting menu, just in case some setting got messed up.

    Also make sure you try it in the auto "no flash" mode, to be sure that the problem is not related to the flash.

    If it does not ever operate in Auto mode with the viewfinder, I'd suspect a problem with the viewfinder AF. AF works differently in Live View and uses an entirely different AF system, such that it can still work even if the other system is set wrong or even broken.

  • edited May 2016
    Excellent answer, thank you! You were right, it fired just fine when I turned the AF to manual.

    Thank you so much for your help!
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