Mystery Camera

17 Jul

Something is up with my camera. Sometimes it holds my pictures hostage.

Case in point: I was in New York last May. And one night I hung out with Scott Adsit and his girlfriend, Sandra. We took a picture in the street. Later when I turned on my camera, I discovered that this picture was the only picture on my camera. (This scared me because I had other pictures on that camera and someone had specifically told me not to lose those pictures.) And now they were gone.

I turned my camera off and then on again. The pictures were back. All of them. That is except for the picture with Scott. I plugged my camera into  my computer. Again all of the picture were there except that one. Periodically I’d turn on my camera and it would show me the picture. But whenever I went to unload new pictures it was nowhere to be found.

I took a picture of the screen on my camera because it looked like that pic would be trapped there (like Zod in the Phantom Zone) forever.

Eventually I did get the picture off. I waited for it to resurface,  I plugged in the camera while it was still taunting me with it, and presto. I think I’m going to retire that camera.

74 Responses to “Mystery Camera”

  1. Cat July 17, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Does the camera have a card in it? If so – it sounds like the card is going bad or is almost full. I had something like that happen with my Nikon. Put another card in it and it was fine. If it doesn’t have a card (which I think most do???) – then you may have too many pictures on the camera or the settings are using up more space.

    (At least that’s what my troubleshoot guide said)

    Good luck!

  2. luke July 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    sounds like maybe either that one picture or all the pictures were saved to the onboard memory of the camera, and vice-versa for the memory card.

    although, that might not make sense. hm.

  3. Sundeep July 17, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Mebbe just retire that memeory card. Or format it using the camera’s FORMAT function (after unloading all the photos). That might get it to behave.


  4. mrcelofan July 17, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    Si le tienes un cariño especial a la cámara (supongo que te habrá acompañado en muchos viajes) yo cambiaría la tarjeta de memoria.

    Lo de cariño especial lo digo porque a mi me pasa. Mi Ipod y mi toalla de playa han hecho muchos kilómetros a mi lado, y he disfrutado mucho en su compañía.


  5. IslandPearl July 17, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    Does sound like a formatting problem. But make sure that you have downloaded all the stuff on that memory card before you reformat. Otherwise gone forever. Lost, so to speak.

    My hobby is travel photography and I’m so paranoid about not getting the shot I want that I actively shoot two cameras and carry a third as a spare. And I just asked for a fourth for Christmas (the Sony panorama one.)

  6. paulyS July 17, 2010 at 11:53 pm #

    I think some cameras put pictures taken at different times into different subfolders which can give the apearance that some of the images have gone walkabout… Either that or Gremlins’

  7. Carrie Marie July 18, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Heehee, love the Zod reference. Cameras (and computers, and phones, and technology in general) are tricky! But worth it! : )

  8. Debbie M. July 18, 2010 at 12:04 am #

    Maybe your photos somehow ended up on your camera’s internal memory. I would do a search on the internet to see if anyone else has experienced this problem either with your camera or another brand. The owners manual might give info. on a setting to prevent this from happening again.

  9. Teléfila July 18, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Wow, that’s very weird isn’t it?

  10. Sebastian July 18, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    I think this mystery will haunt us for at least another six years…

  11. derekbrink July 18, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    Does it bug you that the picture is brighter in the picture of the camera than it is in the actual downloaded picture? 🙂

  12. natalia July 18, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    The problem is that one picture got saved on the camera’s memory and the other’s on the memory card, happened to me once, when you take the card out I think you can get the picture on the internal memory out too.

  13. Pei July 18, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    I think you should format ur memory card but before u should backup ur pictures.

  14. devonellington July 18, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    There are two possibilities.

    First — make sure the photos are backed up.

    Then — try a new memory card. Take a bunch of pictures. Turn off the camera. See if they’re there. Take a bunch more pictures. Try this for a day or two.

    If they’re all fine, it’s the memory card. It may be tired and need to stop working.

    If the same thing happens with the new card, it’s a communication problem within the camera and get thee to a trusted camera shop before it gets worse.

    I know how frustrating it is –nothing worse than working on a travel article where they want photos and then there aren’t any. I don’t erase and re-use my memory cards — Once they’re full, I make an extra backup and then file them.

    Good luck!

  15. jackson July 18, 2010 at 4:35 am #

    Oh wow, when this happens are there flashes of blinding light? Maybe it’s the whole Lost thing again and the pictures are time traveling . . .

  16. Andrea_R July 18, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    When you have it connected to the computer again, use the file manager’s explore feature to look at the file structure on the memory car. I bet there’s two folders on there.

  17. sofa July 18, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    hi Dude!
    you are the best Jorge…

  18. Jenny Crowther July 18, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Could be it is storing on the actual camera memory, and the others are store on a disk. You can look at this by going to the settings and changing the internal memory.

  19. Stratis Zervakos II July 18, 2010 at 8:03 am #

    It could be a couple different things. But the two most likely are:
    1) Your camera’s settings could have been changed or the memory card wasn’t inserted securely or not at all which will save to the camera’s memory. If you see the photo on the camera, try to access your menu to save a copy to the memory card.
    2) You have a big memory card and when the card actually starts to really get full, then it will become partitioned and can be accessed via navigating through menu settings or a computer.
    I hope this helps, brother.

  20. Kitti July 18, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    There are a lot of people who have ideas what to do with the camera and memory card, but I think, you have to leave this stuff and accept, this magical trick will be the secret of the Island…I mean the camera.

  21. robyn July 18, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    I have a camera that actually has two cards in it, and I can switch between the two. Is it possible that might be happening. OR, that same camera also allows you to switch between different formats (tiff, jpg, etc) so if I have it on tiff mode I can only see pictures saved as a tiff.

  22. Steph July 18, 2010 at 9:10 am #

    The whole saving on the camera’s memory instead of the memory card happened to me. The card somehow came loose and so half my pictures ended up on my camera’s memory and half on the card. And by somehow, I mean I dropped it.

  23. SuperC142 July 18, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    As a couple of people have already mentioned, I’d say it’s far more likely to be the memory card. If you just want to replace everything and be done with it, that’s cool, but I’d definitely make sure that the memory card is one of the things you replace!

  24. Lynette July 18, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    I think one was on the internal memory, and the rest were on your SD card…or vice versa…

  25. John's Secret Identity July 18, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I’ll “fourth” the card vs built-in memory hypothesis.

    Try seeing what pics are there on the camera if you take the card out altogether.

    If that’s what’s happening, it could be dirt or corrosion on the card contacts or in the camera. A little polishing with a clean cloth or paper towel for the former, and (hopefully) a little canned air for the latter might do the trick. If that doesn’t work, hopefully it’s just a flaky card.

  26. jackie July 18, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    mine downloads them to places on my computer that I can’t find..then one day..tada..there they are..we’re held captive by technology.

  27. Irish Girl July 18, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    IT’S POSSESSED! Divest yourself now, before it becomes self-aware and starts calling you “Dave”….


  28. James Hernandez July 18, 2010 at 11:30 am #


    Digital cameras? I still have an old 35mm that I never use. I’ll catch up with the technology, eventually.

  29. Sariel July 18, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    That’s sooooooo Lost…

    Hugs Jorge!

  30. Bill B July 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    “Kneel before Zod!”

    hahaha too funny dude!

    you rule Jorge!

  31. Erin July 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    LOL! Sounds like retirement is a fitting fate for such a fickle photographic device!

  32. Pedro July 18, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Jorge, prueba a cambiar la tarjeta de memoria

  33. Dani July 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

    I have a similar problem, but I describe mine as more of “eating” my photos. They just get corrupted for no good reason. I have tried reformatting my memory card with no luck. Guess I will have to break down and buy a new card and see if that helps.

    Hope you solve your mystery camera problems. Lost photos are sad 😦

  34. Debbie Johnson July 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Just read that you’re having breakfast at the Lazy Daisy Cafe in Santa Monica. My cousin is sitting nearby… 🙂

  35. Celeste July 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Wow! Ghostly! (The camera, not the photo. The photo looks great in the end!)

  36. Mira July 18, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    That happened with my camera once. Also, sometimes I’ll just be sitting around minding my own business and I’ll hear this “vssssss” sound and I’ll look over and my camera has turned itself on. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s haunted by camera ghosts. Probably your camera is being haunted by camera ghosts, too. Don’t worry though, if they were evil camera ghosts the camera would probably be flying around the room and towards your head or something.

  37. Annie July 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I hate that when that happens!

  38. Tiffany Noélli July 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Oi, Jorge! Sempre é bom ler seus posts… A sua câmera está mesmo sinistra hein??? Fica aparecendo só essa foto, comigo nunca aconteceu isso, se bem que eu só fotografo com celular, acho mais prático. Tomara que você tenha outra mais confiável para registrar momentos alegres. Beijos 😉

  39. gina July 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    I had some problems with these things in the past. Most likely the card. However, one time I lost pictures and found online a recovery program. I think the one I used was PC Inspector file recovery program. I think it was freeware. I also learn when something disappears on the card do not keep taking pictures there is more of a chance to loose it. Another handy thing to invest in is a card reader . they are cheap and worth it for easy file recovery stuff.

  40. Jessie July 18, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I don’t know why I found this post way more funny then it should have been. Maybe because the last to blogs I was catching up on were both a bit sad, so I needed a laugh. Thanks!

    I think you should keep the camera, it has a sense of humor!

  41. Linda July 18, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Gosh Jorge I sure do miss you. After folling you all this time. I hope all is well with you and Beth and settling in back here. Just thought I’d say Hi and let you know your being missed:( Linda

  42. pamelalovescharlie July 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    My digital camera stopped working after one of our stupid cats peed on it. I finally threw it away after I couldn’t figure out a reasonable explanation to give the repair shop of how/why it got whizzed on. Luckily the memory card was not in the camera so the pix were saved, but I still haven’t replaced it yet.

  43. Karen July 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    Dude, I’d retire the memory card…

  44. Melody July 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Retire the camera and the memory card for sure. Next time try using a card reader instead.

    That’s such an awful fealing when you think you have lost all your photos. I’m glad you got them all back!

    • Melody July 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

      or feeling because everyone knows “fealing” is not a word. lol

  45. Patty July 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    Ooh, I know just what that is! Ours does that now and then when the memory card comes loose. There’s a couple pictures in the camera itself that I can’t access when the card is correctly in place…

  46. ReNaTo UêGa July 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Hello Jorgeman!!! =)
    Your camera have a problem! LOL

  47. kris July 18, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    i def think that mystery pic is saved to the camera internal memory. and as patty says above, maybe on occasion the camera is not reading the memory card because it is loose and it diverts back to the internal memory. take the memory card out and see if the pic is still there saved on the camera. at least it might help you solve that mystery. now the not reading the card part, don’t know if that is a camera or memory card issue.

  48. Leann July 18, 2010 at 11:02 pm #

    I had the same problem once. But in my camera, the memory card would sometimes move just enough so that it wasn’t in the slot correctly. SO, it would take pictures and save them straight to the camera (which held only about 10 photos) or sometimes to the memory card. When getting my pictures off, I’d make sure to eject the memory card and get the pictures saved to the camera as well as those off the memory card. Needless to say, I also no longer have that camera.

  49. Janet July 19, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    I know, I know! It went to another dimension, like particles in a Fermi experiment!

  50. Sávio July 19, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    dude, it’s problably the memory card, you can use a software (usually provided by the manufacturer, check out its website), they can restore the pictures you have taken.
    good luck with your camera =)

  51. GroovyMom July 19, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Several ppl mention the memory card. I had a problem once where I could not (for a mystical reason, one can only assume) pull pix off my camera the usual way. Hubby pulled the card & used a card reader to capture pix. BUT – then I had to get a new card, because once he had done that, the old one wouldn’t work anymore in my camera. Never had trouble again (many years later).

    PS – We have been sending you positive thoughts, in terms of all you’ve gone through lately. Hope you’re doing OK.

    BEST! – GM

  52. Elaine Cyr July 19, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Yep! Think you need a new card for the camera. Test it out and if still acts crazy, save the new card and put it in a new camera! Glad you’re still blogging. Would miss you if you were gone. What’s up with Beth’s children’s book?

  53. Holly July 19, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I used to have an olympus. I had the exact same issue all the time. I don’t think it’s a very good brand. I have a Cannon point and shoot now (for 2 years) and have never had any problems with it. Hope that helps! And prevents future hostage situations 😉

  54. Amy B July 19, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    What up Hornberger!

  55. LBChica July 19, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Speaking of cameras, I’ve been meaning to ask you (and hope you answer)..what kind of camera do you use? =)

    That happened to my old Sony camera & it was stuck in my internal folder, I have a picture there that is too awesome to delete & can get it out =(

  56. casinoskunk July 19, 2010 at 4:23 pm #

    If you lost those pictures that i asked you not to lose, i would have been really sad. Those pictures have brought me so much joy.

    Congrats on the recovery effort!!

  57. Kiki July 19, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    A lot of digital cameras have their own internal memory, as well as a slot for a memory card. This same thing happened to me once and I discovered that the phantom picture was actually on the camera’s internal memory and not the card. Usually the internal memory is really small, so only a picture or two will fit on it. 🙂

  58. Anna July 20, 2010 at 3:36 am #

    Souspicious…. I think is not the camera… is the ‘eternal’ photo…. 😛

    Kiss from Barcelona!

  59. Capmaster July 20, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    You didn’t have it on you when you did that cannonball scene, did you? 😮

    Sounds like it’s time to drop-kick it into the nearest dumpster.

  60. jennY July 20, 2010 at 8:09 am #

    dude you should have bought a camera that wasn’t made with a donkey wheel! 🙂

  61. Sammy July 20, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Ahh! This has happened to me before, too! In my case, the memory card was coming loose inside of the slot in my camera. So when it was “clicked-out” or basically not pushed in all the way, the pictures saved the the hard memory inside my camera, and when it got lodged back in, they would save to the memory card like they were supposed to.

    I nearly cried when I thought I had lost them, but I guess that’s what I get for letting my 5 yr old camera jostle around in my bag. I’m more careful now. =)

  62. FRC July 20, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    Kneel before Zod!

  63. JC July 20, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Hey –
    I always buy my camera from…get the warranty, and, without fail, it breaks or something…

    I once put a camera thru the wash – note to self to check pockets – and it didnt survive but it did survive the warranty.


    I do like the suggestion of reformatting your memory card or getting a new one and formating it via the camera.

    Good luck dude.


  64. James Hernandez July 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Jorge, I wrote on a previous post about sending you a package – you should receive it on Friday (assuming you’re in California).

  65. Patrick July 20, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m almost positive its the memory card, maybe its not pushed in the whole way. When the memory card is out and you take pictures it stores them on the internal memory, when the memory card is in it doesn’t show the pics on the internal memory it shows the ones on the card. Maybe your card is not in the whole way.

    Let me know if this works!

  66. Carol July 20, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Is the Camera a Sony Cybershot? I had the same problem and it would say “access”. It was a flaw of the camera. As people say, it saves the pictures on your internal memory instead of the memory card. To print them you have to take the memory card out and then hook the camera up the computer and the computer will “find” the pictures. If you google “sony cybershot access” you’ll find some answers to fixing it. Good luck.

  67. Pattie July 21, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    That’s bizarre. I had my last digital camera delete photos on me altogether. I ended up buying some recovery software that got a lot of, but not all, images back. Don’t you just love it when technology turns on you?

  68. olive July 22, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Bummer….when stuff like that happens, the pit of your stomach thing is always unpleasant. Hope you are able to resolve it.

  69. Giancarlo Herrera July 22, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    Sounds like maybe a formatting problem or maybe that picture was saved in the internal memory. If you wanna buy a new camera pleasa email me or leave a reply as I would be glad to help I’m into photography myself.

  70. Joyce July 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Definitely a problem with your camera’s memory card; I had this exact problem happen to me before and it freaked me out until I learned the cause! With mine, the memory card wasn’t inserted correctly, so 3 pictures that I took saved to the camera’s internal memory instead of to the memory card. When I then inserted the memory card into my computer the pics weren’t there, but were still on my camera.

    Next time, to get them off your camera, take the memory card out of the camera and just plug the camera directly to your computer via USB.

  71. Waterland July 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Any time technology behaves in a way that indicates it is possesed by the devil, my friends and I blame Pazuzu, the demon from the horrid and perfectly awful Exorcist sequel.
    You are the proud owner of a Pazuzu camera, my friend.

  72. shanevader July 23, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Scott Adsit is hilarious. Buy a new camera, hang out with Scott Adsit more. That’s my advice!

  73. John August 9, 2010 at 1:42 am #

    hey bro –
    not sure if the 100 comments above brought this up…pull out the memory card and use a card reader to download ur fotos and movies…then, format the card via the camera and that may do the trick.

    peace – john

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