Introduction: How to Solve Date and Time Problem in Digital Cameras

About: I'm so cool...., I am an Electrical Engineer interested in latest technologies and computers

My uncle's old Digital camera started to have some short of trouble. Whenever the Camera is turned on, it displayed a menu to set the Date and Time. Even if you set the correct date and time, once you turn off the camera and turn it on again the same menu is being displayed.

It is a Canon PowerShot A 550 model point and shoot camera and takes great photographs. Please see the latest photo taken with this camera in the last picture. The photograph looks good but the date and time displayed under picture info shows 1980.01.01 00:00:16, means that then picture has been taken on 01 Jan 1980.

Let us see how we can solve the date and time problem with this camera

Step 1: Locate the Button Cell

Most of the digital cameras use a coin or button shaped cell, popularly known as Button cell, which helps in keeping the current date and time even if the main battery pack is removed from the camera. This cell have a very long life span. Once the cell is dead then it can not help the camera to retain current date and time

  • Turn off the camera and look at the bottom. You can see "Card-Battery-Open" marked at the right hand corner
  • Pull the latch and open the cover at the bottom of the camera to reveal battery pack and memory card.
  • Inspect closely. Here, nearer to the battery pack, you can see a removable light colored plastic piece with "CR 1220" marked on it. This is where the button cell is located

Step 2: Remove Button Cell From Camera

  • Remove the battery pack and with your finger nail lift off the plastic piece marked with "CR 1220"
  • The cell holder will come out with the button cell attached to it
  • Slid off the cell from the holder and look at the button cell model number. It is CR 1220
  • You can check the voltage of the cell with a Multi meter. It shows 0.08 volts and the cell is almost dead.

What does the code CR 1220 means ?

  • C means it is a Lithium cell with Manganese Dioxide as positive electrode
  • The second letter R indicates it is a round cell
  • The first two letters 12 of 1220 means the nominal diameter of the cell is 12 mm and the last two letters 20 means its height 2.0 mm

We need to replace the button cell with the same model in this camera.

Step 3: Replace With New Button Cell

I could find a replacement button cell in an electronic watch and wall clocks shop nearby.

  • Remove the new cell from its packing
  • Look at the cell holder carefully. The positive end should be at the bottom flush with the cell holder and the negative end should face up
  • Insert the button cell accordingly in the cell holder.

Step 4: Date and Time Problem Solved

  • Insert the cell holder with the new cell in the camera
  • Insert the battery pack and close the bottom cover
  • Switch on the camera. You will see the menu for setting up date and time
  • Set the correct date and time and press Ok
  • Switch off the camera few times and see that the date / time menu is not being displayed again when switched on.

Look at the last picture taken after replacing button cell. it shows the correct date and time. Now the camera's Date and time problem is solved.

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