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CoolPix S4300, "card cannot be read" and resets


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mikelbeck Registered since 18th Sep 2012
Tue 18-Sep-12 02:27 AM

Hi all -

I bought my wife a CoolPix S4300 back in July. A couple of weeks later I bought a PNY Professional 16 GB class 10 SDHC card to use with it. It worked for a little while and then it started showing a message saying "This card cannot be read" when there was nothing on the card and she'd try to take a picture. So I got in touch with Nikon, they told me that the PNY card is not on their "approved" list so it may or may not work.

Fair enough. I then bought a SanDisk Extreme 16 GB Class 10 SDHC card. There is a SanDisk 16 GB card on their list, and it says this camera supports SDHC cards so I assumed it would work. It didn't, it gave the same "card cannot be read" error message.

I went back to a SanDisk 2 GB SD card and that one works fine. So I get in touch with Nikon again asking if there are issues with SDHC cards, they tell me there are not but there might be an issue with the camera so I should send it in for repair. So I did, and I included the SanDisk 16 GB card so they can try it with that. They sent it back, saying they replaced the main board, tested it and there are no issues. They also said they did a visual inspection of the SDHC card and it may or may not be damaged, they couldn't be sure.

I poked around a bit and found that they've released updated firmware for a couple of CoolPix models to update SDHC compatibility but not for the S4300 (not yet, anyway). The person I've been dealing with tells me that those firmware updates are not for this camera and do not have anything to do with this issue, he's suggested that both of the SDHC cards I've bought are no good, but the 3 years old 2 GB card is just fine. I find that kind of hard to believe... I don't want to buy a third card and still have the same issue. Also I should point out that if I put either of these two SDHC cards in my older Canon camera they work just fine.

FWIW I've seen people on Nikon's own forums reporting this same issue, the response has been to only use a card from the approved list (http://answers.nikonusa.com/answers/7022/product/COOLPIX-S4300/nikon-inc-coolpix-s4300-questions-answers/questions.htm?expandquestion=757370). The response also said that if the card was put into a different camera it can be damaged! I've never heard of that happening.

Since they sent the camera back I've had it reset on it's own twice, each time it shows the "set date/time" screen when turning it on. I think it did this before I sent it to them for repair but I can't be sure, I think it was only happening when the PNY card was in the camera.

Anyway... Does anybody have any ideas about this issue? The place I bought it from (PC Richard) will only accept it as a return if it was unopened and it was less than 20 days, it's been used and it's more than 20 days so I'm stuck with it. My wife really likes the size and ease of use (and the color, it's purple) so I'd like to get it working. But Nikon doesn't seem to be much help at this point.

I'd like to use a class 10 card for the speed but they all seem to be SDHC. I thought I had seen a 16 GB class 6 SD card but I can't find it now so maybe I was wrong about that.