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Day 3.1 – Disaster in Grenoble ( Err 20 )

As I mentioned in the last post, I arrived in Grenoble and all was good. The day after was the day I would stop by the location that this whole trip was based on. All the money and time spent was soon to be morphed into a result. While I understood that I might get there and there would be no shot, it was still pretty exciting.

I clear all the days images onto my laptop and re-formatted the memory card. I plugged in the battery and waited for it to recharge while I watched some TV (no Steven Segal thank god). Before I left for diner, the battery was charged, so I put it back in the camera and took a few quick shots around the room  … click … click

ah F**k.

I did like it said and turned it off and on again … same message

I turned it off, took out the battery for a minute and tried it again … same message

I quickly got on the internet and tried to see what it meant when a Canon Camera got and Error 20 ( Err 20 ) . It was something to do with the shutter release and they said what worked was to keep it off without a battery for 60 minutes. I sort of panicked, took out the battery and memory card and went for dinner. I came back about an hour and a half later and tried it.

Err 20 was displaying on my Canon T1i and it was just over 1 year old.

So here I was, 11 years later and the same f*cken thing was happening again. I also still had a lot of money invested as well as a good amount of days left in this trip. I went to the nearest camera store I could find as quick as possible before it closed. There really wasn’t anything they could do, and after a good 20 minutes of stress and hard decisions, I picked up a new camera and headed back to the hotel.

I was pretty pissed that I had to blow money on a camera when I should have had a lot more life in this one. I was sure that the T1i could be fixed eventually, but I didn’t have the time to get it fixed, nor was I in a place to get it done. This trip was costing me a hell of a lot more than I planned. I spent one year of planning to get to this day.

I went back to my hotel so that I could read the manual and figure out how to use this new thing before the 5 am alarm went off.


  • I can get the same camera ( Canon 7D ) in Montreal for 500$ cheaper than in France
  • I can get my Dream Camera – the 5D Mark II for the same price I got the 7D for in France ( It is full frame, and has fantastic low light ability )
  • The quote from Canon to repair the camera is about 200$ Canon support informed me. I may be able to sell it for 500$ after it gets fixed. This means I can sell the T1i for 300$ when I spent $1000 dollars on it just over a year ago … and I have to sell it so that I can pay for the camera I just bought
  • I am writing a letter to Canon with little hope of it going anywhere. I have never written on before, but I am pretty pissed.


4 thoughts on Day 3.1 – Disaster in Grenoble ( Err 20 )

  1. Did you happen to have a generic (non-Canon) flash mounted? This will happen if you are using a off brand flash and even more if the flash is in manual mode instead of TTL.

  2. Hi.

    I have a T1i for almost 4 years. Last week, during a job this camera stuck, and displayed Error 20! Thanks god I got ther at my case.

    I just left the T1i at the authorized Canon repair service. Let’s wait for an answer, and I’ll update this message as soon as possible.

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