"Camera communication error" on Canon PowerShot camera
February 22, 2010
Most Popular | Mac OS X | Troubleshooting

I carry a little Canon PowerShot SD 990 camera everywhere. After all, you never know when you'll see something worthy of memorializing. But a consequence of my "shoot now, ask questions later" attitude is that memory cards fill up very fast!

A while back, I decided to handle the problem once and for all, and got a 32GB SD card. Most of the time only about 8 GB of it is really full, but sometimes if I shoot a lot of video clips, it can get higher.

This has caused several issues. iPhoto began crashing on trying to display the new images when I connected the camera directly. Switching to a card reader, the iMac (running Leopard) still had trouble sometimes mounting the SD card on the desktop. There were so many files in one folder, I was nearing some kind of ultimate limit for the OS.

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Posted by ellen at February 22, 2010 05:51 PM

Luckily I had access to another computer that was able to mount the card, and cleared it off. After that, I found that setting the camera to Auto Create a new folder daily fixed the problem:

(Menu button > Click the Tools tab > Select Create Folder > Auto Create > Daily).

A second issue came up much later, when a lot of those Daily folders had accumulated on the card. I connected the camera directly to the computer using a USB cable, but found only a "Camera Communication Error" message on the camera's display screen. There was no indication on the Mac that it knew the camera was connected.

Apparently there is a limit on either number of folders or total size of files that the Canon can handle. Deleting folders from the card using a card reader fixed that problem, and I'll just have to be more careful.

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YAY! Communication error now fixed on my Canon Powershot. thanks!

great explanation and solved my problem too =)

You just solved my problem! I erased about 12 images and the "connection error" message is gone and I am up and running!
Time to change my SD memory card.
Thanks, Stacey

You helped me solve my problem too, thanks for sharing! :D

it helped me too. i had the same "communications error" and when i deleted a few photos from my camera, it fixed the problem.

yesssss!!! thanks....solved my problem!!

You're the best!!

I use my canon everyday for business and I've lost a lot of time changing the card in other devices,changing cables changing even laptops before I finally found your post.

You've made the day!!!


Thank you! This helped! I was really worried that my camera was broken! But its because I had close to 4000 pictures on it!

excellent post - still helping people all over the world over a year later ! including me, thank you !! :)

Yes - Helped me too, thanks! :)

Very Helpful...

Many Thanks :-)

Vale! I too can join the list of folk comforted by yr advice. I guess this is the nice end of the net. People helping each other, out of empathy and nothing more

Thank your post. It helped me out as well.

Thanks! I was relieved to find I did not need to repair my camera.

Thank you, very very much,solved my problem too.

Thank you. I owe you lunch

Thank you! I had to delete over 700 pics. Isn't the communication error proof of false advertising by Cannon/memory card?

You helped me too! Thank you!!

THANK YOU!!!! I had no idea. I was frustrated that it wasnt working. That'll teach me not to clear off my card more often :)

Thank you!!

This made my day!

Thanks !! I couldn't get my Xmas photos on my mac , I'm going to try this now !

Thank you so much. You are a legend. I was panicking about my camera and after reading your post I deleted approx 20 pics and am now able to reconnect. What a relief. Cheers Ann

Thank you so much! I was worried I'd never get my photos off the camera.

Problem solved -- Thanks!

THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!!! I've tried so many different ways to fix the stupid communication error and it was so simple!!!

Thanks :)

Thanks very much for posting this - I had to delete several older photos that I had already put on my computer but it now works! Thanks again xx

BIG YES! and BIG THANKS! You solved my problem.

Thank you very much... it worked... YESSS :)

thank you, it also helped me solving my camera error problem.

This really helped me. Thank you so much!

OMG! :) I can't believe that fixed my camera! I thought I had to get a new computer! I reset my computer to one month prior to when it was working and by deleting the photos, it's working now.
I just wish I read your post 4 hours earlier today!

Thank you so much! I recharged the battery and reset the camera settings--only your suggestion worked!

Thanks for the info! This really helped me out alot! :)

i am glad i found this..i will delete some pics off my camera that i've already transfered. i have about 3200 pics on my memory card. guess that is the problem.

Thank you so much! your information is still helping!

Still helping others in 2013! Thanks a million! I was so relieved to find this solution!

Thank_you, deleting some pics did the trick. You are AMAZING!

Thank you, I almost had a panic attack, this helped a bunch, I had almost 4000 pics as well and deleted a few hundred.

Thank you!

Problem solved! Thank you so much!!

Thanks, this helped me in a time of panic! I had just bought a new laptop so thought that it was a problem with that. Relieved that after deleting some photos everything was fine again. Must remember to transfer and delete photos more regularly!

I have deleted two folders but the message: communication error is still on the camera┬┤s screen...

Thank you! I had about 3100 pictures on my camera, I deleted old things until it was down to 2999, and then I was able to transfer pictures off the camera again! Your tip is still helping people three years later. :)

thankyou thankyou thankyou!!

Problem Solved! Thank you! Thank You!

Problem solved! Thank you so much!!

ty! worked :)

Still helping people years later!!! Thanks!!

Many thanks, it solved my problem !! My powershot vendor wasn't able to solve it ! That is great :-):-)


this helped me too!! thanks!!!

Wow Problem Solved! Thank you!

Thanks a ton . It does work! Glad I came across this site before deciding dere was a problem with my cam.

Perfect solution! Thank you!

Thank you, less than 3000 on the memory card seems to be the magic number!

Turns out my camera is not broken! Thanks for the help. 3025 was the magic number for me.

Thanks Genius! problem solved.

So Helpful!
Had this problem with my Canon sx40 HS, great relief that there's nothing wrong with the camera.

Thank you so very, very much! I, too, had this problem. I deleted about 200 photos and it works now! Phew!

Many thanks for your kind information.
Yes, this is the good side of the internet.

Best regards,

Thanks to you this anxious problem was resolved !!!
I had 3719 pictures on an 8GB card. Luckily I had already transferred over 1670 of them to my computer hard drives several months ago, but never deleted them from the 8GB card. So, following your advice I deleted down to 2507 pictures on the camera and tried again - and it worked - no more "communications problems", and I was able to transfer the remaining 2040 untransferred pics from my Canon SX20.

Thank you! All my family had TOLD me to delete photos from the camera! I ignored their advice until I received the "communication error" Tried to alter things on the computer, tested the cable - no change. Then I saw your post! Deleted photos from the camera and all was well. Lesson learned!

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