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This sounds like a problem with either the power button or the camera's electronic circuitry. I would contact Nikon Support at 1-800-645-6687 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST Monday through Friday and they will be able to help you get it repaired at one of their factory service centers.
This is a Guess. If the battery is very old the voltage may be so low that only a few things work correct. See if you can charge it. Auto Focus uses a Motor (takes some power) Taking a photo takes quite a bit of power..
You have reached the end life of the battery pack. The battery must have some minimum charge to have computer function even with the AC power pack connected. So I suggest you replace the battery pack as a solution. Any local Radio Shack store can test this battery I am told free of charge.
The solution to your problem is simple, Kathrynbax.
The battery never comes in fully charged. It's always charged only so you may be able to check if your camera is working. I suggest, you take out your battery and put it to charge for exactly 90 minutes as the manual says. Then I'm sure you won't face any such problems.
Always check the batteries first (check that the voltage is correct with a volt meter) but if is it still giving the same fault, your camera is faulty. It should be taken to an authorized repair centre for a repair estimate. Very few digital cameras have any user-serviceable parts. Anything is fixable but it is more "is it cost effective"
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Thanks Richard Scott Technical Support New Zealand
The reason I suggested i5 is that one of my cameras will not work on rechargeables anymore. You might be able to order the battery you need on line. Did the camera get damp or anything while you were not using it? If so just keeping it in a warm dry atmosphere for awhile might do the trick. If it was working fine before, the batteries are the my first guess. Good luck, How very frustrating for you.
i used my camera yesterday and now today i turn the camera on to take pictures and the screen only shows the batter level and it's stuck on the last picture i took.......what do i do? i need to take pictures now!
Thank You :-)
Sorry this isn't a solution, but I wish my 8700 would last even as long as yours does.
2 hours, period. on or off, taking pictures or not, two hours & it's a stone dead battery.
Just on the off chance it will help I'm about to upgrade the firmware to 1.3 (I don't really think it will help).
After that I've decided to take the camera apart & try to find the problem or possibly just a hack that will let me turn it OFF without removing the battery. I'd as soon have a bunch of bits for the project bin as have to put up with this 2 hour battery life problem.
Good luck with your problem, and if I find anything worth while I'll post back.