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Main camera problem (black screen)

Message 1 of 3
Message 1 of 3

Main camera problem (black screen)

Hi everyone.


I've got a problem with the main camera of my XZ1 Compact.

Yesterday I opened the camera app from the app drawer and tried to take a photo (with the physical button); the screen was black and I could not take any photo. The problem persist as of today. This is the first time I experienced a problem with the camera since I bought my phone. I didn't drop my phone or anything of the sort.

I can navigate between different modes (manual, AR effect etc.), open the settings, change the screen ratio or switch from photo to video recording, but the screen still stays black. Sometimes an error message pops up: it says "Cannot start camera. Restart camera or device". The front camera works normally.


Useful infromation

Android version: Android 9 build 47.2.A.10.45 (latest)

Camera App version: 2.2.1.A.0.10


What I tried

-Force closing the camera app, deleting cache and data from camera app and related apps and restarting the phone

-Disabling camera app and re-enabling it (before and after a phone restart)

-Opening the camera in safe mode, still black screen

-Tried different camera apps (Open Camera and an older version of Google Camera)

-Tried to access the camera via other apps (such as Whatsapp or Pixlr) with no results

-Running the camera test in the Sony Care app: it fails and says "camera not available. Restart your device and try again"

-Ejecting my SD card

Almost every combination of what I mentioned above


What I have yet to try

Restoring the phone through Sony Care app

Restoring the phone with Xperia Companion

Factory reset

The main reasoning for not trying this yet is that losing my data would be a pain. I'm in the process of backing up the phone now, but if possible, I would like to avoid restoring the phone. 

Also, if I restore my phone, camera gets back to working and then restore my data, would it be possible that the problem reappears?


I don't think it is related to the firmware update as it has worked for days after I updated. Guess I could also wait for the new security update to come out and see if that solves it, but I would like to solve the problem as soon as possible. As a last resort, I can send the phone back to Sony support, as the warranty period is not over yet.


Any help would be appreciated.


PS. Also searched throught the camera app subsection of the forum with no results.

One time poster
Message 2 of 3
Message 2 of 3

Re: Main camera problem (black screen)

I have the same problem. Ever since I updated my software it's been a black screen.. I put factory reset, default everything, and even did the Sony companion. Still black screen when you try to open the camera app.. Finally called Sony mobile customer service. Spoke to Fabio, which in the end he could not fix either. His solution was to pay 150 dollars to change the camera. I told him the camera was working fine a week ago, what gives?? I feel Sony messed up somewhere on the updates and screwed xz1 owners. Question is how can I support  Sony mobile when it just tells its customers to fork over an additional 150 dollars. For a brand that use to be great I feel that I must switch to a different Mobil company if this is how the products are. Been a fan in the past but now questioning there loyalty to us.. It's like they did an Apple trick.  Subscribe the updates kill the battery. Here, subscribe the updates kill the camera 📸. 

Message 3 of 3
Message 3 of 3

Re: Main camera problem (black screen)

I can't really say if it is an update-related problem or not. A friend of mine (same device, same build) has everything working perfectly. My guess is it's an hardware problem, probably a faulty connection of the camera module to the mainboard.

Also, I updated to the newest build (47.2.A.10.62) without solving anything. But a couple of hours after the update, I could see on screen what was framed by the camera lens. It was extremely laggy (took 5 or more seconds to show the "new" scene) and as soon as I tried changing a setting or switching to video recording it went black again, this time to stay.

Will try a software repair when I have some free time, but I guess my best bet is to contact the customer service and hope the warranty covers this.

Oh, and I forgot to say that the flash works as a torch outside the camera, but not inside the camera.