Top 4 Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Problems [Solutions Included]

Posted on Oct 25 2013 - 7:01pm by Harold Hisona

galaxy s4 camera

One of the most common hardware problems Samsung Galaxy S4 owners may encounter might come from the camera. There were a lot of reports posted on online forums suggesting Samsung’s flagship has a tendency to fail in running the service for its camera. Other owners who don’t have any idea what’s happening with their phone speculated the camera sensors may have problems as well.

Based on our research, the following are the four most common camera problems that may hit Galaxy S4 owners. Some recommendations were also included in this post to help owners who might want to give it a shot in troubleshooting the problem.

Also read: Galaxy S4 Problem: GS4 Reboots When Camera App Launches

Camera App Closes Unexpectedly

While this problem is minor, it is the most common. In fact, it happens not just to Galaxy S4 but to any Android device. Basically, the Camera app, which is one of the core applications, crashes for some reason causing it to force close after the app is launched.

Solution 1: Reboot the phone. There is always a possibility that it is a temporary device problem. If it were the case, a simple reboot or soft-reset would fix it. According to an Android developer I’ve talked with regarding this issue, the camera app crashes when it is taking so long to load the services it needs or when the camera sensor doesn’t respond immediately after the app was launched. A reboot would refresh everything and eventually solves the problem.

Solution 2: Clear cache and data. In case a reboot would not suffice, it is recommended you clear the Camera app’s cache and data. To do that, you need to go to the Application Manager and find Camera. Tap Force Close button first, following by Clear Cache, then Clear Data. The next time you launch the app, new sets of caches and data would be created. This often does the trick.

  1. From the Home screen, tap Menu.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Tap Applications Manager.
  4. Swipe to choose All tab.
  5. Choose Camera.
  6. Tap Force Stop button.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Reboot the phone.

Camera Failed

You’ll know when your phone is plagued with this problem because a warning pops up every time you launch camera, it says; “Warning: Camera Failed”. Some owners said that together with the error message, the phone freezes for several seconds then they’ll be brought back to the Home screen. There were also reports for random reboots right after the camera failed to load.

Solution 1: Clear camera cache and data. The first working solution, according to reports, would be to clear camera app’s cache and data.

  1. From the Home screen, tap Menu.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Tap Applications Manager.
  4. Swipe to choose All tab.
  5. Choose Camera.
  6. Tap Force Stop button.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Reboot the phone.

Solution 2: Wipe cache partition. For owners who may have updated their phones recently and are experiencing this problem, it is recommended to wipe cache partition as it may be because of old caches.

  1. Turn the phone off.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons until the phone vibrates.
  3. Let go of the Power button but continue holding the Volume Up and Home buttons until Android System Recovery screen appears.
  4. Press the Volume Down button to choose ‘wipe cache partition’.
  5. Press the Power key to select.

Solution 3: Do a factory reset. If the problem persists after doing the two previous solutions, it is advised you do a factory reset to bring the phone back to its working state. Of course, you need to back up all your data as they will all be wiped out of your phone.

  1. From the Home screen, tap the Menu button.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Tap on Accounts tab and choose Backup and Reset.
  4. Tap Factory Data Reset.
  5. Tap Reset Device.
  6. Touch Delete All.

Camera Shows Blank Screen

This issue is characterized by a black or blank screen right after the Camera app is launched. What’s annoying is that the phone stops responding when this happens, or at least, you wouldn’t know if it does because the screen remains blank.

Solution 1: Soft-reset the phone. When the phone doesn’t respond, pop the back panel open and remove the battery for a minute. Let the phone rest without power then replace the battery and turn it back on. Soft-reset often resolves concerning applications and hardware that stopped responding.

Solution 2: Close apps running in the background. This problem could also be caused by RAM insufficiency, which occurs when there are a ton of apps running in the background. One thing you can do to make things a little easier is to boot the phone to Safe Mode:

  1. Turn off your phone.
  2. Switch it on again.
  3. Right after pressing the power switch, continuously tap the Menu key (the button on the left of the Home key).
  4. Once the phone is up, you will see “Safe Mode” on the lower left corner of the screen.
  5. Now launch Camera once again and see if it causes blank screen.

If the problem was solved by booting up to Safe Mode, then try disabling recently-installed applications.

Solution 3: Factory reset. If the problem persists after you do the solutions above, try doing a factory reset to bring the phone back to its original settings. For those who rooted their phone and installed custom ROMs, you might want to reinstall the firmware.

Also read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Flash Not Working [How To Fix]

Cracked / Scratched Lens

Obviously, when you got your camera lens cracked, broken or scratched, there’s nothing much you can do than have an authorized technician check on it. They will try to everything to repair the phone and probably replace the camera module but it may not be free of charge. I am not also sure if physical damages are covered by the warranty. If they are, then you can have the phone replaced for no fees.

Tell us your phone problems

The solutions we provided here are based on reports and testimonies from owners who have encountered these problems. I also ask my XDA developer friends regarding some of the problems. Now if you have other problems or questions with your smartphone that you want answered, don’t hesitate to send us email at [email protected]

We don’t guarantee a reply to all emails because we receive hundreds of them daily, but rest assured your email messages will be read by me. But I urge you to provide as much details as possible so I could easily find references and compare your problems with reports from other owners. If your problem is as common as others, there could already be solutions that exist and I would surely point you to them. Screenshots often help so attach one if you can.

image credit: CNET

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About the Author

Harold is a tech blogger and reviewer. He's been with The Droid Guy for more than 3 years writing news, updates, tutorials, how tos and troubleshooting articles. He is passionate about mobile phones and his passion pushed him to launch a small blog,Droidista.com, that also seeks to help Android users. Feel free to email him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter or join the community he created to help smartphone owners.