What to Do if the Camera doesn’t Recognize Sony SD card

Updated on July 30, 2023

SD cards have been a game changer for a long time for the camera people capturing still photos and live events. You probably use your Sony SD cards on cameras for the same purpose and are wondering why they can suddenly fail to be recognized.

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First, SD cards face similar challenges as faced by USB flash drives. This should inform you that the challenges may not be so big that you can’t solve them to recover files from Sony SD card. In this guide, we focus on some of the things you should do if the camera does not recognize a Sony SD card including how to fix a corrupted SD card without formatting among others. 

This guide will also train you on troubleshooting SD cards to recover files as well as how to secure them from further data loss. We will begin by explaining why cameras may fail to recognize your SD card. 

Why Is My Camera Not Reading SD Card?

If your camera fails to recognize the SD card, there are several possible reasons behind it. Below are just some of them.

Unsupported card type and capacity

If you are using a new large-size SD card, the camera you intend to use it on may fail to support it. This is because the cameras that are between 4 and 32GB in storage size still follow SDHC standards. Those larger than 32Gb follow SDXC standard. Note that cameras that support SDHC cards can read SDXC cards. However, cameras that are designed to read SDXC cannot read SDHC cards. This is one major reason why some cameras will not recognize some SD cards. 

SD card not properly inserted

Well, you should always ensure that you have properly inserted the SD card into the camera SD card slot before you can use it. SD cards come with a lock switch sitting at one of their edges. Always check to ensure the card is unlocked. You need to slide the switch to lock or unlock the card.

Dirty terminal or physical damage

SD cards are also liable to physical damage that easily render them unusable. Also, dirty terminals make it very difficult for the cameras to read them. 

File system errors

File systems are another major issue when it comes to compatibility. There are two major file systems – FAT32 and exFAT. FAT32 is majorly used by SDHC cards, while SDXC cards use exFAT file systems. Corrupted SD card can be another reason it is not recognizable. Other reasons you may face file system errors are when your card is abruptly removed, infected with a virus or when the disk is corrupted. In such cases, you may need to download Disk Drill to get a professional recovery service.

Hardware problems

Hardware problems largely affect the port on your camera or the connection area of the card. Either way, such physical damages will not permit your camera to properly read the SD card you are trying to connect. The card will as a result not be recognizable by the camera. 

What to Do If the Camera Doesn’t Recognize Sony SD Card

Like we said, there are many likely causes of this kind of problem with your SD card. Check some of the reasons why your camera may fail to read SD cards from the section above before attempting any of the methods suggested below. 

Method 1: Reinsert the Card

First, you should turn off the camera before removing the SD card from it. Restart the camera after a few seconds and then try reinserting the card. Ensure you push the card inside until you hear some click. Wait a moment and check if the camera recognizes the card now. If this fails to resolve the error, try the other methods below.

Method 2: Update camera software

Working with cameras with outdated software can be another reason that hinders your camera from reading the SD card. If you are currently using a Sony Cybershot camera, check the manufacturer’s manual or website on how to update the camera. 

However, you can still update other cameras by following the general guide below. 

  • Visit the manufacturer website for your camera and download the firmware. Be sure to look for your camera model.
  • Explore the website until you get the latest camera software or firmware. 

However, if you feel this process is very technical for you to execute safely, please look for a technician to help you. 

Method 3: Remove virus from the SD card

Viruses attack files systems and files and may prevent your SD card from recognition. If you connect the SD card to your PC often, it will most likely get infected by viruses within your PC. You will need a versatile antivirus to clean the card before you can use it on your camera again.  

Before you use an antivirus, however, note that it has the potential to delete your files from the card, especially those it views as malicious. Proceed with caution to ensure data recovery for SD cards will still be viable even after the cleanup. 

Method 4: Format the SD card

Formatting your card may not sound so good at the end of the day as you may not be able to recover deleted files. This is because the card format will erase all your data. However, it will help you solve most of the logical errors on the SD card. Below is the procedure to format the SD card with the PC.

Step 1: Connect the card to PC using a card reader.

Step 2: Press “Ctrl + E” to launch “File Explorer” and then choose “This PC or My Computer.”

Step 3: Right-click on the SD card and choose “Format.”

Step 4: Choose a exFAT file system if your card is 32GB or more and FAT32 if the card is less than 32GB.

Step 5: Select a “Volume label” and check the box next to “Quick Format.”

Step 6: Tap “Start” followed by “Ok” when prompted. Wait for the formatting to end, after which you can reinsert the card into your camera.


It is true SD cards made life easier especially when you can take several photos and still have control over them as opposed to the camera rolls of the old days. Even as you troubleshoot your Sony SD card with the methods described in this article, understand that the card requires proper care to last longer. You must therefore avoid any form of damage on it as well as prevent exposures to viruses. 

Article by:
Kenny Trinh
While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur. His writing has been featured in national publications such as Forbes, RD, Yahoo Finance, HackerNoon among others.

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