The screen on my camera would flash in and out after I had used my camera only a dozen or so times. I changed the batteries, but that didn't help, so I hooked the camera up to my computer, hoping to charge any internal battery it might have, and when I turned it on again, I was able to turn it on only a few more times, but the camera then randomly stopped working again. I have tried hooking it up to my computer over and over again for longer amounts of time, but the light in the upper right corner continues to flash, and there is nothing on the screen. I can't retrieve pictures without the camera turning on. Is there an easy to way to fix it?
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You didn't indicate the make and model number of your tool, but almost universally, all lights flashing on a charger indicate a bad battery. If the system in the charger detects that the battery has a short, bad cell or anything else wrong, it will not attempt to charge the battery.
Either the LCD screen is cracked or defective in some other manner. It's possible the LCD works but just the backlight is out as well. Either way, the camera needs to be opened and the LCD checked out.
The Olympus "Tough" and "SW" cameras are FAR FROM being either "Tough" or "S"hock and "W"aterproof. I have seen dozens and dozens of them with cracked glass over the LCD and destroyed by water damage. Sounds like something got inside your camera or it was badly dropped.
Hope this helps.
Affordable Digital Camera Repair
First, try removing the batteries and then reinstalling them. If the problem persists, you may wish to try a new battery. If this doesn't solve the problem, you will need to send this camera in for repairs. Parts for this camera are hard to find so you will want to have an experienced Contax repair company to repair your camera, like TOCAD.
TOCAD is the only repair company for Contax in the United States that I know of. Here is there site: http://www.tocad.com/
My first impression is that you are using the flash at its maximum capacity and completely draining the charge each time. I'd also say that you are only going to get about a dozen flash burst before the batteries are exhausted. I use several Vivitar 283's 285's and a couple 285HV's in a portable studio set up I have and the 285 HV's have got to be tuned down about 1/3 before I can get them to match the other flash outputs. If I need all out brute power then the 285HV's are used on full inside a softbox. I generally work with a 16 batteries between the two 285HV, also they need good fresh batteries off the charger. On a photo shoot I'll get maybe 15 shots before the power is down enough that I change then, I'd say powering back up it'll take about 15 to 20 seconds before they come out.
The flash uses more battery than anything else. Try turning off the flash, you may be surprised at the results. The number two power hog is the screen, and it's worthless at the beach or in any bright sunlight. That's why I won't buy a camera that doesn't have a view finder. Still, you should get a lot more than 12 shots from a pair of lithiums. I have a pair of lithiums in a Canon Power Shot that have taken hundreds of stills and quite a bit of video (all outdoors, no flash or screen) and are still usable.
Does your camera gave a small battery in place somewhere that is used to maintain the date and time settings? (it is generally a watch battery type small flat silver disk.) You should not have to reset time and date after each battery change.
Many digital cameras eat up batteries quickly, especially when using the flash alot., that is why it is important to use good quality rechargeables whenever possible.
I'f your using alkaline AAs, try using rechargeable NiMH batteries or lithium disposables. Alkalines are very poor at supplying the kind of current needed to recharge the flash. I've found other Samsung cameras to be particularly fussy about batteries, and not always consistently so! Good luck.