Nikon coolpix 4800 - built-in flash may need to be replaced
Lately when I do close-ups and use the flash - a dark area in the lower right hand corner shows up in the photo - I'm making sure my fingers are not in the way - when I don't use the flash I don't have this dark area show in the photo - I've had the camera for about 3 years and bought it new - any help would be much appreciated - thanks
Re: nikon coolpix 4800 - built-in flash may need to be...
I have the same camera and have had the lens cover get stuck and it will leave the dark shadow in the pictures like you describe. It doesn't always happen, but when it does I just gently push the lens cover all the way open with my finger.
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If there is a problem with the flash itself or the mainboard connection to the flash it will not charge. If the flash won't charge then it won't go off when you take a picture. The only way to fix the problem is to replace the flash with a good used one and see if that fixes it. If not, then you need to replace the mainboard. Good used parts can usually be found online for cheap; that auction website doesn't pay me to type their name, so I don't, sorry. Hope this helps!
Affordable Digital Camera Repair
Have you attached some sort of lens shade to the front of the lens? The vibration might have something to do with the shake reduction system but I can't be sure. It certainly shouldn't vibrate heavily. You might get a better answer if you e-mail the tech guys at the support section of the Nikon website.
Most likely the problem is "Camera shake". This just means that being in the dark, the camera shutter speed is long enough that the natural shake of your hands make the picture blurry.
You've got a couple options. The easiest is to find a nearby object and use it to steady your hand as you take the picture. You can also get a tripod and use the time delay release on the camera. This will let you push the button (which shakes the camera) and then step back before it actually takes the picture.
If you're shooting fairly bright LED's on the bike, you also might go into manual mode on the camera and experiment with shorter shutter speeds. Most people can use a speed of 1/60 without too much blur, so start with that and move to shorter speeds (maybe 1/100 or less). With the manual speed, you may get enough light from the LED's to make a good picture.
If this doesn't work for you, post a comment and I'll check back every few days and give some more ideas. Your camera may have some other ways to work through this. Rear curtain flash would be the best, but I don't think it has it....
The built-in Speedlight on many Nikon cameras is designed to be a convenient way to either light up a dark subject or to add fill light to a daytime scene. The built-in Speedlight cannot replace a full size, external speedlight which should be used when more power or coverage are needed.
Because the built-in Speedlight is compact and close to the camera it cannot be used under all conditions. When using a lens that is physically very long, a subject that is very close, or a wide lens hood it is possible that a shadow may be cast upon the subject. Notice, in the sample below, the round shadow in the bottom center of the photo.
When the lens is too long or the coverage is too wide with a close subject a shadow of the lens itself is cast. In figure "A" below the lens is casting a shadow. Switching (or zooming) to a shorter lens (figure "B") prevents the shadow and allows even illumination.
If your lens, subject, or lens hood choice create a shadow, an external flash (either on the camera's hot-shoe or connected to the camera by a wire or wirelessly) should be used to fully light the subject.