Question about Vivitar ViviCam 5385 Digital Camera

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The lens is constantly out. The red light flashes

The lens is constantly out. A red light by the eye view flashes when I try and turn it on.

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Fixing a Lens Error on a Digital Camera

This has to be THE most common failure mode for a digital camera. Some common error messages that might show up on the LCD's of cameras with this problem include “E18 lens error”, or “lens error, restart camera”. Some cameras might show nothing at all, but merely make a beeping noise as the lens goes out, then in, then the camera shuts off. Sometimes the lens won't even move.
The problem is actually quite common throughout all camera brands. Usually it's sand or grit interfering with the lens extension mechanism. Or the camera's been dropped with the lens extended. Or the camera has been powered on, but the lens had been blocked preventing its extension. Or the battery ran down with the lens extended. Believe it or not, one BIG contributor to lens errors is using a camera case. Sand, gunk, case fibers, etc... accumulate at the bottom of the case. These materials love to cling to the camera by electrostatic build-up from the camera rubbing against the side of the case (especially those cases with soft fibrous intreriors). Once these materials work their way into the lens mechanism, that's all she wrote. I have many Canon's, and NEVER use a case for this very reason.
A camera owner that suffers this problem may have no recourse for having the camera repaired. Many camera makers will not honor repairing this problem under warranty as they claim it is due to impact damage to the camera, or sand or debris getting into the lens gearing mechanism (neither of which is covered under warranty). The quoted repair cost is usually close to or more than what the camera is actually worth.
Fortunately, about half the cameras that suffer this failure can easily be fixed by one of the following methods. None of these methods involve opening the camera, although some have potential to cause other damage to the camera if excessively done. If the camera is still under warranty, before trying any of these, please please first contact your camera's maker to see if they'll cover the repair, or to determine how much they'll charge for the repair. Who knows, you might get lucky. But if they quote you a number that's higher than the value of your camera, you may want to consider the following methods.
The methods are listed in the order of risk of damaging your camera. Thus make sure you try them in the listed order. And remember, these fixes (especially #6 and 7) should only be considered for a camera that's out of warranty, who's cost of repair would be excessive, and would otherwise be considered for disposal if unrepaired:
Fix #1: Remove the batteries from the camera, wait a few minutes. Put a fresh set of batteries back in (preferably rechargeable NiMH 2500mah or better) and turn the camera on. If that didn't work, try pressing and holding the Function or OK button while turning the camera on.
Fix #2: Remove the batteries, then remove the memory card. Then install new batteries, and turn on the camera. If you get an Error E30, it means you don't have a memory card installed, so turn it off, slip in the memory card and turn it on one last time.
Fix #3: Insert the cameras Audio/Video (AV) cable, and turn the camera on. Inserting this cable ensures that the camera's LCD screen remains off during the start process. Thus extra battery power is available to the camera's lens motor during startup. This extra power can be useful in overcoming grit or sand particals that may be jamming the lens. If the AV cable doesn't fix the lens error by itself, consider keeping this cable installed while trying fixes 4, 5, and 7 as a means to provide extra help to these fixes. But note that I DON'T recommend keeping the cable installed during Fix 6 as you may damage the AV port while tapping the camera. Reinsert the cable only AFTER tapping the camera.
Fix #4: Place the camera flat on its back on a table, pointed at the ceiling. Press and hold the shutter button down, and at the same time press the power-on button. The idea is that the camera will try to autofocus while the lens is extending, hopefully seating the lens barrel guide pins in their slots.
Fix #5: Blow compressed air in the gaps around the lens barrels with the idea of blowing out any sand or grit that may be in there jamming the lens. Other variations include blowing with a hair dryer in “no heat” setting, or sucking the gaps with a vacuum (careful with this one).
Now we're entering into the realm of potentially damaging your camera in conducting the fix. There is definitely some risk here, so take care when conducting the following two fixes.
Fix #6: Repeatedly tap the padded/rubber usb cover on a hard surface with the intent of dislodging any particles that may be jamming the lens. Other variations include hitting a side of the camera against the palm of your hand. A lot of people have reported success with this method. HOWEVER, there is also some potential for damaging or dislodging internal components with this method, such as unseating ribbon cables, or cracking LCD screens.
Fix #7: Try forcing the lens. More people have reported success with this method than with any of the other methods. HOWEVER, there's obviously some potential for damaging your camera by using this method. Variations include gently pulling, rotating, and/or twisting the lens barrel while hitting the power button. Attempt to gently straighten or align the barrel if it's crooked or twisted. Another variation includes looking for uneven gaps around the lens barrel, and then pushing on the side of the lens barrel that has the largest gap (note pushing the lens barrel all the way in is NOT recommended as it may become stuck there). While doing any of the above, listen for a click that indicates that the lens barrel guide pins may have reseated in their guide slots. If you hear this click, immediately stop and try the camera.

Posted on Feb 08, 2010

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1 Answer

Every picture has red eye


That's because of the flash position being so close to the center of the lens. You are not alone with this problem as pretty well every point and shoot camera will suffer some type of flash red eye.

Some of the upper level pint and shoot have a red eye reduction mode that can be used check your manual. What this does is sends out a high intensity light so your subject's pupils will close down then the pictures is made. Others will have a red eye correction function built into the camera. If you have Photoshop I believe under tools there is a red eye correction tool. I'm using Photoshop CS4 and it's in that and I believe it's on PS 7 and PS 5 I'm not sure if Elements has it or not.

There isn't a whole lot you can do about it due to the location of the flash. The flash needs to be above the center line of the lens by at least 6 inches and even then depending on the subject to camera distance it's possible to get red eye.

Mar 04, 2011 | Kodak EasyShare C330 Digital Camera

2 Answers

Red eye on sanyo digital camera xacti,always theres a red eye when taking pictures,i already adjusted everything,still occuring red eye.


Do you mean your subject's eyes are showing "redeye"? This is a common problem with cameras that have the flash very close to the lens. Almost every photo editing program has a tool to remove red-eye. Check your computer to see what you have installed. In the future, most cameras have a red-eye flash setting which shoots a short flash before the main flash to close down the pupils in your subjects eyes to eliminate red-eye. You could also turn up the lights in the room...sometimes that helps.

Apr 28, 2010 | Sanyo Xacti VPC-T700 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Even with the red eye reduction function turned on I still get red eye----why


Red eye happens because the flash is close to the lens. Even with the red eye reduction function, you're still going to get some. You can either use off-camera flash, or correct it in software.

Dec 30, 2009 | Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W5 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Why do I always get "red eye" in my photos?


The simple answer is that the flash on a point and shoot camera is so close to the lens that the light bounces off the back of the subjects eye and you get the red of the blood vessels. That's why cameras have a flash setting called "red eye" which is very useful when shooting in a low light situation.

Nov 20, 2009 | Canon PowerShot A300 Digital Camera

1 Answer

I have a Kodak c513 easyshare camera and every photo I take has red eye in it. I was also told that I needed to check my resolution. What is that and how do I do that? Also how do I set flash so photos are...


Resolution has nothing to do with it. Red eye is caused by the flash being close to the camera lens, when the flash fires it reflects light from the persons eye back to the camera lens. Solution is to set your cameras flash setting to "red eye" This setting makes the flash "stutter" to make the eye not reflect the flash back to the camera. The red eye setting can be achieved by repeatedly pressing the flash function button until you see a lightening bolt with an eye icon in your display panel. The other option is to boost your iso to about 800 or 1000 for indoor useage, the problem with this is that the pictures will have a grainy look to them, but the flash will not fire.

Mar 20, 2009 | Kodak EasyShare C513 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Help!!!


The best way to avoid red-eye is to have the flash as far away from the lens as possible. If you can mount an external flash onto the flash bracket, use that instead of a built-in or pop-up flash. Similarly, you can use bounce mode to make the light fall on the subject at a different angle/direction from the lens.

Mar 12, 2008 | Cameras

1 Answer

Red Eye


If the red-eye reduction is turned on, and you can verify that the pre-flash is functioning, you may need to think about shooting technique. With ultra-compact cameras, the flash is necessarily placed close to the lens. This is the worst design possible to avoid red-eye. To reduce red-eye as much as possible, ensure the red-eye reduction system is turned on (and functioning properly), and get close to the subject. I mean "physically" close, not just close by zooming. Use as little zoom as possible. If the subject is small, move closer, without relying on the zoom lens to make the subject appear closer.

Mar 08, 2008 | Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Red Eye


Does your camera's flash have a redeye reduction mode? It should tell you in your camera's manual. Some cameras use a pre-flash method which causes the flash to fire several times in succession before firing the shutter in order to give the subject's eyes time to adjust to the bright light.

Redeye is actually caused by the flash being too close to the camera's lens. That's why you see professional photographers using a flash attached to their cameras by a cable so they can move it away from the lens. Because you have a compact camera, there is no way to change this flash to lens distance.

You might also try just turning the flash off. Unless you are taking pictures in a very dark area, you may find the results to be very satisfactory.

Dec 26, 2007 | Fuji FinePix A500 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Red eye


This camera is bad for red eye. It's just a problem that happens when the flash is so close to the lens. Red eye occurs when the flash illuminates the subject's retina.

The only solution, really, is to add an external flash that's farther away from the camera lens, which is not an option with this camera. The other, is to get better at taking photos without flash. Higher end cameras have better ways to deal with the red-eye, but these usually involve preflashes that close the subjects pupils (by blinding them with a preflash) before the actual exposure is taken. The Sony DSC-U30 has it as a feature, but it doesn't work very well, I've found. When it does work, it's a nice compromise as it gets rid of the red eye, but it also introduces a delay between pressing the exposure button and the actual taking of the photo.

Unless the light is very dim, I don't use flash with this camera.

After you've taken the photo and have downloaded it, there are ways to edit the red eye out that can be pretty effective.

Dec 24, 2007 | Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-U30 Digital Camera

1 Answer

Red eye problem


The best way is to keep the flash as far away from the lens as possible. If you have the option of using an external flash, that would be a great solution. You can also use ?Bounce Mode? to change the light dispersion around the lens. Another possible solution would be to bypass the use of flash by giving more exposure time or opening the shutter. In a case where the lighting is marginal, these actions can replace the use of flash.

Feb 22, 2006 | Canon PowerShot A510 Digital Camera

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