Check your batteries. If you are using lithium ion batteries, they are strong enough to run the camera operations just fine, EXCEPT for the flash. After a couple of uses, the li ions are not strong enough to produce a volt burst strong enough to trigger the flash. Get the rechargable nickel hydride batteries recommended at sony.com.
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Does the little flash lightening bolt light up in the viewfinder to let you know the flash is fully charged? If it does, but when you push release it goes out and then comes on again in a few seconds that is the sign of a bad flash board.
Does the flash go all the way up?
Is the switch that is under the flash come all the way up (not stuck down)?
You camera may be in 'auto'flash' mode, meaning the camera decides if the flash is necessary, depending on the lighting situatioin. Try your flash setting on forced flash instead of automatic, or try it in the dark to see if the flash goes off.
The flash has been working fine until last night when I tried to take a picture and the flash was set to auto. When I press the button the little red light beside the flash sign lights up, but the camera does not take the photo. When I set it to flash mode, it still won't take a photo. When I turn off the flash, then it does. What could be the problem? Is it in the settings?
Did you check the fault section of the user manual. This code may mean something you can correct yourself. Also, call Canon's tech support. They may have some information on this. I cannot remember details, but this sounds familiar to me.
The last resort is giving the camera in for a service estimate.
It seems like the problem could be the settings. Try to set the flash manually, and then try to pop it up. If this doesn't work, and since the pop up flash release is electronic, have the camera cleaned at a camera shop. This would be a small price to pay if it works, and would be worth it for such a great camera.
Please let me know if this works for you.