Question about Cameras

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Flash charging light blinking all the time when flash is set to on, so won't allow a photo to be taken. I think there might be a loose electrical connection inside camera as sometimes when I tap camera it will work ok.

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  • roberttrout4 Apr 24, 2008

    Dear Ed (Lightingman)

    Sorry I forgot to put model no. Olympus stylus 410. I've been looking on web and this fault seems to be the most prevalent fault there is with this model. As I am a retired electronics technician I am going to disassemble the camera and have a look inside to determine the fault if possible. If I do cure this problem I will let you know as it might be of help to other people.

    PS- Don't worry I know all about charged up capacitors and it would take an extremely large one to kill me, a lot bigger than in a small camera like this one. Thanks for your concern though.



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You have not specified the make and model of the camera in question but here is some information that can assist you.

There are two types of to flash usage. One type is where the flash is built into the camera and may automatically pop up or activate when the light is too low to make photographs with existing light. If this is the case the problem is in the internal circuitry and is possibly not fixable without special instruments- perhaps an entire circuit board needs to be replaced.

The other kind of setup is where an external flash unit is placed on the camera and connected to the camera's circuitry via a synchronization cord or a hot shoe atop the camera. The flash charging light is activated by the trigger voltages coming in from the external unit. Here too, I don't think that this is a do-it-yourself repair job without circuit testing instruments or a replacement circuit board.

If the camera and flash work properly after being tapped, this does indicate an intermittent connection but if is on a tiny circuit board it will be difficult to detect and repair this problem. Besides the test equipment, precision soldering gear is required. Cameras with interlocks, that don't allow you to make exposures when there is not enough light or if there is a flash malfunction may incorporate a special chip or micro-circuit to enable this automation. Unless one is a technician who is familiar with this issue, an accurate diagnosis is nearly impossible.

If the camera is one of higher value or is still under warranty, it should be returned to the factory or an authorized repair station to be fixed. I n some cases the repair bill can exceed the value of the camera and replacing the camera my be a more economical decision..

If the camera is the type where the flash unit is external, some cameras can be damaged by excessive trigger voltages. There are protective modules to prevent this but once the circuitry is damaged it may be beyond repair,

If you can supply more specifics- please do so and I may be able to offer more advice.

Ed (Lightingman)

PS- Even small electronic flash units can harbor dangerous or even lethal voltages. Under certain circumstances the can deliver a fatal electrical shock or cause burns or nerve damage. If you are not savvy with this kid of gear- definitely reffer repairs to a qualified technician. SAFETY FIRST and I hate the odor of burning flesh!

Posted on Apr 23, 2008

  • Ed Shapiro
    Ed Shapiro Apr 25, 2008

    Hi Rob- Thanks for the come back. Yes, I would be very interested to know what the problem is, It's true that some camera models have bugs that eventually occur after they have been used for a while- even models costing thousands of dollars have some of theses design flaws.

    It's great that you have vast experience in electronics. I do all the maintenances on the units here at my studio. Some of those guys pack 1000 VDC at 800 to 1200 uf! After all, a defoliator is max 400 watt seconds so I tell tinkerers to keep their screwdrivers out of their strobes because if that kind of current goes across their chest, it could burn out their tickers.

    Good luck with the troubleshooting and regards, Ed


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