Have had this camera form a few months. Was working great, then when I was taking a picture it asked me to raise the flash, I did, it then powered off and I have not been able to turn it on since. It has not be dropped or damaged and was around my neck the entire time. Took a 12 or so pictures that day then just shut down.
I am on vacation and brought this camera just for this trip. Now I cannot use it.
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The camera will not flash in the sport setting unless you have a speed flash attached. because the sport setting is made for taking pictures at a fast pace and the internal flash does not charge fast enough.
It's very possible that the problem is that the shutter is stuck, which is a known Canon issue on the powershot cameras, mainly on the S2 and S3 models, which it happens after some time (weeks or months) thata camera is not used.
Unfortunately the repair of it requires a complete disassembly of the camera, including the lens, fix it, and then put back together everything.
Definitely requires the skills, tools and experience to do it, so it's recommended that a professional camera repair center is performing this type of repair.
If you look for a reliable and low cost repair service for it, you can look in ebay for such repair services.
Example, look for seller ID Great_items_2004 or with the keywords "Shutter black S3".
A stuck shutter is a common failure mode for digital cameras. The symptoms of a stuck or "sticky" shutter are very similar to CCD image sensor failure. The camera may take black pictures (for shutter stuck closed), or the pictures may be very bright and overexposed, especially when taken outdoors (for shutter stuck open).
To confirm a stuck shutter, put the camera in any mode other than "Auto", and turn the flash OFF (you don't want to blind yourself for the next step). Next look down the lens and take a picture. You should see a tiny flicker in the center of the lens as the shutter opens and closes. If no movement is seen, then you likely have a stuck shutter. If so, please see the following for further info and a simple fix that may help:
The powershot s5 IS does in fact have some strange behaviour issues especially on the first rev firmware. For example if you take 15-20 flash photos consecutively without powering down your camera the flash recycle times will increase to about 15sec, so you'll have to wait about 15sec before you can take another flash photo. The work around is to power down the camera and then turn it back ON. Another strange behaviour is manifested by its inability to lock focus after taking a "no-flash" photo, then popping up the flash and trying to take a flash photo. Again the work-around is to power down the camera, pop-up the flash and then power it back up. Confirmed these behaviours in two other cameras of the same model.