Question about Vivitar ViviCam 3915 Digital Camera

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Problem with Camera Flash

I recently purchased a camera on eBay and I think it is a beautiful camera small, lightweight and easy to use. The problem is that the flash does not work. I have read all the instructions and taken many photographs but many need the flash to look well. Whenever I take a picture I can hear a sound as if the flash had worked but nothing happens. I don't know if this can be fixed or how expensive this might be to repair. If this is too expensive I will return it for a refund but I would really like to fix this and continue to use this. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much.

Posted by Miguel Lombardi on

  • annettemaher Sep 02, 2008

    dont no how to put the flash on

  • Anonymous Feb 19, 2009

    i found the same problem with mine, then i pressed the flash button on camera for it 2 work evertime i take photo and then the picture ends up 2 bright.



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Chech the slider switch infront of the camera right under the lens. If it is to the left side, then switch it back to the right. If this is a fix of your problem, then remember, the slider switched to the left is for closer range picture taking, i.e. 3-5 feet away from subject. The slider switched to the right is for subject from 5 feet far up to infinitive. Paul

Posted on Sep 14, 2007


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Everything looks like it's working on the screen, lights, etc. But when I push to take the picture, it won't take. It just has a muted clicking sound.

Try a mode other than auto, and turn off the flash. Then try taking a picture. Did it work? If so, then your flash is either burned out, or the flash safety circuit thinks that the camera is open. If the flash is burned out, then professional repair is required, as a flash change-out is not trivial (Call 1-800-OK-CANON).
However, it's more likely to be only a break in the safety circuit. Many Canon cameras use some of the screws in the camera case to serve as a means of detecting if the case is open (and thus disables the flash to prevent shock). Examine all the screws around the perimeter of your case. Are they all there and tight? If not, tighten loose screws and try moving and replacing any missing screws with one of the others that are still there.
Finally, if it still doesn't take a picture, even with the flash turned off, then the shutter button itself is likely worn down. There's a little plastic protrusion that may wear down with camera use, preventing the shutter switch from fully engaging when the button is depressed. It's a very easy repair to replace the shutter button, IF you can purchase a replacement shutter button. They can be costly on eBay.

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The flash capacitor could be bad, or the batteries could be weak- make sure they're charged, and clean the battery and camera contacts with a qtip and at least 90% isopropyl alcohol.
The flash consists of a small step-up transformer, a capacitor, small ic, and the xenon bulb. Some terminals on some cameras are coated with an insulating glue, but one some you can discharge the capacitor with a screwdriver- be ready for a fairly loud "Pop!". Do it a couple of times, or whatever it takes to fully discharge it. Look for broken, bad, or cold solder joints on the relavent devices. Take the old solder up, and resolder, if required. You can ohm out the transformer, and cursorily check the cap, but caps can break down while trying to charge, so that isn't always a conclusive check. The flash board is usually a separate board, and can be replaced as a unit. You might try to get an "as is" model off Ebay with a good flash circuit, and replace the board, bulb, and cap as a unit, but that's not an easy job. Other alternative is to get a new camera, since if you elect to have it serviced, it will justify buying a new one, in most cases. I found a working replacement on Ebay for $.99, but the shipping is $26.90 (you could try to talk them down). Here's the link:

Good luck, and hope this helps.

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