Need some assistance with a (sort of) broken camera flash on an SX410 IS - General Discussion and Assistance - CHDK Forum supplierdeeply

Need some assistance with a (sort of) broken camera flash on an SX410 IS

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As the title states, I need some assistance with a (sort of) broken camera flash. I have a Canon Powershot SX410 IS and my issue is that it doesn't like to flash. I thought for a long time the bulb itself was burnt out but I accidentally got it to flash the other day.

What happened is, I needed a light for something and my camera was the closest thing next to me, so I flipped the flash up so the focus lamp would come on. I was shining the focus lamp where I needed to (pointing down) when all of a sudden the flash finally flashed after 30+ seconds of the shutter being pressed. I was only able to flash it one more time (also pointing down) using the same method the next day. I'm not sure what the issue could be, and I'm also not sure whether the orientation of the camera actually matters or if both instances just coincidentally happened while pointing down. The camera also dies when I attempt to get it to flash again.

If I could get the flash working again, that would be very beneficial and helpful. Thanks!
« Last Edit: 29 / July / 2023, 20:26:03 by Little9070 »
Sent from my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

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Offline reyalp

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As the title states, I need some assistance with a (sort of) broken camera flash. I have a Canon Powershot SX410 IS and my issue is that it doesn't like to flash. I thought for a long time the bulb itself was burnt out but I accidentally got it to flash the other day.

What happened is, I needed a light for something and my camera was the closest thing next to me, so I flipped the flash up so the focus lamp would come on. I was shining the focus lamp where I needed to (pointing down) when all of a sudden the flash finally flashed after 30+ seconds of the shutter being pressed. I was only able to flash it one more time (also pointing down) using the same method the next day. I'm not sure what the issue could be, and I'm also not sure whether the orientation of the camera actually matters or if both instances just coincidentally happened while pointing down. The camera also dies when I attempt to get it to flash again.
This sounds to me like a hardware problem. If the orientation actually makes a difference, one could imagine it's a broken or loose connector somewhere. Another possibility is that the switch which detects the flash being open is faulty in some way.

You should be able to tell from the UI / OSD whether the camera thinks the flash is open or not. On my cameras with retractable flash (sx710 and g7x for example) the flash UI accessed by pressing right on the D-pad is disabled when the flash is closed, and no flash indication is shown on the UI. If it thinks the flash is open, you should be able to use that button to set the flash to "on" so the flash (if operating correctly) would fire with every shot.

If the camera thinks the flash is enabled, but not fully charged, the flash icon will blink in half press.

It's conceivable that CHDK could interfere with the how the camera detects the flash is open, but in that case, I wouldn't really expect it to be intermittent. That said, it would be worth trying without CHDK to be sure.

If you're tempted to take it apart, beware that the flash is likely connected to a powerful capacitor and take appropriate precautions.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

The problem persists with and without CHDK. Additionally, the icon does flash as if it’s charging yet I don’t hear it making noise. Could the capacitor have gone bad where it won’t hold a charge? Additionally, maybe it’s not getting enough voltage in the first place. I’ll try and see if it works slightly better on a fresh charge, though I suspect the change will be minimal. Thanks for the quick response, though

Edit: I uh, just discovered my camera has flash settings when you press D-pad right? I somehow didn’t know that .😂 Editing the settings doesn’t seem to have an effect on the flash working, however. And yes, it’s set to on.
« Last Edit: 29 / July / 2023, 23:31:00 by Little9070 »
Sent from my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

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Offline reyalp

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Additionally, the icon does flash as if it’s charging yet I don’t hear it making noise.
In my experience, properly functioning cameras of that generation make very little if any noise while charging the flash.

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Could the capacitor have gone bad where it won’t hold a charge? Additionally, maybe it’s not getting enough voltage in the first place. I’ll try and see if it works slightly better on a fresh charge, though I suspect the change will be minimal.
I don't know. The fact the flash setting and icon appear probably confirm it isn't an issue the detecting when the flash is open. CHDK can show you the battery voltage. My SX710 with a reasonably charged battery (NB-6LH) drops from ~3.85 to ~3.7 volts while flash icon blinks to indicate charging.

An aging battery will likely deliver less peak current, which could lead to longer charge times.

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Edit: I uh, just discovered my camera has flash settings when you press D-pad right? I somehow didn’t know that .😂 Editing the settings doesn’t seem to have an effect on the flash working, however. And yes, it’s set to on.
The manual (available as PDF from Canon) can be quite helpful. I don't mean this in a "LOL RTFM NOOB!" way BTW, the exact expected behavior of the different buttons and UI elements is not always obvious, which can make it hard to understand whether it's functioning as intended or not.
Don't forget what the H stands for.


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In my experience, properly functioning cameras of that generation make very little if any noise while charging the flash.

I see, I probably should've known that since the two times it did flash it didn't make any noise. I've only used a cheap camera flash from a film camera which was pretty noisy.

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I don't know. The fact the flash setting and icon appear probably confirm it isn't an issue the detecting when the flash is open. CHDK can show you the battery voltage. My SX710 with a reasonably charged battery (NB-6LH) drops from ~3.85 to ~3.7 volts while flash icon blinks to indicate charging.

An aging battery will likely deliver less peak current, which could lead to longer charge times.

My battery is pretty aged, though I don't think it should take 30+ seconds? Most of the time when I attempt to get it to flash, after about a minute or so of the flash "charging", it will shut the camera off and act as if the battery is dead, yet turning it back on after a few seconds will report that the battery is indeed full. This does not happen with anything else. The two times I did get it to flash it was after about 30 seconds.

Additionally, after some testing, on an almost fully charged battery (Official Canon NB-11LH) I average about 3.8v-3.7v doing nothing, 3.65v with the flash simply popped up, and 3.5v while the flash is "charging". The voltage may have dropped even lower as CHDK's OSD froze while the flash was charging, making it slightly difficult to measure properly.

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The manual (available as PDF from Canon) can be quite helpful. I don't mean this in a "LOL RTM NOOB!" way BTW, the exact expected behavior of the different buttons and UI elements is not always obvious, which can make it hard to understand whether it's functioning as intended or not.

Well, I pretty much know almost all of the ins-and-outs of my camera, I've just never bothered with the flash settings because I assumed the bulb was burnt out. I suppose I will check out the manual soon though, maybe I'll learn something new, thanks.


Additionally, here's a video I took showcasing what it typically does. (ignore whatever noises my cat makes in the background lol)

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/1098348993999806495/1135670100591128636/IMG_7025.mov
Sent from my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

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Offline reyalp

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My battery is pretty aged, though I don't think it should take 30+ seconds? Most of the time when I attempt to get it to flash, after about a minute or so of the flash "charging", it will shut the camera off and act as if the battery is dead, yet turning it back on after a few seconds will report that the battery is indeed full. This does not happen with anything else. The two times I did get it to flash it was after about 30 seconds.
The fact the "Charge the battery" message shows up in your video makes me think old/weak battery, where even though it's relatively full charge, the voltage sags below some limit at high load. Similar to how old phones end up not being able to run at full speed.

My elph180 has a lightly used NB-11L, and the flash icon blinks for only a few seconds between flash shots. The flash on that camera is probably smaller than on the SX410 though.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

So there's a chance that replacing the battery may make my flash properly function? My battery is pretty worn out and I've had my camera for a decent while. If I were to replace the battery, would any average battery on something like Amazon work or are 3rd parties generally to be avoided? Thanks for the help so far anyway too.
Sent from my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

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Offline reyalp

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So there's a chance that replacing the battery may make my flash properly function?
Seems possible to me, but that's just my semi-informed speculation based on the symptoms.
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If I were to replace the battery, would any average battery on something like Amazon work or are 3rd parties generally to be avoided? Thanks for the help so far anyway too.
I haven't actually had to replace any, so no direct experience. I've seen mixed reports on forums, but personally I'd probably look for a 3rd party one with decent reviews given the price difference.
Don't forget what the H stands for.


 

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