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Old Apr 17, 2009, 8:13 AM   #1
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I was just shooting a few indoor shots for a feature on my website and all was going well. Then, I tried shooting a close-up of something in full-auto mode...

As the camera tried to focus, the flash fired a bunch of times in quick succession and i could see the word "Busy" thru the finder.

But the shot was not taken! Now, when I try taking a shot of anything in any of the modes I get the weird flashing and no shot taken.

I hope this is not a serious fault as I am sure it will be out of warranty by at least 6 months...

:sad:

Any advice appreciated.
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Old Apr 17, 2009, 8:31 AM   #2
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That sounds like normal behavior if the camera is unable to lock focus.

It's using the built in flash as an Autofocus Assist lamp when lighting levels get too low (hence the flashes you're seeing). If it can't lock focus, it's not going to take the photo (and if it doesn't lock focus before the capacitor is discharged providing power to the flash, you'll see a busy indication until it recharges).

So, the question is why it's unable to lock focus. Are you sure you're not too close to your subject for the minimum focus distance your lens is capable of? With the standard 18-55mm kit lens, your minimum focus distance is approximately 11.4" (0.28m).

The reflectivity of the subject can also cause Autofocus issues when you're using a flash for AF Assist. So, you may want to turn that feature off and see if it can lock focus OK in the lighting you're shooting in (which may be too dim for that lens unless you have areas of your subject with better lighting and contrast). Also, if you're closer to a subject, the position of the flash may not allow good enough illumination.

So, I'd turn that feature off (AF assist), press your shutter button down half way and wait for a focus confirmation (which may take longer in lower light) before pressing it the rest of the way down to take the photo.

The Center Focus point is probably more sensitive if lighting gets too low to use the outside focus points. So, you may want to select it and use it on an area with better contrast, then lock focus with a half press, reframe as needed, and press the shutter button the rest of the way down to take the photo.

You can probably turn off AF Assist with Custom Function 5 (try changing it from 0 to 1 and see if that disables flash assist for Autofocus)..

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Old Apr 17, 2009, 8:55 AM   #3
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Shorter Answer:

Use better lighting so that the camera is able to "see" better in order to Autofocus and/or use a brighter lens. You could also use Manual Focus. Typical Indoor lighting (especially at night without any ambient light coming in through windows) is often much dimmer to a camera than it appears to the human eye. ;-)

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Old Apr 17, 2009, 11:03 AM   #4
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You said:

Now, when I try taking a shot of anything in any of the modes I get the weird flashing and no shot taken.


I would take off the lens and remount it. If you have another lens, try the camera with it and see if that works. There is the slightest of possibilities (I've only encountered it once in many years) of the lens AF mechanism jamming.

You may need to reset your camera if you continue to experience the problem under normal daylight conditions.Try this to achieve a hard reset:

1) Turn off the camera
2) Remove both camerabatteries (main and coin cell next to it)
3) Close the battery cover
4) Turn on/off switch to "On"
5) Let the camera sit forone full minute
6) Turn on/off switch to "Off"
7) Re-install both batteries, turn the camera on, reset dates, etc.,and check for proper operation.

If that does not fix it, then the camera needs to be repaired.

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Old Apr 18, 2009, 3:26 PM   #5
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My assumption was that the photos were indoors in very low light (hence the camera needing to use the flash for Autofocus Assist).

If the camera is doing the same thing in good light, that's another story, and I'd look for something wrong, trying the suggestions offered by hgernhardtjr

What kind of closeups were you taking when this started? If you were stopping down the aperture for more depth of field, I'm wondering if it the aperture blades may have stuck in a relatively closed position (not letting enough light in for your AF sensors to see well enough to focus). Have you tried a different lens on the camera?

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Old Apr 18, 2009, 4:02 PM   #6
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P.S.

You can tell if your aperture blades are moving if you set your aperture to something like f/16 or f/22 in Aperture Priority mode and press your depth of field preview button (the viewfinder should go darker when you press it and get lighter when you release it, and with some lenses, you can hear the blades opening and closing, too).
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Old Apr 19, 2009, 11:07 PM   #7
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Jim,

Any luck with your camera issues? My Canon 50D just started doing the exact same thing. Its only 10 days old! Did the battery removel trick to reset...no luck.
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